To ensure that there is some sport to go with all the advertising, the National Football League has strict rules about league, broadcast, and team-level sponsorships. But one thing the league will never do, it seems, is nix commercial breaks from its programming. It does, after all, host the biggest advertising event of the year—the Super Bowl.
Facebook withdrew its bid to stream Thursday Night Football live on the social network because it couldn’t agree with the NFL on how to monetize the games, Bloomberg reported yesterday (Apr. 1), citing a person with knowledge of the discussions. Facebook is keeping its live videos commercial-free, for now, and the NFL wouldn’t part with TV-style ad breaks, the publication said. The pair had been in talks over the digital rights for at least a month.
The early-morning games in London that are packaged with Thursday-night rights were also a sticking point for Facebook, according to Bloomberg’s source.
The NFL is reportedly still shopping the digital rights to Thursday Night Football and is expected to announce a deal next week, sources close to the matter told CNN Money’s Brian Stelter, per his Reliable Sources newsletter. Verizon, Amazon, and YouTube are rumored to be in the running.
CBS and NBC share the broadcast rights to Thursday Night Football, as part of a two-year, $900-million deal that closed in February.