Why Verizon Paid The NFL $21 Million To Broadcast A Lackluster Game

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The game, a week three matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars to be played in London on September 24, will be distributed on Verizon's AOL platform, its mobile video service go90, and Complex, a young male-focused site it co-owns with Hearst Corp.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, they paid $21 million for the rights.

The match will be streamed to a global audience via Verizon platforms such as AOL, Fios, go90 and Complex. "In the United Kingdom, the game will be on Sky Sports". Unlike with the Verizon deal, the "Thursday Night Football" games will air nationally on NBC and CBS.

"Verizon will be the NFL's exclusive digital partner to deliver the live stream of the Week 3 International Series game in London to a global audience", said the National Football League in a statement.

The deal helps Verizon boost its sports streaming efforts as it prepares to integrate Yahoo (NasdaqGS: YHOO - news) 's core internet business later this year.

The London matchup also will be available on the NFL Mobile app to Verizon Wireless customers, and the NFL app on Xbox One and Windows 10.

Last month, the league reached an agreement with Amazon.com Inc.to stream 10 Thursday night games next season on its Amazon Prime service.

That's right: Verizon is dropping $21 million for a Jags game.

The NFL announced the deal in a statement this week. In 2015 it paid around $20 million.

"Are we reaching incremental audiences?" said Shah. And since NFL London games start early, it'll be the only game to watch.

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