Verizon is dropping rights to stream National Football League games to mobile devices as part of a new, 10-year 5G deal.
The deal, which extends an existing relationship, makes Verizon the NFL’s official technology partner and 5G network.
The new deal entirely relinquishes Verizon’s rights to livestream NFL games to mobile devices. That’s in line with Verizon’s shift to focusing on wireless networks and moving away from content, as demonstrated earlier this month by its spinoff of Verizon Media in a $5 billion deal with Apollo Global Management.
Verizon’s previous, five-year streaming deal with NFL, inked in 2017, renewed streaming rights, but relinquished exclusive rights.
For NFL fans, a key benefit of the relationship is Verizon’s 5G Multi-View digital streaming platform, enabled by Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband service, now live in "select parts" of 25 stadiums and more than 60 sports and entertainment venues across the U.S.
The technology was piloted during Super Bowl LV at Tampa Bay’s Raymond James Stadium, and will be on tap during tonight’s NFL’s season kickoff game at that stadium, between the Super Bowl champion Tampa Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys.
Los Angeles' SoFi Stadium, which will host Super Bowl LVI, is Verizon's largest 5G stadium build to date.
The deal also calls for Verizon and the NFL to use 5G “to unlock advancements that could have the ability to impact management, scouting, training, health and safety and game day operations," such as crowd management, over the next decade.