New analysis by professional services firm Deloitte foresees no sign that the premium sports rights "value bubble" is about to burst and predicts that growth in the value of global premium sports broadcast rights will this year accelerate to an eye-catching 14 per cent.
Deloitte predicts that the value of these rights will increase to £16 billion ($26 billion/€19 billion) in 2014, compared with £14.1 billion ($23.2 billion/€17 billion) last year, propelled chiefly by new deals for top-tier European domestic football leagues and Major League Baseball in the US.
The prediction for 2014 compares to the average growth of five per cent between 2009 and 2013.
The research – which defines "premium sports broadcast rights" as "the most popular sports competitions in the biggest sports around the world" – is, however, based only on recurring annual sports competitions; it therefore does not include major quadrennial events such as the Summer and Winter Olympic Games or the FIFA World Cup.
This is noteworthy since, insofar as the Olympics is concerned, a very different pattern has been experienced, with explosive growth of nearly 50 per cent generated in the 2009-2012 quadrennium ahead of a period of consolidation in 2013-2016.
To be specific, Timo Lumme, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) television and marketing director, told IOC members in September that the sum raised from broadcasting rights for the 2013-2016 cycle was expected to top $4.1 billion (£2.5 billion/€3 billion).
This compares with a final total of $3.85 billion (£2.34 billion/€2.83 billion) for 2009-2012.