The New England Patriots admitted that a video crew they hired recorded footage of the Cincinnati Bengals' sideline during their game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday (December 8). The team has denied any wrongdoing and said the video team was filming a segment about working as an advanced scout.
While the crew was filming, a Bengals employee noticed that the camera was focused on the sidelines for most of the first quarter and notified the media relations team. The crew member turned over the footage when he was confronted by security.
The Patriots acknowledged the film crew broke league rules by filming the sidelines but said the team had no intention of using the footage for any purpose other than the documentary series.
"While we sought and were granted credentialed access from the Cleveland Browns for the video crew, our failure to inform the Bengals and the league was an unintended oversight. In addition to filming the scout, the production crew — without specific knowledge of league rules — inappropriately filmed the field from the press box. The sole purpose of the filming was to provide an illustration of an advance scout at work on the road. There was no intention of using the footage for any other purpose."
This is not the first time the Patriots have been accused of using video to gain an unfair advantage over their opponents. In 2007, the Patriots were stripped of a first-round pick, and head coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000 after a league investigation found multiple tapes of game footage and written notes from the previous seven seasons.
Photo: Getty Images