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Watch Together feature to allow fans to video chat during live games.
- Interactive feature to debut during NFL’s 2020/21 season opener
- Yahoo Sports also integrating AR replays into Game Center
- Verizon putting NFL live content into Yahoo Mail users’ inboxes
US telecommunications giant Verizon has expanded its National Football League (NFL) content offering to include an interactive, co-viewing experience that allows groups of fans to watch live games together via its Yahoo Sports app.
The new Watch Together viewing option will allow up to four users, one host and three guests, to communicate via a synchronised live video stream on their mobile devices and will debut during the Kansas City Chiefs’ 2020/21 season opener versus the Houston Texans on 10th September.
In addition to the co-viewing experience, Yahoo Sports is enhancing its Game Center experience by integrating an augmented reality (AR) feature that enables users to watch graphical replays of key NFL game plays in near real-time, including Next Gen Stats player tracking data.
Yahoo Sports’ mobile-only live NFL content includes in-market and national games across the regular and post-season, as well as the Super Bowl. In addition to the Yahoo Sports app, Yahoo Fantasy Sports app and AOL app, Yahoo Mail users will also have access to live NFL content. A brand-new videos tab on the Yahoo Mail iOS and Android app will offer Verizon’s NFL streams via user’s inboxes.
As well as Verizon Media mobile properties, live local and primetime games will also be available for free on NFL mobile properties, including the NFL App, and the NFL Fantasy App, plus the franchise mobile sites and apps for their respective games.
Verizon’s addition of Watch Together comes at no extra cost and follows similar concepts introduced by UK broadcasters Sky Sports and BT Sport when live Premier League soccer resumed post-lockdown.
“Watch Together is a result of Verizon Media and NFL’s innovative spirit to deliver next-gen experiences that create connection and community,” said Guru Gowrappan, Verizon Media’s chief executive.
“Leveraging Verizon Media’s ecosystem, technology and streaming capabilities, we have the unique ability to create powerful and immersive entertainment experiences of the future like no other.”
The start of the season also sees Amazon Web Services – which provides its Next Gen Stats to the NFL as part of a deal signed in 2017 – introduce new insights for use by teams, players, broadcasters, and fans.
The new innovations include: expected rush yards; route classification, which identifies player runs in real time; expected points; win probability; expected yards after catch; and field goal probability.