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Thursday, January 16
Super Bowl ad rejected; mayor considers legal action news services

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman said Thursday he is considering legal action against the NFL after it refused to accept a Super Bowl commercial from the city's convention and visitors authority.

Appearing on The Dan Patrick Show on ESPN Radio, Goodman said he is "hotter than fishgrease" over the league's decision.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told The Associated Press on Monday that the spot was rejected last month after league officials reviewed it.

"The league office decided that the commercial was not in our best interest," McCarthy said. "The NFL has a long-standing policy that prohibits the acceptance of any message that makes reference to or mention of sports betting."

The Super Bowl, television's most-watched event, will air Jan. 26 on ABC.

McCarthy said the NFL has a contract with ABC that gives the league the right to reject any advertisement related to sports betting.

People familiar with the commercial -- a montage of images from around the city -- say there is no reference to gambling and don't understand why it was rejected.

The New York Daily News reported Monday that ABC has sold 90 percent of its 61 30-second spots. Each spot sold for the same record $2.1 million fee collected in 2000.

"We are right where we should be at this time, with only a few spots left," Ed Erhardt, president for customer marketing at ABC Sports and sibling ESPN, said Monday. "We expect strong demand for the remaining spots and are talking to a few advertisers right now."

Other companies fielding Super Bowl ads include Anheuser-Busch, FedEx, Visa, General Motors, AT&T Wireless, Yahoo!, Gatorade, Sony and Levi Strauss.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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