The NFL announced today that websites will not be permitted to run clips of NFL footage longer than 45 seconds. The NFL just doesn’t the power of the internet. Major League Baseball has MLB.tv, a network where subscribers get to see and hear footage of every baseball game and during the off season, subscribers get to watch footage of management and analysts talk about the business of baseball. NBA.com has highlights and games.
In a move designed to protect the Internet operations of its 32 teams, the pro football league has told news organizations that it will no longer permit them to carry unlimited online video clips of players, coaches or other officials, including video that the news organizations gather themselves on a team’s premises. News organizations can post no more than 45 seconds per day of video shot at a team’s facilities, including news conferences, interviews and practice-field reports.
But this move isn’t to protect its property from winding up on YouTube, it limits media organizations from broadcasting content of practices on their websites to 45 seconds per day. Why does the NFL not want more people exposed to their game? Sure the stadiums pack 75,000 plus fans to the stadium eight Sundays a year, but what about the novice fans who learn about football from their local news channel or favorite non-sports website such as Yahoo or Google?
The future of sports, television, entertainment online is one that’s open and allows the sometimes fan to become a die-hard fan by learning every aspect of the game from the linear 60 game to behind the scenes moments such as player commentary.
The NFL should learn a lesson from the NBA and make the game more accessible to the public and the press not less.