Football fans watch the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII game between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks on 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 wasn’t immediately clear. The NFL 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, which kicks in for the 2023 season, gives DirecTV the ability to use its network of satellite TV installations to connect sports bars, casinos, restaurants and hotels throughout the U.S. with “Sunday Ticket,” just as it has in previous years, said the people.
While this is the first deal EverPass has struck to distribute commercial rights, the contract doesn’t guarantee exclusivity, the people said. The joint venture can negotiate a separate agreement with other cable or streaming companies that may want a commercial hookup outside of satellite TV, said the people. EverPass can also build its own commercial connection in future years and bypass third party licensing, one of the people said.
DirecTV has been the sole provider of “Sunday Ticket,” the NFL’s out-of-market Sunday afternoon package of games, since 1994. Bars and restaurants, such as Buffalo Wild Wings and Hooters, rely on “Sunday Ticket” to bring in big crowds on Sundays during the NFL season.
The NFL signed a seven-year deal with Google‘s YouTube TV for the residential “Sunday Ticket” broadcast rights in December. The agreement begins at the start of the 2023-24 season.
YouTube TV paid $2 billion per year to win the residential rights for “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 don’t have the commercial rights. DirecTV announced in March 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 shops and other commercial venues. Both packages stream on Apple TV+ residentially.
DirecTV also has the rights to broadcast NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” commercially. Those games air on Amazon Prime Video for households.
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