The NFL announced a multi-year deal with Verizon Communications on Monday to live stream in-market and national games, including playoff games and the Super Bowl, across Verizon’s digital and mobile media properties to users in the U.S.
Jen Booton | SportTechie
Verizon, which is an official sponsor of the NFL, will officially kick off the partnership in January by streaming the NFL playoffs on Yahoo and Yahoo Sports, which the telecommunications conglomerate acquired in June. That will be in addition to the go90 and NFL mobile app streaming options already available. Next year, national preseason and regular season games will be included.
The agreement will additionally provide fans with mobile access to NFL highlights, coverage of NFL throughout the week and year, and a set of jointly-developed original content. All content will be available to mobile users through Verizon properties regardless of carrier (meaning you aren’t required to have Verizon Wireless, which had exclusive rights since 2010).
“Starting with the upcoming playoffs and for seasons to come, live NFL action directly on your mobile device – regardless of carrier – will give millions of fans additional ways to follow their favorite sport,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.
Verizon and Oath, the subsidiary that oversees its digital and mobile media properties, lead in U.S. monthly mobile millennial reach and more than 200 million U.S. monthly unique mobile and digital views, according to the companies.
“We’re making a commitment to fans for Verizon’s family of media properties to become the mobile destination for live sports,” Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said in a statement.
In exchange for offering the NFL expanded access across its digital properties, Verizon will work with individual NFL teams to implement its “Smart Stadium” technology to provide teams with internet services that improve stadium operations.
“The NFL is a great partner for us and we are excited to take its premier content across a massive mobile scale so viewers can enjoy live football and other original NFL content where and how they want it,” McAdam said.
This deal comes as the NFL continues to explore ways to expand the reach of its content through digital properties, which fans have been turning to with increased frequency to consume sports content.
Amazon replaced Twitter as the digital rightsholder to stream 11 of the NFL’s Thursday Night Football games this season, something NFL Chief Media and Business Officer Brian Rolapp told Recode in April was an effort to expand the league’s reach.
At the start of this season, CBS executives said they didn’t view online streaming giants, such as Amazon or Facebook, as competitors to their ratings yet — but admitted that they could become a problem in the future. It’s unclear whether this mobile streaming deal with Verizon will impact Amazon’s rights next season.
To begin watching the live mobile experience on Yahoo in January, download the Yahoo Sports app on iOS and Google Play.