On Monday, Verizon announced a massive deal that will allow the media giant to “distribute live games and content” for the NFL.
Previously exclusive to its own customers, Verizon will now live-stream and distribute in-market and national NFL games through its various online and mobile platforms, regardless of network. This will include the preseason, regular season, playoffs, and the Super Bowl. The deal begins in January 2018 with this season’s playoffs and extends through 2022.
The games will stream through Yahoo Sports, Go90, and the NFL Mobile app. Beyond the games themselves, the deal includes highlights and original content co-developed by Verizon and the NFL. Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam told CNBC that “to go to Yahoo Sports now via your mobile device and be able to watch any game is something no one else offers,” calling it the “first step” in building Verizon’s presence as “a sports pillar of the company.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also believes this is the best way forward for football as a whole, explaining that “we see more and more of our fans moving to new devices, particularly phones, to get our content.”
While the official numbers have not been disclosed, reports suggest that the deal is worth approximately $500 million per year, for a total value of roughly $2.5 billion. That estimate puts it at twice the price of Verizon’s previous deal with the National Football League.
The NFL has faced considerable challenges this year as the shadow of political division has darkened the gridiron, as the NFL continues to hemorrhage fans due to unhappiness over protests during the National Anthem.
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