NFL could sell stakes in its media properties to strategic partners

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The NFL is seeking to expand the reach of its television networks and digital services, it said in a letter to team owners Wednesday. Joe Flint of the Wall Street Journal reports the league is exploring options for its media properties, which could include selling stakes to strategic partners.

The NFL has hired Goldman Sachs to find a potential partnership with a company for NFL Network, NFL RedZone, and rights to carry events such as the draft, combine and schedule release.

The league believes it can grow its media holdings with a bigger media and/or technology company as a partner.

“As the whole world of communications and digital media changes, we want to find a partner who can further help us maximize the reach and potential the NFL assets represent,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft, the chairman of the league’s media committee, told Flint.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told Flint the league is not interested in selling but instead is “looking for investment partners.”

In its letter to team owners, the league said it wants to create “an even more dynamic media asset that extends reach and engagement and creates additional value for the clubs — including through direct-to-consumer opportunities, new and innovative content and formats, and international expansion.”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in a memo to staff that the league has “a number of rights and assets to support the future growth of our business” including live games, events such as the draft and “a myriad of opportunities around legalized sports betting.”

The league has no timetable to find a potential partner and concedes the process could extend into 2022.