American football’s NFL and private equity firm RedBird Capital Partners have created a joint venture that holds rights for Sunday Ticket broadcasts in commercial venues across the US.
EverPass Media, announced yesterday (March 28), has a multi-year license from the 2023 season (beginning in September) to distribute out-of-market Sunday afternoon NFL games to the likes of bars, restaurants, and hotels.
The service is available non-exclusively through all participating cable and satellite providers.
Rights for additional live sports content are also being targeted, with the aim ultimately of providing a “premium live sports and entertainment service both in the US and globally.”
RedBird is part-funding the creation of EverPass Media, with the NFL also making an equity investment through its strategic investment arm 32 Equity.
32 Equity previously partnered with RedBird to create the On Location Experiences event hospitality and fan experiences firm.
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EverPass Media will be led by experienced media executives Derek Chang as executive chairman and Alex Kaplan as chief executive.
Chang commented: “Our goal is to create a new model for commercial sports rights distribution around the globe, and we believe that this is just the beginning of an exciting journey.
"Creating a platform that allows commercial establishments to deliver the content that their customers desire is a significant opportunity, and technology allows us to aggregate this content to a platform that can scale and evolve the viewing experience.”
The Sunday Ticket offer, created in 1994, makes NFL regular season games available in domestic markets outside of which they are played.
The NFL sold rights at the end of last year for its domestic Sunday Ticket package to Google in a seven-year deal starting with the 2023 season that will see the internet giant air games on its YouTube TV streaming service and YouTube Primetime Channels.
Brian Rolapp, chief media and business officer at the NFL, said: “Making our games as widely available as possible has been the bedrock of our media strategy and Sunday Ticket’s presence in bars, restaurants, and other commercial venues provides millions of fans a way to watch all out-of-market games on Sunday afternoons.
"We look forward to working with EverPass Media to expand the Sunday Ticket footprint in commercial establishments across the country.”
Gerry Cardinale, founder and managing partner of RedBird added: “We are excited to partner again with the NFL to develop an innovative platform to expand the league’s reach to its fan base and the sports media ecosystem more broadly.
"Anchored by Sunday Ticket, EverPass Media will provide premium rightsholders a scalable live event entertainment service that will enhance the customer experience at commercial establishments across the country.”
Image: Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images