Verizon, NFL strike deal to bring game streaming to any mobile network

Verizon's acquisition of Yahoo gives the mobile carrier a massive platform to stream NFL games, starting in January 2018.

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(Image: file photo)

Verizon and the National Football League on Monday announced a nearly $2.5 billion, five year deal, that gives Verizon the ability to stream live in-market and national NFL games on any of its websites, including Yahoo Sports.

The new deal also gives Verizon streaming rights of NFL games on phones and tablets of all carriers starting in January 2018. Under Verizon and NFL's previous deal, Verizon had exclusive streaming rights for only mobile phones.

Verizon said it will deliver NFL pre-season, regular season, playoff games, and the Super Bowl games on its own mobile network, Yahoo, Yahoo Sports, go90, and NFL mobile app. Verizon told customers that to watch the live mobile experience on Yahoo in January, they will need to download the Yahoo Sports app on iOS and Google Play.

"This model allows our product to be much more broadly available and give greater access to our fans," Hans Schroeder, COO of NFL media and business, said. "People are still going to gravitate towards watching games on the best screen possible, which is television, but for people who are on-the-go and younger fans, this deal makes sense."

Verizon in June acquired Yahoo for $4.5 billion as it looks to add a massive content and advertising arm called Oath to its bustling mobile network. Tim Armstrong, former CEO of AOL, is now CEO of Oath, which is part of Verizon's Media and Telematics organization.

"We're making a commitment to fans for Verizon's family of media properties to become the mobile destination for live sports," Lowell McAdam, chairman and CEO of Verizon, said. "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."

Verizon said it plans to experiment with augmented reality and virtual reality, and the partnership includes work with individual NFL teams on "Smart Stadium technology" to help improve stadium operations.

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