The NFL has expanded its deal with Yahoo Sports to allow Yahoo fantasy football players to stream live games from the Yahoo Fantasy Sports App.
The announcement was made Tuesday at Verizon’s Media NewFront presentation in New York with New York Jets’ quarterback Sam Darnold and Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football expert Liz Loza.
Yahoo, owned by Verizon, was limited to only streaming games from its main Yahoo Sports app since January 2018 as part of a five-year, $2 billion deal between Verizon and the NFL. Now fans will be free to watch live games while simultaneously keeping up with their fantasy league teams in the same app.
“When football returns for the 2019/20 season, in addition to NFL live streaming on the Yahoo Sports mobile app, we will be extending our NFL streaming rights into the Yahoo Fantasy Football app for the first time ever,” Loza said. “NFL fans all over the country can root for their favorite teams and watch all local and primetime games free and unauthenticated in the Yahoo Fantasy Football app, the Yahoo Sports app and other Verizon and NFL media properties on phones and tablets.”
Highlight reels have been a staple for the major fantasy sports hosting sites for years, however this is the first real venture into streaming live games in full. This move, if successful, could lead to more live, full-game streaming deals in fantasy sports. It’s also worth wondering if the NFL would adapt this move to its own fantasy football host, if at the least for its Verizon customers.
Yahoo Sports general manager Geoff Reiss said age demographics played a role in the NFL’s move after just one year of streaming on the Yahoo Sports app.
“Half of our fans were under the age of 40,” he said. “I think one of the reasons the league was interested in working with us is we would be a means for them to reach younger audiences.”