The National Football League might sell a stake in its media properties to a strategic partner, including the NFL Network and RedZone channels.
The league has hired investment banker Goldman Sachs because it thinks the channels would be helped by being aligned with a bigger media company as cord-cutting reduces the number of cable TV subscribers, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“As the media industry continues to evolve, the NFL is exploring a strategic partnership to best position our owned and operated media assets for future growth. These assets include NFL Network, NFL RedZone, NFL digital platforms and the valuable content rights underlying these properties,” the league said in a statement. “The NFL has a proven track record of creating leading media platforms that develop significant audiences so we anticipate speaking to a number of interested parties. We do not intend to provide an update on this process until it has concluded and will not speculate about potential outcomes.”
NFL executives said the league wasn’t looking to sell the networks outright.
“We are looking for investment partners,” Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, a member of the league’s media committee, told the WSJ.
In a memo to staff obtained by the paper NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league has “a number of rights and assets to support the future growth of our business” including live games, tentpole events such as the NFL draft and “a myriad of opportunities around legalized sports betting.”
The NFL is a television powerhouse and in March completed negotiations with its television partners that resulted in agreements that will pay its more than $100 billion over 11 years.
In addition to its cable channels, the league’s media properties including NFL.com, the NFL app its production operation and library of games, features and clips.
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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