Fans are stuck at home, seasons are at risk, and revenue is plummeting. Things might seem terrible for professional sports, but amazingly most of the world’s top franchises are worth more this year than last.
A decade ago, U.K. soccer club Manchester United was the most valuable team on earth in 2010 at $1.83 billion. That honor now belongs to the Dallas Cowboys, who top the Forbes ranking of the 50 Most Valuable Sports Teams for the fifth straight year, at $5.5 billion, edging out the $5 billion New York Yankees. For Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and New York’s Steinbrenner family, it may as well be paper profit. Only one team in the top 35—MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers, in 2012—has changed hands in the past decade, which explains how the Mets, No. 41 at $2.4 billion, became one of the hottest tickets in sports.
“There is no lack of multi-billionaires that want to get into the sports business right now,” says Sal Galatioto, whose namesake investment firm has handled team transactions for the Chicago Cubs, the Golden State Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers and other marquee sports properties. “People will pay a premium. They buy these teams not just on the numbers, but on the brand value.”
That value is dominated by the NFL, even after a ten-year run by the NBA lifted its average team value nearly sixfold, more than any other U.S. sports league. Football claims 27 spots on the ranking, a reflection not only of its massive stadium draws but also its TV appeal. Of the 100 top broadcasts in 2019, 88 were sporting events and 73 were NFL games. The NFL’s current U.S. TV rights are worth $6.5 billion on average per year, a number expected to nearly double in a new deal currently being hashed out, according to sports media consultant Lee Berke of LHB Sports. To help afford it, Fox even backed out of a 12-year deal to broadcast golf’s U.S. Open, with the savings expected to help bankroll a potential $2 billion-a-year NFL deal.
Read the full profile on Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2020/07/31/the-worlds-most-valuable-sports-teams-2020/#b77b4f3c7498
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