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Annual sport spend reaches €10 billion in Europe

European broadcasters spent a third of their content budget on sports in 2018

European spend on sport broadcasting rights reached €10 billion in 2018, twice that of 2012.

According to Ampere Analysis, broadcasters and pay-TV operators in Europe’s big five markets (UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain) spent a third of their content budget on sports, compared with 26 per cent in the US.

Commercial broadcasters (including RTL, ITV and TF1) invest an average of 25 per cent of their budget in sports, pricing public broadcasters out of the most valuable events. PSBs spend an average 10 per cent of their budget on sports, said Ampere.

Traditional broadcasters, particularly pay-TV operators such as Sky and Telefonica, account for 60 per cent of total sports rights spend in Europe. Online platforms have begun to enter the market but are still very minor players, according to the report.

“Although there are significant competitive pressures on TV revenues due to the rise of new online competitors, the impending direct-to-consumer fragmentation of the market may also open up opportunities for sports rights bodies — who will increasingly hold some of the few premium rights that money can still buy,” said Alexios Dimitropoulos, senior analyst at Ampere.