Despite a recent downturn in television ratings, the NFL has inked another big-money broadcast deal — this one to stream games on mobile devices.
Verizon and the NFL have announced a multi-year deal that will see NFL games streamed on Verizon mobile and digital platforms. Sports Business Daily reports that Verizon will pay the NFL $500 million a year.
The partnership begins in January of 2018, so the upcoming postseason games and Super Bowl LII will all be available to stream through Verizon.
“The NFL is a great partner for us and we are excited to take its premier content across a massive mobile scale so viewers can enjoy live football and other original NFL content where and how they want it,” Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said in a statement. “We believe that partnerships like this are a win for fans, but also for partners and advertisers looking for a mobile-first experience.”
Although the NFL still makes the bulk of its money from television — NBC, CBS, FOX, ESPN and DirecTV — this deal is the strongest sign yet that there’s big money for the NFL to make in online streaming. It may not be long before the NFL’s biggest rights deals are with online providers, rather than with traditional television networks.