NFL, Verizon Ink Expanded Deal to Stream Live Games on Mobile Phones
The NFL continued to expand its mobile streaming strategy this week, inking a new deal with Verizon that will allow the wireless carrier’s customers to stream more live NFL games than ever before on their mobile phones. The reportedly four-year, $1 billion extension (according to WSJ), marks yet another step in the league’s continued push to make live games available on mobile devices to a fan base that watches more and more content on the go.
Under the current deal, the NFL Mobile from Verizon service offered live streaming of Thursday Night Football on NFL Network, Sunday Night Football on NBC, and Monday Night Football on ESPN, as well as NFL Network and NFL Redzone on mobile devices. The new deal, which begins with the 2014 season, will expand to include access to live CBS and Fox Sunday afternoon games within their home markets, as well as all postseason playoff games, including the Super Bowl.
According to the league’s press release, the new enhanced NFL Mobile from Verizon service will include inside access to news, stats, exclusive game highlights, plus an extensive collection of on-demand video featuring analysis and inside access from NFL Network and NFL Films. In addition, fans will have access to other features including fantasy, customizable NFL alerts, ringtones, and graphics.
The NFL and Verizon also plan to launch an updated version of the NFL Mobile app for the 2013 season that will be available to all fans regardless of their wireless carrier.
According to SportsBusiness Daily, the deal only applies to live streaming on mobile phones – not tablets. SBD also says that Verizon will work with the league to establish enhanced WiFi and cellular connectivity at NFL venues (though the company refused to guarantee a standard level of connectivity at each venue because of the varied conditions across NFL venues stadiums).
The deal represents a substantial increase over the current four-year NFL-Verizon deal, which is valued at $720 million (WSJ).