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DirecTV to be NFL Sunday ticket provider for bars, restaurants

Football fans watch the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII game between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks at a sports bar in New Jersey on February 2, 2014.

Cem Ozdel | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

DirecTV has struck a multiyear deal to continue broadcasting the National Football League’s “Sunday Ticket” package to commercial establishments, including bars and restaurants, according to people familiar with the matter.

A deal between DirecTV and EverPass Media could be announced as soon as Thursday, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. The price of the deal was not immediately clear. The NFL sold “Sunday Ticket” commercial rights to EverPass Media, a joint venture owned by private equity firm RedBird Capital Partners and the NFL, earlier this year.

The agreement, which starts for the 2023 season, gives DirecTV the ability to use its network of satellite TV installations to connect sports bars, casinos, restaurants and hotels across the United States with “Sunday Ticket”, just as it has done in previous years , said the people.

While this is the first deal EverPass has entered into to distribute commercial rights, the contract does not guarantee exclusivity, the people said. The joint venture could negotiate a separate deal with other cable or streaming companies that might want a commercial tie-up outside of satellite TV, the people said. EverPass could also build its own commercial connection in the coming years and bypass third-party licensing, one of the people said.

DirecTV has been the sole provider of “Sunday Ticket,” the NFL’s retail package of Sunday afternoon games, since 1994. Bars and restaurants, such as Buffalo Wild Wings and Hooters, rely on “Sunday Ticket” to bring in large crowds on Sundays during NFL season.

The NFL signed a seven-year deal with Google’s YouTube TV for the “Sunday Ticket” residential broadcast rights in December. The agreement starts at the start of the 2023-24 season.

YouTube TV paid $2 billion a year to win the residential rights to “Sunday Ticket,” a price DirecTV was unwilling to pay.

DirecTV is co-owned by private equity firm TPG and AT&T, with AT&T owning 70% of the company.

The satellite TV provider has focused on its commercial sports rights business in recent months as a companion to streaming services, which do not hold the commercial rights. DirecTV announced in March that it will broadcast Major League Baseball’s “Friday Night Baseball” and Major League Soccer’s “Season Pass” games for its network of more than 300,000 restaurants, bars, hotel lounges, stores and other commercial venues. Both packages stream on Apple TV+ at home.

DirecTV also has the rights to broadcast the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” commercially. These games are broadcast on Amazon Prime Video for households.

WATCH: NFL’s ‘Sunday Ticket’ package deal with YouTube is ‘a good deal,’ says Bruin Capital founder

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