The evolution of sports consumption and fandom

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Deep Dive: Business of Sports

Special report: The coming sports boom

Collage illustration of an arm taking a selfie, laid on top of a torn photograph of a family gathered around a television set. There is a row of empty benches in the background.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Facing shrinking stadium attendance and cord-cutting at home, sports leagues and networks are clamoring to get ahead of new revenue-rich opportunities.

What to watch: Esports, despite still being in its infancy, is exploding in terms of both revenue and audience. The legalization of sports betting could cause the sports market to balloon by tens of billions of dollars, driving an entirely new content industry.

The sports rights arms race

Reproduced from GroupM; Note: Includes properties with annual media rights over $500m and individual deals over $200m; Chart: Axios Visuals

After tomorrow's Super Bowl, the NFL will officially be able to exercise its option to exit from its current NFL Sunday Ticket deal with DirecTV, starting with the 2020 season.

Why it matters: If it does, it's expected to open the floodgates for new and bigger bids, serving as a litmus test for how much Big Tech is willing to spend to meaningfully get enter the sports streaming market.

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