There has been plenty of hand-wringing about the NFL’s future this year after a dip in ratings and advertiser concern over protest coverage on TV, but Verizon is making a $2 billion bet on the sport’s prosperous future.
Verizon will stream NFL playoff games in January as it kicks off the multiyear deal. The new relationship will include regular NFL games, playoff games and at least one Super Bowl over the course of several years, but the partners were not specific.
Verizon’s last deal with the NFL, which runs through the current season, cost the carrier $1 billion over four years. Besides the price, the big change between the old deal and the new one is that Verizon won’t make the streams exclusive to its subscribers anymore. Instead, it will stream the games on a variety of Verizon-owned properties—including Yahoo, AOL, Go90 and Complex—to any phone or tablet in the U.S.; it will focus in particular on its Yahoo Sports hub.
The renewed and expanded pact will run through the 2022-23 season. The new Verizon-NFL deal covers all in-market and national games, including preseason, regular season and playoff games—including the Super Bowl. The package includes live-streaming rights to the NFL’s Thursday, Sunday and Monday Night Football games, and the Sunday day games that air on TV in viewers’ local markets.
The partnership will also include mobile access to jointly-developed original content, Verizon said.