Verizon renews NBA deal

Business News

Verizon Communications has renewed its deal with the National Basketball Association for two years, allowing users to live-stream games on its Yahoo platform and mobile devices and access out-of market live games.

Verizon will partner with the NBA to create original content as well as establish a technology innovation fund to experiment with new formats, such as virtual reality, executives at Verizon and the NBA told Reuters.

The new deal opens up Yahoo’s pro-basketball fantasy sports to Verizon users globally. The companies declined to comment on the terms of the agreement.

Verizon is seeking to make live sports a focus in the wake of last year’s acquisition of Yahoo, said Brian Angiolet, global chief media and content officer at Verizon.

Verizon is considering entering the multibillion-dollar market for sports betting, which could become legal in the U.S. before the year is out, according to people familiar with the matter.

A fully regulated U.S. gambling market would be worth as much as $15.8 billion in revenue, according to a study by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming. That could include 44 million customers wagering $245 billion annually — about three times bigger than the firm’s estimate of the current black market for sports betting in the U.S.

Among the estimated black-market American betters, more than 90 percent place bets online.