NBCUniversal announced today that it has acquired rights from the NFL to stream “Sunday Night Football” through its TV Everywhere app starting with the 2018 season. The news comes just one week after Verizon gave up its exclusive rights to live stream NFL games on mobile devices. NBCUniversal’s deal with the NFL also allows it to extend streaming rights to cable, satellite and telecom partners, as well as virtual multichannel video programming distributors.
Mobile streams of Sunday Night Football will include both national and local affiliate advertising. National ads will continue to be sold by NBCUniversal and stream on Verizon and NFL’s own mobile platforms, too, as agreed upon in the new contract Verizon and NFL signed last week. As part of that deal, Verizon lost its exclusive mobile live streaming rights for NFL games, but gained the ability to stream NFL games on properties owned by its subsidiary Oath, including Yahoo Sports, AOL and Complex. (Disclosure: TechCrunch is owned by Oath).
Sunday Night Football was already available through mobile devices to cable users who linked their accounts to the NBC Sports app or subscriptions on over-the-top services like DirectTV or Sling TV, but this deal means that a much larger audience of football fans can now watch games on their phones.
In a statement, Rick Cordella, NBC Sports’ executive vice president and general manager of digital media, said “This is an exciting day for NBC Sports. We have been streaming Sunday Night Football on numerous platforms since 2008, but as a result of this agreement, 2018 will be the first time we can stream primetime television’s number one show on all digital platforms, creating a more seamless viewing experience for NFL fans.”
NBC Sports will broadcast and stream the 52nd Super Bowl on February 4.