Media Relations: media commentary and criticism

Monday, October 28, 2002

real sports

On Tuesday, October 29, HBO's Real Sports will be broadcasting, in one of the program segments, an exploration of the issues of professional sports and coming out of the closet. For reasons best known to themselves, they have been hiding the identity of the athlete in their own promos, treating it as a great secret. In the meantime, everyone else is gleefully publishing their own interviews and articles about Esera Tuaolo, putting HBO in the terribly odd position of breaking a story which is then scooped by everyone else. Supposedly in cooperation with HBO, The Advocate will also be publishing an interview with Tuaolo sometime in November. In the meantime, in all of the publicity they've done for the article, the Advocate has blithely revealed Tuaolo's identity -- but then, the Advocate, being what it is, was highly unlikely to cooperate with any sort of secrecy campaign. That said ... it's an unusually long teaser article.

One wonders why HBO would set themselves up this way. To be sure, all the publicity may ensure a somewhat larger audience for the show. That said, it's only one segment. People may tune in to watch that, and then leave. Or jump in and out until the segment shows up. In any event, it seems an odd way to handle the story; you'd think that they'd have gotten confidentiality agreements from Tuaolo and others to hold back until perhaps a day or two before. At this rate, even if they did pan it somehow, it will all have blown over and be yesterday's news by the time the segment actually airs.

Further discussion of the type of articles in Grim Amusements: esera tuaolo.

Posted by iain at 12:13 AM in category