On Tuesday morning, Rihanna tweeted outrage over the network’s handling of the broadcast: “CBS, you pulled my song last week, now you wanna slide it back in this Thursday? No, fuck you!” she wrote.
Hours later, CBS said it was “moving in a different direction” and would no longer be using the song Run This Town in any of its football broadcasts.
The track, by Jay-Z and featuring Rihanna and Kanye West, was to play as an intro last Thursday during the broadcast of the clash between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens. But CBS dropped Rihanna’s song hours after the Ravens released running back Ray Rice for violating the league’s domestic violence policy when he hit his fiancee in an Atlantic City elevator.
At the time, CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus told SI.com: “We thought journalistically, and from a tone standpoint, [that] we needed to have the appropriate tone and coverage.”
Apparently, the network still wanted to use Rihanna’s song. Just not before the Ravens game.
The network replaced the track with updates on the Rice case. The pre-game and game coverage delivered the network almost 21m viewers, CBS’ highest ratings since 2006.
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