The NFL on Sunday remains a big ticket, and DirecTV is moving to get back the fans. The Sunday Ticket needs to be distributed to commercial establishments like bars and restaurants. For that purpose, the league partnered with RedBird Capital to create EverPass Media.
It seemed that DirecTV had exited the NFL world, but now they have made a comeback in the most surprising way. That’s because EverPass has now made a deal with DirecTV to distribute the package to commercial businesses.
DirecTV will distribute Sunday Ticket on Sunday afternoons to more than 300,000 commercial businesses, including bars, restaurants, hotels, casinos, retail shops and military bases. They will also televise games on Thursday, Sunday and Monday nights.
Mike Wittrock, DirecTV’s chief sales and service officer, said:
“DirecTV for Business delivers a market-leading, consistent and reliable sports viewing experience to fans in more than 300,000 bars, restaurants and other commercial establishments across the United States. We’re thrilled to partner with EverPass and continue carriage of NFL Sunday Ticket.”
Why had DirecTV initially walked away from Sunday Ticket?
The broadcast world is changing, and television as a traditional form is waning. It was decided to move the Sunday Ticket to YouTube TV, as streaming became a more popular method of watching.
Lately, DirecTV was bleeding more than $100 million a year on the package that provides out-of-market games to NFL fans. Although the league did not reveal the value of YouTube’s rights package for residential customers, reports put the annual figure for Google at $2.5 billion. That’s an increase of $1 billion from what DirecTV was paying.
However, what people had probably not contended for is that large businesses need simultaneous TV feed. They cannot depend solely on streaming that buffer and can sometimes go out of sync. The experience of DirecTV in that is unparalleled, as they had pioneered this method of offering with the league since 1994.
Apart from NFL Sunday Ticket, it distributes other premium programming, including commercial rights for Major League Baseball’s “Friday Night Baseball” and Major League Soccer’s MLS Season Pass for Apple customers, as well as the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football,” which is broadcast through Amazon’s Prime Video.
Through the most roundabout way, DirecTV is back in the NFL just when one thought they were done for good. Whether it’s a permanent save or something that just pushes the inevitable to a later date will be something we will get to know in the future.