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Image credit: Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

NFL could fine its own teams for social media posts

New rules allow teams to use more footage filmed on game days, but ban GIFs during games.
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Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Sports reputation as being DVR-proof has led some leagues to try and tightly control how and where their highlights show up online. While the NBA is relatively loose about allowing its clips on YouTube or Twitter, the NFL has gone after websites for posting video or GIFs before, and the Olympics banned outlets from posting GIFs this summer. Now, a leaked memo obtained by TheMMQB and Mashable reveals how the NFL can go after its own teams for posts by their social media accounts. Now, teams can be fined for exceeding the limits on video and any moving content (read: GIFs) posted during the 60 minutes before a game or during the game.

As noted by Pro Football Talk, these new rules actually loosen restrictions that had existed on using video from games, and recorded at the stadium on gameday. But the penalties put in place mean that for a first-time violation, a team could be fined $25,000 for an offending post, which ramps up to $50,000 the second time, and $100,000 plus the loss of rights to post league content for a third strike.

Mashable revealed that banned behavior includes tweeting video during the restricted time period, other than resharing video from official league accounts. While the ban on gametime GIFs (even for content that's not from the game itself) could be reviewed going forward, it seems likely that your preferred team's social media account will become a lot less personal while the game is happening. The big question however, is whether the NFL just wants more control over valuable game video and reach when the most people are paying attention, or if it's worried about ratings that, through the first quarter of the season, have noticeable declined?

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