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The National Football League is exploring its options for its media holdings, seeking an outside buyer for a stake in properties that include the NFL Network cable channel, NFL Digital and NFL RedZone.
“As the media industry continues to evolve, the NFL is exploring a strategic partnership to best position our owned and operated media assets for future growth. These assets include NFL Network, NFL RedZone, NFL digital platforms and the valuable content rights underlying these properties,” an NFL spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter.
The league rep added: “The NFL has a proven track record of creating leading media platforms that develop significant audiences so we anticipate speaking to a number of interested parties. We do not intend to provide an update on this process until it has concluded and will not speculate about potential outcomes.”
The stake exploration comes just a few months after the NFL completed a record-shattering $100 billion-plus suite of TV and streaming rights deals with partners including NBCUniversal, The Walt Disney Co., Amazon, ViacomCBS and Fox Corp. One or more of those media giants may very well consider partnering with the league on its media assets, betting that they would be in a better position to monetize them, particularly as cord-cutting continues to impact the business of cable television, including NFL Network.
The new TV rights deals bridge the gap between TV and streaming, giving rightsholders optionality should they shift their businesses to streaming.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the story, adding that Goldman Sachs is representing the league in the push.
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