In addition to the expanded availability of live games, the new NFL-Verizon agreement encompasses mobile access to NFL highlights, coverage of NFL throughout the week and year, and a set of jointly developed original content (like virtual-reality experiences). Sources said that the media rights and sponsorship deal is worth an average of close to $500M per year, an increase that almost doubles the $250M per year Verizon is paying as part of its current four-year deal. Previously, Verizon had the exclusive streaming rights for in-market live games only on its mobile phones.
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The mobile-rights deal marks a significant increase for the NFL, despite a second straight season of declining ratings, showing that content distributors still view professional football as a must-have property.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, in a statement, praised Verizon as a partner and emphasized that the deal will extend the league's games to any mobile device "regardless of carrier". The company, and the National Football League, are banking on the general trend of younger viewers consuming more and more mobile content, so it thinks that opening up the ways that younger fans can watch on their phones or devices is a smart move. "And sports is going to be the most important part of that content". An earlier version of this article incorrectly said Verizon would have tablet rights for all of the games to which it acquired mobile streaming rights.