- Which sports league makes the most money?
- The NFL: America’s richest sports league
- The NBA: A global powerhouse
- The MLB: America’s pastime
- The NHL: On the rise
- The Premier League: Soccer’s richest
- Other top-earning leagues
- What factors contribute to a league’s earnings?
- How do sports leagues make their money?
- Where does all the money go?
A look at which sports league makes the most money.
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Which sports league makes the most money?
In America, the four biggest professional sports leagues are Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), and the National Hockey League (NHL). But which one of these earns the most revenue?
According to a report by Forbes, in 2017, the NFL generated $14 billion in revenue, while MLB brought in $9.1 billion, the NBA $7.4 billion, and the NHL $4.5 billion. However, it’s important to note that these numbers include revenue from things like TV rights and merchandising, as well as ticket sales. When it comes to pure ticket revenue, MLB again comes out on top, generating $3.7 billion compared to the NFL’s $2.3 billion, the NBA’s $1.7 billion, and the NHL’s $1 billion.
It’s also worth noting that although MLB has the highest total revenue of any sports league in America, its players actually earn less on average than players in any of the other major leagues. In 2018, the average MLB salary was just over $4 million per year, while the average salary in the NFL was over $6 million, in the NBA it was almost $8 million, and in the NHL it was over $2 million.
The NFL: America’s richest sports league
The National Football League (NFL) is the richest professional sports league in the United States, generating $13 billion in revenue during the 2018 season. This figure is more than double the second-highest earning league, Major League Baseball (MLB), which generated $6.3 billion in revenue during the same period.
The NFL’s popularity has allowed it to command large sums of money from television networks and corporate sponsorships. In addition, the league has been able to generate additional revenue from its own cable network, NFL Network, and through ticket sales. The NFL’s revenue is expected to continue to grow in the coming years as it expands its international reach and signs new corporate partnerships.
The NBA: A global powerhouse
The NBA is a global powerhouse, generating more revenue than any other professional sports league in the world. In the 2018-19 season, the league generated a record $8.8 billion in revenue, with $4.9 billion coming from television and digital rights deals. The majority of the remaining revenue comes from ticket sales and merchandise sales.
The MLB: America’s pastime
The MLB, or Major League Baseball, is America’s pastime. Baseball has been around for centuries and is one of the most popular sports in the world. The MLB is made up of 30 teams: 29 in the United States and 1 in Canada. These teams play a total of 162 games each season, with each team playing every other team at least once. The MLB generates billions of dollars in revenue each year, making it one of the most profitable sports leagues in the world.
The NHL: On the rise
The NHL is on the rise, with revenues expected to exceed $5 billion for the first time in 2018-19. The league has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, thanks in part to new initiatives like the Winter Classic and Stadium Series. NHL broadcasts are also now available in more than 175 countries and territories.
The Premier League: Soccer’s richest
The Premier League is an English professional soccer league. At the top of the English football league system, it is the country’s primary football competition. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the English Football League (EFL).
The Premier League is a corporation in which the 20 member clubs act as shareholders. Seasons run from August to May, with each team playing 38 matches (playing all 19 other teams both home and away). Most games are played on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The league is headquartered in London.
In terms of revenue, the Premier League is soccer’s richest, generating €2.48 billion in 2017/18 – almost four times that of second-placed La Liga in Spain. The England-based league brought in around £4.8 billion ($6.2 billion) in television rights for 2016–19, dwarfing agreements for Germany’s Bundesliga (£1.16 billion), Italy’s Serie A (£774 million), and France’s Ligue 1 (£658 million).
Other top-earning leagues
Not including the NBA, here are the other top-earning professional sports leagues in the world.
1. Major League Baseball – $10.3 billion
2. National Football League – $9.2 billion
3. English Premier League – $5.136 billion
4. Major League Soccer – $4 billion
5. La Liga – $3.636 billion
6. Bundesliga – $2.785 billion
What factors contribute to a league’s earnings?
There are a number of factors that contribute to a league’s earnings. The first is the size of the league. A larger league will have more teams and therefore more games. This means that there will be more ticket sales and more revenue from television rights. The second factor is the popularity of the sport. A sport that is popular in the United States, such as football, will earn more money than a sport that is not as popular, such as hockey. The third factor is the location of the teams. Teams in large cities will earn more money than teams in small cities. Finally, the fourth factor is the salary of the players. The higher the salaries, the higher the revenue for the league.
How do sports leagues make their money?
While it may seem like sports leagues are making bank off of ticket and merchandise sales, that’s only a small portion of their revenue. The vast majority of their income comes from television rights fees. In 2016, the NFL made $7.8 billion from TV rights fees, which accounted for about 43% of their total revenue. MLB made $3.4 billion from TV rights fees in 2016, which was about 50% of their total revenue. The NBA made $2.6 billion from TV rights fees in 2016-17, which was about 43% of their total revenue.
Where does all the money go?
In the world of professional sports, it’s all about the Benjamins. Players and owners are constantly looking for ways to increase revenue and, as a result, their own personal wealth. But where does all this money come from? And which sports league brings in the most cash?
To answer these questions, we’ve compiled a list of the world’s top five professional sports leagues in terms of revenue. All figures are based on the most recent information available.
1. National Football League (NFL) – $13 billion
2. Major League Baseball (MLB) – $9.5 billion
3. Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) – $6 billion
4. National Basketball Association (NBA) – $5 billion
5. National Hockey League (NHL) – $4 billion