National Football League
The NFL signed $110 billion in new media rights deals in March, then saw a 10% increase in regular-season viewership. With the lifting of pandemic restrictions and the opening of two new stadiums, league attendance rose slightly for the first time in three years, not counting the pandemic season. Super Bowl LVI drew 112 million viewers, the most since 2017. In December, the league launched a major expansion of its international strategy, granting 18 teams commercial rights in eight countries.
National Hockey League
The NHL’s final year has seen new media deals, venues and a 32nd team making its debut in Seattle. Two new seven-year US media rights deals with WarnerMedia/TNT and Disney/ESPN kicked off in 2021-22, with the deals paying a combined average of $625 million per year. Two state-of-the-art venues – Kraken’s Climate Pledge Arena and the New York Islanders’ UBS Arena – have opened amid rave reviews.
Considering both the College Football Playoff Championship Game and the College World Series, the SEC couldn’t lose, literally, because the contestants in both contests were all SEC hails. Strengthening the conference even further, the SEC added Texas and Oklahoma as full members of the conference beginning in 2025. Commissioner Greg Sankey has seen his profile rise to become one of the most influential figures college sports.
United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee
Having managed to bring two Olympic teams together in the space of six months in a changing global climate induced by a pandemic, the USOPC also created family centers for the two Olympics, the families of the athletes were not allowed to attend. at the Games in person. The United States topped the medal table in Tokyo (113 medals, 39 gold) and finished fifth in Beijing (25 medals, eight gold). The USOPC changes to Rule 40 granted more earning potential to athletes.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
The Endeavor-owned mixed martial arts organization had the best financial year in its 28-year history. The UFC sold out all nine PPV events during the judging period, and revenue increased across all categories, including sponsorships and licensing. The organization has also entered into a 10-year deal with Crypto.com that includes the company becoming the world’s first combat kit partner.
Women’s National Basketball Association
In February, the W raised $75 million from investors including Nike, the current owners of the WNBA and NBA teams and a host of others. The league launched the Commissioner’s Cup, an in-season tournament with a $500,000 prize pool. It had notable television ratings gains, including the most-watched regular season since 2008 and the most-watched finales since 2017. A deal with Amazon marked the first time Prime Video had global streaming rights exclusive to a women’s sports league.