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Verizon announced a multi-year partnership with the NFL that allows fans to stream all national and in-market games on any mobile device, regardless of carrier.

The mobile giant will pay about $2.25 billion for the five-year, non-exclusive deal, according to Reuters.

Under the partnership, which starts with streaming of the NFL playoffs in January, fans across the country can live stream programming on Yahoo, Yahoo Sports, go90, and the NFL mobile app.

Viewers also have mobile access to the Superbowl, highlights packages, and some jointly-developed original NFL content.  Sunday afternoon out-of-market games remain on AT&T’s DirecTV Sunday Ticket package.

Per the agreement, Verizon loses its exclusive rights to air NFL games, as they will be available on any mobile device, but Wells Fargo analysts see this move as part of Verizon’s bigger mobile advertising push. 

“In our view, this announcement seems to be more about developing its mobile advertising platform - which has clearly been a top focus for [Verizon],” Wells Fargo Senior Analyst Jennifer Fritzsche wrote in a note to investors Monday.

Through its digital and mobile properties, Verizon said it reaches more than 200 million unique viewers in the U.S.

“With the recent consolidation of these properties in the Oath division, we would expect this to take on more of a growing focus for [Verizon] in 2018,” Fritzsche added.

Fritzsche noted the partnership comes as many tech companies are increasingly interested in sports content. Amazon, for example, had global streaming rights to the Thursday Night Football lineup last season.

"We're making a commitment to fans for Verizon's family of media properties to become the mobile destination for live sports," Lowell McAdam, CEO of Verizon Communications, said in a statement. "The NFL is a great partner for us and we are excited to take its premier content across a massive mobile scale so viewers can enjoy live football and other original NFL content where and how they want it. We believe that partnerships like this are a win for fans, but also for partners and advertisers looking for a mobile-first experience."

 

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