NFL Pushing Boundaries Of Ridiculous: Demands Photo Journalists Advertise Sponsors At Games

from the they're-just-seeing-how-far-they-can-push-it,-right? dept

The NFL really seems to be seeing just how far it can push journalists around these days. First it told them they couldn't videotape any part of the game themselves and had to use officially provided video. Then it told them that there was a limit to how much video any publication could show on its website, even if that video was filmed entirely by the publication itself. Apparently it's now moving on to abusing photojournalists as well. The NFL is now requiring all sideline photographers to wear vests advertising NFL sponsors. It seems the NFL considers the very journalists who help promote the sport as mere billboards and mouthpieces of its sponsors. Next up, perhaps it'll start requiring fans to wear advertising vests as well.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 5:14am

    First!!!! Well They've killed MLB and the NBA so why not the NFL. Lets ruin all sports for everyone forever.

     

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    Mystified, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 5:17am

    Ignore them

    Who really cares? Major league sports do nothing to make the world a better place. It's a rich man's way to get richer off the poor fools who think sports actually matter.

    Somebody is sure to fire back about sports building character. You are right, sports are great, but pro sports sure don't build character. Look at the dog-fighting quarterback and gun-totting NBA players. This is the character built by sports? No, it is the depravity of ultra-rich pro sports.

    Don't support their life-style. Spend your money more wisely.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 5:21am

      Re: Ignore them

      Hear hear! I've been thinking just that for years!

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 5:34am

      Re: Ignore them

      Who really cares? Major league sports do nothing to make the world a better place. It's a rich man's way to get richer off the poor fools who think sports actually matter.

      Are sure you're thinking sports, or American Idol? Sports, and following them, is one of, if not the oldest pasttime in the world, and has always been one of the most popular.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 6:30am

        Re: Re: Ignore them


        Are sure you're thinking sports, or American Idol? Sports, and following them, is one of, if not the oldest pasttime in the world, and has always been one of the most popular.


        Yes it is an old pastime and that is just what these pro leagues are taking advantage of. The sport itself is not the problem, its the execs running these leagues (that are trying to squeeze all the money they can out of fans) and the athletes (that are caught up in their own hype). Yes there are some execs and athletes that know how to act but due to America's fascination with the "bad boy/girl" image that they they don't stick out as much.

        There is a lot of blame to go around. The execs for thinking they own their particular sport and everything relating to it. The athletes for thinking they are the center of the universe. And the fans that egg on those attitudes.

         

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      MooseDog, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 7:25am

      Re: Ignore them

      exactly! i've been doing just that for years.

      not one of those millionaires cares about me, so i return the sentiment fully.

      as to the original subject, i know nothing about the economics of pro sports leagues, so this just strikes me as greedy: forcing someone to be a billboard so you can make more money.

       

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    John Bonaccorso, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 5:22am

    NFL and Advertising

    Obviously they are copying Nascar. The MLB, NBA and NFL were founded by pioneers who felt the game itself was sacred and fought advertising at games should be limited to signage for decades, the current owners are business people looking to maximize their revenue at the long term expense of the leagues. What they are missing is that NASCAR has had advertising on the cars for decades, so fans expect it.

     

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    Sanguine Dream, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 5:25am

    To the devil with them...

    This is why I gave up on watching pro sports years ago. It's no longer about the honor and thrill of competiting to see who is the best athlete or the best team it's all about which city will give a player the most money. One of the main reasons they are doing this is to offset the massive multimillion dollar salaries those crybaby athletes get. Just like comment #2 said don't support their life style.

    However I will say that if they want photojounalists to wear advertising vests then I at they are aleast getting into the game for free. But what a stupid place to put an ad. I know that ads can influence people but I don't think anyone is going to care what brand name is on a photojournalists vest. I am honestly surprised they haven't started putting ads on the player's jersey's.

     

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    Grakk, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 5:31am

    C'mon

    I see why you're mystified... You say that sports are great, so you're basing pro sports only. Perhaps you forget the millions of us that believe pro sports can be great entertainment? It can be cheap also. I like to watch a minor league baseball team in my city. I love football (US) on TV.

    Don't toss all pro sports out because some athletes have fallen to power and money. THAT corrution hits everywhere it touches... Politics, Hollywood, Enron.. etc.

     

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      lnlevah, Sep 17th, 2008 @ 2:31pm

      Re: C'mon

      I think it's ridiculous that we as americans support the brassiness and notoriety of it all. We should pay noone these crazy salaries for entertainment purposes.... Hollywood, sports, politicians... It's all disgusting to me!!!

       

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    MadJo (profile), Jul 26th, 2007 @ 5:51am

    I don't know what's worse

    the doping destroying the Tour de France, or the managers destroying all other sports.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 5:53am

    College

    Screw the NFL, MLB, NBA and others and just watch the big 10, big 12, ACC, et all. The games may be ever so slightly lower quality, but so much more fun to watch, ever changing, and the big rivalries are some of the most entertaining games to watch.

     

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    Eric, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 6:04am

    Something wrong with this picture

    Wouldn't the ad be on the wrong end of the camera?

     

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      Boo Hoo, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 10:12am

      Re: Something wrong with this picture

      I usually watch football games on tv...not still pictures. You see the photographers a lot through the course of a game. It is awesome when they get run over.

       

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    Jeff, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 6:23am

    But lets blame the players whenever there is a loc

    Lets face it. Owners are crooks. They are billionaires, the players are millionaires. But wait until the next lockout. Notice I said lockout, not strike. Which is what has happened the last 10 years in just about every major sport. Its the owners who lock the players out because owners and the players associations can't come to agreements. Yet, the fan immediately blames the player.

    And remember, we pay for it in the end. Don't go to games? You're still paying. You think ESPN is free? Did you know ESPN is responsible for over 50% of your cable bill?

    I prefer college football over the NFL. Its not even close. But I still have to watch it on ESPN.

     

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      Mike, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 7:02am

      Re: But lets blame the players whenever there is a

      Where did you get the "ESPN is reponsible for over 50% of your cable bill" statement? That is a first for me. It would add fuel to the fire that professional sports are just ways to suck money out of my pocket at a faster and faster rate.
      Ala carte programming on cable, please.

       

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        Joe, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 9:58am

        Re: Re: But lets blame the players whenever there

        it's more like + 66% of your cable bill.

        ESPN dominates all networks!!

         

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          Nasty Old Geezer, Jul 27th, 2007 @ 8:58am

          Re: Re: Re: But lets blame the players whenever th

          Is there any place to get actual numbers on this? I am a very casual sports fan -- mostly ACC basketball -- but if ESPN is driving my cable bill, then I will do three things:

          1 -- put up an atnenna for over-the-air HD
          2 -- price satellite for ono-local programming, since it tends to be less bundled
          3 -- write my state and US legislators to demand that cable be required to offer ala carte without rasing their high rates.

           

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          Ben Strom, Jul 27th, 2007 @ 6:11pm

          Re: Re: Re: But lets blame the players whenever th

          it's more like + 66% of your cable bill.

          ESPN dominates all networks!!
          -----

          i know that it is not very recent but Buisnessweek said in mid-2004 when cox and espn were fighting over cable fees cox said that espn getsgot $2.61 a month for each subscribor. this translated to about 18% of what cox paid networks for the entire year. while it is a lot, espn is four channels (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, and ESPNews) on the basic tier.

          Even if you double that to to five dollars a month it is probably nowhere near 50 or 66% of your bill

           

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    Witty Nickname, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 6:56am

    Not that terrible

    Maybe we should have our politicians wear vests with their sponsors on it. Think of it, next time Hillary Clinton gives a stump speech.. "Now from Pfizer, the people who bring you Viagra, HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON!"

    Of course it would kill Bush's whole Iraq is justified tour when they announce, "The President of the United States, brought to you by Halliburton!"

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 7:37am

      Re: Not that terrible

      If politicians started doing that then the RIAA/MPAA would just sue for copyright infringment because the politicians would (somehow, I don't know how, but somehow) be profiting from the RIAA/MPAA material on their clothes, cars, houses, the sides of the government buildings.

      Oh and the American flag would have a disclaimer on the bottom stripe.

      Imagine that clash.

       

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    Overcast, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 7:04am

    Seems like it's becoming the 'Need Funds League'

    Nuts...

    You know - in light of this, I'm finding many minor league teams are quite enjoyable.

     

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    shmengie, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 7:14am

    let 'em do what they want...

    just keep your hands off my hockey!

     

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      Stuart, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 7:44am

      Re: let 'em do what they want...

      Thats what most people do. :)

       

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      Nasty Old Geezer, Jul 27th, 2007 @ 9:01am

      Re: let 'em do what they want...

      "Hockey is not a sport. It's three unrelated activities -- ice skating, palying with a puck, and beating the crap out of people."

      George Carlin

      Hey I'm from the south. We need the ice for our tea. :)

       

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    Bam, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 8:01am

    Re: NFL Pushing Boundaries Of Ridiculous: Demands

    Photojournalists should just boycott a few games with no media coverage and we'll see how long the NFL's stance lasts.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 8:15am

    Re; Boycott

    I have to wear a tie and an ID badge to get in my office and not get fired. This is not unreasonable. The only people who should grumble are the photo journalists who will just grumble, get over it, take their pictures and collect a paycheck.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 8:57am

      Re: Re; Boycott

      that analogy is just ridiculous...

      it's your boss/employer who asks you to wear the tie and ID badge, but the photo journalists don't work for the NFL...

      your analogy is so flawed I'm surprised you even considered it to be one

       

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    ReallyEvilCanine, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 8:59am

    Free admission?!

    However I will say that if they want photojounalists to wear advertising vests then I at they are aleast getting into the game for free.

    Sanguine Dream, you're a fucking idiot. Photographers aren't there to watch the fucking game, we're there to take pictures of it. It's hard fucking work which requires skill, talent and a metric fuckload of practice.

    Most sports photogs I know really don't give a shit about sports beyond knowing how it's played and who does what in order to be in the right position to get the right angle in some super-action moment. Nothing else.

    Photographers are there to do a job for their employers which helps promote these stupid games played by millionaire primadonnas who themselves are owned by billionaire primadonnas. Fuck 'em all. Me, I couldn't give a shit about any of it but I'm willing to spend two hours in some stadium as long as some newspaper is willing to give me €300-1000 for a picture which I can turn around and sell a few more times.

    At the very least this absurd idea physically interferes with the photographer doing his job. We wear vests full of equipment; a vest on top of that would be physically restrictive and prevent us working properly. Since only pros with credentials (and almost no freelancers) can get near the sidelines and photo stands, it should be easy enough to boycott this. The "first three-song bullshit" at music concerts is another matter since most of the photographers are freelance and there are always a couple willing to live with this restriction.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 9:05am

      Re: Free admission?!

      I'm confused...

      if you have credentials (and aren't a freelancer, so working for a newspaper) how is it possible you get to sell your picture(s) a few more times? How does the newspaper not get the exclusive (copy)right for a picture made by one of their employers, as (part of) his job?

       

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      AMP, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 2:46pm

      Re: Free admission?!

      Dear Jackass, it is only because of these "millionare primadonas" that you are even able to sell your pictures and draw a pay check. If you don't like them, go take pictures of something else. So sorry to hear that your job is soooo difficult. All these restrictions hampering your artistic abilities....it's enough to make me cry.

       

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      Sanguine Dream, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 6:19pm

      Re: Free admission?!

      Disagree with my words or not is it really necessary to start off by calling names?

      Before you go ranting on about your skills, crying that you don't care about the game, and childing name calling take a moment to remember that those "millionaire primadonnas who themselves are owned by billionaire primadonnas" are the reason you have a pay check.

       

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    the spuzz, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 9:56am

    lets change the team names too

    Why not have teams sport sponsors on their uniforms and helmets.
    Heck why stop there? Teams could change their names to accommodate their many sponsors.
    How about "Chrysler presents the St Louis Dodge Rams" or "MacDonald s presents the Chicago Big Macs".
    I can see it now.

     

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      Joe, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 10:05am

      Re: lets change the team names too

      Look at every soccer league in the world...they all sport a sponsor on their jersey. This is due to the continuous play for 45 minutes (no commercials).


      In the US it's a little different...We have to watch a friggin commercial every 5 minutes during a football, baseball, basketball game.

       

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    Anonymous Poster, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 10:07am

    That's it, I'm boycotting the NFL and all NFL-related programming, multimedia, and products. This kind of stupidity DESERVES it.

     

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    ReallyEvilCanine, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 12:34pm

    Answers

    if you have credentials (and aren't a freelancer, so working for a newspaper) how is it possible you get to sell your picture(s) a few more times?

    $NewsCo has previously seen my work and knows that I can deliver what they want to publish. They don't want to hire me and I don't want to be hired because I refuse to do works for hire. I keep my copyrights. They can, if they choose, provide me credentials under their banner so that I can get in to take those shots of primadonnas in motion they so want with which to grace their pages the next morning.

    I provide a pic to $NewsCo and give them a limited exclusive license for 72 hours for a particular shot of $JoePrimadonna's amazing air kick/block/shot, but afterwards, I'm free to sell the shot to $AmazingSportsWeb for another $50 or whatever they want to negotiate, and then maybe again for another $200 from $BobWriter who thinks he'll make some quick cash with an unauthorised biography of $JoePrimadonna. It's not as complicated as it sounds; prices are pretty standardised.

    Why not have teams sport sponsors on their uniforms and helmets.

    We've done this for years in the EU. Haven't you noticed? One more reason for my contempt is what Americans are slowly noticing: it has nothing to do with the locality anymore, only the sponsors and money.

     

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    ReallyEvilCanine, Jul 27th, 2007 @ 1:13am

    Re: Free admission

    it is only because of these "millionare primadonas" that you are even able to sell your pictures and draw a pay check.

    I earn money from a purely cynical side. Enough idiots think that sports are important that companies are willing to pay me for good photographs of the subject that I can earn a nice little sideline sum. That doesn't change the facts that the work is fucking hard and tedious.

    If you don't like them, go take pictures of something else.

    I do, and I earn more money from that than from sports. Still, when I accept the gig, my job in a stadium is to either report the game overall or promote the fucking team, not their sponsors. That could change if I got a piece of the action. Were I to get a percentage I'd have no problem with them offering me additional cash if I manage get a sponsor's logo in a shot.

    But the sports teams aren't paying me, neither for the shots I take that the newspapers pay for nor for their damned branding. I get paid well if I get a killer shot of something going on in the stands. The shots that I do take benefit that sports group but are paid for by the sponsoring publication and serve to promote the stupid game. That's the whole point of this Techdirt entry.

    The millionaire primaonnas can all collectively suck a fart out of my ass. As long as they pose so I can get the shot (and they all pose), that's all that matters to me on a personal level. It's money in my pocket.

    So sorry to hear that your job is soooo difficult.
    Sounds like sour grapes. Couldn't sell those pictures you took from the nosebleed section with your phone camera? There's a reason professionals get paid what they do.

    All these restrictions hampering your artistica bilities....it's enough to make me cry.
    Since my talent combined with 8000 worth of fucking Canon equipment promotes their product and helps them earn even more money, the restrictions are, by definition, wrong. The fact that they pay me to do such work proves that what I do has more value than what I charge them or they wouldn't pay for my services. Or did you forget what site we're on? This is basic fucking economics.

    Sanguine: it was more ranty than personal. You made an on-topic comment and followed it with mind-boggling ignorance. Photographers are no more at an event to watch it than are pilots and locomotive engineers heading to their vacation destinations. It's work, plain and simple. If I'm shooting a concert and I happen to like the band it helps a lot, but more often than not it's noise from a performer that I can't stand but whom I'm paid to make look good.

     

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      Sanguine Dream, Jul 27th, 2007 @ 6:20am

      Re: Re: Free admission


      Sanguine: it was more ranty than personal. You made an on-topic comment and followed it with mind-boggling ignorance. Photographers are no more at an event to watch it than are pilots and locomotive engineers heading to their vacation destinations. It's work, plain and simple. If I'm shooting a concert and I happen to like the band it helps a lot, but more often than not it's noise from a performer that I can't stand but whom I'm paid to make look good.


      Fine I'll accept that I don't know about the photojournal industry (I work in financial tech support) but just come down off that high horse of yours next time and it will sound a lot better. And it really didn't help that out of a two paragraph comment you pick one line and proceed to start your counter argument by calling me a fucking idiot.

       

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    Anon-i-mouse, Jul 27th, 2007 @ 12:46pm

    NFL - Not For Long...

    If they keep up this arrogant BS, the NFL will soon start losing viewers to sports like soccer and twiddly-winks.

     

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    Ben Strom, Jul 27th, 2007 @ 6:11pm

    it's more like + 66% of your cable bill.

    ESPN dominates all networks!!
    -----

    i know that it is not very recent but Buisnessweek said in mid-2004 when cox and espn were fighting over cable fees cox said that espn getsgot $2.61 a month for each subscribor. this translated to about 18% of what cox paid networks for the entire year. while it is a lot, espn is four channels (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, and ESPNews) on the basic tier.

    Even if you double that to to five dollars a month it is probably nowhere near 50 or 66% of your bill

     

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    Christine, May 5th, 2008 @ 1:19pm

    Since the photographers are still getting paid, why should it matter if they have to where the vests. Who really watches the photographers during a pro-game anyways?

     

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