Sport and Television - French CSA Report

posted on 10 July, 2017   (public)

Sport and Television - French CSA Report

The French CSA has published in June 2017 a new report entitled: “Sport and television”. The study seeks to identify financial cross-contributions between sport and television. It also highlights the diversity of sport on air and the diversity of sport channels' economic model.

This report is particularly relevant knowing that two thirds of all TV channels established in the EU in 2016 comprised seven genres, the top-tree being sports (15%); entertainment (13%) and film (9%) according to a recent European Audiovisual Observatory report.

The key findings are as follows:

  • Situation analysis of the sector: The volume of national TV channels broadcasting sport increased significantly between 1995 (7 channels) and 2016 (37 channels). Even if more than 31 different sporting disciplines were on air on 2016, 10 sports concentrated 85% of airtime.
  • The market in the acquisition of sport rights: The value of the market of sport rights is up to €1.45 billion (+25% since 2011), football competition representing 80% of this amount. The report underlines the robust competition between broadcasters. It also highlights that only 4 broadcasting networks concentrate 90% of this market.
  • The economic contribution of the audiovisual sector to sport: Financial resources of football associations and leagues are mainly composed by TV rights (44%). The CSA points out that the economic performances of leagues are correlated to their sport performance notably concerning football and rugby clubs. This correlation may be seen as a virtuous circle or as a risk of dependence. Lastly TV rights are indirectly financing amateur sports. More broadly TV distribution can have major economic benefits for the sport sector (increase the number of sportsmen for example).
  • The economic contribution of sport to audiovisual sector: Broadcasting sport competition can not only double or triple the audience of free-to-air channesl but also enhance their brand image. Concerning the pay TV market, broadcasting sport competitions is one of the main ‘subscription-drivers’.
  • Broadcasting new sports: The CSA points out that giving more prominence to those sports which are rarely covered could be a great opportunity for channels in terms of distinctiveness and competitiveness. Even if this is a risk, the CSA underline that it can be balanced out by several strategies stated in the report.

The CSA had already conducted a similar report in 2011. The evolution of the structure of the market - notably concerning the modality of acquisition of sports rights -  and the changing expectations of consumers have led the CSA to report anew on the topic.

Sources: French CSA Website