Today, the WSJ reported that the NFL’s video test with Facebook ended “quietly” earlier this year. The publication also referred to it as a “partnership,” a term that is used very loosely in business, especially here in the Valley. But hey, maybe Facebook decided to end the thing (we’ve asked Facebook and will update if we hear back).
The test involved promoting Verizon-sponsored, NFL-related clips within people’s news feeds with post-roll ads. We’re guessing it didn’t work, otherwise it would have turned into an actual deal.
With the NFL regular season coming fast, this is a big win for Twitter and a big loss for Facebook.
Of course the NFL is trying to figure out the best place to spend its time and dollars, and the Vine + Twitter (and eventually Periscope) experience seems to be the best match. I mean, the NFL is trusting Twitter with the lead on ad sales for the duration of the deal. There’s trust there.
However, the NFL isn’t dumb enough to put all of its eggs into one basket, but the Facebook basket appears to have not done enough to move any needles. That’s not a good sign for Facebook.
As a sports fan, and user of both services, I’m not surprised. It seems like Twitter is the perfect place for all aspects of sporting events, including video. Maybe the NFL (or Facebook) agreed? It makes sense that the NFL would be testing and using all platforms to promote its business, and they are, including Snapchat and YouTube.
When it comes to video ads on these social platforms, everyone has to go back to the drawing board as far as I’m concerned. When I’m on Twitter and tap a 20-second video to watch, seeing a 7-second pre-roll advertisement is ridiculous. In fact, I close them when I see the ad spin up.
The NFL season starts on September 10, and I’ll save you the time if you’re wondering…the Eagles are going to win it all.