Skip to content


Altman Solon Survey: Amid Sports Spending Boom, 85% of Global Sports Execs Worry Sports Rights Owners Not Addressing Media Partners’ Needs

New York City – Even as U.S. sports media rights deals continue to grow, 85% of industry leaders believe that rights owners are not actively addressing the changing needs of their media partners, according to Altman Solon’s 2023 Global Sports Survey. The survey of more than 2500 sports fans and 150 top executives from eight major global markets reveals growing concerns for fans and media partners as the industry gets more fragmented.

“Changes in fan viewing habits and new streaming competitors have sent the sports media industry into a state of flux,” said Altman Solon Director Matt Del Percio. “While the major U.S. sports leagues are operating under blockbuster deals with the networks and streamers, some of their European counterparts have experienced some pull back. The leagues that create flexible, performance-based rights deals that address the industry flux will be more competitive over the longer term.”

Del Percio highlighted Major League Soccer’s new 10-year, $2.5 billion deal with Apple TV, which factors potential upside based on subscriber growth, as model for future rights deals. When it comes to signing rights deals, 65% of sports executives said rights owners should lengthen media cycles and focus on long-term partnerships with performance-based variables.

Other key findings of the consumer portion of the survey include:

  • Execs are split on whether rights owners should prioritize direct-to-consumer DTC via internal offerings (47%) or rights licensing/supporting existing partners (53%)
  • Execs are also split on whether rights owners should foster development of pure streamers/tech groups (54%) vs. empowering traditional broadcasters and their transition to streaming (46%)
  • Fans of tier 1 sports leagues (European football, U.S major leagues) are willing to pay ~$20-25 per month to pay for access to live games
  • 58% of surveyed rights owners prefer to improve and innovate core product over optimizing media and commercial models

This year’s survey for the first time included a poll of more than 150 global sports media executives to understand the priorities and solutions for a changing industry. In October, Altman Solon released data on global sports fans’ changing viewing habits.

See all News & Events