Are you one of those people that would rather sit on their comfortable couch and watch a game on your big screen TV than go to an actual sporting event? Well, you are clearly not alone. PricewaterhouseCoopers’ annual Sports Outlook study found that 2017 was the first year that media rights surpassed gate revenue for North American sporting events.
The study says that trend is here to stay too. Sports Outlook projects that sports media revenues will top $20 million by the end of 2018. David Broughton of Sports Business Journal says with more potential bidders for live play-by-play rights than ever before, the number will likely keep rising through 2022.
If the report’s predictions stand, the industry will have enjoyed 13 consecutive years of growth — thanks in large part to the more than 100 percent increase in the media segment in the last decade.
“New players are going to help drive up rights fees,” said Michael Keenan, the sports practice leader at PwC. “Tech companies and properties are going to find ways to partner with existing rights holders because leagues want to provide access to all fans in the way that each individual fan wants to consume it.”
The gap between gate revenue and media rights revenue was razor thin in 2018. It was less than a $60 million gap. Both the Sports Business Journal and PricewaterhouseCoopers project it to grow over the next four years, and suggest that gap could be closer to $3 billion by 2022.
You can read the full report here. It is filled with more numbers and graphs that are helpful in showing how each segment of sports revenue is expected to grow.