The big three quadrennial sports events remain mainstay of free TV

September 15, 2017  | Subscribers Only

Tim Westcott Tim Westcott Director – Research and Analysis, Programming, IHS Markit
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Held every four years, the Olympic Games and the football World Cup and Euros typically deliver the largest live TV audiences of the year and remain largely on free to air TV. Apart from the obvious relationship with ad sales, ownership of these events is also vital for the prestige of broadcasters, which need to show, in an era of declining live audiences, that they still matter. Cable channel operator Discovery has bought European rights to the next four editions of the games and pay TV operators like Sky Italia and BeInSport have held rights to these events, but they mainly remain on free TV - in Europe, thanks mainly to legislation. Despite this, rights have continued to escalate in value.    

Highlights:

  • Sports events typically deliver the largest live TV audiences of the year
  • Ownership of these events is vital for the prestige of broadcasters, which need to show that they still matter
  • Sports organisations are looking for ways of increasing their revenue from rights sales, forging new relationships with pay TV
  • Discovery Communications acquired rights to the four Olympic games between 2018 and 2024 for €1.3 billion
  • Buyers of rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals include the EBU, BeInSports, Star Times and NBC 
  • UEFA made more than €1 billion for the broadcasting rights to Euro 2016 Introduction

List of tables and charts:

  • Ownership of rights to upcoming events in selected territories
  • Olympic Games: Broadcast rights fee history
  • FIFA: revenue from TV broadcasting rights for three World Cup cycle      
  • UEFA: Broadcasting revenues from European Championships (€000s)
  • 'Events of major importance' in EU member states

Number of pages: 8

Number of tables and charts: 5

Tim Westcott

Director – Research and Analysis, Programming, IHS Markit

Mr. Tim Westcott is a director of research and analysis for Programming at IHS Markit.

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