10 NBA Teams Among World’s Fifty Most Valuable Sports Franchises

A day after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made the claim that a “significant number of teams” are losing money, Forbes reported—in a delicious twist of irony—that a third of NBA franchises are among the fifty most valuable pro sports squads on the entire planet.

The Lakers, Knicks, Bulls, Celtics, Clippers, Nets, Warriors, Rockets, Heat and Mavericks made the cut.

With an estimated worth of $3.26 billion, Spanish soccer behemoth Real Madrid is said to be the world’s most valuable sports franchise:

The undisputed TV king in the world of sports is the NFL, which kicked off new network deals last year worth more than $5 billion a year, not including its $1.5 billion-a-year pact with DirecTV. The NBA inked a $2.66 billion-a-year deal in October with ESPN and TNT, which was triple the previous rate. Regional sports networks are committing to long-term deals with baseball teams, like the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 25-year, $8.35 billion contract with Time Warner Cable TWC +1.43%. The English Premier League joined the party in February with a $2.7 billion-a-year pact with Sky, which kicks off in 2016 and represents a 70% bump on the current deal.


Sports teams are not resting on their riches. They are searching for the next goldmine with new streaming services and daily fantasy games. Baseball is pouring resources into its digital and technology arm, MLB Advanced Media, which is equally owned by MLB’s 30 teams and has been valued at $10 billion. […] The world’s 50 most valuable sports teams are now worth $1.75 billion on average, up 31% from 2014. The minimum valuation to make the cut is $1.15 billion, versus $856 million a year ago, thanks largely to the soaring worth of NBA and MLB teams. The top 50 includes 22 baseball and basketball franchises, compared to only 10 in 2014.


The NFL landed the most teams in the top 50 with 20 franchises, followed by MLB (12), NBA (10) and soccer (7). Formula One’s most storied squad, Ferrari, made the cut at No. 32 worth $1.35 billion and the NHL landed one team on the list with the Toronto Maple Leafs tied for No. 37 at $1.3 billion. There are 51 teams this year thanks to a three-way tie at No. 49 with the Atlanta Braves, Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Vikings all worth $1.15 billion by our count. There are 62 sports franchises globally worth at least $1 billion.