In the wake of the new Verizon NFL mobile streaming deal that was officially announced earlier this month, we’re now seeing ripple effects to the networks. Once restricted from streaming Sunday Night Football on smartphones, NBC has announced that starting in the 2018 season, it will stream SNF through its mobile app.
Under its old deal, Verizon had exclusive rights to stream NFL games to its mobile subscribers. But under the new contract, Verizon loses exclusivity while paying double from the previous agreement. Verizon is paying $250 million annually under its current contract that expires at the end of this month. Starting next month, NFL games will be available to all regardless of wireless carrier, and that means that the NFL’s network partners should be open soon to stream their packages to mobile viewers.
NBC had streaming rights to desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and connected TV devices, but did not have mobile rights. Thanks to the new agreement with the NFL, NBC’s SNF stream will include national and local ads for the first time. NBCUniversal will sell the ads and the SNF stream will be seen on NBC Sports’ platforms and the NFL’s, as well as Verizon’s.
As with streaming on computers, tablets, and set-top TV devices, mobile customers will have to use their cable and satellite logins to access the online feeds.
NBC Sports digital media exec Rick Cordella couldn’t be happier to pick up NFL mobile rights for 2018 going forward:
“This is an exciting day for NBC Sports. We have been streaming Sunday Night Football on numerous platforms since 2008, but as a result of this agreement, 2018 will be the first time we can stream primetime television’s No. 1 show on all digital platforms, creating a more seamless viewing experience for NFL fans,” said Rick Cordella, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Digital Media, NBC Sports Group. “In addition to fans, this mobile agreement benefits our distribution partners, local affiliates, and advertisers, as it significantly extends SNF’s digital reach.”
Expect the NFL’s other TV partners to follow suit. CBS (which just last year negotiated NFL streaming rights for its All Access app), Fox, and ESPN should announce their own mobile streaming rights deal very soon.