As Americans continue to watch more TV on screens other than their televisions, Verizon Wireless has signed a multi-year $1 billion contract to expand its service giving customers access to NFL games via their smartphones.
Verizon customers will be able to stream afternoon local games as part of Verizon's NFL Mobile Package, according to The Wall Street Journal. Currently the app offers access to NFL games on Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights. In 2014, customers will be able to watch all home-market games as well as post-season games—including the Super Bowl.
The deal enhances the phone and Internet provider's existing package, which allows viewers to stream games in tandem with ESPN, NBC and NFL Network broadcasts for $5 per month. Verizon does not disclose data about its users, but the app has 10 million downloads in the Google Play app store.
The app will be updated to include behind-the-scenes reels, video on demand and news.
Verizon Wireless' agreement to pay the NFL $1 billion over four years is an increase from its last four-year contract, which was for $720 million, Deadline reported.
The NFL has embraced the second screen as more consumers shift to mobile, falling in line with Major League Baseball, which began streaming live games to phones back in 2009. The NFL held back streaming rights in its recent network deals to enable the Verizon deal.
"This is about leveraging technology to try to make the fan experience better and to try to make the game better," Brian Rolapp, chief operating officer for NFL Media, told the Journal.