Verizon to pay $2.25 billion to NFL for five-year streaming deal: source

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc VZ.N will pay around $2.25 billion for a five-year partnership with the National Football League that allows users to stream games on its Yahoo and go90 platforms as well as on mobile devices, a source told Reuters on Monday.

Under the partnership, Verizon renews its agreement to stream NFL games on its mobile devices but loses its exclusive rights to the airings.

Representatives from Verizon and the NFL declined to comment on the financial terms of the deal but the No.1 U.S. wireless carrier said the deal will go into effect in January with streaming of NFL playoff games on Yahoo and Yahoo Sports, in addition to the go90 streaming platform and the NFL mobile app.

The partnership will also include mobile access to jointly-developed original content, Verizon said.

Jennifer Fritzsche, analyst at Wells Fargo, said in a research note that the deal shows how Verizon is trying to expand its mobile advertising platform. In June, Verizon bought Yahoo’s core assets for $4.48 billion and combined it with AOL to form its Oath business.

“With the recent consolidation of these properties in the Oath division, we would expect this to take on more of a growing focus for (Verizon) in 2018,” Fritzsche said.

Verizon estimates that it reaches more than 200 million U.S. monthly unique mobile and digital users. The company has said its goal for Oath is to contribute $20 billion in revenue by 2020.

Verizon shares were up 0.4 percent to $51.27 in morning trading.

Reporting by Alana Wise, Jessica Toonkel, Munsif Vengattil and Anjali Athavaley; Editing by Peter Cooney and Marguerita Choy