The New England Patriots have been fined $1.1m by the NFL for inappropriately filming the Cincinnati Bengals sideline during a game last season.
The league has also taken away a third-round pick in the 2021 draft and banned the team’s production crew from filming any games in the 2020 season.
The filming occurred at the Bengals game at Cleveland on December 8 last season. The Bengals hosted the Patriots the following week and lost 34-13.
When the taping became known last season, the team said at the time that a three-person crew producing a web series titled ‘Do Your Job’ inappropriately filmed the field from the press box as part of a feature on the scouting department.
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The filming took place without specific knowledge of league rules, a statement said.
The team’s statement added that, while they were granted credentials for the crew from the Browns, the failure to inform the Bengals and the league was an unintended oversight.
When confronted, the team said the crew immediately turned over all footage to the league and cooperated fully.
At the time, Patriots coach Bill Belichick says neither he nor his coaching staff had watched any of the video footage.
“I personally have never viewed any video footage at all, anything that those production people have done, other than what’s shown on public television or something like that”, Belichick said in December.
New England were previously fined $250,000 and lost a first-round draft pick in 2007 for violating NFL rules against using video to steal signals in a scandal dubbed Spygate. Belichick was also fined $500,000.
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