The National Football League has released new social media guidelines for teams that prohibit the use of live-streaming and distributing GIFs, according to ESPN. The rules are apparently designed to ensure viewers go through official NFL channels for video content. This means that teams that post reaction GIFs during games could face steep fines.
ESPN and Mashable obtained a pair of memos which outlined the new rules. Teams are not permitted to post video from within the stadium to social media, including live streams from services such as Facebook Live or Periscope. According to Mashable, the prohibition begins at kickoff, and ends an hour after the game’s conclusion.
Teams are also prohibited from posting their own game highlights, and can’t take video and turn it into GIF form to post online. Mashable reported that the League informed teams that it considers "video to be ‘anything that moves,’" but that it would be clarifying its policy regarding GIFs with teams.
The NFL warned that violations will result in steep fines: up to $25,000 for the first offense, $50,000 for the second, and up to $100,000 for additional infractions. Mashable reported that additional violations could result in the "loss of rights to post League-Controlled Content (including game footage)." SB Nation notes that these fines could be higher than the ones levied on players for illegal hits.
The policy will go into effect on October 12th.