NEW YORK (Reuters) – The National Football League and Facebook Inc have signed a deal to bring NFL game recaps and highlights to the world’s largest social network, culminating years of talks, the NFL said on Tuesday.
The deal comes with both parties at strategic turning points, as Facebook seeks to add more video to attract viewers and the NFL tries to follow eyeballs from traditional television to social media.
Facebook has expressed interest in live-streaming NFL games on Thursday nights, including this year when it lost out to Amazon.com Inc. Amazon.com broadcasts its first Thursday night game this week.
The deal between the NFL and Facebook will not include live games but will cover official NFL video highlights from all regular season games as well as the playoffs and the Super Bowl, the NFL said in a statement.
Some NFL Films, documentary-style productions made by the league, will also be included.
The agreement is effective immediately worldwide, the NFL said, and is for two years, a source familiar with the deal said. Other terms, such as possible advertising, were not disclosed.
“We have millions of fans on Facebook, and they continue to demonstrate an incredible appetite for NFL content,” Hans Schroeder, chief operating officer of NFL Media, said in a statement.
Other media outlets have NFL-themed shows. Twitter Inc streams pre-game coverage. The league-owned NFL Network broadcasts a nightly program.
Facebook, though, is the biggest social network with some 2 billion monthly users worldwide. Its NFL videos will appear on Watch, the recently overhauled Facebook video tab.
Facebook hopes the deal will enable “active NFL fan communities on Facebook to watch and debate the top storylines from each week,” Dan Reed, Facebook’s head of global sports partnerships, said in a statement.
Facebook Watch already includes one NFL-related program: a reality show on football player Mashawn Lynch for which Facebook is paying Time Warner Inc’s Bleacher Report millions of dollars.
Reporting by David Ingram and Jessica Toonkel in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman