Analysis Of COVID-19 Impact On Apac Sports Media

24 March 2020


Key Highlights 

  • The sports calendar for 2020 is facing significant disruption after multiple cancellations and postponements 
  • COVID-19 Impact: In base case analysis, Media Partners Asia (MPA) projects Asia-Pacific Sports Media revenue to drop by US$2.0 billion in 2020 versus MPA’s previous estimates pre COVID-19 
  • 40% of the 2020 loss will be recovered in 2021 as monetization and demand improves with the Tokyo Olympics and the UEFA Euro taking place  

(SINGAPORE, MARCH 24, 2020) The emergence of a global public health crisis with the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the recent weeks, has proved destructive to the 2020 sports calendar. The pandemic has disproportionately affected life in Europe and North America while Asia slowly recovers after the first wave of infections. 


Such disruption across the sports ecosystem is unique and is the first of its kind since the emergence of modern sports media contracts. The Asia Pacific Sports Media 2020 report by Media Partners Asia (MPA), released in the first week of March, estimated a US$5.7 bil. sports-related media revenue generation in 11 key markets in the region for 2020, compared to a US$6.0 bil. rights investment by broadcasters and OTT platforms. 


In a detailed market update, MPA has provided an impact analysis of how COVID-19 will affect sports media dynamics in 2020 and 2021 and has consequently revised down revenue forecasts.


MPA expects a 35% drop in sports-related media revenue generation in Asia-Pacific for the 2020 calendar year, effectively implying a US$2.0 bil. loss in revenue. This analysis assumes that most of the international properties in basketball, motorsport, tennis, golf and rugby will have a truncated season while European football will likely complete its season.


Domestically, MPA assumes a truncated IPL, AFL, NRL, Nippon Professional Baseball and others. The ICC T20 Cricket World Cup is expected to be held to completion in Australia in Q4 2020.


Up to 35-40% of this loss will be recovered in 2021 when the Tokyo Olympics and the Euro 2020 are expected to be held. In some instances, the growth of D2C SVOD sports-based offerings with an ability to subscribe month-on-month, could prove important for the sports ecosystem in key markets.




Media Partners Asia (MPA) is the leading independent provider of research, advisory and consulting services across media, telecoms, sports and entertainment industries in Asia Pacific. We provide customized research with strategic recommendations to help clients launch new products & services, enter new markets, as well as acquire and sell businesses. MPA reports are used and sourced by local, regional and global companies for strategic planning and equity & debt transactions. We also offer dedicated primary research through subsidiary AMPD Research to measure consumer behaviour across the digital economy, including online video and gaming. MPA also hosts the APOS Summit, the defining voice and global platform for the Asia Pacific media, telecoms, sports and entertainment industry.




This report tracks the growth trajectory of sports rights and TV and online video sports revenues across 11 markets in Asia Pacific with historical data and projections as well as analysis of key players & sports properties by geography. Media Partners Asia (MPA) analysis and forecasts in this report are based on a number of factors, including: (1) Interviews with key groups in the industry value chain, including sports broadcasters, sports federations and content distributors; (2) Surveys and interviews with the main pay-TV & online video (OTT) distribution platforms; (3) Proprietary sports-based databases managed by MPA, collating historical information as well as analysis of rights costs, subscriber adoption and revenue generation. MPA analysis of revenues include: (1) Estimated sports allocation of consumer spend on pay-TV and online video subscription; and (2) Advertising revenues on sports properties on free-to-air (FTA) TV, pay-TV and online video. Sports rights costs are estimated bottom-up property-wise by market and include rights to live & ancillary content of sports properties. The following markets were included in the study – Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.




Lavina Bhojwani 


Media Partners Asia