As reported by Variety, FierceCable, and plenty of other outlets, Verizon announced today that it will pay the NFL more than $2 billion for another five years of streaming rights through the 2022-23 season. It’s a hefty increase over its current $1 billion four-year deal, yet Verizon will no longer be the exclusive source of streaming games on smartphones, although it can offer them on its other properties such as Yahoo Sports, AOL, and Go90. Also, Go90 still exists.
The only games that aren’t covered are out-of-market Sunday afternoon games, which will continue to be the big, expensive carrot dangled by DirecTV for at least a few more seasons.
The best part of the deal, from my perspective, is the end of the goofy no-phone rules by which I could watch a game on NFL Network on Sling on my tablet but not my phone, or watch Monday Night Football on the Watch ESPN app on my AirTV but not my phone. You get the idea. It seems like a win-win – the league gets more viewers and we get to watch our paid services where we want. Let’s hope when the details emerge that it works out that way.