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Data: Forbes; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

The numbers are in from Forbes' analysis of the world's most valuable sports teams — your annual reminder of just how lucrative the sports industry has become.

The big picture: Seven years ago, Manchester United was the world's only pro sports franchise worth more than $2 billion. Today, every franchise in the top 50 is now worth at least $2 billion.

Other takeaways:

  • NFL is king: The Cowboys ($5 billion) top the list and are one of a whopping 26 NFL franchises in the top 50. No other sport has more than nine.
  • NBA rising: In 2012, the Lakers and Knicks were the only NBA teams in the top 50. Today, there are nine: Knicks (5), Lakers (8), Warriors (9), Bulls (19), Celtics (22), Nets (37), Rockets (38), Mavericks (43), Clippers (44).
  • MLB's big three: The Yankees (up three spots to No. 2), Dodgers (up four spots to No. 10) and Red Sox (up seven spots to No. 12) all climbed the charts.
  • NHL is missing: There are no NHL teams in the top 50. The Rangers ($1.55 billion) were the closest to making the cut, coming in at No. 72.
  • Soccer has giants. Soccer is the only sport with three teams in the top six: Real Madrid (3), Barcelona (4) and Manchester United (6).

Go deeper: Esports market expected to surpass $1 billion globally in 2019

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