Verizon announced the biggest content deal yet for Oath, the company’s media group that includes Yahoo and AOL. Yahoo Sports and Verizon’s other digital media properties will stream live NFL games to all mobile devices, regardless of which wireless carrier network the device uses. The deal includes national pre-season games, regular season games, playoff games, and the Super Bowl.
According to ESPN, Verizon is paying the NFL $2.5 billion over five years, or about twice as much as it paid for its previous streaming deal with the football league. The previous deal gave Verizon exclusive streaming rights for in-market NFL games on Verizon mobile phones, but this contract will cover all networks and all mobile devices. Verizon will be able to sell ads against all the games except Sunday out-of-market games. Ad inventory within those games is controlled by AT&T’s DirecTV.
Verizon said the new partnership kicks off in January 2018 with streaming of the NFL playoffs on Yahoo and Yahoo Sports, in addition to go90 and the NFL mobile app.
“We believe that partnerships like this are a win for fans, but also for partners and advertisers looking for a mobile-first experience,” said Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam in a statement. “We’re making a commitment to fans for Verizon’s family of media properties to become the mobile destination for live sports.”
Verizon has projected at least $10 billion in annual revenue for Oath by 2020. That would make Oath bigger than some standalone media companies, including AMC Networks and Discovery Communications. But at $10 billion in revenue, Oath would still be a minor part of Verizon’s business, which reported almost $126 billion in revenue last year.
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