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NFL eases clampdown on social media use by teams

American football league the NFL has moved to relax its new in-game video and social media rules for individual teams following a backlash from franchises and fans.

ESPN.com, citing a memo distributed by the league, said teams can now capture and post GIFs of “ancillary content,” such as touchdown celebrations and player reactions during games, as well as publish any “in-progress video” available via the NFL's internal distribution system to team websites.

Teams can now also conduct one pregame live stream via Periscope or Facebook Live per game and use postgame content immediately, rather than post it on a one-hour delay. Teams also can now upload five snaps of live in-game action to Snapchat per game, a move that was previously prohibited.

ESPN.com said the key change allows for teams to post unlimited GIFs of highlights, which don't count against individual team video quotas. The Yahoo Finance website added that teams can now post up to 16 videos per game day, twice the amount previously allowed.

The Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles staged thinly veiled protests against the NFL’s new social media rules after they were implemented on October 12.

NFL teams were barred from recording videos inside a stadium during a game and posting the footage on social media. They were also prevented from streaming any live action from a game via platforms such as Facebook Live and Periscope, and were not able to post highlights directly to social media.

The Browns and Eagles used their games on October 16, against the Tennessee Titans and Washington Redskins, respectively, to recreate key plays using toy figurines, posting the resulting videos on their social media channels.