Which side clicked the “Unlike” option? The NFL and Facebook have quietly ended their video ad partnership, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The two sides reached an agreement late last year that would allow NFL clips to be promoted in people’s Facebook feeds. Unlike most videos, which typically have an ad run before the chosen content plays, these minute-long clips featured “post-roll” ads from Verizon Wireless that ran after the NFL footage. But the deal between the NFL and Facebook quietly expired earlier this year.
Such a partnership — which was really more of a test, given the short lifespan of the deal — seemed to be mutually beneficial, with the NFL having the opportunity to promote its product on social media and Facebook had content for its push to expand its online video offerings. More importantly, the social network wanted to see if playing ads after video content could be a successful form of sponsorship for media companies. The WSJ report also mentioned that Fox Sports tried videos with post-roll ads on Facebook, but ended that deal a few months ago.
Given that Facebook seems to be the social network of choice for virtually everyone you know, this seems to be a surprising development. However, are you more likely to be on Facebook or Twitter during a NFL Sunday (or any live sporting or entertainment event, for that matter)? That is likely why the NFL recently renewed its deal with Twitter for two more years.
(Although you could make the argument that those clips would be more “sticky” on Facebook and reach a wider audience on Facebook, rather than preaching to the diehard choir of football fans checking Twitter during games.)
Facebook’s loss is a gain for other social media outlets. In addition to the NFL extending its agreement with Twitter, the league also partnered with Snapchat during the NFL Draft and launched a YouTube channel earlier this year.