Dolphins have no comment on HBO’s use of team name and logos in Ballers

Getty Images

Of the NFL teams whose names and logos are used in the upcoming HBO series Ballers, the Dolphins’ names and logos appear most prominently. But like the league, the Dolphins no comment on the matter.

“HBO is always mindful of other intellectual property owners, but in this context there is no legal requirement to obtain their consent,” an HBO spokesman told PFT on Sunday.

On Monday night, the Dolphins informed PFT that the team has no comment at this time.

In the show, four episodes of which PFT has gotten an advance look at, the Dolphins appears prominently in both name and logo, from the opening scene onward. In the pilot, a character named Ricky Jerret (played by John David Washington, Denzel’s son) is cut by the Packers and signed by the Dolphins. Several scenes in later episodes depict Dolphins practices, including a locker-room fight between two teammates.

Apart from the question of whether HBO can legally use NFL team names and logos is the question of whether HBO wants to jeopardize its relationship with the NFL via the Hard Knocks series. Depending on the specific language of the HBO-NFL contract, the league could characterize the conduct as a breach of the license provided by the NFL to use team names and logos on the air. At a minimum, the NFL could be less inclined to renew the relationship with HBO once the contract expires, shifting the series to another network, like CBS-owned Showtime.

Look for the issue to stay under the radar until Ballers premieres in 13 days. By then, chances are the NFL, the Dolphins, or both will have something to say.

34 responses to “Dolphins have no comment on HBO’s use of team name and logos in Ballers

  1. I am sure coach PhilBUM will take full responsibility just like he did with Sturgis.

  2. As a close friend of the organization, I can say the Dolphins will sue HBO for twenty million dollars.

  3. Well, there are never any fights in the Dolphins locker room, only name calling so this show is already why too fictional.

  4. This is the new emblem logo. Yet another leak right pats homer conspirators?

  5. btw we all owe Larry Flynt a thx for this legal loophole. i believe it was he who in 1969 successfully argued that parody and satire do not violate stuff or something.

    it is why we can have movies like schindler’s fist, and the diarrhea of anne frank. thank you Larry Sir for fighting for us.

  6. Could they have used Washington’s logos? Or did that get issue get fixed?

    Then again, using Miami as a backdrop for the series… Yeah, I get that.

  7. What is worth mentioning is that hbo is itself a corporate behemoth in now way dependent on the nfl. The nfl can say we’ll take away hard knocks, what do you think of that? Hbo would respond, what, is this game of thrones related? No? (Hangs up)

  8. There also might be another reason, someone no longer with the organization whom had the authority at the time gave permission with Steve Ross consent as thinking it will be great exposure for the Miami Dolphins.

    Do you really think any lawyers involved with the HBO project would allow this to move forward without permission to use the logos from the NFL?

  9. I don’t think HBO is too worried about possibility in losing Hard Knocks, it’s not exactly a top rated show. Ballers will be watched by way more people.

  10. I pray Hard Knocks will stop existing. The first few were great. Getting a peak into camp but it is basically zzzzzzzzzz now. All they do is change the team and names of players. It’s mundane. Besides, Ross would allow his logo written on the forehead of a kid if he knew his team would get some attention. As long as it puts fannies in the seats Ross will give it a thumbs up !!!

  11. It is obvious that the HBO decision makers think the Dolphins and Miami is a great backdrop for a cool new show that will be a smash hit. As a team, they have been on hard times and stuck in mediocrity, but they remain one of the most popular teams worldwide and still near the top in all time NFL winning percentage. Thumbs down this statement, but it won’t change the truth.Enjoy the show!

  12. Honestly, I am sure that the execs have considered the Hard Knocks issue, and prob made the calculated decision to roll the dice.

    To put it simply, HBO is a channel that happens to show Hard Knocks, it’s not what they are known for.

  13. The league might not be too quick on threatening moving Hard Knocks. After last years Falcons showing induced most viewers to prefer watching paint dry I’m not sure networks are lining up for lousy ratings.

  14. Once the NFL sold and marketed their product on hats, jerseys, etc…. they lost their sole possession. We can wear it in public. They want that for marketing. If we show up on a TV show, they love that. Free publicity. You can’t have it both ways NFL. You lose.

  15. Who the hell cares? It’s free exposure for the Phins. Did you think they would film the show in Wisconsin? They needed something to replace the skin that Entourage used to give the viewing audience so they chose Miami. You know, a place where the “Baller” lifestyle lives out in reality. HBO doesn’t need the NFL, and vice versa. Move along, nothing to see here.

  16. Caught a promo for Ballers before Game of Thrones on demand tonight – looked like the logos had been scrubbed free or the shots replaced.

  17. No biggie…. It’s a damned TV show. As far as the haters go…. Give it a rest, you don’t have to be a punk ALL the time. Besides, Miami’s got it all going on this year… half way through a complete stadium remodel, a seriously dangerous WR crew with a QB looking great. the ANGRY MAN D-line……
    Fin’s up……….. Go Miami..!!!!

  18. What the other poster out up. Once the jerseys and hats are purchased the owners get their share. After that there is no need to ask anyone’s permission. Respect you Mike but you are shooting blind here. There has been no comment due to the above fact. Once a jersey or any apparel is purchased it can be viewed or displayed in public or to the public. The route you are going is a dead end. On your premise , a fan or anyone could purchase a legit NFL jersey and never be a me to display his or her picture wearing it on Facebook etc.

    There will be no comment because there is no comment to make. HBO also pays the NFL a hefty HUGE fee to be the sole proprietor for broadcasting live games during the season. All 32 owners would never jack that up.

  19. I predict the NFL will lodge their complaint a day or two before the shows airing. That will give them maximum leverage in demanding a large payout for use of their trademarks.

  20. HBO is saving the Pats logo for their “How to be a Cheater and Scumbag” special.

  21. Playmakers already tackled every major issue…in their first season! Ballers has that idiot Dwayne Johnson, and honestly I’d rather them have cast someone with acting talent. I’m already tired of the commercials for ballers, the show looks bad.

  22. Well this is a Patriot agenda format! Bobby is mad they didn’t use his logo with the deflated balls!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.