NFL, Facebook reach programming deal amid national anthem protests

The NFL and Facebook announced a global programming deal Tuesday that will allow the social media giant to post game highlights and recaps from every regular season game.

Facebook will not be allowed to post live footage of NFL games. However, NFL media will also provide exclusive content that will air on the burgeoning “Facebook Watch” platform, according to a press release. Weekly content offerings will include three programs, dubbed NFL Turning Point, Sound FX and NFL Game Recaps.

“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."

The deal’s financial terms were not disclosed. Facebook and NFL representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.

The programming deal was announced in the midst of an unprecedented wave of protests by NFL players after President Trump called on team owners to fire anyone who kneels during the national anthem. More than 200 players participated in some form of demonstration last Sunday, with multiple teams opting to skip the national anthem entirely.

For Facebook, the partnership marks the latest instance of a push to secure original sports content. The social media site also has deals to broadcast college football games, professional soccer and Major League Baseball games.

The NFL adds Facebook to a growing portfolio of digital partners. The league sold streaming rights to 11 games to Amazon this year for a reported $50 million.