Facebook to show NFL highlights after securing multiyear global deal with American football league

Joe Hall
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Thursday night NFL games are already being live-streamed by Amazon (Source: Getty)

Facebook will stream highlights of NFL matches around the world, in the latest agreement between a major sports league and a digital platform.

The social media behemoth has secured global rights for all 256 regular season games in the American football league, as well as the play-offs and Super Bowl as part of a multiyear deal.

Online highlights rights in the UK are currently owned by Sky Sports who also broadcast the majority of games live, while the BBC host a weekly highlights show and will show three live games starting with this weekend's New Orleans Saints v Miami Dolphins clash at Wembley.

The NFL, whose domestic TV audience has shrunk in recent years, will also produce bespoke content around the league for Facebook's Watch programme in the US.

Read more: Jacksonville Jaguars have won over UK fans says NFL franchise's man in London

"We have millions of fans on Facebook, and they continue to demonstrate an incredible appetite for NFL content," said NFL Media chief operating officer Hans Schroeder.

"We're excited to bring a compelling set of highlights and shows from the NFL and our clubs to our fans on Facebook."

Facebook's partnership with the NFL follows Amazon Prime's $50m (£37m) acquisition of live Thursday night games and comes while tech companies are showing an increased interest in snapping up sports content.

Read more: Three reasons why Amazon buying NFL rights is the most significant moment yet for sport's live streaming revolution

Last weekend's world heavyweight title fight between Hughie Fury and Joseph Parker was put up for pay-per-view purchase on YouTube, Amazon have purchased elite tennis on the ATP Tour, Spain's La Liga has been puchased by Russian social media giant VK and Facebook already hosts live MLS games.

"These full game recaps and shows will deliver comprehensive coverage while enabling the active NFL fan communities on Facebook to watch and debate the top storylines from each week," said Facebook's Head of Global Sports Partnerships Dan Reed.

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