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NFL Rejects Las Vegas Commercial

January 14, 2003 GMT

LAS VEGAS (AP) _ The National Football League has refused to accept a Super Bowl commercial from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Monday that the commercial was rejected last month after league officials reviewed it, though he did not specify why the league turned down the ad.

``The league office decided that the commercial was not in our best interest,″ McCarthy said. ``The NFL has a long-standing policy that prohibits the acceptance of any message that makes reference to or mention of sports betting.″


The Super Bowl, television’s most-watched event, will air Jan. 26 on ABC.

McCarthy said the NFL has a contract with ABC that gives the league the right to reject any advertisement related to sports betting.

People familiar with the commercial _ a montage of images from around the city _ say there is no reference to gambling and don’t understand why it was rejected.

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman could not immediately be reached for comment. The convention and visitors authority said it would issue a statement Tuesday.

The New York Daily News reported Monday that ABC has sold 90 percent of its 61 30-second spots. Each spot sold for the same record $2.1 million fee collected in 2000.

``We are right where we should be at this time, with only a few spots left,″ said Ed Erhardt, president for customer marketing at ABC Sports and sibling ESPN. ``We expect strong demand for the remaining spots and are talking to a few advertisers right now.″

Other companies fielding Super Bowl ads include Anheuser-Busch, FedEx, Visa, General Motors, AT&T Wireless, Yahoo!, Gatorade, Sony and Levis Strauss.