The New England Patriots admit “unknowingly violating” NFL rules by filming the Cincinnati Bengals in their game against the Cleveland Browns.
The Super Bowl champions said the footage of the field and the Bengals sideline was for a profile of a team scout for their ‘Do Your Job’ series.
Despite getting filming credentials from home side Cleveland, the Patriots failed to tell the NFL and the Bengals.
The Patriots were severely punished for illegal filming in 2007.
The ‘spy-gate’ affair saw the Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick heavily fined and the team lost their first-round draft pick after they were caught recording the New York Jets’ defensive coaches’ signals from an unauthorized location during a match.
The Patriots said the production crew who were filming from the press box at the Browns-Bengals game had “inappropriately filmed the field” but that football staff had no involvement.
“When questioned, the crew immediately turned over all footage to the league and cooperated fully,” they added.
In 2015, the ‘Deflate-gate’ scandal marred the Patriots’ Super Bowl victory after the team were fined $1m (£642,000) by the NFL and quarterback Tom Brady was suspended for four games after an inquiry into under-inflated balls.
Belichick said the Patriots “don’t do anything that’s across the line” and have changed their approach after those past scandals.
He added that he had “no involvement” with the production crew filming the Browns-Bengals match.