The much-coveted mobile streaming rights for the National Football League (NFL)’s slate of national broadcasts will soon reach more platforms. Verizon, a longtime sponsor of the NFL, will pay a reported $2.25 billion for a five-year agreement that will allow it to stream America’s most-watched sports league on mobile devices and across its Go90, Yahoo, and AOL properties.
The deal will cover all nationally-broadcast NFL games, including weekly Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football, and Monday Night Football broadcasts. Teams will also be streamable within their local markets, though out-of-market matchups will still be restricted to DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket package.
Verizon already possessed mobile streaming rights for NFL action, but its latest deal will expand coverage to a wider range of platforms. The telecom giant owns both Yahoo and AOL, which it has united under the beleaguered Oath brand. It launched Go90 in 2015 and has since stocked the mobile-first video hub with a plethora of original programs.
Wall Street Journal‘s report on the deal estimated the price tag toe be over $2 billion. The $2.25 billion figure comes from Reuters, which cited an anonymous source. The agreement is expected to go into effect in January, just weeks before Super Bowl LII.
NFL streaming rights are coveted due to the large audiences national matchups draw. Before the current season, Amazon paid a reported $50 million to stream 11 Thursday Night Football games. Though some the resulting broadcasts were plagued by technical issues, they still managed to draw significant viewership. Back in October, Amazon’s first TNF stream boasted 372,000 viewers on average.