ESPN Bows to Pressure From NFL

The PBS award-winning show Frontline announced yesterday the termination of a 15-month-long partnership with ESPN on a film project about head injuries and the NFL. The reason for the abrupt cutting of ties? The NFL reportedly threw its weight around at an executive lunch that brought an end to the collaboration between Frontline and the Disney-owned network (which just happens to have a $1 billion contract with the League to broadcast Monday Night Football). The documentary program, slated for release in October, are based on the critical reporting of Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada, investigative reporters for ESPN. At an event in August, ESPN senior coordinating producer Dwayne Bray spoke about the partnership, saying, “We respect Frontline greatly. They respect us. And the NFL is going to have to understand that.” Or not.