Published: Mon, December 11, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

NFL, Verizon Set Massive $2 Billion Five-Year Streaming Deal

NFL, Verizon Set Massive $2 Billion Five-Year Streaming Deal

The next rights contract that comes up is the Thursday night package, which is now shared by Comcast Corp.'s NBC, CBS Corp.'s CBS and the NFL-owned NFL Network, along with the Amazon streaming deal. Unlike the old deal, the new deal does not give Verizon mobile exclusivity - fans will have access to the streams regardless of mobile network. The current pact expires after this season.

Verizon has been an National Football League sponsor since 2010, and that relationship will remain in place, the two said Monday. Sources said that the media rights and sponsorship deal is worth an average of close to $500M per year, an increase that almost doubles the $250M per year Verizon is paying as part of its current four-year deal. Unlike the last deal, which only allowed Verizon to have the exclusive streaming rights for in-market live games on mobile phones, the live in-market games will be available on the Verizon platforms on phones of all carriers starting this postseason. That means you're still limited to whatever your local Fox or CBS station would be airing on TV; DirecTV still has an exclusive grip on out-of-market games. Presumably, all of this will be available within the Yahoo Sports app.

Besides live streaming, Verizon will have broader highlight rights, plans to experiment with augmented reality and virtual reality, and also plans to use the National Football League deal to produce original content across Verizon's network of sites organized under a new content company called Oath.

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"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 CEO Lowell McAdam said in a statement, via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk.

The increase in money comes more from media-rights fees than sponsorship revenue itself. Specifically, NFL postseason games will be available on Yahoo, Yahoo Sports, and Go90 (along with the NFL Mobile app) beginning no later than the conference championships on January 21. Facebook is said to be particularly aggressive: The social giant is seeking to hire an exec who will have a budget of a "few billion dollars" for sports-rights deals, Sports Business Journal reported last month.

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