CBS College Sports network rejects NFLPA “let us play” ad

On the same day that the NFL and the players’ union jointly announced that a bargaining session will be conducted on Saturday, word has emerged that CBS College Sports Network opted not to air an NFLPA-sponsored commercial aimed at building public support against a lockout.  The message would have aired four times in a college all-star game for which the NFLPA is the naming sponsor.

“Once they saw it and realized it had a CBA-oriented message, they decided they wouldn’t air it,” NFLPA spokesman George Atallah told the Associated Press.

“We were told they didn’t want any part of it. We went back to them and said, ‘Why?’  And they said, ‘No,’ a second time,” Atallah said.

CBS spokesman Dana McClintock said an ad from the owners’ side wouldn’t have been accepted, either.

Of course, that’s easy for CBS to say, since the NFL hasn’t and likely won’t attempt to shape public opinion through something like a TV commercial.  (The NFL’s P.R. strategy is much more economically priced, with a total cost of less than, say, $1 per year.)  Moreover, some would contend that CBS and all other networks (including NBC) have assumed a “part of it” by agreeing to continue to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to the NFL in the event of a work stoppage.

Atallah later said on Twitter that, to his knowledge, the NFL did not instruct CBS to reject the ad.  But, frankly, some messages don’t need to be expressly delivered.  As the NFL continues to become a bigger and bigger ratings behemoth, the network partners who give the league hundreds of millions for the privilege of televising the games will be disinclined to do anything that will rile up the powers that be.

Really, why wouldn’t CBS take the money from the union to air the ad?  The content is neither inappropriate nor inflammatory.  Networks routinely sell ad time to politicians hoping to build public support for their causes.  In our view, this situation is no different.

22 responses to “CBS College Sports network rejects NFLPA “let us play” ad

  1. whoa, let me get this straight…the billionaire controlled media is on the side of the billionaires? stop the presses!

  2. The NFL’s three ring circus excuse for an all star game just blew every other show on TV out of the water on Sunday night.

    A network would be crazy to do anything to make them angry.

  3. Stop screwing around wasting time and money where it does no good. Go get in a room and hammer out your differences. Average Fan does not care how..just get ‘er done.

  4. As pointed out CBS is a business partner of NFL, why in the hell would they air an anti-NFL commercial??? Of course no one at the league needed to instruct CBS not to air it, I’m sure CBS got a good chuckle when they screened the commercial the NFLPA sent to them to air, and when I say chuckle I mean fell out of their seat laughing their azz off! What I want to know is who at the NFLPA thought that CBS would even consider letting them air a commercial?

    No sports network with NFL ties or hopes to have NFL ties in the future will touch that commercial. What will be funny is if they spent all that money producing a commercial and the only place they can air it is on Lifetime.

  5. Uhh…no different than a political ad? Did you read the paragraph right above that stupid comment that says CBS will have to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to the NFL in the event of a work stoppage? Sure, a politician might raise taxes by a few pennies, but this is CBS’s livelihood.

  6. This situation is much different. The NFL helps line CBS’ pockets with cash. If CBS aired the NFLPA ad, the NFL would be much less inclined to have CBS continue airing games after their agreement is up.

  7. CBS rejected a political group ad. Also when CBS airs a politicians ad it must give equal time, thats the difference.
    Is it also not in bad taste to try to air it during college games whose players are about to become the slave….err….members of the NFLPA?

  8. In a selfless public service gesture, CBS directed the NFLPA to the NFL.

    “There, they would not only would they not have to pay money to ‘let us play’, I’m quite certain the NFL will actually PAY them money to play.”, said a spokesperson for the network. “Believe me, when the offer came in, we were sorely tempted to take it, but when we saw that trusting, hopeful, look on that little Elmer Fudd face, we just couldn’t do it in good consience.”

  9. Unless I’m missing something, the networks negotiate with the NFL and the owners on the television deals… not the players.

    Less money for the players means more money for the owners and networks

    Is that not it, or am I missing something?

  10. Agreed. ALSO, if the NFLPA is the naming sponsor as stated in this article then so long as the ad that is aired meets FCC regulations they should have no say. If McDonalds wanted to do a commercial in ad time they’ve purchased and in that ad they had Ronald McDonald stomping a mudhole in a whopper replica who is anyone to say “no” to it? They’re the sponsor dumb@$$. BESIDES, if the NCAA is going to begin regulating what sponsors advertise and don’t advertise then perhaps they could take some of the multi millions earned from that nazi-like system they have in place known commonly as the BCS and sponsor their OWN d@mn all-star game huh.

  11. darthhitman77,

    Networks always retain the right to reject content to be aired on their network. Doesn’t matter if you are McDonald’s or the NFLPA. And if you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Now what the NFLPA could have done was to get approval from the network to air the commercial before they signed on as the sponsor – that is an option (well, its an option in theory because that commercial wasn’t getting aired regardless)

  12. The NFLPA is doing their best to ruin the season and the game. Thank God someone at CBS is smart enough to realize it and tell them to sit down and shut up.

  13. With all the different media outlets out there now a days, they can get there message out there without any major networks help….lets get a deal done guys…….

  14. Perfect example of how stupid the NFLPA is. “Why won’t you give us a reason (for us to argue & trump-up in the media for our own purposes)?”

    CBS clearly stated they want no part of this fight.

    Now if you excuse me…..I have to go back to my salaried job where I don’t get a cut of the overall profits, a platform to exploit for personal advertising exposure or healthcare after I am finished.

    What are the players complaining about again?

  15. The ad is misleading anyways. It gives the impression that the players do not have the option to play. If they want to play they can and they can make a very good living doing so. Also if they just break up the union they can play as private employees and probably negotiate far larger contracts. I guess this website is one sided though as we now see a tab to the side about Union Stories. Good job being impartial guys.

  16. They need to extend the current agreement and move on.The owners are making plenty of money and I can never recall a owner being paralyzed or not being able to walk with out a cane after owning a team for 15 years

  17. “And Obama cautions Mubarak against restricting free speech!”

    Seriously? You want to compare government oppression with the decision of a private business surrounding entertainment?

  18. You gotta love morons like xtb3 who spout off about free speech but don’t have a clue what it means. The NFLPA has the right, and has used it, to state their opinion without being punished by the government…THAT IS FREE SPEECH. They do NOT have the right to have any commercials on TV – that is a business transaction that the media/business can choose not to engage in (with a few exceptions like political ads, where they must give equal time).

    Here’s another little tidbit about free speech…you do not have the right to be free from ridicule for your speech. You have the right to say it, and I have the right to call you an idiot for saying it.

  19. buckeye044

    it is not about entertainment it is about restricting their right to presenting their side of the story. and we’ve seen networks show many ads not promoting a product.

    so yes it is the same. besides we have even seen many political ads during football games.

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