NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Link to Fitch Ratings' Report: 2015 Midyear Outlook: U.S. Sports
With a stable outlook for the foreseeable future, the four U.S. major professional leagues will continue to devise ways to keep more fans in the arenas and less of them watching sports at home, according to Fitch Ratings in its mid-year sector outlook report.
Advances in home entertainment continue to proliferate and, subsequently, crimp game attendance numbers. In response, the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL are all undertaking new projects to enhance the live experience and preserve long-term revenue, according to Senior Director Chad Lewis. 'In-stadium cellular networks have been established to enable fans to stay connected to social media,' said Lewis. 'New scoreboards are also emerging with enhanced graphics that allow for instant replays and highlights of other games.'
Though these initiatives are proving to be costly, they are helping to keep finances for each of the four major leagues largely stable. In addition, they are following through on their primary job thus far, with game-day attendance across all leagues remaining stable for the 2014?2015 seasons. That said, 'lower game-day attendance driven by economic factors, competition or fan interest may cause some ratings to experience downward pressure,' said Lewis.
This is not to say home entertainment is not a focus for the sector as a whole. All four professional U.S. leagues have long-term national TV and cable contracts in place that are boosting revenue for franchise operations. Additionally, favorable new local media contracts in MLB, NBA and NHL are solidifying the underlying demand for sports-related television and other media content.
Fitch's '2015 Midyear Outlook: U.S. Sports' is available at 'www.fitchratings.com' or by clicking on the above link.
Additional information is available at www.fitchratings.com.