In the wake of the news that the new HBO series Ballers includes NFL team names and logos without NFL consent, several PFT readers have noticed that trailers for the series have scrubbed out the NFL logos.
Those observations are correct; a scene that includes series star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson playing for the Miami Dolphins and hitting a player on the Buffalo Bills omits any NFL logos in the preview appearing below. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, however, this isn’t a new development. HBO specifically decided to omit NFL logos from any commercials or other promotions featuring clips from the show. HBO fully intends to use NFL team names and logos in the first episode of the series, which debuts on June 21.
Possibly, HBO didn’t want the presence of NFL team names and logos to become an issue before the show debuts. With HBO making the first four episodes available for review by multiple members of the media, it was inevitable that someone would: (1) notice the presence of NFL team names and logos; (2) ask whether the NFL authorized the use of NFL team names and logos.
To date, neither the NFL nor the Dolphins (the team most prominently featured in the first four episodes of the series) have commented on the situation. It’ll be interesting to see whether they continue to be silent as of Monday, June 22, the day after HBO officially pulls the sheet off the de facto successor to Playmakers.