Sports rights costs across 11 Asia Pacific markets grew 2.4 per cent in 2019 to reach $5.5 billion in aggregate while sports revenues across TV and online video increased 7.8 per cent in 2019 to reach $5.2 billion in total, according to a new report by analyst firm Media Partners Asia (MPA).
MPA projections indicate sports rights costs will grow 3.8 per cent CAGR between 2019-24 to reach $6.6 billion by 2024 while sports revenues in TV & online video will grow at a 6.7 per cent CAGR to reach $7.2 billion by 2024. The report, Asia Pacific Sports Media 2020, tracks the growth trajectory of sports rights and TV and 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 per cent 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 per cent by 2024. Excluding China, OTT will account for 23 per cent of sports media monetisation in 2024 across the measured markets, up from 12 per cent in 2019. The MPA report notes: (1) Sports rights costs and 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.
“The market for premium sports remains relatively healthy in Asia Pacific, in spite of uneven structural dynamics and the corrosive impact of piracy,” commented MPA Senior Analyst Srivathsan A R. “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 growing appetite for domestic and international football as well as basketball. Growth momentum, strong between 2016-19, will stabilise post 2021-22. Cricket continues to drive more 85 per cent of India’s costs. Rationalising 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 Philippines will continue to deliver additional growth.”
“A number of themes are emerging across the region,” added Vivek Couto, MPA Executive Director. 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 subsidise 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 and 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 and 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 per cent to sports rights fees and sports media revenues over 2019-24. Greater Southeast Asia, including Hong Kong, will average ~15 per cent over the 2019-24 period. In terms of sports revenues across TV and online video, Japan led in 2019 with a 27 per cent contribution; by 2024, China will lead with a 33 per cent contribution.