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Published March 20, 2013
OUTSIDE PROVIDENCE: NFL Exec VP/Business Ventures Eric Grubman appeared on CNBC yesterday to discuss the league's deal with Providence Equity Partners. The deal forms a new investment partnership that, according to CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo, will hand out $300M “to invest in start-ups that focus on sports, media and technology.” Grubman said the NFL “is a big business” and “lots of opportunities go by us." Grubman: "We tend to take advantage of them, historically, when we have a partner and we sign a long-term contract. It’s always been a licensing deal, and there are a lot of opportunities with the changes in media and technology for people to invest. So we wanted to have that opportunity to try to get into the investment business and that’s what this is all about.” He said the NFL partnered with Providence because media and technology are a “lot of the things we see,” Providence is “very good" in that investment area and “has been for many, many years so." Grubman: "This seemed like a natural fit for us to get started.” He said the partnership now is in effect and the league will not have to “have a start-up ourselves to be able to do this," and instead can use the infrastructure at Providence. Grubman: "It’s not to say we’ll never hire anyone but we’re going to walk before we can run. ... It’s really an investment partnership so that simplifies it and demystifies it” (“Closing Bell With Maria Bartiromo,” CNBC, 3/19).