What ratings decline?

Verizon (VZ) announced that it is re-upping its contract with the NFL for game streaming rights, with Recode reporting that it will pay more than $1.5 billion over the next five seasons. That price tag is up from the $1 billion Verizon paid for rights in its expiring deal with the league.

Unlike the last deal, the streams won't be exclusive to Verizon subscribers. The company plans to use the NFL to draw people to its other properties like Yahoo, AOL, go90 and Complex.

The new deal kicks off January 2018 with streaming of the NFL playoffs on Yahoo and Yahoo Sports in addition to go90 and the NFL mobile App.

"We're making a commitment to fans for Verizon's family of media properties to become the mobile destination for live sports," said Lowell McAdam, Chairman and CEO of Verizon Communications. "The NFL is a great partner for us and we are excited to take its premier content across a massive mobile scale so viewers can enjoy live football and other original NFL content where and how they want it."

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