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NFL asked broadcast partners to promote Taylor Swift’s upcoming movie for free

Big Shield rarely is in a position to suck up. Big Shield is sucking up big time to Taylor Swift.

Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports that the NFL asked its broadcast partners to televise free promos for Swift’s upcoming concert film this past weekend. Per the report, ESPN and NBC agreed to do so.

ESPN included the spot within Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown. NBC played it within Football Night in America. A commercial for the film during Sunday Night Football was bought and paid for.

Neither Fox nor CBS used the promo. This weekend, CBS has the Chiefs-Vikings game at 4:25 p.m. ET.

Amazon apparently was not asked to play the commercial. Perhaps we’ll see it tonight; next Thursday night, the Chiefs host the Broncos on Amazon Prime.

Marchand reports the the NFL has no known business relationship with Swift. It’s rare, if not unprecedented, for the NFL to do an unpaid favor for anyone. Given the extent to which the NFL benefits from Swift’s presence at games, it was the least the NFL could do — especially since it cost the NFL nothing to ask its broadcast partners to give the movie free promotion.

The broader risk for the league continues to be the reality that fans will perceive 345 Park Avenue as having a bias for the Chiefs, given the team’s new connection to Swift. The NFL cannot afford to ever be seen as anything but neutral. With Swift, the NFL’s supposed status as Switzerland is fairly being questioned.

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