Home > Public Relations, Social Media > NFL says NO to Social Media

NFL says NO to Social Media

Sorry Facebook, sorry Twitter, no in game updates from Chad Ochochinco this season reports Mashable.com. 85’s plans to tweet from the endzone have been struck down by the NFL’s Social Media Policy.

What’s really interesting about this policy announcement is reporters are also banned from using social media to relay in-game updates. Here’s directly from the NFL’s Social Media Policy:

“While a game is in progress, any forms of accounts of the game must be sufficiently time-delayed and limited in amount (e.g., score updates with detail given only in quarterly game updates) so that the accredited organization’s game coverage cannot be used as a substitute for, or otherwise approximate, authorized play-by-play accounts.”

Mashable’s Adam Ostrow makes a great point, this policy seems more geared towards protecting “lucrative TV contracts” than anything else. It seems the NFL fears Twitter will nullify DirecTV’s Sunday Ticket and other available packages. Think about it, why pay for the season pass when you can follow live game updates from your Twitter feed? A simple hashtag plus your team’s name should do the trick (#falconsgame).

In my opinion, this is absolutely ridiculous and someone within the NFL’s policy committee is out of the loop. Social Media does not take away from the experience, it adds to it. The NFL is missing an opportunity to reach a much larger audience. By combining the NFL’s traditional coverage with that of social media, the league could create a ubiquitous gaming experience. An experience in which the average fan becomes completely engrossed in the action, but… they missed it.

An interesting side note: while this policy may stop players and reporters from tweeting during the game, it cannot stop fans. The information will reach the people regardless, there’s no stopping it. Fans are free to tweet in-game updates just as fast as their thumbs will allow. Why the NFL has decided to tie the hands of it’s professionals is beyond me.

If you want to see social media done properly, follow @PGATOUR on Twitter. Every tournament weekend, the Tour augments their TV coverage with live updates from around the course thereby giving the viewer the sense of actually being present at the tourney. As I said before, social media doesn’t take away from an experience, it enhances it.

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