Free-to-air sport (FTA) broadcasting is worth almost €5 billion ($5.3 billion) to the European economy, according to a new study by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), an alliance of public service broadcasters across the continent.

The independent report, carried out for the EBU by Oxford Economics, calculates that the economic impact of public service media (PSM) sports broadcasting contributed €4.9 billion to Europe’s GDP and supported over 60,000 jobs in 2022.

The Economic Impact of the Sports Activities of Public Service Media study evaluates the impact of 188,000 hours of FTA sports programming across radio and television, from 44 EBU members in 31 countries, including major events such as soccer’s FIFA World Cup and the World Athletics Championships.

It also includes the online engagement of “millions of sports fans” through websites, apps, and social media.

The findings include direct contributions from content production and broadcasting and indirect and induced impacts due to supply chain spending and employees’ consumer expenditure.

The study also explores wider impacts, such as the way in which PSM coverage attracts sponsorship income for sport. 

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

In terms of direct impact, the report found that PSM production and broadcasting of sports content contributed approximately €900 million to the GDP and employed over 5,000 workers. Each worker generated an estimated economic value of €166,000, significantly above the regional average.

The indirect impact saw EBU members' outlay on goods and services, including cameras, media rights, catering, and editing services, contribute an additional €2.7 billion in GDP, and support over 38,000 jobs across the region. Notably, spending on sports rights played a key role in driving this impact.

With regards to the induced impact, the economic activity generated by the wages paid to EBU member employees and those in their supply chain led to a further €1.4 billion contribution to GDP and supported an additional 16,420 jobs.

The report found that “as well as providing broader economic advantages such as leveraging additional income streams for sports through sponsorship, advertising revenue, and event hosting fees, FTA media exposure can also help grow and expand the fan base of ‘emerging’ sports, leading to increased gate receipts and merchandising.”

Glen Killane, Eurovision Sport executive director, said: “This report underscores how central public service media is to the sports ecosystem in Europe. With a combined potential audience of 1 billion people, our members ensure that sport has the best shop window in the world.

“Supporting sports federations at national and international level is just one of the effects of the investment our members provide. As non-profit organizations our investment goes straight to where it matters most, providing an immense multiplier effect.

“It’s not just about what happens on the field: it’s the countless opportunities it unlocks off the field, driving substantial economic growth – worth billions in real terms.”