Report: ESPN to televise ads for Concussion film

AP

If, as many believe, ESPN is in bed with the NFL, the four-letter network could be getting ready to serve the league a meal prepared in a dutch oven.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, ESPN has “accepted” commercials for the film Concussion, which its director recently called a “shot between the eyes of the NFL.” The commercials reportedly will begin airing “soon.”

Per the Hollywood Reporter, ESPN did not respond to a request for comment. Likewise, other networks did not immediately return requests for comment on whether commercials for the film would be televised.

Starring Will Smith, Concussions opens on Christmas Day, a curious spot on the calendar for enticing moviegoers who are surely looking for something a little more fast-paced and uplifting than a tale regarding the manner in which the NFL downplayed the long-term risks of brain trauma. Still, the NFL is concerned about the movie, and it’ll be interesting to see how the league reacts to any broadcast partners who offset the cost of televising NFL games by accepting money to publicize a film that shines a light on the ongoing threat to the sport’s very existence.

78 responses to “Report: ESPN to televise ads for Concussion film

  1. A lame attempt by ESPN to try to make it look like the Owners of the NFL don’t own their Editorial division

    The fact that there was even ever a question of NOT running it confirms that 11 out of 12 ESPN Reporters and Editors are Roger Goodell’s Sock Puppets

  2. Just another anti-NFL propaganda film pushed by the media who makes their living from covering the NFL. It’s sickening that this film is being pushed as anything other than fiction.

  3. Unfortunately for ESPN, I will not be watching any sort of educational film sponsored by them. they brought this on themselves with consistent lies, propaganda, false portraying, and anything to get a view.

    It is likely this movie was funded to be a controversial soap opera, so that these hyenas have something to talk about on First Take, etc.

  4. On a related note, my job requires me to sit in my car and drive for 6 hours of the day. I am already experiencing lower back pain that I fear may affect my quality of life for the rest of my life.

    I suspect my employer has information about how sitting in a car for that long over several years can cause long term back issues, but they are purposefully withholding that information from me and allowing me to continue to do this everyday without proper warning. I get paid a fraction of what these NFL players do. Apparently, I should be filing a class action lawsuit.

    Where’s my movie???

  5. Why are all the same bleeding hearts that want football banned because of brain damage caused by concussions, the same people who want Marijuana legalized even though it does much more damage to the brain?

  6. I’m not sure what to make of this movie.

    on one hand, I’m a little skeptical that it will expose everything that has been researched in a totally honest and transparent way (lawsuit threat).

    On the other hand, it wouldn’t surprise me if the NFL has a spoon in the pot; that the movie won’t be too harsh on the NFL and all the talk we’re hearing now is a bunch of rhetoric, a setup so that movie viewers come out thinking “well that wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be”.

    I guess my point is, can I really expect this movie to present the facts in full?

  7. HAHA, this movie will do worse than Jem and the Holograms. Which was pulled from theaters 2 weeks after release. Nobody wants to see a bunch of whiney millionaires bitching about their billionaire bosses, for injuries they knew they could get.

  8. Also known as E$PN. Anything for views on their made up stories, joke of a TV lineup, clicks on their website, and that advertising revenue.

  9. greggfletch1 says:
    Nov 13, 2015 9:45 AM

    HAHA, this movie will do worse than Jem and the Holograms. Which was pulled from theaters 2 weeks after release. Nobody wants to see a bunch of whiney millionaires bitching about their billionaire bosses, for injuries they knew they could get.
    —-

    Someone give this guy a medal. Comment of the year. (and no, I’m not being facetious)

  10. Double edged sword. Pretty hard for bspn to justify not showing them, it would draw even more attention if they declined.

    Unless they happen to run during a game very few adults will ever see them, it’s the only time most of us watch bspn

  11. Well, ESPN and NFL are “in bed together” but only in a call-girl and client sense, so it’s not really dishonest if a paid service is performed with another customer. But Xmas release? Somebody needs to bang some heads together!

  12. The film makers deny it, but I’m sure Sony and the NFL have buffed off anything in this movie that would make them nervous.

    Besides, Roger loves free advertising even if it is negative. Bad news Fridays and deflategate wedged in between end of playoffs and superbowl? Does anyone really think it’s all a coincidence?

  13. Listen to you neanderthals.

    “It’s sickening that this film is being pushed as anything other than fiction.”

    Truly remarkable. A legion of overfed, cheesehead-wearing sports fans sticking their heads in the sand in the face of overwhelming evidence that football causes brain damage.

    I still love watching professional football, but pretending this issue is “fiction” indicates that many of you may be suffering from CTE yourselves.

  14. Nobody is pretending it’s fiction. Nobody is pretending that CTE doesn’t exist. It’s just that there’s those of us who advocate free will and responsibility to the responsible.

  15. I don’t watch ESPN… makes to matter to me… (except for MNF) … I like football … and BTW today was nothing but bad news… first the whole NY state thing Vs Fantasy Football and now this… honestly both these issues relate back to one thing… MONEY and who has it and who wants it … (broke former players and the state legislatures looking at the huge dough fantasy brings in and they are cut out!)

    Do you not think that everyone who knows anything about football knows what the League , its owners and “staffs” of NFL teams perpetrated on its players??? The deal was simple… we pay you, you play football… NO MATTER WHAT… so why is this movie such a revelation? Why is everyone acting like this is some big whistle blower situation… it isn’t.

  16. ” Concussions opens on Christmas Day, a curious spot on the calendar for enticing moviegoers”

    It’s being released at the end of December for consideration during awards season. That’s why.

  17. “Why are all the same bleeding hearts that want football banned because of brain damage caused by concussions, the same people who want Marijuana legalized even though it does much more damage to the brai”

    Uh no, weed does not cause “much more damage” to the brain than traumatic brain injury. You are clueless about marijuana if you think this

  18. It’s important to remember that this is not a battle between helpless victimized individuals and an a powerful corporate entity. All participants are corporate entities who get involved in projects in order to make money.

    The movie industry has a long tradition in exploiting social injustice for financial gain. When the director says that his movie “is a shot between the eyes of the NFL”, he’s drumming up business for his product. When the Hollywood Reporter and other entertainment media weigh in on the issue, it’s no different from when sports media weigh in. All of it feeds the box office.

  19. I was once involved in a situation between an advertiser and a station where the latter said it would not run commercials due to its format.

    This was not an ED or devil worship thing. The advertiser threatened to sue relative to FCC regulations making the airwaves open to anyone. The station relented, the commercials ran.

    That’s George Cupples Field on Pittsburgh’s South Side behind Will Smith. That’s where the City League plays a lot of its game. The film was
    made in Pittsburgh but I don’t think the Steelers cooperated.

  20. The brothel that is Bristol is hard up for cash these days….and let’s be honest, the unlimited love displays for their NFL master has reduced ESPN’s credibility perception by their diminished viewership. The ink is dry on their NFL contracts……..its money grab time….Bristol style

  21. I’m sorry, but to the poster that said the same people advocating for marijuana legalization are the same people that want football banned because of brain injuries despite weed having more adverse effects on the brain is full of crap for 2 reasons. First, libertarians like myself believe in freedom of choice if you want to play football despite the risks it may bring to your health more power to you in fact those people that want football banned usually do not believe in responsibility of the individual and the same thing applies to marijuana if you do not like it don’t do it. It really is that simple. Second, marijuana does not adversely affect the brain in the same manner as brain trauma. There’s no CTE that happens when you use marijuana like there is in football. This film is speaking against the NFL owners and commissioners hiding the effects of the game for years not about banning football. End rant.

  22. One industry with no integrity publishing something about another industry with no integrity using actors with no integrity. Hmmm, let’s see how that works out.

    If ESPN is accepting ads, you can be absolutely certain that the NFL is allowing them to. So the fix is in. The NFL has already paid 1,000 movie critics and subject matter experts to pan the movie and/or publish articles refuting it’s claims, which have already been watered down. And of course the timing will be further diluted by the Brady appeal.

    Goodell is a disgusting narcissist. Fire him already.

  23. Would it not be a shot between the eyes at most sports, including hockey?

    This is why I do not want to see this movie. It is being portrayed as ‘just an NFL problem’ when clearly a sport like Rugby or Hockey would have similar issues.

    The movie might even acknowledge that, who knows, but when the directory specifically points out the NFL, it seems like trying to draw attention.

  24. harrisonhits2 says: Uh no, weed does not cause “much more damage” to the brain than traumatic brain injury. You are clueless about marijuana if you think this
    ===================================

    Or suffering from a TBI

  25. Anyone that has ever had a concussion knows how serious they can be. I had headaches for weeks, couldn’t see straight and was totally drained of energy. I still have a difficult time remembering things, especially short term. I hope the NFL and players take this seriously

  26. Between midnight and 5am….just like the 12:30 am apology to the Patriots for lying about spygate.

  27. BREAKING NEWS: Major sports network accepts ad revenue from film distribution company seeking to promote a product!

    How is this news? If you have enough cash, ESPN will run your ad. End of story. Like most things in life, it’s all about money.

    Plus, you know CONCUSSION will be a preachy borefest that’s seen by no one.

  28. I’d rather see HBO’s Ballers made into a movie. Yes we all know football is dangerous, so is joining the military, police force, fire dept, etc.

  29. Do you really think the NFL is afraid of this film? Of course ESPN is taking ad revenue. The NFL is a monopoly that sells a product that is as addictive as crack cocaine. This film isn’t going to cut viewership nor is it going to compel lawmakers into regulating the NFL. The NFL is flourishing despite its commissioner lying in his efforts to railroad its biggest star into a four game suspension to placate teams that can’t compete with his team on the field. They have survived the Ray Rice and Greg Hardy disgrace. As long as the NFL is in the spotlight the owners really are not worrying about the content; we should all understand that by looking at the quality of play on the field this year. Last night, two teams that have gotten more press than virtually any other teams, ended the a mistake filled game with both teams five games back of the Patriots and the media is acting like their in the hunt.

  30. seabrawk12 says:
    Nov 13, 2015 10:34 AM
    I’d rather see HBO’s Ballers made into a movie. Yes we all know football is dangerous, so is joining the military, police force, fire dept, etc.
    ___________________________
    That’s the apparent point of the movie. The NFL was denying the level of danger associated with concussions in order to minimize their liability. And did it in their typical way of lieing, cheating and distorting the truth.
    I can’t wait to see the smack down Goodell gets from his father in the next life. Now that’s a movie I would pay to see.

  31. I played 8 years in the NFL…. I struggle quite a bit physically and mentally…. I have daily headaches, short term memory loss, slur my words, and struggle with my mental health. I knew Junior Seau and his struggle to comprehend what the hell was going on. The NFL knew so much about concussions before they decided to start a protocol…. They only offer 5 years post career health insurance…. I certainly wouldn’t of gone back into games after being “DINGED” if I knew the struggles I would have now…. The NFL wants to cut a Billion over 60 years to make what they knew stayed covered up…. They offer a suicide hotline that puts you on hold… Offers 5 free counseling visits then you have to pay to continue the service. They send you to “independent ” doctors paid by the NFL to diagnose you. I was told it has nothing to do with the daily collisions… I’m just lazy they said… I can’t wait to see Roger Goodell spin this… I was also encouraged to pump my body with drugs to stay on the field… I know this is a grown man’s violent sport… I also know that players were never informed of the dangers of being “DINGED” I know I’ll die young and send my brain to Harvard and will have major CTE. Doesn’t suck to be me… Just wish I knew a sprained brain was way worse than a sprained ankle.

  32. If this film wants to make any impact at the box office it has to portray Goodell correctly. He is the most hated man in America.

    If they show him having any regard for player safety, the film’s a bomb. Show him laughing maniacally behind his desk with player’s brains floating in jars and the movie has a chance.

  33. From the Sony email hacks:
    “Will [Smith] is not anti football (nor is the movie) and isn’t planning to be a spokesman for what football should be or shouldn’t be but rather is an actor taking on an exciting challenge,” a top Sony exec wrote in August 2014. “We’ll develop messaging with the help of [NFL] consultant to ensure that we are telling a dramatic story and not kicking the hornet’s nest”

    The NFL is not worried about this movie. Anything dangerous to their business has been removed long ago. Furthermore, ESPN would set fire to their “campus” before airing anything damaging to the NFL. They canceled playmakers due to NFL concerns and I believe that was one of their highest rated programs ever.

  34. Actually, it could be more damaging to the NFL if networks that aired NFL games refused to air commercials for the movie. It would make it appear that the NFL and their partners were running in fear from the movie, thereby giving any claims made in the movie additional credibility. If, however, their partners air the ads freely, it seems more likely that the NFL has nothing to hide. They can admit that developing a better understanding of the risks of head trauma was an involved process, but claim that the more salacious details of the movie are simply dramatized for story telling purposes. We’ve all seen how different a true story and something based on a true story can be. If I were looking to carry the NFL’s water to protect my own programming, I’d most likely take their ad money and air their commercials. I’d then use that ad revenue to finance a 60 minutes (or similar news magazine) piece examining any areas in which the public record and the claims made in the movie don’t seem to match up. But that’s just me.

  35. Best Critic Ever on Twitter already reviewed this movie and they claim that this movie is long, boring and full of False reality.. They also went on to say Will Smith should be hooked up to his Scientology lie detector machine and be asked if he believes the role he played was accurate of real life events…

  36. Was it not long ago that ESPN, I’m sure with the NFL’s blessing, had a spot called “Jacked Up”

  37. j0esixpack says:
    Nov 13, 2015 10:21 AM
    harrisonhits2 says: Uh no, weed does not cause “much more damage” to the brain than traumatic brain injury. You are clueless about marijuana if you think this
    ===================================

    Or suffering from a TBI
    _______________________________________

    Why do either if it causes damage to the brain? Not too hard to figure that one out.

  38. Laughing at all these self-righteous sheep hate on ESPN because it’s the cool thing to do on PFT, yet they still watch the station for sports and sports news.

  39. The NFL has already used their influence to stifle the most damaging evidence/information from the film, so I don’t expect any significant public reaction to the release. The ads will likely also be “sanitized”.

    I hope that the film at least shows how the NFL tried to discredit a doctor who was seeking answers & not working any hidden agenda…just following the evidence.

  40. Just Remember:

    Whatever the liberal majority wants, the liberal majority gets…

    Whatever the liberal minority wants, the liberal minority gets…

  41. Paying money to see this film is directly supporting people who do not want football to exist anymore.

    I will not watch it, but I still think football is gone in 25 years whether I like it or not.

  42. So in this one, only Will’s brain is “getting jiggy with it?” Sounds like a real scream. I didn’t pay to see him zapping aliens, saving the wild, Wild West or getting eaten by vampires, I doubt this will drag me away from the egg nogg.

  43. You can bet the NFL is making money from the movie. So they are encouraging ESPN to accept ad revenues.
    The NFL has nothing but contempt for anybody or anything that stands in its way. And since it doesn’t care what anybody thinks, it will accept money from anybody. You could be taking up a collection to fire Roger Goodell and he would have his twin daughters collecting money for the cause on Manhattan street corners as long as the NFL got its cut.
    Both he and the organization itself stink. That won’t change until Goodell is fired.

  44. What is unsaid here is that the commercial will run once at 12:22am…..Pacific Time…..to ensure minimal exposure…….like the “apology” they aired to the Patriots, for TWICE airing false information about them, in a day long prime time news loop…..

  45. Based on the info out there, ESPiN needs the money, the NFL took a lot of it, now they need to shore up their finances and probably doesn’t care what anyone thinks right now.

    This Comment brought to you by FSDG: Fantasy Sports Daily Gambling Inc.

  46. jchipwood says: Why do either if it causes damage to the brain? Not too hard to figure that one out.
    ===================================

    And you make an excellent case for the prohibition of alcohol, which has an impact that far exceeds either TBI or marijuana (medicinal or otherwise)

    And while that’s “not too hard to figure out” last time I checked people still drink – to the great relief of government alcohol revenues

    I’m not aware if there’s “Medicinal Traumatic Brain Injury” but I don’t believe there’s any research suggesting there’s benefits of a TBI in certain conditions as their is with MM

    So yes – we really should be looking to minimize the drinking of alcohol along with concussions.

    But out of the three, the one that has a stronger case for use is the one with proven therapeutic benefits

  47. This is shallow attempt by ESPN to show the world they aren’t Goodell’s lap dog. I’m sure ESPN has no intention to air these adds outside of the 2 AM to 4 AM timeslot.

  48. OOOO….

    The honeymoon is over…they are breaking up??

    Careful ESPN…you can’t take down the popularity of the sport, not even the inept bafoons at 345 can do that….

  49. 6jaws9
    Nov 13, 2015, 10:55 AM EST
    I played 8 years in the NFL…
    *************

    Ron Jawoski?? Didn’t you have 69 career wins? (6Jaws9) and play for 8yrs?

  50. I think sportnik2 has a great point – I wonder what time slot ESPN will air these adds?

    I’m sure it will be around that time when they apologized to the Patriots in September (when that has been Chris McHendry said the Patriots taped the Rams walkthrough) – 2:30am.

  51. ESPiN is still around? I gave up on them when they fired Hank Williams Jr. for telling the truth.

  52. It’s good to put more information out there for people.

    But the previews already killed this movie. The are making the NFL out to be the Mafia. This is not a crime thriller starring Will Smith.

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.