The National Football league has announced a partnership with private equity firm, RedBird Capital Partners, to stream “NFL Sunday Ticket” in bars, restaurants, and other potential public dining and entertainment establishments. The partnership will officially begin at the start of this upcoming football season.
NFL Sunday Ticket has been available through DirecTV since 1994, but recently that deal has expired. DirecTV had been paying about $1.5 billion for the package per year and decided that it wasn’t worth paying the steep price the NFL was demanding.
The NFL Sunday Ticket package broadcasts National Football League regular season games unavailable on local affiliates. It carries all national Sunday afternoon games produced by both FOX and CBS, and is catered towards fans who live too far to see their favorite team play on local channels. It’s also utilized heavily by sports bars who want to increase business by attracting fans of non-local teams.
On Tuesday night, DirecTV stated: “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, though they are ending their decades-long partnership with the NFL, still wants 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.” They continued.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the commercial Sunday Ticket contract is worth nearly $200 million per football season, which DirecTV hopes to retain commercially.
Back in December, Google/Alphabet entered into a multiyear partnership to take over the residential Sunday Ticket, paying anywhere from $2 billion to $2.5 billion to sell the package through its Youtube TV pay TV service.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said: “We’re excited to bring NFL Sunday Ticket to Youtube TV and Youtube Primetime Channels and usher in a new era of how fans across the United States watch and follow the NFL. For a number of years we have been focused on increased digital distribution of our games and this partnership is yet another example of looking towards the future and building the next generation of NFL fans.”
This joint venture with RedBird Capital partners is an exciting turn of events for both companies, and even more sports events are projected to join the fray once the partnership fully kick-starts for the football season.