Facebook has backed out of talks with the NFL to live stream some of the league’s games next season, according to a Bloomberg report that quotes a source familiar with the negotiations. Facebook had been among a number of companies interested in picking up the streaming rights for Thursday Night Football. A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment.
Facebook’s VP of partnerships Dan Rose had confirmed his company’s interest in these rights in an interview with Variety earlier this month, but also said at the time that Facebook had other options as well. “We’re talking to a lot of folks about live (video). There are a ton of types of content that can fit under this format,” Rose said.
Bloomberg is now reporting that talks between the two parties broke down over monetization models. The NFL wanted to include traditional advertising in the stream, whereas Facebook wanted to keep the video feed ad-free, according to the report.
Facebook started to embark on its live streaming initiative last summer, when it selectively made Facebook Live available to celebrities. The company has since opened up live streaming to all of its users, and more prominently integrated live video feeds in its users’ timelines. Rose confirmed in his interview with Variety that Facebook has started to pay some celebrities for using Facebook Live, but said that the actual amounts paid were modest. “It’s not going to be huge amounts of money,” Rose said.
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With Facebook out of the picture, the NFL may still try to sell Thursday Night rights to other online services. Some of the companies that have signaled interest include Amazon and Verizon.