Verizon is reportedly working towards a deal with the NFL that will bring every NFL game to Verizon smartphones for the next four years.
A report from Sports Business Daily claims that Verizon is close to making a $1 billion deal with the NFL that will extend the carrier’s current partnership with the league. The current deal between Verizon and the NFL lets Verizon subscribers watch all games that air on NBC, ESPN and the NFL network which includes games on Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights.
The new deal would also let Verizon smartphone users watch NFL games that air on FOX and CBS on their smartphones. That includes afternoon games and playoffs games. The possible deal would give users access to every NFL game during a season, though only on their phones.
The proposed deal would not cover tablets such as the iPad. Verizon’s current NFL Mobile app for iOS is Universal, though the iPad version relies on a Verizon FiOS or Cablevision cable subscription instead of a Verizon Wireless subscription.
Verizon’s deal would only cover mobile phones, which would likely restrict AirPlay and video-out playback. Neither Verizon nor the NFL would offer the service as a replacement for cable, but as a way to watch games when away from home. The plan would also let users watch one game on their iPhone or Android phone while watching another game on a TV.
There’s no word on if the deal would have any blackout rules. Other sports such as the MLB won’t let users watch their home teams through subscription services. The only blackout rules the NFL enacts on other services are dependent on ticket sales for local games, so as long as enough people go to a game users can watch their local team.
The only other service dedicated to streaming NFL games to mobile devices is DirectTV NFL Sunday Ticket, though it only shows Sunday games. If Verizon’s deal goes through it will likely become the best option for watching NFL games on any mobile device.
The NFL also recently announced a deal with Microsoft to bring exclusive content to Xbox One users, but it’s not clear if that will include live games or if it will require a cable subscription.