Verizon (NYSE: VZ) has significantly expanded the availability of live-streaming NFL games on its mobile network, enabling customers of all of its legacy and current wireless plans to see the videos at no extra charge.
Verizon is expanding the availability of NFL games on its mobile service.
Previously, only users of Verizon's shared data plans could see NFL games. The carrier's NFL service covers live NFL games played played by local market teams, as well as Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football contests. Users also have access to live streaming of the NFL Network, and they can add the NFL Red Zone package for $2 a month.
Select pre-season NFL games, including tonight's matchup between the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will also be made available.
To access the videos, users of any Verizon Wireless mobile plan need only to download an up-to-date NFL Mobile app for their Android, iOS or Windows smartphone.
Verizon signed a four-year deal with the NFL in 2013 valued at around $1 billion; Verizon is one of numerous video-rights holders who are monetizing NFL game coverage via OTT and mobile video. Earlier this week, CBS Corp. announced that it would conduct unauthenticated live-streaming of two regular season pro-football games this upcoming season.
The NFL has been a stabilizing force for the pay-TV ecosystem Linear TV broadcasts of football games continue to draw large numbers of pay-TV viewers. Thus, the embrace of other, rival platforms by the NFL -- pay-TV's highest rated programming asset -- is a concern to pay-TV operators.
Verizon's move to expand the availability of live NFL games comes as Verizon is looking more broadly to exploit video in an increasingly mature U.S. wireless market. The top U.S. wireless carrier is also reportedly just days away from the official launch of an ad-supported mobile video programming service called go90.
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