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CBS Refuses to Air NFL Players Union Ad

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Are you kidding, CBS? The network has rejected the “Let Us Play” ad (above) from the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) that was to air Feb. 5 on the CBS College Sports Network during the NFLPA high school all-stars game.

CBS executives said they “didn’t want to get involved” in the labor negotiations between the players and the NFL owners, according to

Not get involved? Come on. CBS is big-dollars involved already.


CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN, as well as DirecTV, have agreed to pay the NFL in 2011 even if owners carry through on their threat to lock out players, disrupting or even canceling the season. The NFLPA has filed suit against the league, saying the TV deals provide the owners with guaranteed payment even if no games are played, effectively financing the lockout by providing “lockout insurance.” The networks pay the NFL $4 billion a year to televise the league’s games. 

The NFL owners opted out of the collective bargaining agreement with the NFLPA two years before it was due to expire, saying it isn’t working for them. But they refuse to provide audited financial information to explain what is wrong in a business that generated $9 billion in 2009 during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

The owners are demanding that the players give back $1 billion, although not one team has lost money. They also want players to pay for team travel and the cost of running practice facilities.

The NFLPA will continue to run the “Let Us Play” ad on its YouTube channel and other social media applications, and is may launch an ad in response to CBS’ decision  tomorrow—which is Media Day at the Super Bowl in Dallas.

Meanwhile, CBS—Let the ad play.


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