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Does NFL Reddit Partnership Mean Streams Will Be Shut Down Like NBA's Soon?

The NFL had one more offseason transaction to announce before officially kicking off its centennial season on Thursday.

The league has added Reddit Inc. as one of its new digital marketing platforms. This new collaboration is set to take advantage of the “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) feature that Reddit has become renowned for. Reddit will also feature video content featuring league players and personalities.

The AMA’s will allow players to express and showcase their unique viewpoints and personalities, according to NFL vice president of digital media business development Blake Stuchin.

“Generally, the participants will be representing themselves, first and foremost, and not necessarily the views of the NFL,” Stuchin said, per Sahil Patel of The Wall Street Journal. “But the bulk of the conversations we have seen on Reddit, and the bulk of what people generally want to talk about, is core football.

Anything beyond that, it’s really no different than the comments we see on any user-generated or social platform.”

While access to players and new league-branded content may be exciting news, it begs the question of what will become of the Reddit page entitled NFLStreams.

The channel provides streams, often provided by Reddit users themselves, to any televised NFL game free of charge. It’s a particularly attractive option to football fans who don’t have the Sunday Ticket package (which remains exclusive to DirectTV) or have decided to cut the cord entirely.

With the NFL directly involved with Reddit, some have worried that NFLStreams could suffer a similar fate to its NBA counterpart. NBAStreams had over 400,000 subscribers tuning into the streams, mostly of games whose only national option was the NBA League Pass package.

NBAStreams was shut down in June for violation of Reddit’s “Repeat Copyright Infringement Policy”. Such a policy reads…

Our policy is to close the accounts of users, in appropriate circumstances, who have repeatedly been charged with copyright infringement. Sometimes a repeat infringement problem is limited to one user and we close just that user’s account. Other times, the problem pervades a whole subreddit community and we close the subreddit.

It’s great to see that the NFL is branching out a new, growing social media platform. Whether it spells the end of the channel remains to be seen. But with piracy prevention taking on a larger importance and role in today’s digital media world, it may be time for fans who relied on such a service to start worrying, especially with the NFL directly involved with Reddit.