ESPN Bails Out on 'Frontline' Project NY Times
Citing a lack of editorial control, ESPN has left a "Frontline" project that's slated to air in October, reports The New York Times. The project is focused on concussions in the NFL.
The decision comes after 15 months of work on the project, with ESPN stripping its name, logo and credit from the documentary, called "League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis."
ESPN's decision comes after the partnership resulted in nine joint TV and online reports, which have appeared on ESPN's "Outside the Lines," on ESPN.com and on "Frontline's" website, the story says.
"In hindsight, we should have reached this conclusion much sooner," an ESPN spokesman said.
The spokesman for the sports TV network said the decision was not based on concerns about damaging its contractual relationship with the NFL, the story adds.
“Because ESPN is neither producing nor exercising editorial control over the ‘Frontline’ documentaries, there will be no co-branding involving ESPN on the documentaries or their marketing materials. The use of ESPN’s marks could incorrectly imply that we have editorial control," the network said in a statement.
Raney Aronson-Rath, the deputy executive producer of “Frontline,” said the first signs of trouble surfaced last Friday. At that point, ESPN said it didn't want its logo on the films.
A spokesman for the NFL said the group isn't supportive of the documentary, but allowed doctors who advise the league on concussions to choose for themselves whether they wanted to be involved.