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August 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

ESPN on Thursday demanded that its logos and credit be removed from a forthcoming two-hour episode of PBS’s Frontline series that critically examines the effect of repeated concussions sustained by football players and how the National Football League deals with them. A hint of the show’s conclusions is evident in the title: “League of Denial. ESPN said it was doing so because it did not have editorial control of the content and that it would therefore be inappropriate to be associated with it. The decision seemed odd given the fact that until recently, ESPN had helped promote the documentary and two ESPN reporters, Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru, had worked on it and that ESPN senior coordination producer Dwayne Bray had appeared at the Television Critics Association press tour just weeks ago to promote it. At one point he remarked that ESPN had “made a conscious decision when we were presented with this opportunity to literally get in bed with Frontline.” In a statement on Thursday, Frontline deputy executive producer Raney Aronson-Rath and executive producer David Fanning said, “We regret ESPN’s decision to end a collaboration that has spanned the last 15 months.”