Globalisation to take TV sports rights past $85BN by 2024 | Media Analysis | Business
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The rise of streaming is bringing major sporting events to a global audience and pushing up media rights revenues and will drive media sport rights revenues up 75% in the period 2018–2025 from $48.6 billion to $85.1 billion according to a study from Rethink TV.
MoSalah 13June2018
In the Globalization Lifts TV Sports Rights Past $85 Billion Future, Sports Rights Forecast to 2025 report, the analyst observed that football will increase its already dominant share of that pie from 25.1% ($12.8 billion) in 2018 to 37.4% ($31.9 billion), primarily through increased viewership of Europe’s top leagues in other regions, especially Asia Pacific, including China, and North America. The report added that other sports will also benefit from the fan base expansion generated by globalisation and greater streaming distribution, notably basketball.

Rethink added that a strong subtext of the report is that direct-to-consumer services are creeping up on the sports rights industry, with what it called “stealthily with deadly intent” for broadcasters. It noted the likes of Amazon disrupting the traditional field and warned that sporting rights holders will themselves have to adapt to the growing reality of DTC if they are to have a future as major players in sports video distribution.

Another key finding is that the analyst believes that the maturation of streaming is now bringing another major gear shift, both by intensifying competition for rights and changing the viewing experience, with greater levels of personalisation and interactivity, as well as innovations in presentation with proliferation of ancillary content.

Rethink also sees the availability of audience data linked to advanced analytics as having created the potential for making changes in the sports themselves, considering fans behaviour during viewing, as has occurred in the case of basketball in the USA. It also cited a growing appreciation that sports rights are part of a bigger picture that includes fan participation and the other sources of sports monetisation for the leagues or ultimate rights owners. The partnership between Discovery and PGA Golf is an example of connecting premium rights with fan participation.

However, the report also highlighted a persistent problem in the industry: piracy. It said that streaming has also stimulated piracy to the extent that content protection has become a factor in the rights auctions alongside quality of viewing experience, so that contracts no longer go automatically to the highest bidder.