Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is following up on the huge box-office opening for his disaster movie “San Andreas” with his first foray into serial television as the star and executive producer of HBO’s “Ballers.”
Johnson plays a former pro football player who becomes a financial advisor for current athletes. As the promos show, it looks like the series will give us a behind-the-scenes view of the stars we root for every Sunday during the season.
To pull this off, the need for authentic set dressing like NFL names and logos is crucial.
According to ProFootballTalk, which has already viewed multiple episodes, the show does use NFL licensed imagery.
“The first episode includes a scene from a conference room with a Packers logo on the wall. Later, one of the characters visits the fictional coach of the Miami Dolphins, who is wearing a hat with a Dolphins logo (the old logo, not the current one). The second episode includes multiple scenes at a Dolphins offseason practice, with the players wearing helmets bearing the Dolphins logo (the current one, not the old one).”
However, ProFootballTalk reports that “Ballers” does not have the consent of the NFL to use such logos.
“HBO is always mindful of other intellectual property owners, but in this context there is no legal requirement to obtain their consent,” HBO told the site, confirming that the NFL has no involvement with the series.
“Ballers” is the first TV series to have NFL logos without the consent of the league. It’s also the first show to depict professional football since ESPN did it in 2003 with their series, “Playmakers.”
“Playmakers,” which did not use any NFL properties (just like many movies that focus on pro football like “Any Given Sunday” or “The Replacements”), was canceled after one season due to pressure from the NFL, which was concerned with the show’s unfavorable depiction of the players off the field.
But HBO does already have one series in which the NFL is involved. Titled “Hard Knocks,” HBO cameras film the happenings of one team during their preseason camp.
BI’s request to HBO for comment was not returned., while the NFL has “no comment” regarding logos being used in “Ballers.”
Watch the trailer for “Ballers” below, there’s no featured logos, but we’re not sure the NFL will be thrilled with how players appear to be portrayed:
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