NFL, Providence Equity to Invest $300 Million in Media, Tech

The National Football League is teaming with Providence Equity Partners to invest $300 million in private sports and entertainment-related media and technology companies.

The NFL and the Providence, Rhode Island-based firm each will commit equity to the partnership and operate it jointly, the league said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. The NFL said it will target growth equity investments of $25 million to $50 million, with the capacity to make larger investments.

“We will focus on innovative growth opportunities that could create meaningful value for the NFL and our fans,” Eric Grubman, the NFL’s executive vice president of business ventures, said in the statement. “We selected Providence as our partner because they share our vision of the opportunities and bring exceptional experience and relationships in the industry.”

NFL owners approved the partnership with Providence, which oversees $28 billion, during league meetings in Phoenix. It may help the league find revenue streams beyond licensing fees and ticket sales, and comes 15 months after NFL owners approved the creation of a $32 million investment fund.

“The NFL is the world’s premier sports and entertainment property and is in a unique position to help and benefit from the growth of a wide range of media assets,” Paul Salem, a senior managing director at Providence, said in the statement. “We believe there are many traditional and digital media properties that complement the NFL’s business and can add lasting value.”

Providence’s investments in sports- and entertainment-related media companies include the Yankees Sports & Entertainment Network, MLS Media, World Triathlon Corp. and video website Hulu LLC.

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