Broadcast sports rights
While many commentators continue to ask when the sports rights bubble will burst, leading to stagnating or declining fees, our view is that rights fees for premium sports properties overall will continue to grow. Television and premium sports are well matched for each other: at the highest level, sport is great unscripted live drama, and constant advances in technology lead to ever more sophisticated, compelling ways in which sports can be portrayed.
Premium sports represent a small portion of all televised sports activity as measured by number of minutes shown; yet they capture the lion’s share of revenue and viewer interest.
The development of pay-TV in particular has transformed the broadcasting of premium sports leagues. Live content is a key subscription driver for those leagues and underpins many pay-TV business models. As the pay-TV subscriber base rises and revenue per user grows, operators are investing increasing sums to secure this key content.
In 2014 about three quarters of the total value of premium broadcast rights fees will be generated by ten competitions: the top-tier domestic football leagues in England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, the UEFA Champions League, and the four major North American professional leagues.