The North American sports market will continue to see media rights revenue climb faster than any other segment. It will become the largest sports revenue category next year.
PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) says media rights from TV, radio and internet platforms will climb 5.6% to $20.1 billion in 2018 from $19.08 billion at the end of this year.
The company estimates media rights will climb -- on a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) -- 4.3% to $22.7 billion through 2021.
Sports gate revenues --- the perennially largest revenue piece of the sports market -- will climb more slowly, up 2.1% next year to $19.6 billion and 2.3% higher on a CAGR basis through 2021, where it estimated a total of $20.9 billion.
After media, the fastest-growing segment is sponsorship. PwC estimates this will grow 5.7% to $17.6 billion -- rising on a compounded annual rate basis by 4% to $19.9 billion by 2021.
The slowest-performing category is merchandising, estimated to inch up 1.1% to $14.6 billion and 1.6% on a CAGR basis by 2021 to $15.1 billion.
Overall, PwC projects the sports market will grow at a compound annual rate of 3.1% across segments — from $69.3 billion in 2017.to $78.1 billion in 2021.