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‘Sensational’ Trailer Ended Frontline Partnership, Claims ESPN

Hearing a Jay Z song during a PBS trailer is a little weird, and now ESPN President John Skipper claims it was part of what led to the network ending its fifteen-month collaboration with Frontline on a documentary about football players and brain injuries. While it was reported that the network pulled out of the project due to pressure from the NFL, Skipper told ESPN’s ombudsman on Sunday that the decision was his alone, and the trailer was “the catalyst or starting episode.” He didn’t “get a heads up” before the clip aired publicly, and he was “quite unhappy” to learn ESPN had no editorial control. Skipper found the spot “sensational” and “over the top” and objected to both the tagline “Get ready to change the way you see the game” and the quote “I’m really wondering if every single football player doesn’t have this.” How could ESPN have known that a project called League of Denial would be so critical of the NFL?

Watch "League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis" preview on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Trailer Ended Frontline Partnership, Claims ESPN