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Customer's of the Verizon service will be able to stream more football games over their smart phones, further indication that the TV "game" is changing. Streaming live TV over mobile devices is more appreciated by consumers than downloading the same content after it airs.


Already there are apps being created by satellite and cable companies to allow their customers to stream content to their mobile devices. But the main catch is, the device holders must be subscribers to the service. It doesn't have the same appeal as "free over-the-air" signals do.

While the industry is moving towards streaming it is still a very fragmented picture at this time. For example, some streams are only available to a specific area, and as mentioned, others require paid subscriptions from the provider of the programming. Yet others require a specific device from a specific company.

Aereo is a very affordable option for OTA via the Internet and to get started with them requires little effort. However, their service is only available in select areas at this time, and there are some big players in the industry that are doing what they can to shut them down. So far though, Aereo continues to grow.

Sunday afternoon NFL games is the focus, plus the SuperBowl can be accesses live from smart phones

Beginning next year Verizon will begin to focus on Sunday afternoon NFL games to be streamed to the phones. Currently the company shows Monday, Thursday, and Sunday night games, but more games are played across the country on Sunday afternoon, hence the new focus there. Verizon's current deal was set in 2010 and was set up for 4 years for $720 million. The majority of the $1 billion for the next 4 year deal is to get the rights for the Sunday afternoon games that customers want. Exciting news is that the SuperBowl (live) will be streamed to the Verizon customer phones as well.

Major broadcast, satellite and cable providers like FOX, NBC Universal, News Corp, ESPN, Comcast, DirecTV, CBS, and more were getting the exclusive deals in the past, so this is a clear indication of the NFL's focus towards mobile TV moving forward. Deals were set in place for streaming to portable devices but smart phones were left out, leaving room for the initial Verizon deal that is now to be extended. Increases in the watching of football games on mobile devices, NFL finds is not distracting from the cable and satellite viewing of the games.

This is poor timing for "more streaming" in that companies like Verizon and AT&T are trying to get away from unlimited data plans for phones. This would mean that there may be data caps for Internet usage (and therefore streaming usage) making it so the customer pays extra if he or she goes over the allotted amount. It's no big deal to burn through 400 MB by just watching 3 hours of streaming TV and this is no different for the football games.

Naturally if the mobile users switched on Wi-Fi, the data plan will not be affected. But in order to get the game "on the road" which I suspect is the allure, they would need to be in a free Wi-Fi hot spot to get any signal, so the data plan will be the fallback for streaming usage.

Whatever the method subscribers are streaming the content (Wi-Fi, 4G, LTE, etc.) this new deal is a clear indication of how sports fans will be accessing the "game" in the future.

Source: broadcastengineering.com
 

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This is a win win on both sides. Cell phone carriers can charge more for bigger data plans and viewers don't have to be at home to watch the game. This way, they can't miss it. Of course, if they are not using free wi-fi then it will add some costs which is the only drawback.
 

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I think the cellphone companies decision to kill unlimited number data plans will limit the success of services like these. If consumers know they will have to pay more for the streaming services plus you will blow out your data plan at additional cost, why would they opt for these services? The domestic infrastructure is basically in place and the technology exist, all be it, in Europe and Asia to truly take advantage of services such as these on an unlimited basis. Providers can earn a profit on offers/services and consumers have attractive options for content when not at home.
 
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