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Verizon Snags NFL Mobile Content

BASKING RIDGE, N.J., and NEW YORK: Verizon Wireless secured an agreement with the National Football League for mobile content. The League is allowing the cell-phone provider rights to its NFL RedZone Channel. The agreement is said to run four years; The Wall Street Journal pegged the transaction at $720 million.

Verizon Wireless, which transmits video to cell phones via its VCast service, will launch carriage with coverage of the NFL Draft, April 22-24 and continuing into the regular season. Subscribers will then have access to live footage of games, including those played on Sunday, reports indicate.

Verizon Wireless replaces Spring Nextel’s mobile video provision for the NFL. Sprint Nextel’s contract excluded Sunday games to protect the broadcast rights of CBS and Fox. Broadcast executives are expected to watch ratings closely to discern potential impact.

Verizon smartphones include Motorola’s Droid and the BlackBerry Storm2.