HBO’s Ballers Uses NFL Logos Without Consent


According to a report from NBC’s ProFootballTalk, HBO‘s series Ballers starring Dwayne Johnson uses NFL logos and references teams by name without the NFL’s consent.

Apparently, this is the first time any TV show has actually used NFL team logos without the NFL’s “expressed, written consent,” according to the report.

Ballers is oft-described as the “Entourage for Athletes,” and the series is about the luxurious lifestyle of NFL players and former NFL players.

As far as I know, HBO is okay in doing this, and an HBO spokesman said as much in a statement to PFT:

"“HBO is always mindful of other intellectual property owners, but in this context there is no legal requirement to obtain their consent,” an HBO spokesperson said in a statement issued to PFT on Sunday afternoon."

It seems more like it’s a frowned-upon practice rather than actually being illegal.

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As a fan of TV, I think it’s cool that HBO is using the actual logos and uniforms and referencing the teams by their real names. It’s crazy corny, to me, when films and TV shows are forced to use knock-off unis and logo, like The Replacements. Sure, it’s a funny movie, but it would be better if they used real NFL team names and uniforms.

First of all, the NFL and HBO are partners in crime here. They are jointly responsible for Hard Knocks, the documentary series about NFL training camp.  To continue their unique partnership, I think they’ll probably squash this little mishap with some names and logos.

Right now, the NFL has been mum on the issue and continues to refuse to comment. At some point, they’re going to have to acknowledge the issue.

Regardless of what legal action may or may not happen, Ballers will premiere on HBO on June 21 following the premiere of True Detective: Season 2.

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