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NFL clamps down on broadcasters’ use of game video online

For the upcoming NFL season, the football league has increased to 90 seconds the time TV stations can air interviews with players and coaches and other non-game activity on their Web sites. Last year, it was 45 seconds. That’s as long as stations include a clear Web link to and the content is removed after 24 hours. Still, stations cannot use any game highlights on the Web.

By limiting stations’ use of game content, the NFL is holding on to the rights of all video shot in and around their stadiums. The new regulations first went into effect prior to the 2006-2007 season.

The NFL gives stations the right to broadcast a total of six minutes of highlights on Sunday and two minutes every other day for either news reporting or coach and fan shows. That includes highlights shot by the station itself as well as by anybody else. The game video must be removed from any show before it is archived.

So far, the new NFL rules this year haven’t been finalized and arguments continue between broadcasters and the football league.

Other sports leagues are looking at the NFL to lead the way on the issue and will likely follow their decisions.