Online viewers of NFL games may soon be able to watch them on a mobile phone without subscribing to Verizon, writes Bloomberg News.
Since the 2014 season, Verizon has had the exclusive rights to stream regular season games on mobile phones, which has frequently frustrated and confused non-Verizon customers who have tried to watch them on their handhelds.
However, Verizon’s four-year exclusive with the league expires at the end of this season, and Bloomberg writes that the company has signed a new deal that will eliminate the company’s exclusive for phones.
In return, Verizon will be able to offer games online on all Internet-connected platforms such as tablets, Smart TVs, media devices and computers as well as phones.
The new deal, which will likely start next season, is expected to be announced soon, Bloomberg says.
The new arrangement will open the door for new live streaming services such as DIRECTV Now and Sling TV to stream NFL games on phones. The inability to do so has often confounded customers who sometimes have posted angry messages on social media sites that blame the streaming services.
DIRECTV Now, Sling and others try to promote the fact that they can’t stream games on phones because of the Verizon exclusive, but those messages often fall on deaf ears.
Verizon is contemplating launching a live streaming service of its own and the new capacity to offer games on devices other than phones would certainly aid that venture.
— Phillip Swann