The value of global sports media rights took a significant hit in 2020 as the impact of Covid-19 becomes apparent, the latest SportBusiness Consulting Global Media Report has found.
The recently-published report places the global value of sports rights at $44.6bn in 2020, reflective of a decline of just over 12% on the value in 2019.
The year saw sports rights-holders and broadcasters locked in talks over rebates and renegotiations after the Covid-19 pandemic led to an almost global hiatus of live sport for several months.
The top 10 most valuable sports went from being valued at a combined $46.8bn in 2019, to $41.3bn in 2020.
The report highlights the biggest impact of Covid-19 was felt by baseball (39.1% down on expected revenues for 2020), US college sports (28.4%), golf (23.7%) and motorsport (20.2%).
Despite the impact of the pandemic, football has remained the world’s most valuable sport, generating about $18.9bn in 2020.
Despite the downturn in 2020, the report highlights major upcoming domestic deals in the US for the NFL, MLB and NHL over the next three years, that should drive up the global value of media rights.
The US is once again the most valuable sports media rights market, representing 43.6% of the global value in 2020. The value of the market is set to grow even more when the major league deals begin. The biggest rights-holder in the US, the NFL, remains the most valuable single property in 2020. Due to scheduling, it was largely unaffected by the pandemic.
One country that was set to appear in the report’s top 10 most valuable markets was China, but in 2020 it has seen a massive downturn due to the pandemic and moves by Chinese broadcasters to renegotiate deals across the board.
The 2020 edition of SportBusiness Consulting’s Global Media Report is an annual valuation and analysis of the sports media rights industry.