A Note from FRONTLINE: ESPN and “League of Denial”

Share:
Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame center, Mike Webster

Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame center, Mike Webster (Getty Images/ George Gojkovich. Image may only be used in editorial conjunction with the direct promotion of this film worldwide. No other rights are granted. All rights reserved.)

August 22, 2013

You may notice some changes to our League of Denial and Concussion Watch websites. From now on, at ESPN’s request, we will no longer use their logos and collaboration credit on these sites and on our upcoming film League of Denial, which investigates the NFL’s response to head injuries among football players.

We don’t normally comment on investigative projects in progress, but we regret ESPN’s decision to end a collaboration that has spanned the last 15 months and is based on the work of ESPN reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru, as well as FRONTLINE’s own original journalism.

Over that time, we’ve enjoyed a productive partnership with ESPN’s investigative program, Outside the Lines, jointly publishing and co-branding several ground-breaking articles on our respective websites and on their broadcast. We’ve been in sync on the goals of our reporting: to present the deepest accounting so far of the league’s handling of questions around the long-term impact of concussions. This editorial partnership was similar to our many other collaborations with news organizations over the years.

ESPN’s decision will in no way affect the content, production or October release of FRONTLINE’s League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis. The film is grounded in the Fainaru brothers’ forthcoming book, also titled League of Denial, and the authors will continue to participate in the production and be featured in the documentary.

The film is still being edited and has not been seen by ESPN news executives, although we were on schedule to share it with them for their editorial input. The two-hour documentary and accompanying digital reporting will honor FRONTLINE’s rigorous standards of fairness, accuracy, transparency and depth.

David Fanning, Executive Producer FRONTLINE
Raney Aronson, Deputy Executive Producer FRONTLINE

FRONTLINE is a production of WGBH/Boston, which is solely responsible for its content.


More Stories

Russia Smuggling Ukrainian Grain to Help Pay for Putin's War
The ongoing theft of grain from Ukraine, which legal experts say is a potential war crime, is being carried out by wealthy businessmen and state-owned companies in Russia and Syria, an AP/FRONTLINE investigation has found.
October 3, 2022
10 Torture Sites in 1 Town: Russia Sowed Pain, Fear in Izium
Russian torture in Izium was arbitrary, widespread and absolutely routine for both civilians and soldiers throughout the city, an Associated Press investigation has found.
October 2, 2022
FRONTLINE Wins 4 News & Documentary Emmy Awards
Three FRONTLINE documentaries and an interactive investigation were honored at this year's News & Documentary Emmy Awards on Sept. 28 & 29, 2022.
September 28, 2022
Charleston, South Carolina’s Tourism Machine: Lack of scrutiny and accountability keeps public in dark about millions of taxpayer dollars spent every year
Lack of scrutiny and accountability has kept the public in the dark about millions of taxpayer dollars spent every year.
September 23, 2022