Verizon and the NFL could be close to signing an expanded streaming rights deal. Verizon and NFL originally signed a streaming deal back in 2010 which granted the carrier rights to NFL games on devices with a 7-inch display or smaller. Now, though, a new report claims both are set to sign a brand new deal which will expand Verizon's rights to other devices.
As part of the new agreement, Verizon will gain the rights to deliver NFL games across a wide range of devices, including larger-sized tablets and internet-connected TV's, as well as smartphones. Among the included games should be Thursday night games, as well as those on Sunday and Monday nights, while games played during the day on Sunday's at home markets are also set to be included. Nonetheless, the rights to Sunday out-of-market games are expected to remain with AT&T's DirecTV, after Verizon's competitor signed an eight-year agreement with the NFL back in 2014. The new deal will likely guarantee Verizon's big push towards increasing its online content presence and will go hand in hand with both AOL and Yahoo!. The carrier confirmed that it is no longer interested in acquiring more companies to build up its content offerings, with its focus now being on exclusive deals that allow it to offer a wider range of media. Unfortunately for Verizon, though, as part of the expanded streaming rights agreement, the carrier will be forced to forfeit the exclusive mobile rights that formed part of its original deal, which was set to expire in 2018. This will inevitably open up the carrier to increased competition on the mobile front if the NFL can create separate mobile streaming agreements with other companies, though the expanded streaming rights of the new deal will likely be worth the loss of exclusive mobile rights.
The carrier won't be the only one benefiting, though. After all, traditional TV ratings have been dropping steadily in recent times, with consumers preferring to view content online and on-demand, so by agreeing to a new deal with Verizon, the NFL's games are once-again opened up to a new, much wider audience, therefore benefiting the football league. The deal is yet to be officially confirmed by the companies, and no official figure or duration for the deal has been confirmed yet.