Verizon Sports New Deals for Mobile OTT Service

Verizon said it has struck deals with a handful of sports-oriented programming partners for a new mobile video service that’s slated to launch later this year with a lineup that's expected to feature  20 to 30 channels.

Verizon said its coming “mobile-first” service will offer programming from ACC Digital Network, Campus Insiders, CBS Sports, ESPN and 120 Sports. Verizon announced in March that Awesomeness TV, the multichannel network tailored for teens and millennial audiences, will also product more than 200 hours of content for the new offering.

Verizon has not announced pricing and packaging for the service, but said it will be available later this year to Verizon Wireless customers with data services on their smartphones and tablets. Verizon, citing a study by CTM/Univeristy of Southern California, found that nearly two-thirds of millennials consider smartphones or tablets, not TVs, as their primary device.

Among the new agreements, CBS Sports will provide Verizon with “dozens of live major college games,” with ESPN providing “select live college football and college games” and access to shows such as 30 for 30.  

“Sports fans are some of the most passionate around, and they never want to miss a single play,” said Terry Denson, vice president, content acquisition and strategy at Verizon, in a statement. “With consumers – especially younger consumers – demanding access to entertainment and information that matters to them, whenever and wherever they are, college sports with all of its live programming and networks targeted to millennials are a natural fit for any mobile-first video platform. These brands are at the top of the league, and we’re excited to work with them as new content models for our customers develop and evolve.” 

Verizon is developing the OTT service following its acquisition of Intel Media’s OnCue online video assets in 2014