Facebook is bidding on the rights to stream big-time NFL games --  and it wants to create a whole new experience

Facebook is bidding on the rights to stream NFL games, Facebook’s VP of partnerships Dan Rose told Variety
Rose confirmed that Facebook is in talks with the NFL about streaming “Thursday Night Football” games, though it’s competing with other bidders like Amazon and Verizon.

Live video has been a big push at Facebook recently.

Rose said that the company has been working to get celebrities like actors, athletes, and musicians onto the platform. Facebook has been offering these celebs six-figure checks, according to Re/code.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly “obsessed” with making Facebook’s live-video service a success.


Facebook is so focused on live video because of its high engagement, Rose told Variety. Users watch live video for three times longer than they watch recorded video, he revealed.

A different take on the NFL

Last fall, Yahoo secured the rights to stream its first NFL game. The game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills, played in London, was watched by 15.2 million unique viewers. Those numbers were a win for Yahoo, which reportedly struggled to sell ads for the game.

But expect Facebook to tackle the NFL differently.

“There’s a lot of interesting things we can do with sports,” Rose told Variety. “If you think about how people engage on Facebook today, it’s not really around watching three hours of video … There are a lot of different cuts you can imagine.”

Expect a Facebook NFL game to be an entire social experience crafted around the game, but not limited to the linear stream.

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