Verizon’s New Deal With the NFL to Make Streaming Games More Accessible

The NFL and Verizon join forces to bring more live and premium content to fans across the country.

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Another landmark deal in sports media was announced this morning with the National Football League set to team up with Verizon in a mutli-billion dollar, multi-year partnership in which the telecom superpower’s portfolio of premium digital and mobile media properties will now stream in-market and national games.

The deal marks another huge win for fans as the increasing number of OTT platforms streaming live games gives access to viewership to more games in more places across the country.

The NFL’s deal with Verizon is set to kick off in time for the upcoming NFL playoffs, including Super Bowl 52, and continues into the 2018 season. The league has upped it’s presence in live streaming this year in deals with Amazon and Twitter, seeing mixed but generally positive results over the course of the season. Now coming into the mix will be Verizon-owned platforms, Yahoo, Yahoo Sports and their rapidly growing video streaming service, Go90.

In a release from the NFL, Commissioner Goodell commented on the new deal stating, “Verizon has been a key NFL partner, both in the distribution of games on NFL mobile and as a sponsor, since 2010.”

Maintaining their status has one of the league’s Official Sponsors, this deal only adds to the buy-in from one of the largest wireless networks in the country. Currently offering unique experiences for customers at key NFL events including the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, and the NFL Draft, the partnership also involves work with individual NFL teams on Smart Stadium technology to help improve stadium operations.

The impact Verizon has already made across the league will be on full display at this year’s Super Bowl at the highly connected US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis this February.

Former Vikings VP & Chief Technical Officer Tod Caflisch shared that, “as a long-time partner of the Vikings, when the US Bank Stadium project began it was only natural that Verizon would play a significant role in the planning around technology and fan experience.” With the initial phases of the project now completed, the current Principal at TechFoundry LLC, a sports technology services consultancy, shared his experience, “for the inaugural 2016 Vikings season [playing in US Bank Stadium], Verizon installed a full coverage carrier neutral DAS system which performed admirably. As an official partner of the NFL the plan had always been for Verizon to regularly enhance the DAS during the 2017 off-season and season in preparation for Super Bowl LII and beyond.”

Chairman and CEO of Verizon Communications, Lowell McAdam also commented in the release from the league, emphasizing the company’s, “commitment to fans; to become the mobile destination for live sports.” He expressed similar views to that of Commissioner Goodell stating how, “the NFL is a great partner, 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.”

In today’s connected world, access to content trumps all, and this new deal will provide not only expanded availability of live games, but fans will now have even greater mobile access to NFL highlights and coverage of NFL content throughout the week and year, including new jointly-developed original content.

With more than 200 million U.S. monthly unique mobile and digital views, NFL content will reach a massive digital audience. Goodell added, “we’re thrilled to be both extending and; our expanded partnership with Verizon is great for our fans. Starting with the upcoming playoffs and for seasons to come, live NFL action directly on your mobile device — regardless of carrier — will give millions of fans additional ways to follow their favorite sport.”

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