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 Özdel | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
DirecTV has reached a multi-year deal to continue carrying 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 early as Thursday, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. The price of the transaction was not immediately clear. The NFL has sold the “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, effective for the 2023 season, gives DirecTV the ability to use its network of satellite TV facilities to connect sports bars, casinos, restaurants and hotels across the United States. with “Sunday Ticket,” just like he did in previous years, the people say.
While this is the first deal EverPass has made to distribute commercial rights, the contract does not guarantee exclusivity, the sources said. The joint venture can negotiate a separate deal with other cable or streaming companies that might want a commercial connection outside of satellite TV, the people said. EverPass may also establish its own commercial connection in the coming years and bypass third-party licenses, one of the people said.
DirecTV has been the sole provider of “Sunday Ticket,” the NFL’s Sunday afternoon out-of-market gaming package, since 1994. Bars and restaurants, such as Buffalo Wild Wings and Hooters, rely on “Sunday Ticket” to bring big crowds on Sundays during the NFL season.
The NFL has signed a seven-year contract with Google‘s YouTube TV for “Sunday Ticket” residential streaming rights in December. The deal begins at the start of the 2023-24 season.
YouTube TV paid $2 billion a year for the residential rights to “Sunday Ticket,” a price DirecTV was unwilling to pay.
DirecTV is jointly owned by private equity firm TPG and AT&Twith AT&T holding 70% of the company.
The satellite TV provider has focused in recent months on its commercial sports rights business as a companion to streaming services, which do not have the commercial rights. Direc TV announced in March that it will air 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, retail stores and other commercial locations. Both packages stream on Apple TV+ in residence.
DirecTV also has the rights to commercially broadcast the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football.” These games are streamed on Amazon Prime Video for households.
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