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Snapchat Inks NFL Deal to Bring Football Into Its Live Stories

The two entities will split ad revenue tied to the content.


Are you ready for some football? Snapchat is!

Snapchat has landed a one-year deal with the NFL to bring photos and videos from around the league into the company’s Live Stories feature. The deal, which runs through this year’s Super Bowl, means Snapchat will host at least one NFL Live Story each weekend with the possibility for other stories around individual games like Monday or Thursday Night Football. (Snapchat will create a story for Thursday’s Broncos versus Chiefs matchup, for example.)

Both Snapchat and the NFL will sell advertising around the stories and split revenue depending on which side brings on the ad partner. Snapchat is high on its Live Stories offering, and now it has some of the most coveted content aroundNFL content — as a way to entice more advertisers onto the platform.

One thing worth noting, though: The NFL won’t be sharing broadcast footage with Snapchat. So while a fan or NFL employee might snap a play or two from the stands or sideline, professional, TV-quality video won’t be added to the story.

It is interesting, then, that Snapchat decided to bring the NFL on as a formal partner. It already does these kinds of live stories around major events like the GOP primary debates or NYC Fashion Week, so it’s plausible that Snapchat could have set up these stories on their own without having to share any revenue with the NFL. The benefit of the deal, though, is that the NFL will contribute content to the story that regular fans probably won’t have access to, like pregame or postgame content from the locker room.

The benefit to the NFL is easier to understand: Reach. Snapchat’s head of partnerships told Re/code back in June that its Live Stories draw an audience of 20 million people, and that’s a nice addition to the league’s roster of existing deals.

It already partners with Facebook and YouTube, and just recently announced a two-year extension with Twitter. Before the extension, the NFL and Twitter split revenue in a way similar to the current arrangement with Snapchat. But under the new deal, the NFL is paid up front for the content it provides, so it makes money regardless of how much ad inventory is sold. It’s likely that the NFL is hoping for a similar package from Snapchat down the road.

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