NFL Takes Cable Bypass Via Verizon


The National Football League, which has had trouble getting cable operators to agree to increased subscriber fees for its NFL Network, is building on its existing carriage arrangement with telco Verizon Communications to offer programming, including live games, online to Verizon's broadband customers.

Verizon already offers the NFL Network on its fledgling FiOS TV fiber-based television service. The new deal, which begins Dec. 7 with the match-up between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns, will make live, online broadcasts of NFL Network’s Thursday and Saturday regular season games, certain college football bowl games telecast by the NFL Network, plus other programming available online to the those "FiOS TV Premier" customers who already get the NFL Network television service, as well as customers who subscribe to DIRECTV through Verizon.

Additionally, all Verizon consumer broadband customers – including customers of both Verizon’s FiOS Internet Service and Verizon Online’s DSL service -- will be able to enjoy a variety of additional NFL related and NFL Network programming, including weekly previews of NFL Network games, highlights of past contests, off-season programming and links to an fantasy football game.

“Customers who subscribe to video and broadband with Verizon can now enjoy live NFL action on their TVs, PCs and laptops, both at home and away from home,” said Bob Ingalls, chief marketing officer of Verizon, in a statement. 

To access the new, online NFL programming, customers will log onto their Verizon consumer broadband accounts and access the shows from the Verizon Surround online entertainment site, allowing them to watch games at home or use any broadband connection to log on remotely.