Wed, 16 Oct 2019

Facebook Watch in multi-year deal with NFL

Lola Evans
13 Sep 2019, 18:20 GMT+10

NEW YORK, New York - The National Football League and Facebook have announced a multi-year partnership extension which will see more NFL video content streamed worldwide through Facebook Watch.

The move will expand on existing arrangements between the two which began in 2017.

The NFL will continue distributing recaps from all 256 regular season games, as well as playoff matchups, and the Super Bowl, plus video highlights from postseason tentpole events like the Pro Bowl, NFL Scouting Combine and NFL Draft. Over 22 million people watched at least a minute of an NFL recap on Facebook in 2017 and 2018, with 28% of these views coming from outside the U.S.

Unique viewers of the recaps grew by 32% in 2018 compared to the previous year.

"Facebook continues to be an important partner in accessing millions of highly engaged fans around the world," Blake Stuchin, NFL Vice President of Digital Media Business Development said Thursday. "As we celebrate our 100th season, we look forward to providing even more exciting ways for NFL fans on Facebook to watch, share, and talk about their favorite NFL moments."

In addition to game recaps, the NFL will also utilize Facebook Watch for distribution of an array of unique content including:

- NFL news and analysis: Video clips featuring NFL Media analysts, reporters and on-air personalities from NFL Network signature studio shows

- Video versions of NFL-produced podcasts: Weekly video versions of popular NFL Media podcasts including "Around the NFL" with Gregg Rosenthal, Dan Hanzus, Marc Sessler and Chris Wesseling

- Classic content: Archived content from the NFL Films vault featured across NFL Throwback

- Special NFL 100 content: A series of NFL 100 content that celebrates the best teams, players and moments of the league's first 100 seasons.

The league will also create Facebook Groups around content themes and work to share relevant video in those groups to foster conversation and connection. In addition, the NFL will host a weekly "Watch Party" around a Game Recap throughout the regular season, which will enable fans to watch and talk about their favorite moments from the past week's games together in real-time.

"We're thrilled to partner with the NFL to bring some of sports' most talked-about moments and storylines back to Facebook Watch," Rob Shaw, Facebook Head of League and Media Sports Partnerships said Thursday. "The past two seasons show how well NFL content performs on Facebook, and we look forward to helping the league find more ways to engage fans through products like Facebook Groups and Watch Party."

Fans will be able to access NFL content on Facebook via Facebook Watch on mobile apps across Apple and Android, on desktop, laptop and on TV apps listed here .

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