UPDATE: Roc Nation released a statement to Billboard on Tuesday indicating that “Run This Town” was pulled by the label, not by CBS. “Due to the misuse and misrepresentation of Rihanna’s name and participation in connection to CBS’ [Thursday Night Football], CBS was not allowed to license and utilize the song ‘Run This Town.’ Roc Nation made the decision to not grant the song’s usage.”
ORIGINAL STORY: CBS and Rihanna are splitting up, in more fallout from the Ray Rice domestic violence incident and the turmoil it has caused for the NFL.
The network said Tuesday (Sept. 16) it was permanently editing a song featuring Rihanna’s voice out of its Thursday night NFL telecasts after the singer issued a profane tweet about it.
A portion of Jay Z‘s “Run This Town” featuring Rihanna was cut from last Thursday’s Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers game because CBS was covering the controversy over Ravens running back Rice’s assault of his then-fiancee. CBS planned to use the song this Thursday and for the rest of the season, but Rihanna tweeted, “CBS you pulled my song last week, now you wanna slide it back in this Thursday? … Y’all are sad for penalizing me for this.”
CBS you pulled my song last week, now you wanna slide it back in this Thursday? NO, Fuck you! Y’all are sad for penalizing me for this.
— Rihanna (@rihanna) September 16, 2014
CBS issued a statement saying that it was “moving in a different direction” with different theme music.
The song was one of a handful of elements CBS cut out of its inaugural Thursday night football telecast. At the time, CBS Sports President Sean McManus said Rihanna’s own history as a victim of domestic violence was one part of the decision but not the overriding one. The song was to be featured in all six of the Thursday night games CBS was broadcasting this fall, plus eight more on the NFL network.
A spokesperson for Rihanna had no immediate comment on the CBS decision or her client’s tweet.
The decision means a significant loss of weekly exposure for Rihanna’s work: more than 10 million people watched the opening of the telecast last Thursday, according to the Nielsen company.