Verizon has signed a new streaming deal with the National Football League that will finally enable other carriers to offer games on mobile phones.
The new agreement, which runs until 2022, permits Verizon to stream games on mobile devices on multiple platforms including Yahoo’s web site, Yahoo’s mobile app, AOL, Complex, and go90. However, starting next season, the telco will no longer have the exclusive rights to offer games on mobile phones, a perk it held since its first streaming deal began in 2010.
This will open the door for live streaming services such as DIRECTV Now, Sling TV and PlayStation Vue to allow their subscribers to stream games on their phones, even if they don’t subscribe to Verizon. Verizon’s phone exclusive has often frustrated customers of those services which have labored to explain the byzantine rules of streaming rights.
“Live N.F.L. action directly on your mobile device — regardless of carrier — will give millions of fans additional ways to follow their favorite sport,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement released by the league.
While Verizon will lose the phone exclusive, the telco will gain the right to stream local games as well as contests played on Monday, Sunday and Thursday nights. The local games will include contests involving the in-market team as well as national games broadcast by local affiliates.
Verizon will also be able to stream NFL playoff games starting in January 2018.
— Phillip Swann