ESPN has reached an agreement with the National Football League that expands its live streaming of Monday Night Football (MNF) for ESPN subscribers to mobile phones. The expanded mobile rights also include NFL highlights and extend through the duration of ESPN’s existing NFL agreement (conclusion of the 2021 NFL season).
With the added mobile phone rights from this agreement, which begins with the upcoming NFL Wild Card weekend (Jan. 6-7) and Pro Bowl (Jan. 29), ESPN can deliver NFL highlights and stream MNF on an authenticated basis to fans on ESPN-branded digital properties across all devices and platforms.
ESPN could already stream its many NFL-branded studio shows – Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown, NFL Live, etc. – across all devices including computers, phones, tablets, connected TVs and OTT devices (such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Chromecast and more), while MNF streaming included those platforms with the exception of mobile phones.
This deal was made possible due to the end of Verizon’s mobile exclusivity with their new NFL deal. Other networks have already acquired the mobile rights for their broadcasts.
“Every day, tens of millions of fans turn to ESPN to stream events, view highlights and connect with the latest sports news and stories, so we’re thrilled that they will now be able to enjoy Monday Night Football and the latest NFL highlights as part of their experience on mobile phones as well,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN executive vice president, programming and scheduling.
ESPN Digital is the world’s leading sports digital platform, averaging 117 million users a month – more than the Nos. 2, 3, and 4 sports properties combined. Nearly 75 percent of total visits come from mobile devices and the ESPN App is the No. 1 sports app.
Since August 2017, an average of 10.6 million fans are consuming NFL-related content on ESPN digital media each day this season. Fans have logged 3.0 billion visits, 30.4 billion minutes and 1.4 billion video views, increases of 13 percent, 14 percent and 198 percent year-over-year, respectively.
Across all sports and shows, ESPN’s streaming on computers, smartphones, tablets and OTT devices has averaged 9.6 million unique devices and 2.1 billion minutes per month, up 18 percent and 33 percent, respectively, over the same period last year.
Through 14 weeks (15 games) this season, ESPN’s MNF is averaging 10.8 million viewers (TV, plus streaming on tablets and OTT devices).