Movistar Mexico, owned by Spain-based Telefónica, has signed an agreement with the U.S.-based National Football League (NFL) to launch the Movistar NFL MX app. This app gives all the operator’s mobile customers access to all U.S. football games of the upcoming season, as well as other exclusive NFL content. Customers will also be given the opportunity to win tickets for games such as the Los Angeles Rams vs. Kansas City Chiefs, to be held on 19 November in Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca. The app will be available to iOS and Android users at a one-off cost of MXN 99.00 (US $5.13), starting on 17 September.
Amid the U.S. government’s increasingly strident stance with regard to Mexican immigration and the concomitant strain in relations, mobile operators are clearly trying to increase and strengthen ties between the two countries. U.S. giant AT&T—after acquiring Nextel Mexico and Iusacell in 2014 and 2015—established a Mexican subsidiary, AT&T Mexico, with a cross-border North American mobile service area in which roaming does not apply.
Given the close connections—by culture and population—between the U.S. and Mexico, and given that those have apparently grown to include American football, it makes sense for a the U.S.-Mexican operator to use the time-tested strategy of offering exclusive access to sports content in a way that itself crosses the border. And the NFL itself has taken this approach, having announced plans to hold a small number of regular-season games in Mexico in 2018 through 2021, with the Rams-Chiefs matchup as the inaugural event. Offering Mexican customers of AT&T not only the opportunity to win tickets to that game but also exclusive access via an app with a low one-time fee to televised viewing of all NFL games is an excellent way for the operator to leverage and monetize this current cultural phenomenon.