Facebook signs multi-year NFL content deal

The content gold rush continues as Facebook announces a worldwide programming partnership with the US National Football League.

The gig will allow Facebook to serve up the official American footie highlights as served up by the NFL, both from the regular season and the playoffs, including the super bowl itself. On top of that a bunch of other content produced by NFL Media will be shown on Facebook Watch, its newly-created original content platform.

“We have millions of fans on Facebook, and they continue to demonstrate an incredible appetite for NFL content,” said Hans Schroeder, COO of NFL Media. “We’re excited to bring a compelling set of highlights and shows from the NFL and our clubs to our fans on Facebook.”

“We’re excited for Watch to become a destination for NFL fans to catch up on the latest on-field action and connect with one another,” said Dan Reed, Facebook’s Head of Global Sports Partnerships. “These full game recaps and shows will deliver comprehensive coverage while enabling the active NFL fan communities on Facebook to watch and debate the top storylines from each week.”

So everyone’s excited, isn’t that nice? Whether or not NFL fans will share that excitement is another matter. While is an awful place to view video highlights, as the voracious league insists on serving ads every two seconds, this is easily avoided by simply Googling ‘NFL’ and watching the resulting ad-free clips without even having to go to YouTube.

What this will cost Facebook hasn’t been revealed but the social media giant recently bid over $600 million to show Indian Premier League cricket, but failed. Amazon, meanwhile, recently outbid Sky for the ATP tennis tour coverage. The fight for eyeballs seems more intense than ever and it will be interesting to see how the internet giants go about monetising their content investments.

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