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U.S. Ad Spending To Grow 6% In 2018, But TV Upfront Faltering On “Less Robust” NFL Sales – Analyst

Overall U.S. advertising spending will grow 6% in 2018, but areas of decline outnumber areas of growth, according to a report issued today by Morgan Stanley. The forecast includes a slight revised total growth number, up to 6.1% from 5.9%. Morgan Stanley’s team, headed by analyst Benjamin Swinburne, notes cyclical lift this year from forces like mid-term elections, the Winter Olympics and the World Cup. Its report also says that Facebook and Google are driving 95% of… Read

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NFL Players Association May Challenge New Anthem Policy In Court

Tom Brady

The National Football League Players Association may be preparing to challenge the NFL’s new national anthem policy in court. The plan comes about five weeks before training camp opens and 84 days before the start of the NFL regular season, again threatening to change the focus from football to player protests. NBC’s Pro Football Talk blog reports that the┬áNFLPA has retained multiple law firms to look at its options. The new policy, instituted without consulting the… Read

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NFL Players Question New National Anthem Policy, Hint At Non-Compliance

Cracks are starting to appear in the National Football League’s announced plan to have its players on the field stand at attention for the national anthem in the 2018 season, which starts in three months. The Atlanta Falcons are the latest team to voice qualms about anthem procedure, which offers players who don’t wish to participate in standing at attention the option of staying in the locker room. Those that do not comply will subject their team to fines. The national… Read

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‘Meet The Press’ Panel Says NFL Anthem Protest Decision Could Hit Courts

NFL National Anthem

A panel of pundits on Sunday’s NBC News show Meet The Press said the National Football League’s decision to insist players on the field stand for the national anthem could be decided by court order. The NFL decision this week came in response to last season’s hodgepodge of player protests, which saw players kneel, stay in the locker room, sit on the bench, or raise fists during the pre-game national anthem. The season-long protests were a lightning rod for fan anger… Read

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‘The View’ Co-Host Meghan McCain Again Criticizes NFL National Anthem Kneelers

Meghan McCain

Meghan McCain has doubled down on her verbal attacks made on The View regarding the NFL’s national anthem kneelers, saying via Twitter she “ardently” believes everyone should stand when the song is played. McCain, daughter of U.S. senator and former Republican presidential candidate John McCain, defended herself Friday on Twitter after taking a battering on Thursday’s edition of the ABC talker. The kerfuffle came after she gave her view that players who kneel during the… Read

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Donald Trump Suggests Deporting Kneeling NFL Players After New Policy Revealed

Donald Trump took time away from his busy schedule unearthing witch hunts and catching phantom spies to weigh in on another story he believe has national security implications. Talking to Fox & Friends’ Brian Kilmeade, The President of the United States discussed the NFL’s new policy of fining players who refuse to stand for the national anthem on the field. If they want to kneel, they have to do so in the locker room, the NFL has decreed. “I don't think people should be… Read

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Donald Trump To Talk NFL, FBI Plots, And MS-13 With Brian Kilmeade On Thursday’s ‘Fox & Friends’

If you are wondering why President Donald Trump has yet to weigh in on Twitter about the NFL’s announcement it will fine any player on field who does not stand during the National Anthem during games, it may be because Trump wants to save his reaction for his pals at Fox & Friends. The Fox News Channel show announced this afternoon it will air an interview with Trump on tomorrow morning’s show in which he “reacts” to the new NFL ruling on national anthem protests. In the… Read

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Mike Pence Tweets Charlie Sheen-ily After NFL Unveils New No-Kneeling National Anthem Rule

Mike Pence

President Donald Trump has not yet weighed in today’s newly announced NFL’s policy of fining players who refuse to stand on the field during the national anthem. But his NFL Game Walker Outer In Chief, Veep Mike Pence has. “#Winning,” Pence tweeted in a victory lap: #Winning ­čç║­čçŞ pic.twitter.com/aEJOCmB5lW — Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) May 23, 2018 Pence… Read

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ESPN Anchor Kenny Mayne Riffs On Ad Reduction, Skinny Bundles, Zings NBCU — Upfronts

Veteran ESPN anchor Kenny Mayne brought back his long-running, crowd-pleasing act during today’s upfronts presentation: a 5-minute standup bit where the Washington state native dryly roasts the TV ad racket. While not quite as well-known as upfronts appearances by broadcast late-night hosts Jimmy Kimmel (at ABC), Seth Meyers (at NBCUniversal) or Stephen Colbert (at CBS) the Mayne musings are often just as entertaining. Here are some highlights from the 2018 edition. “We… Read

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New ESPN Boss Jimmy Pitaro: “Morale Is Incredibly High” – Upfronts

Jimmy Pitaro, the former Disney and Yahoo exec who took over earlier this year as ESPN president after the abrupt departure of John Skipper, borrowed at least one page from Skipper’s playbook, meeting with the media after the network’s upfront event. The press briefing in the Minskoff Theatre went longer than Skipper’s annual scrums with reporters, and it also featured the full senior management team standing in the back and weighing in on some topics. The discussion… Read

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Peter King Joins NBC Sports; NFL Journalist Set For Multiple Media Roles

Journalist Peter King┬áhas signed an exclusive agreement with NBC Sports Group to bring his insider NFL knowledge to several platforms starting in July. King will leave his longtime home at Sports Illustrated, which is up for sale by new owners Meredith, although he has been a contributor to NBC for some time. King will write a weekly┬áMonday┬ámorning NFL column for NBCSports.com; make regular appearances on NBCSN's and NBC Sports Radio'sPFT Live with Mike Florio; and… Read

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NFL Draft: Cleveland Browns Select Heisman Winner Baker Mayfield; USC’s Sam Darnold Goes Third

The Cleveland Browns selected quarterback Baker Mayfield of the University of Oklahoma as the No.1 choice in the 2018 NFL draft, ending the mystery on who might be the top choice in a field rich with quarterbacks. Mayfield, who walked on twice in college, first for Texas Tech and then after transferring to Oklahoma, became the Heisman Trophy winner last year as the top player in college. But many in the NFL questioned his size (slightly under 6-foot, 1-inch) and… Read