Telecommunications giant Verizon Communications has announced the signing of a live-streaming deal with the National Football League. The deal will see the telecommunications giant given the rights to live-stream both national and in-market games on its properties such as AOL and Yahoo Sports via mobile devices regardless of the mobile carrier.
In the past Verizon would only live-stream National Football League games to its subscribers via the mobile app of the NFL. But now fans of football will be able to stream NFL games using the mobile apps belonging to the various Verizon media properties at no cost and without having to be subscribers of the carrier.
NFL games that will be streamed by the NFL include the Super Bowl, playoffs, national preseason games as well as regular season games. The deal kick offs next month and last until 2022. This means that the NFL playoffs for the season will be available for streaming on go90 (the video platform of Verizon), Yahoo Sports, Yahoo as well as the mobile app of NFL.
“To go to Yahoo Sports now via your mobile device and be able to watch any game is something no one else offers. This is our first step in building this as a sports pillar of the company,” said the chief executive officer of Verizon, Lowell McAdam, in an interview on CNBC.
Though the deal’s financial terms were not disclosed speculation has been rife that it is worth approximately $2.5 billion which translates to $0.5 billion a year. Under the current streaming arrangement Verizon has been paying half of that.
The new deal with the National Football League coincides with Verizon picking Ericsson to roll out its commercial 5G networks. According to an agreement signed between the two, deployment of the network will begin in 2018’s second half. The two companies have already partnered in the upgrading of Verizon’s 4G LTE network.
5G trials are expected to start in 2018 and the MIMO antenna technology is slated to be used as well as Snapdragon X50 5G NR, the mobile modem chipset of Qualcomm. To ensure interoperability with regards to 5G, Verizon has also been working with Nokia, LG, Intel, Samsung and Cisco in rolling out the pre-commercial trials of 5G around the United States.
The pre-commercial trials of 5G will be taking place in Denver, Colorado; Brockton, Massachusetts; Bernardsville, Washington DC; Seattle, Washington; Sacramento, California; Miami, Florida; Houston and Dallas, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia and Ann Arbor, Michigan.