TVSM Global Report 2016

The annual TVSM Global Report uses the data from TV Sports Markets Rights Tracker to put a figure on the global value of the sports media rights market. It also includes values for the top sports, top properties and top markets. The figures are accompanied by explanatory text and analysis.

The 2016 edition includes a table of the most valuable individual deals from the preceding 12 months, and analysis by the TV Sports Markets team of significant developments to look out for during 2016-17 that will affect the global market value.

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The global value of sports media rights hit $43bn in 2016, a 9.8-per-cent increase on 2015 and 57 per cent more than 2010. Sports rights proved relatively resilient to the recession in the early part of the decade and the global value has increased every year since 2010, with annual growth peaking at 15 per cent in 2014.

The market is set to continue growing over the next three years, and is forecast to hit $49.5bn in 2019, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8 per cent over the 2010-19 period.

The growth has been across the board in terms of the leading markets and sports. The top 10 markets, which account for 82 per cent of global value in 2016, are forecast to grow by between 3.5 per cent and 9.8 per cent CAGR over the 10-year period.

The UK is the fastest-growing of the 10 markets, both in 2016 with a 23-per-cent annual increase, and between 2010 and 2019 (9.8 per cent). In 2016 the UK also spends the most on sports rights on a per capita basis at $63.21 and as a proportion of its national income, as measured by gross domestic product on purchasing power parity terms.

Similarly, the top 10 sports, providers of 93 per cent of the global value, will grow by between 2.0 per cent and 9.8 per cent CAGR over the 10-year period. Basketball will be the fastest-growing sport followed by football.

Football, by far the most valuable sport at $16.7bn in 2016, registered the largest annual rise of the top 10 sports in 2016 at 16 per cent. Forecasted growth will see the sport’s value top $20bn in 2019. Premium sports properties are major drivers of overall growth in global value. The top 10 properties provide 60 per cent of the global market in 2016. Growth in rights value for the English Premier League, NBA, Uefa Champions League and LaLiga accounted for over 60 per cent of the global value increase in 2016.

Similarly, the 15-per-cent increase in global value in 2014 was driven by major increases in the big US sports leagues, including the world’s most valuable sports property the NFL, and Major League Baseball. US sports are mostly on long-term contracts while European football tends to be on three-year rights cycle.

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There is a range of factors driving the rising value of sports rights. Several are underlying, structural elements. Others are specific to regions or even individual markets. They fall into a number of categories:

  1. Macro-economics: economic conditions have improved in the main European and North American markets markets after the economic downturn. Elsewhere, large parts of Asia, Latin America and Africa have continued to grow.
  2. Fragmented market: Premium sport continues to be one of the few ways to deliver large television audiences on a regular basis in an increasingly fragmented media market. Sport also delivers hard-to-get, and therefore more valuable, audience demographics, such as young males.
  3. Competition: Aggressive new players have entered the rights market, often operating on a global level in competition with strong local operators. These include beIN Media Group, Fox International Channels and Discovery/Eurosport. There is also the possibility that internet or technology companies such as Netflix, Apple, Google, etc will enter the market.
  4. Agency consolidation: The sports-rights agency market has consolidated into a small number of wealthy companies paying strategic fees to acquire premium content.
  5. Improving rights offers: Sports bodies becoming better at exploiting their media assets. For example, Spanish domestic football league LaLiga’s global rights value has increased substantially since switching to selling rights on a collective basis rather having individual clubs selling their rights.
  6. Technology continues to have a major impact on multiple levels, allowing fans to consume sports programming in new ways and creating new rights and potential revenue streams. The ubiquitous nature of smartphones and tablets, coupled with increasing penetration of fast broadband, is driving the take-up of streamed content. Convergence is making premium content an essential differentiator for multiplay (television, telephone, broadband, mobile) operators. Social media websites are being increasingly used by sports organisations to distribute short-form content, usually supported by advertising. Improved broadcast technologies, such as HD and Ultra HD, enable media operators to earn incremental revenues on sports content, while betting rights provide an additional revenue stream for some properties.

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