Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce’s love story interfered with Fox’s plan to play her music at Arrowhead Stadium during the Chiefs-Bears Week 3 game on Sunday, according to Richie Zyons, the NFL on Fox lead producer.
When Fox heard the rumors that Swift would be in attendance at the game, they “sought permission” to use some of her music on the broadcast — but were swiftly turned down by her record label and publishing company due to speculation about her love life, Zyons wrote in a blog post published Thursday on FoxSports.com.
“Earlier in the week, amid the avalanche of rumors, our bulldog associate producer Rich Gross had sought permission to use some of Swift’s music,” Zyons wrote. “Not a chance.
“Per the FOX music department, Swift’s record label and publishing company denied our request ‘in conjunction with speculations on or about her private/personal/dating life.'”
Zyons explained how the Fox Sports crew navigated Swift’s larger-than-life presence at Arrowhead.
“The first time we peeked in on Kelce’s suite was during player introductions, minutes before the start of the broadcast,” he wrote. “Swift was there, seated next to Kelce’s mother Donna, and they both erupted in cheers as the tight end ran out of the tunnel. We played that back on tape early in the telecast.
“After that, coverage became a matter of balance. Russo showed restraint not taking gratuitous live shots, saving the opportunities for when she reacted to action in the game. Her joyful expression after Kelce scored a touchdown was the image of the day, captured beautifully by our low end-zone cameraman Andy Mitchell.”
That shot Zyons was referring to came when Kelce scored a touchdown in the third quarter to put the Chiefs up 41-0 over Chicago.
The game drew in more than 24 million viewers, making it the top-rated game among females in the 12-17, 18-34, 18-49 and 2+ demos for the week.
Fox featured Swift on the broadcast multiple times throughout the game, with play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt and color commentator Greg Olsen providing pop culture commentary.
Erin Andrews, Fox’s veteran sideline reporter, admittedly freaked out over Swift’s arrival to the crew.
“She finally sat in a seat and I started screaming … ‘That’s her! That’s her! I saw the red lips and I was just like a 15-year-old,” Andrews said on her “Calm Down” podcast with Charissa Thompson.
“Anyone that is not into this story, I’m not interested in you,” Thompson said, to which Olsen, who was a guest on the podcast, quipped: “Because they have poop in their pants … f–king get over yourself.”
Kelce and Swift were seen walking in the back hallways of Arrowhead Stadium after the game before he drove off with the “Getaway Car” singer in his convertible.
The All-Pro tight end reportedly rented out a restaurant in Kansas City for his family, friends and teammates, where Swift was seen with her arm around Kelce in photos obtained by TMZ.
Swift attended the Chiefs-Bears game after Kelce revealed during an appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” last Thursday that he invited her to Kansas City to see him in action.
That came after he revealed on his “New Heights” podcast that he tried to shoot his shot with Swift when he attended her “Eras Tour” in Kansas City in July.
In the latest installment of his “New Heights” podcast, Kelce told his brother, Eagles center Jason Kelce, that he is done discussing Swift publicly out of respect for both of their personal lives.
Swift is reportedly set to attend the Chiefs-Jets game at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.