Amidst news that NFL ratings are down 14% among 18-to-49-year old viewers during Thursday, Sunday, and Monday night games, the NFL is now reportedly threatening to fine individual teams for posting videos on their social media accounts before and during games.
Albert Breer of the MMQB obtained a memo sent from the NFL to all 32 teams this week, which shows serious monetary fines beginning this weekend for teams that post highlights during games. Instead, the NFL wants teams to re-post the content from the NFL accounts.
“We’ve obtained a memo that went out to all 32 teams reflecting that, starting Oct. 12, clubs are subject to a new fine schedule for exceeding the limits on video and any moving content. Those are particularly strict during the 60 minutes leading up to games, and through games, with clubs largely limited to re-posting from the NFL’s own accounts (with some allowance for approved content on Snapchat).”
As Breer explains, posting a video of a helmet-to-helmet hit will result in a larger fine than will the hit itself:
“The memo says that first-time offenders will be fined up to $25,000, a second offence will warrant a fine of up to $50,000, and a third offence will merit a fine of up to $100,000 and loss of rights to post league-controlled content. To put that in perspective, Broncos safety Darian Stewart was fined $18,231 for his high hit on Cam Newton in the opener. Under this policy, if Denver had posted video of the hit, the team could incur a heavier penalty for a first-time offence.”
The NFL has denied that this new policy is connected to the faltering ratings. From Breer:
“The NFL, for its part, says the new enforcement measures are unrelated to the ratings issue, but it is — at least — a sign that the league is being increasingly careful with its most valuable content.”
If that is the case, one wonders why the NFL rolled out this policy during the middle of the season and not in the preseason.
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