Sprint fumbles NFL Mobile, Verizon takes it to the house

Get ready for some football Verizon Wireless users, as the largest U.S. carrier has struck a deal to get live National Football League games on its handsets.

The deal is reportedly worth $720 million over four years and Verizon subscribers will be able to use their handsets to watch live games on Thursdays and Sundays – NBC’s Sunday Night Football and NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football – as well content around the clock from NFL Network. NFL Mobile will also give you access to the cool RedZone Channel, which provides live looks in to close games or scores across the NFL schedule.

“For Verizon Wireless, it is NFL content delivered over our 3G network so football fans can extend the excitement of the sport long after the last touchdown of a season,” said John Stratton, Verizon’s executive VP, in a prepared statement. “And the NFL content is customizable in that consumers have options from video to ringtones to alerts; the choice is theirs.”

The service will go live before the NFL draft in April, and it will provide live coverage of that event with in-depth videos on those drafted. The app had previously been on Sprint phones and it was bundled with the Simply Everything plans. I used it every once in a while and it was pretty solid. A Sprint representative told Phonescoop it didn’t extend the NFL deal because the third-largest carrier wasn’t sure if it was getting a great return on investment.

There’s no official word on what handsets this will come to but it’s safe to assume it will hit Android and BlackBerry smartphones on Big Red. There’s no word on what pricing will be but we will know in a few weeks. I hope Verizon just bundles it in with its smartphone data plans because I don’t see NFL Mobile being a feature people will want to pay extra for it. As a free, Verizon-only app, I think it could be a valuable tool for retaining customers though, particularly if it is free.

[Via The Wall Street Journal (subscription link) and Verizon]

  • jeeb

    Verizon and free? Dream on…

  • gsd3986

    Talk about bias headlining! Read the press release from Sprint which came out yesterday morning, the NFL didn’t DUMP Sprint, it’s the other way around. Sprint CHOSE not to renew their “deal” with the NFL which they had to pay HUGE sums of money for it and because NFL was opressive with extensive unreasonable and draconian demands which yielded virtually ZERO return on that investment. Imagine yourself in the same situation for 5 years…”Hey I’ll be your girlfriend only if you pay me $350 million per year and here’s a laundry list of my expectations and demands, and by the way you get absolutely NOTHING from me in return!” How long do you think you’d keep that “relationship” and how insulted would you be when you finally kicked her to the curb and all your other friends kept saying she dumped you and moved on to someone better? In my book we’d call her a gold-digging B*tch!

  • Marin Perez

    Good point gsd and I did mention the ROI in the post. I was just trying to be clever with the headline.

  • drag

    man this sucks this is one of the main reasons that i got sprint in the first place. I gaurentee you that sprint will lose customers over this and I will be one of them I have had sprint for almost ten years and now becasue i love the nfl more than I love sprint I will have to go enjoyed it

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