Facebook, CBS battling for NFL streaming rights


New York (AFP)

Facebook is vying for streaming rights for NFL football games in a contest also being waged by CBS, the companies said Tuesday.

Facebook confirmed to AFP that it has been in talks with the NFL about streaming rights for Thursday night football games.

The news from Facebook was first reported by the entertainment news site Variety, which said Amazon and Verizon were also bidding.

"We're talking to a lot of folks about live (video)," Facebook vice president Dan Rose was quoted as saying.

"There are a ton of types of content that can fit under this format," Rose said.

Rose said Facebook is also interested in content before or after games in the locker room, behind the scenes or on the field.

"There's a lot of interesting things we can do with sports," Rose told Variety.

CBS chairman and chief executive Les Moonves said separately Tuesday the broadcaster, which has a portion of the NFL Thursday games, was also interested in maintaining streaming rights for those events.

"We want the rights to have those games on CBS All Access," Moonves said, referring to the new stand-alone online service launched by CBS.

"Discussions are ongoing with the NFL and we think it will be valuable to get" those rights, Moonves said at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference.

CBS said previously that it had agreed to a provision for games to be shown on a non-CBS streaming service, but which allow the network to get advertising revenues from the streaming service.