Deadspin got a hold of ESPN’s standards and practices manual and posted it late this afternoon-revealing the network’s strange and somewhat obsessive regulations regarding condoms. As far as we can tell, there are no less than six protocols involving condoms.
• Condom advertisements may air only between 9:00 p.m. and 4:59 a.m. (ET).
• Condom advertisements may not air in morning editions of SportsCenter
• Condom advertisements may not air in any programming ESPN reasonably believes to have significant audience concentrations or appeals to persons under age 17.
• Condom advertisements may not appear on ESPN.com home page, index pages, NCAA, Action Sports, Arcade, RISE or Little League.
• Condom advertisements may not appear on any content that ESPN reasonably believes is primarily targeted at persons under age 17, including youth fan pages.
• Condom advertisements promoting purely Social Responsibility messages may air on the ESPN home page and Index pages.
Writes Deadspin’s Tommy Craggs: “Had ESPN always been so strict about not putting rubbery sacks of human ejaculate on television, Chris Berman would be working an Action News sports desk somewhere in the Lower Connecticut River Valley.”
Seriously though, regarding the last bullet point, isn’t condom use in and of itself socially responsible? Doesn’t that fact nullify like…four of the other condom commandments?