Verizon CEO: ‘We’re Going to Completely Change the Way People View Sports’

Verizon and the National Basketball Association Jan. 17 announced an expansion on their three-year partnership that includes subscription streaming video and access on Yahoo.

Beginning with the NBA All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles (Feb. 16-18), the NBA and Verizon will unveil a series of collaborations leveraging Verizon’s 5G network and technology.

Verizon subs will direct Access to NBA League Pass, the live over-the-top video service co-managed by the NBA and Turner Sports – on Yahoo Sports and other Verizon media platforms.

The telecom and NBA will promote daily highlight video show, commentary, in addition to augmented reality, lifestyle programming utilizing the league’s archive of footage across Yahoo Sports and Verizon’s media platforms.

“With the addition of live NBA games … and more to our mobile sports offering, Yahoo Sports and Verizon’s family of media brands are becoming … an alternative for partners and advertisers,” Brian Angiolet, SVP, global chief media and content officer at Verizon, said in a statement.

The new agreement comes as Disney seeks to expand the ESPN brand digitally, including launching a standalone SVOD service this year.

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said that when the telecom purchased AOL and Yahoo in 2015 and 2017, respectively, a major objective was distribution of sports programing to more than 1.3 billion users across the Oath platform.

“As we look at digital media viewing, that’s got to be the cornerstone,” McAdam told Yahoo Sports.

The executive believes that after three years working with the NBA, Verizon can leverage all “those digital eyeballs” to better position the telecom (and advertisers) for next-generation 5G mobile technology.

“We’re going to completely change the way people view sports,” McAdam said.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the live-game experience for fans continues to evolve, with younger viewers increasingly consuming content on mobile devices.

Indeed, the agreement includes a $25 million joint fund to underwrite interactive 5G products centered around the end-user.

“If we want a pick-up game with five people in five different cities and do slam-dunk contests, you’ll be able to do it like you’re sitting together on the same court,” McAdam said.


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