NFL To Expand Live Stream Access After Lucrative Deal With Verizon

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Falcons players on a phone

Photo via Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports Images

The NFL has dabbled with streaming before. Now, it’s diving into the new platform headfirst.

The league announced Monday morning it has signed a multi-year partnership with Verizon that will allow users to livestream NFL games on Verizon-owned digital media properties such as Yahoo Sports, AOL and go90 in addition to the NFL Mobile app. Most importantly, users can access the live streams on any device, even if they don’t have Verizon as their mobile carrier.

The deal runs through 2022 and is worth an average of roughly $500 million per year, or $2.5 billion total, sources told John Ourand of SportsBusiness Journal.

NFL fans won’t have to wait long to start streaming, either: The deal begins in January 2018, meaning fans will be able to stream this season’s playoff games on Verizon-owned apps and platforms.

Beginning in the 2018 season, Verizon and the NFL will offer live streams of national preseason games, in-market regular season games, playoffs, and the Super Bowl.

“To go to Yahoo Sports now via your mobile device and be able to watch any game is something no one else offers,” Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said Monday during an appearance on CNBC, via Yahoo Sports. “This is our first step in building this as a sports pillar of the company.”

Verizon previously had limited NFL live streams to Verizon subscribers who own the NFL Mobile app. But streaming has become more integrated into the league in recent years — Amazon is streaming 11 “Thursday Night Football” game this season — and Verizon is the latest player to join the party.

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