SBD/Closing Bell

Author Jim Miller Discusses ESPN Backing Off Of "Frontline" Film

Author Jim Miller Friday appeared on "The Dan Patrick Show" to discuss ESPN dropping its partnership with PBS' "Frontline." Miller said the NFL did not "directly put pressure" on ESPN. Miller: "What they do is they express their distinct displeasure with ESPN's involvement with this."

Miller said the "inciting incident of this was" on Aug. 6 at the Television Critics Association meeting, where "Frontline" aired a "trailer from this upcoming piece." ESPN and the NFL were "basically blindsided" and at "that point, tempers started to get raised." Miller added, "Then ESPN became clearly aware of how uncomfortable the NFL was." The "trailer that was shown at TCA had a tone that really upset the NFL." Miller said if this was the NBA or MLB, "this wouldn't have happened this way" and the NFL is the "lifeblood of Bristol, Connecticut" ("The Dan Patrick Show," 8/23).

Meanwhile, ESPN President John Skipper later Friday afternoon issued a statement that read, "We have been leaders in reporting on the concussion issue, dating back to the mid-1990s. Most recently, we aired a lengthy, thorough, well-reported segment on 'Outside the Lines' on Sunday, and re-aired it Tuesday. I want to be clear about ESPN’s commitment to journalism and the work of our award-winning enterprise team. We will continue to report this story and will continue to support the work of Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru. We have respect as well for the efforts of the people at 'Frontline'" (THE DAILY). 
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