NFL Flies With RedBird Capital to Put ‘Sunday Ticket’ in Bars and Restaurants; DirecTV Says It’s Still in Play
NFL forms a joint venture with private equity firm to stream games in public establishments, with other live events potentially added down the road
The National Football League has entered into a joint venture with private equity firm RedBird Capital Partners to stream ”NFL Sunday Ticket“ in bars, restaurants and other public dining and entertainment establishments, starting this upcoming football season.
The JV, called EverPass Media, will become the exclusive commercial distributor of NFL Sunday Ticket and could potentially also distribute other live sporting events down the road.
EverPass will be led by Derek Chang and Alex Kaplan, who notably worked closely with the NFL on Sunday Ticket while employed by incumbent distributor DirecTV.
For its part, DirecTV, which just ended a decades-long partnership with the NFL for the residential Sunday Ticket business, said it's still in play to retain the commercial side of the out-of-market regular-season games package.
“DirecTV delivers market-leading sports content to bars, restaurants and other commercial establishments across the U.S. including exclusive access to MLS Season Pass and MLB Friday Night Baseball, as well as Thursday Night Football, with more games and leagues on the horizon. We are in discussions with RedBird Capital to deliver NFL Sunday Ticket to our 300,000-plus commercial venues as only satellite can provide a consistent and reliable experience in venues and across locations that fans have come to expect," DirecTV said in a statement sent to Next TV Tuesday night.
In December, Google/Alphabet entered into a multiyear agreement to take over the residential Sunday Ticket, paying from $2 billion to $2.5 billion to sell the add-on package through its YouTube TV virtual pay TV service.
According to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the RedBird deal, the commercial Sunday Ticket contract is worth around $200 million a season. And DirecTV, which has carried the package since it debuted in 1994, had hoped to retain the commercial business. ■
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Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!