Ampere: Live Sports Streaming Spending to Top $8.5 Billion in 2023

Live sports has become the new player among original content spending for subscription streaming video services around the world. Spending on sports rights globally will reach $8.5 billion this year, up 64% from $5.2 billion in spending in 2022, according to new data from Ampere Analysis.

The research suggests that live sports streaming rights spending will reach 21% of all sports distribution rights investment (broadcast, pay-TV, radio, streaming), compared WITH 13% the year before.

At the same time, that spending pales in comparison to movie and TV show content spending, led by Netflix, which is again spending $17 billion on content in 2023. In 2022, 28% of original content spending was from streaming platforms such as Disney+, Prime Video, Apple TV+, Paramount+, Peacock and Netflix. However, as streaming technology has improved, and as sports consumers expect to be able to stream their favorite sports, the streaming business model has finally taken off. At the same time, the challenging economic outlook for ad-supported traditional sports broadcasters is incentivizing rights owners — led by the NFL in the U.S. — to seek out streaming platforms in order to achieve media rights revenue growth.

Leading the way for streaming platforms’ growing investment in sports rights, particularly in Europe, is DAZN. The London-based SVOD accounted for more than half ($2.7 billion) of all subscription streaming video spend on sports rights in 2022.

Recent years have seen an acceleration in sports rights spend by general entertainment streaming services as providers look to differentiate content offerings. General entertainment services accounted for six of the top 10 SVOD by global spend on sports rights in 2022.

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The exclusive NFL deal with Prime Video that kicked off in September 2022 was arguably the turning point for sports on general entertainment SVOD platforms. It represented  the largest single deal signed to-date by any sports streaming service, and has since been surpassed only by Google-owned YouTube’s $14 billion NFL deal for the coveted “Sunday Ticket” games package.

Jack Genovese, research manager at Ampere, said he believes the transition to streaming will take longer for sports than for other content genres. This is in part because of the nature of sports rights deals, which typically span multiple years. It is also due to the astronomical monetary value of sports rights, and the sensitivities characterizing the distribution and consumption of sport from legacy TV to streaming video.

“The need for high-quality, low latency feeds will continue to favor risk-averse behavior among broadcasters and rights owners alike,” Genovese said in a statement. “However, streaming will offer opportunities for sports to experiment with content, distribution and monetization, which will revolutionize the way in which sports rights are sold and bought in the future.”

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