Verizon continues content drive with NBA renewal
Verizon, the US telecoms giant, is hoping to cement its place as the destination for mobile streaming after it sealed an expansion of its digital rights deal with North American basketball’s NBA.
The “innovative” renewal deal, which is expected to run for two seasons, will see NBA League Pass, the league’s over-the-top subscription offering, become available on Verizon’s media platforms, including Yahoo Sports, the web portal that the company acquired for $4.5 billion in June last year.
Verizon will offer customers an eight-game free preview of League Pass as part of it’s ‘It’s on us’ programme.
The League Pass app, which costs $99 per season, had previously only been available on Verizon’s Go90 platform.
In addition, the expanded agreement features a daily highlights show that will be exclusively streamed on Yahoo Sports and other Verizon platforms, and original sports and lifestyle programming that will also air on the platforms.
The mobile company has been working with the NBA since 2015, when it sealed an initial three-year marketing and content deal worth $400 million.
The two parties will collaborate on the relaunch of Yahoo’s NBA fantasy game, which will now feature customised fantasy highlight packages, and the development of augmented reality content.
Verizon’s enhanced content offering will begin with the NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles on 18 February.
Brian Angiolet, senior vice-president global chief media and content officer at Verizon, said: “Verizon is uniquely positioned to partner with the NBA in a first of-its-kind technology and content partnership that will serve the NBA’s dynamic fan base with more live action, fantasy and lifestyle content in addition to experiential opportunities in the U.S. and globally through Yahoo Fantasy.
“With the addition of live NBA games, highlights, classic footage, originals and more to our mobile sports offering, Yahoo Sports and Verizon’s family of media brands are becoming the first-screen for fans of live sports, and a superior alternative for partners and advertisers.”
Since 2010, when it signed its first mobile deal with American football’s NFL, Verizon has built up its streaming portfolio and acquired digital rights to sports leagues across USA.
Late last year, it sealed a $2-billion five-year renewal of its streaming deal with the NFL.
The latest agreement included enhanced streaming rights for Verizon, with Yahoo Sports showing the NFL playoffs for the first time.
This month, Verizon struck an expanded deal with the National Women’s Soccer League which will see Yahoo Sports stream live games from the competition.