National Football League players who choose to take a knee when the national anthem plays at Super Bowl LII next month can expect to be featured on camera according to NBC Sports, which is televising the game. The anthem protests are considered part of the action.
“The Super Bowl is a live event, just like ‘Sunday Night Football.’ It was a pretty big story in our country this fall. We’d show it. When you’re covering a live event, you’re covering what’s happening. If there are players who chose to kneel, they will be shown live,” executive producer Fred Gaudelli told the annual gathering of the Television Critics Association earlier this week.
Some of the intensity of the protests, he suggested, has lessened.
“Probably since Thanksgiving, a lot of that has kind of dissipated and died down. It’s certainly possible it could happen again,” Mr. Gaudelli said.
In a separate media call, Dan Lovinger, NBC Sports executive vice president of advertising, said only a scant few of the Super Bowl’s 30-second TV spots have not been sold. Each is priced at $5 million; the network expects a total of $500 million in revenue from the sales.
Mr. Lovinger also indicated that advertisers have not appeared concerned with ratings, or the anthem protests.
“All we’ve seen is enthusiasm,” he said.
One fan in particular might be vexed on game day, however.
“Putting a spotlight on anthem protestors during the Super Bowl will presumably irk President Trump, but NBC has plenty of experience agitating the president,” predicts Fox News media analyst Brian Flood. “NBC’s Saturday Night Live lampoons Trump on a regular basis and the network recently blamed a third party for their errant tweet backing Oprah Winfrey to run for president.”
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