MASHABLE – The NFL recently sent a memo to its teams saying they’ll be fined $25,000 for posting unapproved video during games, according to a copy of the notice that was obtained by Mashable.
And that’s just for a first offense; a second infraction will draw a $50,000 fine. Any thereafter will draw a fine of “up to” $100,000 as well as “loss of rights to post League-Controlled Content (including game footage).”
There’s more, too. On a subsequent conference call with public relations, marketing, social media and digital personnel from all 32 teams to go over the new rules, the league deemed video to be “anything that moves,” according to a source from one franchise who was on the call.
That includes GIFs from previous games of players celebrating, or even pop culture GIFs such as tangentially relevant quotes from Seinfeld or other TV shows. So, for now at least, even moving images of Harambe are off limits during games (let’s pour a little out for him yet again).
Watching major old-school companies’ responses to social media is LOL-funny.
Remember The Olympics? That’s not a rhetorical question, you actually might not, because nobody in our age demo watched them or cared about them. Ratings down 25% with 18-49 year olds. Of course this was instantly chalked up to “millennials just being too damn lazy to watch TV anymore” or something – meanwhile the IOC and NBC were actively shutting down Twitter accounts and going after people legally for putting out highlights on the social platforms that age demo lives on. So nobody ever knew what was going on or got excited enough to care.
And now you have the NFL, whose ratings are down 10% this year.
Their response? Institute a “no highlights or relatable memes” policy on teams.
On Twitter, for example, the memo says “video may not be posted from kickoff until 60 minutes after the conclusion of the game” by teams. The exception is “club ‘re-posts’ of League video.”
The league also told teams the new guidelines are “not to be distributed externally to any third parties, including, but not limited to, our social media partners,” according to an email obtained by Mashable.
So: Don’t post original video, and don’t tell reps from Facebook or Twitter why our game-day strategy has changed.
That should fix it!
Every 25 year old, at least all the ones I know certainly, is going to see their Twitter timeline dry up, drop their phone to the ground and sprint to their nearest TV to tune into CBS.
NFL fans (who already despise the people who run the league with a palpable hatred) are going to see their fan experience take a hit and teams will lose a major opportunity to interact and engage. But the NFL ratings will SKYROCKET back to the top with no Seinfeld or Harambe memes at least, which has always been the most obvious culprit for declining viewership.
It definitely doesn’t have anything to do with a product that’s getting worse, garbage games being force fed to us on Thursday nights and at 9 AM from overseas, superstar players being suspended for underinflated footballs, players being punished and penalized for celebrating anything fun in any way.
It’s the damn memes.
Also putting this rule one month into the season with no heads-up to any of the teams. Panic much?
This was my favorite part of the article.
In the NFL season opener, Darian Stewart of the Broncos was fined $18,231 for an illegal hit on league MVP Cam Newton. Under the new guidelines, had the Broncos or Panthers then used Twitter to post video of the hit that was not a “re-post” of a “League video,” the team could be hit with a $25,000 fine — more than Stewart was fined for delivering the illegal hit in the first place.