ESPN Gets Right To Stream ‘MNF’ To Mobile Phones

ESPN said it reached an agreement with the National Football League that will allow it to stream Monday Night Football to mobile phones.

The agreement follows a new deal between the NFL and Verizon, which had exclusive rights to stream games to mobile phones. Earlier this week, NBC announced it had acquired rights to stream its Sunday Night Footballgames.

ESPN said the expanded streaming rights will kick in with the NFL Wild Card playoff games on Jan 6 and Jan 7. It will also be able to stream the Pro Bowl to phones on Jan. 29.

The new deal will also allow ESPN to deliver NFL highlight on an authenticated basis to fans on ESPN-branded properties.

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“Every day, tens of millions of fans turn to ESPN to stream events, view highlights and connect with the latest sports news and stories, so we’re thrilled that they will now be able to enjoy Monday Night Football and the latest NFL highlights as part of their experience on mobile phones as well,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN executive VP, programming and scheduling.

ESPN could already stream its many NFL-branded studio shows – Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown, NFL Live, etc. – across all devices including computers, phones, tablets, connected TVs and OTT devices (such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Chromecast and more), while MNF streaming included those platforms with the exception of mobile phones.

Across all sports and shows, ESPN’s streaming on computers, smartphones, tablets and OTT devices has averaged 9.6 million unique devices and 2.1 billion minutes per month, up 18% and 33%, respectively, over the same period last year.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.