Sports Rights: Operators Evolve the Pay TV Proposition as Costs Go Up

August 21, 2015  | Subscribers Only

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Premium sports rights remain of crucial importance to many pay TV operators’ businesses, for building and retaining customers of multiple products, not just TV. Rising costs are putting increasing pressure on service providers to maximise the value of rights, though. Innovating sports broadcasting for traditional pay TV customers is essential, but operators must also seek growth by unbundling access to their sports content, via more-flexible, standalone over-the-top (OTT) video services.


  • Valuation of global TV sports rights expenditure
  • Identification of the factors driving increases in rights costs
  • Comparison of the exclusive-content driven pay TV model vs. the traditional aggregator model of cable operators and telcos
  • Analysis of strategies for maximising the value of premium sports rights
  • Assessment of operators’ prospects for continuing to expand their traditional TV businesses with premium sport
  • Evaluation of strategies for targeting ‘cord nevers’ with standalone, pay TV lite OTT-video services featuring sports content
  • KPIs for major premium-sports providers, as well as market and forecast data

In this report: 

This report examines sports content’s place in the evolving multiplay proposition, analysing the strategies operators can employ to maximise the value of rights via both traditional pay TV platforms and standalone, pay TV lite OTT-video services.

List of tables and charts: 

  • Global: Combined value of sports rights in three latest contract cycles ($m)
  • Global: Share of sports-rights spend by buyer type, 2014 ($m)
  • Global: Top 20 sports-rights spenders ($m)
  • ESPN (US) sports-rights spend and carriage-fee revenue per subscriber, 2010-2014
  • Sports-rights sellers
  • Western Europe: Selected operators' share of programming spend by genre
  • UK: Sky and BT sports-programming spend per TV subscriber (£)
  • UK: Sky and BT sports-programming spend per RGU (£)
  • Western Europe: Latest rights deals for selected football leagues
  • UK: BT RGUs, Q1 2012-Q4 2014
  • Global: Combined value of football rights in three latest contract cycles
  • Belgium: Pro League rights fees vs. Proximus TV revenues (€m)
  • France: Orange sports-programming spend vs. broadband market share
  • Spain: Pay TV subscribers and penetration, Q1 2010-Q1 2015
  • Western Europe: OTT sports subscribers, 2007-2014
  • North America: OTT sports subscribers, 2007-2014
  • Central & Eastern Europe: OTT sports subscribers, 2011-2014
  • Global: Selected operator standalone, pay-TV lite OTT services
  • Global: Smartphone and tablet shipments forecasts, 2013-2018

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