The cost of sports media rights is skyrocketing—sending cable companies scrambling to secure coverage.
- Cable television viewers have been dropping fast and the one thing keeping many tied to the cord—sports.
- Streaming companies have been stealing viewers from cable for a while now and now the companies are coming for the sports market leaving cable no choice other than to pay up.
- Considering the high demand for sports television, the price for sports broadcasting rights have soared.
Why It’s Important
Americans love sports, reports show that one in four Americans watch five-plus hours of sports weekly.
Cable television has always been the main source of sports entertainment, but for the last few years streaming services have jumped into sports, causing prices to go up considerably.
From 1980 to 2023, the five largest professional U.S. sports leagues will have earned more than $210 billion from media rights alone, according to a Bloomberg News analysis—the National Football League accounting for 65% of it.
Many cable companies are having to pay up to triple the normal price of sports contracts in order to secure broadcasting deals for this year.
Backing up a Bit
For the first time ever streaming topped cable in viewer consumption this year. The main thing keeping people attached to cable services is live sports coverage, but now that streaming providers are tapping into that market cable is having to scramble to keep sports rights locked in.
Sports routinely account for the vast majority of the 100 most-watched broadcasts on TV each year, according to Sports Business Journal research. If cable were to let go of sports it’s highly likely that many people would abandon the service altogether leaving the companies no choice other than to pay the big bucks.