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NFL and Verizon Expand Live Streaming Agreement Starting in '18

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With the announcement of a new multi-year partnership, Verizon has re-secured rights to live NFL games at a time when sports streaming is becoming increasingly important. Verizon's current four-year live mobile streaming agreement with the NFL is expiring, and today the two parties announced they're continuing and expanding the relationship. Thanks to the telecommunication giant's recent acquisitions, the deal goes beyond Verizon Mobile and includes distribution on Yahoo and Go90, as well.

Starting in January 2018 with the NFL playoffs, the new agreement between the NFL and Verizon will bring live in-market and national games to various Verizon properties, including Yahoo Sports and Go90, as well as the NFL mobile app. Mobile viewers will be able to stream the games—which include pre-season, regular season, playoffs, and the Super Bowl—over any carrier, not just Verizon. The deal is limited to mobile, but doesn't give Verizon exclusive mobile rights. Verizon will stream Sunday, Monday, and Thursday night games, as well as games from local affiliates. While neither side divulged the amount paid for the rights, anonymous sources told Recode Verizon will spend $1.5 billion over five years. Fans will also be able to view highlights and original content created jointly by Verizon and the NFL.

“One of our major priorities is expanding the availability of our live games on digital devices," an NFL spokesperson told StreamingMedia.com. "While our games remain the most watched shows on television, we know the media world is changing and we see our fans continue to spend more of their time on digital, and so it is important for us to make our games more accessible for them. We are excited to deepen and expand our partnership with Verizon. The new distribution model is a great step forward for our fans and one we believe will work for our entire media ecosystem.”

In September, the NFL and Facebook announced a two-year agreement to stream video highlights for the current season following each game's completion. Verizon notes that Verizon and Oath properties take in over 200 million unique monthly views in the U.S. on mobile and desktop. 

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