The NFL has formed a new platform with RedBird Capital that will distribute NFL Sunday Ticket to bars, restaurants, and other commercial accounts.
Titled EverPass Media, the joint venture will make NFL Sunday Ticket “available on a non-exclusive basis through all participating cable and satellite providers” to those commercial accounts.
Media veterans Derek Chang and Alex Kaplan are joining EverPass as executive chairman and CEO, respectively.
“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,” said Chang. “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.”
“Watching the NFL in bars and restaurants continues to be one of the most popular and important ways for fans to engage with their favorite teams,” said Kaplan. “NFL Sunday Ticket is an important offering for any commercial establishment, and we look forward to working with our partners to innovate the viewing experience to ensure that more establishments can benefit from this offering and ultimately serve more fans.”
Both Chang and Kaplan previously worked for DirecTV. Kaplan was profiled in 2013 by the Sports Business Journal, spotlighting his work with Sunday Ticket.
When the NFL announced its deal with YouTube for Sunday Ticket in December, a commercial partner had yet to be found. The league was thought to be seeking $200 million annually for those rights. DirecTV seemed like a potential partner there and reportedly was interested in cutting a deal for the commercial rights with whichever outlet won the rights to Sunday Ticket.
DirecTV cut a multi-year deal with Amazon last year to offer Thursday Night Football in commercial establishments. That agreement at least gives DirecTV some leverage with businesses in the fall, as accounts couldn’t switch to a different provider and still get the full slate of NFL games.
Based on the NFL’s decision to form EverPass Media, it seems like the league couldn’t fit a partner out there willing to pay what it sought. We saw something similar last year with the launch of NFL+ when the league couldn’t find a partner for Verizon’s mobile streaming rights.