DirecTV Sets Deal To Continue Distributing NFL Sunday Ticket To Commercial Businesses As Consumer Rights Shift To YouTube

DirecTV, which held the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket for nearly three decades until YouTube took over the package, has struck a deal to continue distributing it to bars, restaurants and other commercial businesses.

The satellite operator, which is owned by AT&T and private equity firm TPG, closed a multi-year agreement with EverPass Media, a specialist in delivering live sports and entertainment programming to businesses. The arrangement begins with the upcoming NFL season.

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Sunday Ticket, whose main packages cost $249 or $349 per season, caters to NFL fans looking for a full menu of simultaneous games instead of the two or three regionally targeted ones offered on Sunday afternoons by CBS and Fox. YouTube reportedly paid $2 billion a year in a 7-year deal for the package, which is available as an add-on to subscribers of YouTube TV or as a stand-alone option via YouTube’s channel store.

During the 1990s and 2000s, as DirecTV was growing, Sunday Ticket was a valuable and exclusive subscription driver, though in more recent years it had become more burdensome as the company’s footprint shrank. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had long indicated a tech company would take over the package. Last week, he appeared at YouTube’s Brandcast event for advertisers and said the new agreement is “only the beginning” of a deepening relationship between the league and the digital video colossus.

DirecTV reaches more than 300,000 bars, restaurants and other commercial establishments across the U.S. and has reached similar deals in parallel with other streaming exclusives like Thursday Night Football on Prime Video.

“We’re thrilled to partner with EverPass and continue carriage of NFL Sunday Ticket,” said Mike
Wittrock, DirecTV Chief Sales and Service Officer.

“EverPass is creating a platform for commercial businesses that allows for seamless access to must-have
live sports and entertainment content,” EverPass CEO Alex Kaplan said.

EverPass is funded by RedBird Capital Partners. The NFL, through its strategic investment arm 32 Equity, also has a stake in the company.

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