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After struggling with the issue for two years, the National Football League is set to further loosen restrictions on teams' use of social media to better engage fans to expand their individual brands.

The pending and more lenient plan would allow teams to greatly increase the volume of content they distribute through current social media channels. Teams would also be allowed to create their own connected TV apps, which could strengthen the bond between clubs and their fan bases.

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The future is in doubt for a proposal that would allow coaches to use video on their tablets sidelines during games, with the NFL confirming that it will not take the field for the 2017 season.

In an unanticipated development last spring, teams voted to table the proposal, which the league called "game ready." When the same group assembles this weekend in Chicago, there will be no vote on sideline video.

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Looking to take its games far beyond the U.S. and Europe, the National Football League today announced a partnership with Perform Group to help market TV rights and its Game Pass online service in the Middle East, Asia and South America.

Under the agreement, U.K.-based Perform, with offices in 23 countries, will push the TV rights to NFL games in select markets. The immediate focus is on Brazil, Asia and the Middle East for the 2017 season. The self-described sports content and media company offers a wide variety of assets.

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