I’m going to come right out and admit to being a philistine. To me, football is 3 minutes of actual action, 45 minutes of replays of said action at different angles and another 45 minutes of commercials. 1 However, even I can see why the Facebook / NFL agreement is a huge get for the social media platform.
Per the Wall Street Journal, the NFL will be posting short clips to Facebook, which can include anything from game highlights to tips on creating and running Fantasy Football teams. At the end of the videos, there will be an ad from Verizon. There are already a few videos up on the Facebook NFL Video page, and the BeastQuake video (currently the most recent on the page) has the sponsored by Verizon tag at the bottom of the video as well as a few second ad at the end. Facebook and the NFL are to split the revenue, but neither has indicated how the split will work.
This is huge for Facebook
Apparently, the NFL is very, very protective of their brand. According to another report from the Wall Street Journal, even stations that are allowed to carry NFL games aren’t necessarily given permission to even so much as tweet about them. The fact that the NFL is willing to let Facebook use its Precious for advertising purposes is a Big Deal, especially when you consider that the NFL doesn’t even have an official YouTube page. Add that to the fact that people seem more inclined to upload their videos directly to Facebook rather than sharing from YouTube, and you can see why YouTube’s corner on video sharing may be turning into a circle.2
Ads at the END of videos?
When I first heard that Facebook was putting ads at the end of videos, I pretty much assumed immediate failure, even knowing that you had to see the ad to hit the replay button. I mean, you can just scroll back to the part you wanted to look at again with the progress bar. However, when I actually watched the ad at the end of the one video that does have the ad, I changed my mind. In addition to being very short, it also incorporated an NFL player, which means that most people will watch it all the way through. I don’t see 30 second ads doing well at the end of videos, but short ones will probably be seen before people really realize that they’re done watching the part they wanted to see.
Additionally, since it’s still in the theme of football, I figure most football fans will watch and be amused. If Facebook can ensure that the ads they’re appending to videos relate to the video in question, I think they’ll have a winner. However, that’s not particularly realistic to do with all videos, which is a problem since I can’t imagine that Facebook will want to run through all that bandwidth without getting something in return. (Like, you know, cash.)
 And of course, wonderful commentary like, “If team A wants to win, they’re going to need to score more points that team B, which is to say, get the ball over the goal line, possibly with some kicking involved.”
 Or a wall. Or something. The metaphor got out of hand. What I’m saying is YouTube should be very concerned.