The 2013 National Football League season opened with the sport's concussion crisis high on the media agenda. At the same time, many outlets reporting on the crisis also served as league broadcast partners, suggesting a potential conflict between reportorial duties and business interests. This case study examines how during its 2013 season, NBC's Football Night in America, the NFL news and information show with the largest audience, framed head injuries and efforts by the league aimed at reducing them. This qualitative discourse analysis finds that the broadcast often addressed head injuries episodically, while ignoring the themes of player safety or the concussion crisis itself. The broadcast did focus attention on repeat violators of player safety rules and regularly suggested that efforts to make football safer damaged the game. These framing practices refer to problems facing the game, while protecting the NFL's reputation, the sport's cultural position, and the network's investment in the sport.


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pp. 21-44
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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