Refreshed Five-Year Deal Between Verizon and NFL Allows for Mobile Streaming of Games on Any Carrier

Verizon and the NFL this morning announced that the carrier will no longer be the exclusive home for mobile streaming of NFL games in the United States, with anyone able to stream the games to their smartphone "regardless of mobile network" beginning next year.

The announcement comes within a new five-year deal struck between the two companies, which will see Verizon pay around $2 billion over a five-year period (via Recode).

The new deal begins January 2018 and will allow users on any U.S. wireless carrier to watch NFL games on their mobile device using the apps for Yahoo Sports, go90, and the NFL, with the company putting emphasis on Yahoo Sports as a premium destination for sports coverage.

This will start with the NFL playoffs next month, and then include national pre-season, regular season, playoff games, and the Super Bowl. Most of this coverage is described as "in-market" by Verizon, meaning that it will vary by your location and depend upon your local news channels' coverage of such events.
We’re making a commitment to fans for Verizon’s family of media properties to become the mobile destination for live sports,” said Lowell McAdam, Chairman and CEO of Verizon Communications. “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.”
Verizon's previous deal with the NFL was priced at $1 billion over the course of four years and runs through the current season, so the two companies are doubling down on their partnership with the new, expanded agreement.

Verizon says that it will remain an official sponsor of the NFL, providing "unique experiences" at events like the Super Bowl for customers enrolled in its Verizon Up rewards program. The partnership will also see Verizon continue efforts to improve stadium technology at NFL games to "improve operations" and enhance experience for customers.

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Amazon Wins $50 Million Deal to Stream NFL Thursday Games on Prime Video

Amazon has won the rights to broadcast 10 National Football League Thursday night games live online this season, as part of its video content strategy exclusive to Prime subscription members.

The company paid $50 million for the one-year deal, according to Bloomberg, taking over from a similar agreement Twitter had last year that saw the social media service sprout an Apple TV app for users to watch the games free of charge. Amazon has made Prime Video apps available for iPhone and iPad, but has yet to offer one for Apple TV.

Image via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

The games will continue to be broadcast on TV by CBS, NBC, and the NFL Network. The short-term deals reflect the football league's strategy up until 2021, when the traditional broadcast deals start to expire. After that, NFL will reportedly treat tech companies as potential suitors alongside regular television networks.

Amazon offers original movies and shows as part of its Prime Video service. Early last year, the company began offering Prime Video as a standalone $8.99 monthly subscription deal with an option to cancel at any time, as an alternative for those who don't want to sign up to the all-in $99 Amazon Prime annual subscription.

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Former NFL star Andre Johnson treats needy kids to a $20K Christmas shopping spree


Andre Johnson retired from the NFL on Oct. 31 after a legendary career as a wide receiver, but his many accomplishments on the field are nothing compared to this. 

Johnson took a dozen children on a Wednesday morning holiday shopping spree in the Houston area, footing a bill that came out to nearly $20,000. 

Johnson played most of his career with the Houston Texans. He worked with Child Protective Services to find a dozen kids who could use a boost this holiday season, according to Houston’s ABC News affiliate. He then gave the kids 80 seconds to run wild at a Toys “R” Us, promising to foot the bill for all the toys they could grab.  Read more…

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NFL player shows up to press conference dressed in Yoda onesie


Steve Smith is either A) 36 days late to Halloween or B) really stoked for ‘Rogue One‘ next week. 

The Baltimore Ravens wide receiver showed up to Wednesday’s press conference dressed as Yoda, everyone’s favorite Jedi Master.

Smith offered no explanation as to why he chose that particular attire, besides saying, “It’s been a while since I wore a onesie,” per ESPN‘s Jamison Hensley.

Steve Smith Sr. In Yoda costume as he addresses

— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) December 7, 2016 Read more…

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Broadcaster Joe Buck peed in a trash can while calling a Brett Favre touchdown


When you gotta go, you gotta go. 

In broadcaster Joe Buck’s case, this holds true even if you’re in the middle of announcing a football game, The perennial Fox play-by-play man joined Dave Dameshek’s NFL Network show this week and shared the crazy story of a Packers game in 1994, when Buck just couldn’t hold it any longer. 

The broadcast booth at Milwaukee County Stadium, as it turns out, is nowhere near the bathrooms. With only 30-second breaks in the action, Buck couldn’t make it there and back in time, so he pulled up a trash can instead. Read more…

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Sheriff gets profane over why it took so long to arrest Joe McKnight’s alleged killer


Ronald Gasser, the man suspected of killing former NFL and college football star Joe McKnight, was arrested on Monday and charged with manslaughter. 

After Gasser allegedly fired three shots in a road rage incident in New Orleans on Thursday, authorities released the 54-year-old without charges on Friday night, citing Louisiana’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which states that a person is justified in using deadly force in certain situations.

Gasser’s release led to protests from NAACP representatives and an outcry on social media, as people criticized the slow-moving justice system. At a press conference on Tuesday, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand defended his department’s investigation and scolded those who doubted it.  Read more…

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Eric Berry’s poignant homecoming is this week’s feel-good NFL story


NFL star Eric Berry played in his hometown of Atlanta on Sunday for the first time since becoming the fifth overall pick of the 2010 draft. The Kansas City Chiefs safety returned an interception for a touchdown, then gave the ball to his mother in the stands immediately after scoring to help his team to a big late-season win. 

That’s quite the inspirational homecoming in itself — but only the beginning of this story. 

The last time Berry went home to Atlanta during an NFL season, you see, it was to receive chemotherapy. 

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The Panthers benched style icon Cam Newton because of this outfit


If there was ever a way to get scolded for fashion choices, Cam Newton would surely figure out how. 

The Carolina Panthers quarterback — whose fancy post-game attire defines him as much as his MVP-calibre skills on the field — was benched for the first play of Carolina’s loss to Seattle on Sunday after violating the Panthers’ dress code. 

Newton didn’t wear a tie on the team flight into Seattle because — obviously — it didn’t go with his outfit. 

Speaking to the media in the offending outfit after the 40-7 loss, Newton said he hadn’t packed a collared shirt after being away from home for a week, and couldn’t rock a tie over his turtleneck. (He also said he couldn’t find a dress shirt to fit his frame on short notice, according to USA Today.)  Read more…

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The NFL is basically the Grinch for penalizing a snow angel


The NFL had a pair of games unfold under snowy conditions that made for a pair of fun snow angel moments. Too bad it lived up to its reputation as the “No Fun League.” 

The San Francisco 49ers, a team from a city that rarely sees snow, enjoyed playing in the white stuff against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago on Sunday. At least, until the refs got involved.

On a Bears punt attempt, 49ers defender Shaun Draughn managed to block the punt and teammate  Dontae Johnson picked up the loose ball and ran it in for a touchdown. Johnson then hit the deck for a snow angel (because what else are you supposed to do?) and fellow 49er Rashard Robinson joined him.  Read more…

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Reggie Bush to honor slain football star Joe McKnight with custom NFL cleats


Before he was shot to death at age 28 in an apparent road rage incident this week, before he played for two NFL teams and before he starred on the college field at USC, Joe McKnight was touted as “the next Reggie Bush.” 

Now, in a bittersweet coda, Bush will honor McKnight’s memory by wearing custom cleats on the NFL gridiron.

McKnight was shot and killed after an argument at a traffic intersection near New Orleans on Thursday. The man suspected of killing him was released without charges Friday, prompting incredulousness and outrage far and wide — but more on that in just a bit.  Read more…

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