IAC's Ticketmaster division is trying to close a multiyear deal to be the official ticket scalper of the National Football League. TicketMaster competitor and eBay subsidiary StubHub is the other potential bidder for resale rights. Earlier this year, Stubhub made a deal to resell Major League Baseball tickets, a significant blow to Ticketmaster. Unfortunately for Ticketmaster, while the MLB deal gave StubHub resale rights for all 30 teams at once, because of the way the NFL is structured, the league has negotiating rights for only about half the league.
The remaining 15 teams would, if they agreed, be signed up with Ticketmaster over the next five years. Some organizations, including the New England Patriots, ban sales of tickets above face value, making their willingness to join with any reseller questionable. Barry Diller has no such qualms: His IAC, which currently owns Ticketmaster, is considering a spinoff or sale of the property as it looks to break itself up into several different entities. He'd be glad to sell Ticketmaster to the highest bidder.