One of the early storylines of the 2017 NFL season was the player protests during the national anthem. All of the networks aired them to start, but as they began to fall off, the networks stopped showing them. As we approach Super Bowl LII in February, there’s the possibility that they could occur again in front of TV’s largest audience of the year.

If that happens, NBC plans to show them. During the Television Critics Association (TCA) winter press tour, Sunday Night Football and Thursday Night Football producer Fred Gaudelli told the audience if any player protests during the national anthem (which will be performed by Pink), NBC won’t hesitate to spotlight the player.

“It was a pretty big story in our country this fall. We’d show it. When you’re covering a live event, you’re covering what’s happening. If there are players who chose to kneel, they will be shown live.”

The protests during the anthem gained national attention and also caught the ire of President Trump, who denounced them on Twitter and during various speeches. Not all of the protests have been shown on television, but they have brought on scrutiny from both sides of the political aisle, with some pundits and many fans blaming the protests for lower NFL ratings and attendance.

Gaudelli was also asked about the Peacock’s chances for renewing the rights for Thursday Night Football, and didn’t give much of an answer. NBC’s contract to air its second NFL primetime package ends after this season.

“I think those negotiations are just about beginning,” he said. “It’s really hard to speculate. It’s really early in the game.”

CBS has aired four seasons of Thursday Night Football, and NBC has aired two. The NFL will announce the new contract for TNF after the season is over.

[Hollywood Reporter]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

  • MrBeepo

    In other words…please kneel so we can exploit you and create a story where there isn’t one.

  • dee cee

    Of course they will show protests. NBC like all Liberals hate America.

  • Bill Cord

    Another reason to tune in late to the broadcast. Nobody but the fringe left and liberal media like watching American dishonored.

  • noonan18

    NBC won’t think twice about showing it if it pushes their liberal agenda. Apparently they are promoting it as well.

  • QED – quod erat demonstrandum

    Please do tell us in advance so I can decide most definitively not to watch. The whole enchilada.

    You may think I’m childish, but if I don’t have a compelling reason to watch a game, I’m more than willing to consume my 20 thousand calories on the couch that day watching something else besides all the ginned up human interest stories about a bunch of ungrateful…yada yadas.