Verizon, NFL reach 2-year partnership to enhance game and fan experience

Fans cheer during the first half of an NFC championship game between the Saints and Rams. (AP)
Fans cheer during the first half of an NFC championship game between the Saints and Rams. (AP)

The way fans watch NFL football is changing, and Verizon announced an “innovation partnership” with the league that is designed to improve the fan experience.

In the partnership announcement Monday, there were three key facets aimed at enhancing NFL games and the fan experience. It’s a two-year partnership to jointly develop new products and services that utilize the 5G network of mobile connectivity.

Verizon, which owns Verizon Media’s Yahoo Sports, was announced as “The Official 5G Innovation Partner of the NFL.”

3 facets to appeal to NFL fans

The first of the three parts to the partnership is aimed at improving the experience at games.

In-Stadium Experience: Verizon and the NFL will work on new in-stadium mobile features, using the 5G network, to enhance what fans will experience when they’re at the games.

5G Mobile Gaming Challenge: Game developers will be in charge of creating one or more NFL-themed games powered by 5G. The games will be designed around the speed of the 5G network, with low latency to give users a higher quality gaming experience.

Emerging Video Streaming Technology: Verizon will explore streaming volumetric video, an emerging media format, on the 5G network to develop new fan experiences and applications.

Goodell ‘excited to enter into this innovation partnership’

Verizon and the NFL have had a relationship for more than a decade, and the innovation partnership is billed as the next step.

“Today's announcement is another milestone in Verizon's long-standing relationship with the NFL,” Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg said in a statement. “The Innovation Partnership will use Verizon's 5G technology to unlock new and exciting ways for NFL fans to view, share and engage with their favorite teams no matter where they are. From the living room to the stadium, 5G will transform the sports experience.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the new partnership will benefit the league’s fans.

“For over 10 years now Verizon has been one of our most trusted partners and our work with them has delivered fans incredible access and experiences around the NFL,” Goodell said in a statement. “As the promise of 5G technology nears, I’m excited to enter into this innovation partnership with Verizon which should again bring a multitude of benefits to our millions of fans worldwide.”

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab