Sports

Verizon and National Football League reach digital streaming agreement

Verizon and National Football League reach digital streaming agreement

The deal begins next month, meaning postseason games and the Super Bowl will be streamed on Verizon platforms.

"Starting with the upcoming playoffs and for seasons to come, live National Football League action directly on your mobile device - regardless of carrier - will give millions of fans additional ways to follow their favorite sport", National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell said.

The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Verizon now has a $250 million streaming deal with the National Football League, but the new deal will increase the availability of content and not limit it to Verizon mobile subscribers.

In order to monetize the deal, Verizon will have ad inventory within the games that they stream on mobile, which includes in-market games on Thursday, Sunday, Sunday night and Monday night. Games will continue to be available via the NFL's mobile app.

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The new Verizon-NFL deal covers all in-market and national games, including preseason, regular season, and playoff games - including the Super Bowl - available to anyone in the US, on any mobile carrier or network provider.

"Verizon's portfolio of premium digital and mobile media properties, including Yahoo (NASDAQ:) Sports, will stream in-market and national games, including national pre-season, regular season, playoff games, and the Super Bowl nationwide to sports fans - regardless of mobile network", Verizon, the no. 1 US wireless carrier, said in a statement. That would be roughly twice the annual price of Verizon's previous deal with the league. Now the focus is on building its other platforms, particularly since Verizon bought Yahoo earlier this year for $4.5 billion.

The biggest part of that increase comes from an increase in media-rights fees, rather than sponsorship revenue.

The NFL has divvied up the rights to its crown jewels - the live games - across TV and digital partners for the last several years. Also, starting with the 2018 NFL season, Verizon will become the presenting sponsor of the Pro Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine. In 2015, Yahoo paid to offer the first global, free live-stream of a game from London.

"It was important to us to make our games more accessible to our fans", Mr. Goodell said. "Verizon understood we needed to go cross-carrier". There have been calls for eliminating or at least reducing the number of Thursday games, but the National Football League hasn't indicated if it would reduce the package. The current pact expires after this season.


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