New report tracks the rising cost of Olympics TV rights

The cost of television rights for the Olympics has increased by two thousand times during the period bookended by the Rome Games in 1960 and the London Games in 2012 (in contemporary terms, from €948,000 to €1.9bn).

This remarkable finding is one of many contained in a new report on TV rights for major sports events, ‘Present FTA, Future Scrambled’, produced by the Master’s Degree in Sport Management, Marketing and Sociology programme at the University of Milan Bicocca.

At present, a total of 1,133 dedicated sports TV channels are in operation; the US leads the field with 126, followed by the UK with 98, France with 40, and Italy with 37. Football revenues are primarily derived from the Series A sales of TV rights, equal to 66% of the total. From 1995/1996, the number of TV rights sales of Series A increased from 23% (€104 million) to 66% (€972 million) compared with 12% of revenues from the stadia and 22% from (other) commercial revenues.

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