What Does the NFL Streaming Deal Mean for Verizon?



New NFL deal

According to the Wall Street Journal, Verizon (VZ) has inked a new five-year streaming deal with the National Football League for more than $2.0 billion. Under this deal, Verizon would extend the rights to stream NFL games to mobile devices across all mobile carriers. Verizon previously offered exclusive access to mobile streaming of NFL games.

Verizon plans to stream nearly all NFL games, including in-market and national games but excluding Sunday afternoon out-of-market games, to consumers regardless of carrier or service provider.

These games would be streamed on some digital and media platforms under its Oath subsidiary. These platforms include Yahoo, Yahoo Sports, AOL, Verizon’s g90 streaming app, and the NFL mobile app. Additionally, the deal would give mobile access to NFL highlights and coverage for its users.

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Companies competing to deal with the NFL to boost traffic

Verizon has been in association with the NFL since 2010 and has been a partner in the distribution of its games on NFL Mobile and as a sponsor. With the new five-year streaming deal with the NFL, Verizon aims to attract a massive digital audience to sites such as Yahoo Sports.

Social media companies such as Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR) are also working to partner with the NFL to attract users. Facebook previously signed a deal with the NFL to distribute highlights and recaps.

e-Commerce giant Amazon (AMZN) is also vying for NFL games and paid $50.0 million to stream ten games for Prime members. The NFL and other sports leagues are working to partner with such companies to reach viewers who don’t watch live sports through traditional pay-TV channels.

Declining traditional pay-TV subscribers

US wireless carrier companies such as Verizon and AT&T (T) are facing rising subscriber attrition. The cord-cutting trend is due to the growth of streaming video content providers such as Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, and YouTube.

Apart from cord-cutters, some consumers do not subscribe to traditional cable or satellite TV and are known as cord-nevers. As users increasingly shift to over-the-top streaming services, carrier companies are adapting to the changing landscape.


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