The NFL Gives Its Media Properties “Unique Access”

NFL Networks control roomThis summer, the nation’s most popular spectator sport took an unusual step. The NFL put in place a policy to prevent news organizations from distributing over 45 seconds of video shot at League facilities per day.  About the same time the NFL also imposed restrictions on player blogs.

One frequently stated reason for this was web traffic. Stations and networks were creating large collections of online video content, drawing fans and revenue to station websites.  If team websites were the exclusive source for this kind of video content, the NFL franchises could profit and the league could better control fan experience.

But the benefit of having exclusive unlimited “on site” content doesn’t stop at the web. The NFL’s 24×7 cable sports network promotes this exclusive advantage.

With a camera at each of the 32 NFL team facilities, plus tremendous cooperation from the NFL players, coaches, owners, officials and executives, the unique access allows viewers to get closer to the NFL experience than ever before.

Of all the professional sports, the NFL has unprecedented experience in re-pourposing game day content.  Since 1964 the League has operated NFL Films, winning 52 Emmy’s for accounts of heroic games from the past and blooper films.  Wired Magazine recently covered NFL Films efforts to digitize and tag over 100 million feet of film it its library. It’s the backbone of the NFL network, and a source nearly endless video for its websites.

Do you have thoughts about the NFL as a media, copyright, or advertising player? What will change as it more directly competes with the networks which cover it?

Please comment here. Over the next few weeks I hope to post follow up postings. I  apprediate your thoughts.

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