NBC Will Finally Stream Sunday Night Football Games to Mobile Devices Starting Next Season

Network pounces just one week after Verizon loses its smartphone exclusivity

Beginning next season, NBC will be able to stream its Sunday Night Football games to all mobile devices. Getty Images
Headshot of Jason Lynch

Just one week after Verizon struck a new five-year deal with the NFL under which the wireless provider lost its smartphone exclusivity for the first time since 2010, one NFL broadcaster has already stepped in to snap up mobile rights for itself.

Today, NBCUniversal announced it has acquired the rights to stream its Sunday Night Football games to mobile phones for the first time starting next season.

While NBC Sports Digital has been streaming Sunday Night Football to desktops, tablets and connected TV devices since 2008, it was unable to stream to mobile phones due to Verizon’s stranglehold on NFL mobile streaming rights.

But under Verizon’s new NFL deal, which it signed last week, the company traded smartphone exclusivity for the ability to offer a wider array of games—including the Super Bowl—to Verizon and non-Verizon users on its Yahoo, Yahoo Sports and go90 platforms, along with the NFL mobile app.

That cleared the way for NBCU to step in and broker a mobile streaming deal of its own. The new mobile pact will allow Dan Lovinger, NBC Sports Group’s evp of advertising sales, to sell Sunday Night Football advertising inventory that will also stream on NBC’s mobile platforms. Those same spots will also be presented to users streaming the Sunday Night Football games on Verizon and the NFL’s mobile platforms.

“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 No. 1 show on all digital platforms, creating a more seamless viewing experience for NFL fans,” said Rick Cordella, evp and gm, digital media, NBC Sports Group, in a statement. “In addition to fans, this mobile agreement benefits our distribution partners, local affiliates and advertisers, as it significantly extends SNF’s digital reach.”

The games will be available to authenticated cable and satellite subscribers as well as subscribers to streaming live-bundle providers like DirecTV Now, Hulu and YouTube TV.

@jasonlynch jason.lynch@adweek.com Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.