Apparently you can never have too much football in your life, so Facebook is adding exclusive content from the National Football League to its platform. Facebook and the NFL have reached a deal in which the league will provide highlights from every game as well as two studio shows through next season.
NFL Films, the league’s award-winning production company, will handle the creation of all content. It’s a global deal, too, that gives everyone on Facebook access to the highlights and other clips for free.
The highlights will cover every game throughout the regular season, playoffs, and Super Bowl. Although you won’t see content posted during actual games, the NFL says the highlights will be up on Facebook soon after a game concludes. It would seem that the NFL’s official Facebook page is the location for highlights and other clips to be shared. If you like the NFL’s page, the content will appear within your News Feed.
NBC Sports’ NFL Turning Point and NFL Network’s SoundFX, meanwhile, will be placed on Facebook’s Watch service. Those two shows seem to be limited to U.S. users only.
While the NFL is a strong asset for any platform, the content provided by the two-year deal isn’t exclusive. Highlights from the league’s games are also on YouTube and Twitter. The studio shows are broadcast on cable channels every week. But this is Facebook’s first major move in video streaming since losing a bidding war for rights to the Indian Premier League, which ended up going to Star India for a lot more money. Facebook will happily take any piece of the NFL it can get.
Assuming things go well for the NFL’s content on Facebook, the company could see itself as a serious player to win streaming rights for Thursday Night Football at the end of the season. The league’s deal with Amazon is for just one year, and a bidding war will once again be scheduled for next winter. Facebook explored a bid for Thursday Night Football prior to the 2016 season, and formally submitted a bid prior to this season.
Facebook is currently home to games from Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the UEFA Champions League, and select college football conferences.