Source: Media Partners Asia

Feature

Global events drive APAC sports costs & revenue

MPA flags COVID-19 risk to Tokyo 2020 and UEFA Euro 2020

As COVID-19 forces event organisers to take a hard rethink about large-scale gatherings, a new sports rights reports says global sporting events in 2020 will drive costs and revenues in the Asia Pacific, “but are subject to risk”.

The new Asia Pacific Sports Media 2020 report by Media Partners Asia (MPA) says global sporting events in 2020 – including the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and UEFA Euro 2020 – are a key driver of value in Asia Pacific markets, but that the latest coronavirus has upended expectations. 

No figures have been released on what the virus-related financial impact on sports revenues might be.  

MPA expects sports TV revenues in the region will remain relatively flat for the next three years, reaching US$4.3 billion by 2024, the report says.

Sports OTT revenues are expected to climb 22% to reach US$2.9 billion.

Sports rights costs will grow 3.8% CAGR between 2019-24 to reach US$6.6 billion  by 2024 across the report’s 11 Asia-Pacific markets.

In 2019, sports rights costs grew 2.4% to reach US$5.5 billion in aggregate, while sports revenues across TV and online video increased 7.8% to US$5.2 billion in total.

Sports revenues in TV and online video will grow at a 6.7% CAGR to reach US$7.2 billion by 2024.

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 monetisation in 2024 across the measured markets, up from 12% in 2019.

MPA points out that sports rights costs and revenues are “seasonal and lumpy”.

“Major global events typically occur every two to four years and can either inflate or adversely impact sports economics on a year on year basis,” the report says.  

MPA senior analyst Srivathsan A R says “the market for premium sports remains relatively healthy in Asia Pacific, in spite of uneven structural dynamics and the corrosive impact of piracy”.

In China, India, Australia and Japan, sports rights investments are driven by strong domestic sports ecosystems, supported by premium international rights for football, basketball and baseball, he says, adding that rights costs in China “are driven by growing appetite for domestic and international football as well as basketball”.

The report predicts that growth momentum, strong between 2016-19, will stabilise post 2021-22.

Cricket continues to drive more 85% of India’s costs. 

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.

MPA executive director, Vivek Couto, says investment in premium sports right is “often proving scalable and sustainable” when driven by, among other factors, “large-scale internet players with pole position in a vast digital ecosystem, which helps subsidise investment in premium content… or integrated pure play entertainment and sports OTTs with AVOD and SVOD business models, such as  Hotstar in India and iQiyi in China”.

Another driver is “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, such as  Foxtel, Sky Network TV, Astro and PCCW’s Now TV,” Couto adds.

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 Indian Premier League (IPL), the International Cricket Council (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% to sports rights fees and sports media revenues over 2019-24. 

Greater Southeast Asia, including Hong Kong, will average 15% over the 2019-24 period.

Japan led sports revenues across TV and online video in 2019 with a 27% contribution. By 2024, China will lead with a 33% contribution.

Published in ContentAsia's eNewsletter, 9 March 2020