The American publishing and media company Forbes announced its list of the top 50 most valuable sport franchises in the world, and despite not having the top spot on the list, it looks like the NFL is still king.
Although the popular soccer teams Manchester United ($2.23 billion) and Real Madrid ($1.8 billion) hold the top two spots on the list, every NFL franchise has the honor of making the coveted list.
According to Forbes magazine, the Dallas Cowboys led the pack for NFL franchises, with the team valued at $1.85 billion—a wealth partly amassed thanks to the Cowboys' $1.2 billion stadium, which generates $100 million annually for the team. Sponsors such as AT&T, Bank of America, Ford Motor and PepsiCo contributed to an additional $60 million of the team's total value.
In addition to the Dallas Cowboys, the Washington Redskins (valued at $1.56 billion), the New England Patriots ($1.4 billion) and the New York Giants ($1.3 billion) also made the list's top 10.
Forbes attributes the success of other NFL teams in maintaining profitable ventures to the league's television contracts.
One of the interesting facts listed by Forbes is the average worth of NFL teams—$1.04 billion. That's despite the fact that some teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars, who struggled to make the list (barely coming in at the No. 47 spot), were valued as low as $725 million.
MLB landed seven franchises in the top 50, led by the New York Yankees ($1.8 billion) and their hugely profitable YES Network, and the Los Angeles Dodgers, coming in at No. 6 at $1.4 billion.
F1 powerhouse Ferrari topped the Formula One list at No. 15 ($1.1 billion), ahead of rivals McLaren. And of just two squads on the list, the Los Angeles Lakers were tops among NBA franchises, coming in at No. 35 with a listed value of $900 million:
As with baseball, revenue growth is tied to TV. The Lakers struck a deal with Time Warner Cable beginning with the 2012-13 season valued at an average of $200 million a year, compared to $35 million under their old agreement. Time Warner will show games on two regional sports channels, one in English and one in Spanish. The Lakers have by far the biggest audience on TV, averaging 258,000 households on Fox Sports West last year.