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Facebook Scores Deal to Show Ad-Supported NFL Video Clips

Football fans, take note: You could soon start seeing NFL video clips in your Facebook News Feed. Facebook has scored a deal with the National Football League to distribute ad-supported NFL video clips on the world’s largest social-networking site. Details of the agreement, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, weren’t publicly announced. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the deal and said in a statement Wednesday to NBC News: "This is a small video sponsorship test, and we will be evaluating how people, publishers, and marketers respond to this kind of co-branded video content on Facebook.”

The limited test will kick off Tuesday, according to the Journal. It’s expected to work as follows: The NFL will post short videos to its Facebook pages. People who watch the clip will also see a sponsor ad at the bottom, along with a short post-roll at the end of the video. Facebook and the NFL would divvy up the ad revenue. Facebook, with a potential audience of more than 1.3 billion users, has been actively trying to grow and monetize its video business. It is tinkering with a new design for the video section of Facebook Pages. In July, it agreed to buy LiveRail, an advertising technology company that helps companies like Major League Baseball serve ads in the videos that appear on their websites and apps.

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— James Eng