By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
June 14, 2013
The NFL’s TV partners reportedly are unhappy about the league’s new sponsorship deal with Verizon, which includes mobile streaming rights. The network executives are upset that making games available in more places dilutes the overall product and will hurt their ratings. Each of the TV networks had the opportunity to buy the mobile streaming rights, but none of them were willing to pay what Verizon was. The deal gives Verizon the right to stream all regular and postseason NFL games to mobile phones. Verizon’s previous sponsorship deal with the league only gave subscribers access to games that aired on ESPN, NBC, and NFL Network.
The NFL has heard these dilution complaints from TV network before, particularly when the league launched the RedZone channel and created a Thursday night package for NFL Network. Once again, the complaints are falling on deaf ears. NFL games remain the most popular programs on TV, and mobile streaming isn’t going to change that.