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Verizon Snatches NFL from Sprint...

Tue Mar 9, 2010 - 5:06 PM EST - By Annie Latham

Looks like Verizon made the NFL an offer it couldn't refuse to the tune of over $700 million to snatch NFL Mobile Live from Sprint. Losing this exclusive content is a blow for the struggling carrier.

Back in January 2009 I reviewed it on my Centro prior to the Super Bowl. At that time, it was noted how popular NFL Mobile Live has been with Sprint subscribers -- reaching 1 million downloads faster than any other application in Sprint's history -- and it's another exclusive benefit available only to Sprint customers.

Those were the days. The game plan is for Verizon to be up in running with the NFL service in time for the April player draft.

The Wall Street Journal reported, "The four-year deal between the country's most powerful sports league and the largest U.S. wireless operator by subscribers is valued at $720 million, including a rights fee and advertising, according to people familiar with the details. It would offer live footage of every game, something previously only available through a satellite TV package. In addition, subscribers could receive Sunday night games as well as games on the league-owned NFL Network and extensive highlights."

The Verizon deal is worth about 50% more a year than the NFL's previous mobile distribution deal with Sprint, which was valued at $120 million a year. Last year, the league signed a new four-year deal with satellite television provider DirecTV worth $1 billion a year, 40% more than the prior contract.

Expect to pay more...

The Journal article said Verizon will be setting the price in the coming weeks. There was no mention of compatibility with Palm devices (Pre Plus, Pixi Plus or Windows Mobile). Looks like the focus is on BlackBerry and Android phones to start.


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