Verizon opened up the pocketbooks in a big way to purchase streaming rights to a Week 3 game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens in London.
According to Recode, Verizon will pay about $21 million to stream the game on its properties, including AOL, and to an international audience. It won’t be Verizon’s first experience with the NFL, as the network has paid huge amounts to stream games on mobile devices.
But Verizon’s NFL Mobile was limited to local market and primetime games, and streams were limited to those in the United States.
The game in London on Sept. 24 has kickoff set for 9:30 a.m. ET. Previous games with such early kickoff times have struggled to draw viewers, and a game early in the season between the Jaguars and Ravens likely won’t buck that trend.
But football’s future doesn’t look set for television — it instead is headed for a budding competition between many streaming services for rights to broadcast games. With an international audience and streaming rights on platforms beyond mobile devices, Verizon can dip its toes into those waters.
Yahoo made the first step toward that streaming future in 2015 when the website purchased rights to a Week 7 game between the Jaguars and Buffalo Bills. Yahoo and Verizon are now set for a merger, which would provide even more properties for Verizon to stream its September game on.