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Sports media rights has hit its peak – Lines

Aggregate sports media rights revenue has hit its peak, according to global sports media consultant Phil Lines.

Speaking at the Sports Decisions Makers’ Summit in London today, Lines claimed “that broadcasters will not pay the rights fees that they are paying now. It has reached its peak.”

Tony Singh, chief commercial officer at the England and Wales Cricket Board, also speaking at the event, agreed but noted that this would not change how individual rights-holders acted in the market.

Singh said “There is no ‘Sport PLC’ on the market. There will be individual winners and individual losers. You need to develop a strategy to make sure you are an individual winner.”

Many industry experts thought the FAANGs (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google) might ride to the rescue of properties struggling to extract media-rights growth from the pay-television sector. But this has yet to surface, with both Facebook and Amazon – the most active of the FAANGs – having taken a much more conservative and targeted approach.

On the FAANGs, Singh claimed that: “you can’t just expect a Facebook or an Amazon to just write a cheque”.

Lines added: “I don’t see any of them wanting to come in at the amount the pay-tv companies are paying”.