The world's largest social network and the National Football League have partnered to bring ad-supported game clips to Facebook, according to a new report.
Facebook users will soon see NFL video clips pop up in their news feeds, The Wall Street Journal is reporting, citing people who have knowledge of the deal. Verizon is so far the only sponsor for the clips and will have one of its ads roll at the end of each highlight, according to the report. Facebook and the NFL reportedly plan to share in the ad revenue, though neither side has revealed the share they get.
The partnership with the NFL could be a boon for Facebook, which continues to grow as a popular destination for video content. The NFL is one of the most popular sports in the US and with this season wrapping up and playoff spots up for grabs, having game clips pop up on news feeds could dramatically increase the amount of viewership across the social network.
The NFL benefits as well. Through it's not clear exactly how the clips will pop up and this is believed to be a test for now, Facebook is opening its 1.3-billion-user-strong network to the league and providing a new revenue opportunity for the NFL.
The move might also underscore how important Facebook has become in the world of digital video. The NFL does not provide official video clips to the leader in the space, YouTube, but has inked a similar deal with Twitter -- a much smaller social network.
According to the Journal, which spoke with a Facebook spokeswoman, the test's scope will be "small" in nature to start and the companies will then decide what to do after the period is up. For now, Verizon ads will roll after the clips, but Facebook anticipates adding more sponsors and trying other methods of delivering ads within the clips.
None of the companies involved in the deal immediately respond to a request for comment.