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Asian sports media industry to take 35% revenue hit, report says

General view of the empty stadium prior to the 10th round match between Santos Laguna v Necaxa as part of the Torneo Clausura 2020 Liga MX at Corona Stadium on March 15, 2020 in Torreon, Mexico. The match is played behind closed doors to prevent the spread of the novel Coronavirus (Photo by Armando Marin/Jam Media/Getty Images)

The coronavirus outbreak will result in a 35-per-cent drop in sports media industry revenues in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a report by research firm Media Partners Asia.

In an analysis covering 11 markets – Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand – MPA expects sports-related media revenues to be $3.7bn (€3.4bn) in 2020, down $2bn on an estimate made prior to the pandemic.

The revised revenue prediction assumes that European football properties will complete their 2019-20 seasons, but most other significant sports properties in the region will have shortened seasons. Properties expected to have shorter seasons include cricket’s Indian Premier League, the Australian Football League, the National Rugby League in Australia, and Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan. The International Cricket Council T20 World Cup in Australia in Q4 is assumed to go ahead.

MPA says 35 to 40 per cent of this year’s loss will be made up next year, assisted by the postponed Tokyo Olympics and Uefa Euro 2020.

In a report released earlier this month, MPA predicted slow growth in Asian sports television and OTT revenues, and media rights values, in the 2019-24 period, driven by international mega-events and domestic sports properties. It said revenues from sports television and OTT services in the 11 markets increased by 7.8 per cent in 2019, to $5.2bn, and would grow to reach $7.2bn in 2024. Sports rights costs were $5.5bn in 2019, an increase of 2.4 per cent from the previous year, and would grow to  $6.6bn.