In New NFL Deal, Verizon Trades Mobile Exclusivity for Rights on Yahoo

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In New NFL Deal, Verizon Trades Mobile Exclusivity for Rights on Yahoo

The deal begins next month, meaning postseason games and the Super Bowl will be streamed on Verizon platforms.

From the 2018 playoffs in January onwards, customers with any mobile carrier will be able to access NFL games through the official NFL Mobile app, Yahoo Sports app, and go90, Verizon's on-demand streaming service.

The deal allows Verizon to stream live in-market National Football League games on any one of its websites, with Yahoo being the predominant home.

Verizon has long held exclusive rights to mobile streaming of live National Football League games, offering the content as a lure to its own subscribers.

In order to monetize the deal, Verizon will have ad inventory within the games that they stream on mobile, which includes in-market games on Thursday, Sunday, Sunday night and Monday night. In its previous deal, exclusivity was seen as crucial for Verizon to attract new wireless customers and keeping existing ones. The current pact expires after this season. DirecTV has rights for all out-of-market games on Sunday.

"We're making a commitment to fans for Verizon's family of media properties to become the mobile destination for live sports, "Lowell McAdam, chairman and CEO of Verizon Communications, said in a statement".

The next rights contract that comes up is the Thursday night package, which is now shared by Comcast Corp.'s NBC, CBS Corp.'s CBS and the NFL-owned NFL Network, along with the Amazon streaming deal.

Verizon formed the Oath digital-media group this summer, combining AOL and Yahoo under one umbrella, after closing the $4.5 billion acquisition of Yahoo in June 2017.

Verizon's $2 billion National Football League rights deal comes as tech players including Facebook, Amazon, and Twitter are looking to spend big bucks to bring more sports to their digital services. While viewing on traditional platforms is slowing, "the viewership on mobile continues to grow", he said. In 2015, Yahoo paid to offer the first global, free live-stream of a game from London.

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