ESPN has decided to go generic when reporting on the over/under for Super Bowl XLVII.
Regular ESPN viewers may have noticed that the network’s BottomLine has been referring to Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVII as the “Pro Football Championship” when reporting on betting information for the game. Not a single reference to the NFL is included — instead of “Ravens vs. 49ers,” the scroll refers to “Baltimore vs. San Francisco.”
In a statement to Sports Media Watch, ESPN said the information “is of interest to a lot of fans and this is how we decided to present it on the BottomLine.”
The unusual terminology would seem to be motivated by the NFL’s attitude toward gambling. Last year, NFL Network went as far as to pull an interview between anchor Rich Eisen and a star of the movie “Silver Linings Playbook” because “the movie included content related to gambling on NFL games” (SI.com, 11/26).