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Old 08-23-2013   #1
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Default NFL pressured ESPN to abandon PBS concussion documentary project

Report: NFL pressured ESPN to abandon PBS concussion project
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On Thursday, ESPN cut the cord on its much-hyped PBS Frontline partnership regarding concussions in pro football. In so doing, ESPN denied that it had received any pressure from the NFL.

On Friday, of course, a report has emerged that the NFL did indeed pressure ESPN to quit biting the hand it’s currently feeding more than $1 billion per year.

According to James Andrew Miller of the New York Times, “two people with direct knowledge of the situation” contend that the NFL placed pressure on ESPN to exit the joint venture with PBS. Per the report, Commissioner Roger Goodell was directly involved in the effort...
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Old 08-23-2013   #2
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Default Re: NFL pressured ESPN to abandon PBS concussion documentary project

All about PR. Tell ESPN not do talk about concussion problems but then cover up and say they didnt.
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Old 08-23-2013   #3
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Default Re: NFL pressured ESPN to abandon PBS concussion documentary project

Not the first time this happened... There was a show on ESPN about 9-10 years ago (IIRC it was called Playmakers), that they pulled the plug on after the NFL made a "suggestion"
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Old 08-23-2013   #4
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Default Re: NFL pressured ESPN to abandon PBS concussion documentary project

I can be blunt. Commish Goodell is a hypocritical POS.
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Old 08-23-2013   #5
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Default Re: NFL pressured ESPN to abandon PBS concussion documentary project

One day the NFL will be shut down. What they're trying to hide is a BIG problem.
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Old 08-23-2013   #6
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Default Re: NFL pressured ESPN to abandon PBS concussion documentary project

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Originally Posted by paycheck71 View Post
Not the first time this happened... There was a show on ESPN about 9-10 years ago (IIRC it was called Playmakers), that they pulled the plug on after the NFL made a "suggestion"
It was more than a suggestion. The NFL flat out hated the show. The commish at the time, Paul Tagliabue, openly criticized the series and threatened ESPN.

PRO FOOTBALL; Citing N.F.L., ESPN Cancels 'Playmakers'

As far as this Frontline documentary, I look forward to it. Frontline won't back down. They have no reason to fear the NFL, and they have taken on some very seriious subjects head on over the years.

I DVR the series and hope they really do their homework like they usually do for stories.

I like pro football, but eff the NFL's 800-pound gorilla attitude.
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Old 08-23-2013   #7
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Default Re: NFL pressured ESPN to abandon PBS concussion documentary project

I spent some time with a front line crew. They were here for a year at sharpstown doing drop out nation. I made a brief cameo putting some kids out of the classroom after a fight. And also some other shots.

You don't even realize how much info they get until you sit down and watch it. I'm going to watch this when it airs because I know they will be fair and thorough.
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Old 08-23-2013   #8
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Default Re: NFL pressured ESPN to abandon PBS concussion documentary project

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Originally Posted by Rey View Post
I spent some time with a front line crew. They were here for a year at sharpstown doing drop out nation. I made a brief cameo putting some kids out of the classroom after a fight. And also some other shots.

You don't even realize how much info they get until you sit down and watch it. I'm going to watch this when it airs because I know they will be fair and thorough.
I remember seeing that story after you mentioned it. Very cool.

I agree with you about Frontline. I never feel skeptical after watching one of their documentaries. I wish more news sources were as thorough with their investigations.
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Old 08-23-2013   #9
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Default Re: NFL pressured ESPN to abandon PBS concussion documentary project

There is a preview on the PBS site. I'm looking forward to watching the full program.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...gue-of-denial/
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Old 08-23-2013   #10
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Default Re: NFL pressured ESPN to abandon PBS concussion documentary project

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Originally Posted by paycheck71 View Post
There is a preview on the PBS site. I'm looking forward to watching the full program.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...gue-of-denial/
Oh man, that's going to be good. Frontline does great work.
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Old 08-26-2013   #11
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Default Re: NFL pressured ESPN to abandon PBS concussion documentary project

Quote:
“Disney folks [ESPN is owned by Disney] got involved and shut us down,” the newspaper quoted Bray as telling demoralized ESPN investigative staffers.
Quote:
But, one source told me, “The impression ESPN got was the NFL, one of its most important business partners, was furious because it felt the full story about the concussion story wasn’t being told.”
http://mmqb.si.com/2013/08/26/arian-...quarterback/5/


Did The NFL Put Pressure On ESPN To Divorce Frontline?

Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nfl...#ixzz2d6gx6kCQ
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Old 08-26-2013   #12
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Default Re: NFL pressured ESPN to abandon PBS concussion documentary project

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Originally Posted by paycheck71 View Post
Not the first time this happened... There was a show on ESPN about 9-10 years ago (IIRC it was called Playmakers), that they pulled the plug on after the NFL made a "suggestion"
Makes sense. Why would the NFL want to offer its product to an entity that is going to bash it?

ESPN was perfectly free to run the series as long it was willing to deal with the repurcussions of the NFL taking its business elsewhere. Of course ESPN folded. Apparently they didn't have a real desire to tell the true story. Same with the concussion story.
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Old 08-26-2013   #13
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Default Re: NFL pressured ESPN to abandon PBS concussion documentary project

Lots of good stuff here, thanks for the links. MSR.
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Old 08-26-2013   #14
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Default Re: NFL pressured ESPN to abandon PBS concussion documentary project

Richard Deitsch is a fantastic media writer. His work is incredibly thorough and fair, even though he sure is wringing ESPNs neck lately.
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Old 08-27-2013   #15
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Default Re: NFL pressured ESPN to abandon PBS concussion documentary project

ESPN Ombudsman even questioning the network

http://espn.go.com/blog/ombudsman/po...tor=MediaREDEF

Quote:
If, as Skipper told me, the ESPN-“Frontline” association was “a loose arrangement,” it seems an unusually sloppy execution for ESPN, an organization that is usually much more buttoned-up. (Raney Aronson, the deputy executive producer for “Frontline,” told me the arrangement was more of an “editorial exchange” and that “we were working on a piece of paper” -- meaning some legal memorialization of the partnership.)

Was attention not being paid at ESPN? Too much time spent acquiring tennis rights, the SEC, Keith Olbermann, Nate Silver and Jason Whitlock, and not enough on journalism?
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Old 08-27-2013   #16
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Default Re: NFL pressured ESPN to abandon PBS concussion documentary project

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Originally Posted by BullBlitz View Post
Makes sense. Why would the NFL want to offer its product to an entity that is going to bash it?
Bash? Or investigate an issue that the NFL talks the talk but does not seem to walk the walk.

The league probably sees any negative press as "bashing", but in reality, they are typical of massive corporations protecting an extremely successful brand.

The NFL does not care about players. They care about money and everything that perpetuates the profit. Right now concussions are a news story, so the NFL marketing department is working overtime to present the league in a way that makes it seem like they are ahead of the curve. But in reality, it is all smoke and mirrors because they have been sitting on studies for years that point to the dangers of concussions and head trauma.

They had those studies in hand while they were pimping "Jacked Up" hits with NFL Films and ESPN.

Check this crap out:

Quote:
In 2003, the NFL -- with Pellman still in charge of the committee -- published the first of 16 studies, many of which suggested concussions were not a significant problem in the NFL. Tagliabue had previously expressed skepticism about the seriousness of the league's concussion problem.

New questions about NFL doctor
Does this story at all reflect a league ahead of the curve on this issue?

The NFL is in CYA mode right now. I hope they get burned for it.
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Old 08-27-2013   #17
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Default Re: NFL pressured ESPN to abandon PBS concussion documentary project

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Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
Bash? Or investigate an issue that the NFL talks the talk but does not seem to walk the walk.

The league probably sees any negative press as "bashing", but in reality, they are typical of massive corporations protecting an extremely successful brand.
Just as they should. Call it negative press, bashing, criticism, whatever.

But of course they are going to protect their brand.
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Old 08-27-2013   #18
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Default Re: NFL pressured ESPN to abandon PBS concussion documentary project

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Originally Posted by BullBlitz View Post
Just as they should. Call it negative press, bashing, criticism, whatever.
Words have definitions. You can act like different words all mean the same thing, but that would just be ignorance (no offense).

"Bashing" is defined as " a harsh, gratuitous, prejudicial attack on a person, group, or subject".

Do you honestly believe that an award winning (Pulitzer Prize, Emmy awards, Peabody Awards, Writers Guild of America Awards) and highly respected news source like Frontline is engaged in a prejudicial attack on the NFL?

It's called investigative journalism. The NFL is scared because they know Frontline is not some entertainment company that they can bully. They know Frontline has made a difference in the world and people pay attention to their stories.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BullBlitz View Post
But of course they are going to protect their brand.
Then the NFL is just a bunch of hypocrites to act like this issue is so important while undermining a well respected news organization from conducting a legitimate investigation into a story.

Protecting the brand is the same thing cigarette companies were doing, as well. I see the same with the NFL, unfortunately.
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