Verizon signed a deal with the National Basketball Association (NBA) to become the organisation’s official wireless provider, as well as allow it to feature live games on its free mobile video streaming service Go90, The New York Times (NYT) reported.
The deal is set to be announced officially later today (4 November).
NYT reported that “the availability of sports programming is an important next step for Verizon as it seeks to build an audience for the new service”.
Through the deal, users may be able to see some live games not being shown in their market and will also be able to buy live game packages via the NBA League Pass offering.
They can also watch daily highlights and original series, such as behind-the-scenes access to NBA events.
Senior VP for product and market at Go90, Brian Angiolet, told NYT that sports is one feature that sets Go90 apart from services like YouTube and Comcast’s Watchable.
Verizon will also become the title partner of the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk contest and a partner of the NBA Draft
The president of global media distribution at the NBA, Willing Koenig, said “we’re really trying to get out games to people on whatever device they want”.
There is limited availability of live sports outside the standard cable and satellite bundles, although a report by the Consumer Electronics Association shows that about one third of sports fans want to watch sports on mobile devices.
Verizon launched the app in early September to target teens and millennials with exclusive content from online video services such as Awesomeness TV and Vice, paid for by advertising.
Later that month, it landed a contract with Publicis Groupe, the world’s third-largest advertising firm.