Are you ready for some football -- in your pocket?

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) is ready to deliver exactly that, thanks to a new deal with the NFL. The deal, valued at $720 million for four years of mobile football coverage, also makes Verizon the official mobile phone service of the NFL and sends previous name sponsor Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) to the bench.

It's not quite the full-blast treatment you'd get from a DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) subscription to the NFL Sunday Ticket package. Verizon's customers will get to watch some full games live on their smartphones and augment the experience with the RedZone highlights channel and the NFL Network cable channel. Coverage starts next month with the 2010 draft.

A spokesman for Verizon explained that existing smartphones like the Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) BlackBerry series and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android handsets like the Motorola (NYSE: MOT) Droid will work with the NFL service right out of the box, but there's no word yet on how much Verizon will charge customers for the privilege of football overload, wherever you are.

Though Verizon snuck in some mention of coming 4G network upgrades, it's clear that the mobile phone market is becoming more and more commoditized. Both networks and handsets are reaching a level of quality and features where you'd probably be pretty happy with any of the major networks and one of their phones. That's why unique content deals like this one are becoming an important part of the service providers' strategic plans -- you can't go to AT&T (NYSE: T) and expect the same NFL experience you'll get from Verizon.

Expect more of these exclusive content announcements in the future. Verizon smartly grabbed the king of exclusive entertainment right away, but we're still in the first quarter of this market game and there are many plays left.

There are lots of football fanatics out there listening to Verizon's siren song. Will they jump ship to Verizon in enough numbers to make a difference? Discuss in the comments section below.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Sprint Nextel is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.