Verizon adds college-sports programming to upcoming mobile video service

Continuing to flesh out a video-programming service aimed squarely at younger consumers and their smartphones, Verizon has announced content deals with ESPN, CBS Sports and several other college-sports-focused platforms.

The deal with Disney's ESPN, the priciest of all cable channels, isn't full-fledged--the Verizon (NYSE: VZ) service is only acquiring select college football games and "30 for 30" documentaries.

But Verizon did license the full CBS Sports portfolio and the ACC Digital Network, as well as digital video services Campus Insider and 120 Sports.

Verizon plans to launch its mobile video service sometime in the latter half of 2015, limiting it to 20-30 channels and keeping the price favorable to younger consumers who don't want to pay for larger pay-TV bundles.

Acquiring sports content is essential for a service targeting younger males. But choosing only select programming from expensive services like ESPN seems to fit the Verizon service's slimmed-down agenda.

"With consumers--especially younger consumers--demanding access to entertainment and information that matters to them, whenever and wherever they are, college sports with all of its live programming and networks targeted to millennials are a natural fit for any mobile-first video platform," said Terry Denson, VP of content acquisition and strategy at Verizon. "These brands are at the top of the league, and we're excited to work with them as new content models for our customers develop and evolve."

The service has already licensed content from Viacom, as well as YouTube programming network AwesomenessTV.

For more:
- read this Verizon press release
- read this Variety story

Related links:
Verizon's 'managed services' plan for video streaming could violate net neutrality rules
Verizon bulks up for mobile video competition with AwesomenessTV deal
Wireless providers make OTT strategy key to future profitability, report says
Report: Verizon to let CTIA, NCTA lead legal fight over FCC's net neutrality rules
Pay-TV's revolutionary OTT services are coming up short on revolution

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