International: Sports rights costs across 11 Asia Pacific markets grew 2.4% in 2019 to reach US$5.5 billion in aggregate while sports revenues across TV & online video increased 7.8% in 2019 to reach US$5.2 billion in total, according to a new report published today by Media Partners Asia (MPA). MPA projections indicate sports rights costs will grow 3.8% CAGR between 2019-24 to reach US$6.6 bil. by 2024 while sports revenues in TV & online video will grow at a 6.7% CAGR to reach US$7.2 bil. by 2024. The report, entitled ASIA PACIFIC SPORTS MEDIA 2020, tracks the growth trajectory of sports rights and TV & online video sports revenues across 11 markets in Asia Pacific with historical data & projections as well as analysis of key players & sports properties by geography.
OTT accounted for 21% of sports media revenue generation in 2019 in the 11 Asia Pacific markets. This is likely to almost double over the next five years to reach 40% by 2024. Excluding China, OTT will account for 23% of sports media monetization in 2024 across the measured markets, up from 12% in 2019. The MPA report notes: (1) Sports rights costs & revenues are seasonal and lumpy; major global events typically occur every 2-4 years and can either inflate or adversely impact sports economics on a year on year basis and (2) Global sporting events in 2020 (i.e. the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and UEFA Euro 2020) are a key driver of value in Asia Pacific markets but are subject to risk given the global spread of the coronavirus.
Commenting on the key findings of ASIA PACIFIC SPORTS MEDIA 2020, MPA Senior Analyst Srivathsan A R said: “The market for premium sports remains relatively healthy in the Asia Pacific, in spite of uneven structural dynamics and the corrosive impact of piracy. Sports rights investments in China, India, Australia, and Japan are driven by a strong domestic sports ecosystem, supported by premium international rights for football, basketball, and baseball. Rights costs in China are driven by a growing appetite for domestic and international football as well as basketball. Growth momentum, strong between 2016-19, will stabilize post 2021-22. Cricket continues to drive more 85% of India’s costs. Rationalizing of pay-TV spends on domestic rights in Australia will affect the overall market in the future while domestic baseball and football will drive growth in Japan’s sports rights market. Greater Southeast Asia, including Hong Kong, is dependent on growth in international football and basketball. Local football in markets such as Thailand, Indonesia, and basketball in the Philippines will continue to deliver additional growth.”
MPA Executive Director Vivek Couto added: “A number of themes are emerging across the region. Investment in premium sports rights is often proving scalable and sustainable when driven by (1) Large scale internet players with pole position in a vast digital ecosystem, which helps subsidize investment in premium content (i.e. Tencent in China) or integrated pure-play entertainment and sports OTTs with AVOD and SVOD business models (i.e. Hotstar in India and iQiyi in China); (2) Pay-TV operators investing to retain high-ARPU customers and grow a new OTT segment, anchored to product innovation with premium sports at the forefront (i.e. Foxtel, Sky Network TV, Astro and PCCW’s Now TV); and (3) Local & regional TV broadcasters that have a combination of mass reach and premium segmentation with branded sports networks (i.e. Star and Sony in India; select free TV players in Southeast Asia and regional pay network beIN Sports).”
In 2019, football led the sports rights market across the 11 APAC territories with the Premier League topping the list of individual properties. The Premier League rights value is expected to moderate after 2022, particularly in China. Cricket is growing fast as Indian sports broadcasters continue to pay a premium for the IPL, the ICC and the India international (BCCI) rights. The IPL is the most valued domestic league in APAC currently. Cricket is growing its pie in Australia & New Zealand markets as well. Basketball is growing in demand regionally. Rugby World Cup 2019 drove Rugby’s share.
China, India, Australia and Japan will contribute on average ~85% to sports rights fees & sports media revenues over 2019-24. Greater Southeast Asia, including Hong Kong, will average ~15% over the 2019-24 period. In terms of sports revenues across TV & online video, Japan led in 2019 with a 27% contribution; by 2024, China will lead with a 33% contribution.