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S&P Global — 8 July 2024

Daily Update: July 8, 2024

Paris Olympics Mark a Moment for Women’s Sports

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By Nathan Hunt

Start every business day with our analyses of the most pressing developments affecting markets today, alongside a curated selection of our latest and most important insights on the global economy

This summer, men and women will be represented in equal numbers at the Olympics. In the Paris Games of 1900, only 22 women participated, or 2.2% of competing athletes. As recently as the 1984 Los Angeles Games, less than a quarter of competing athletes were women. But the 2024 games have set a new high-water mark for sports equality. Of the 32 Olympic sports, 28 will be gender equal. The parity reflects the growing popularity of women’s sports with fans, investors and the media. For decades, the Olympics were the only occasion for some female athletes to gain recognition and endorsements. But women’s sports are flourishing, and a market has grown to reflect the expanding audience for women’s professional leagues.

US-based Olympic media rights holders such as NBCUniversal and Warner Bros. Discovery are seizing the opportunity represented by the growing interest in women’s sports. They are expanding prime-time coverage of popular women’s sports such as gymnastics and swimming, and they plan to air all women's events at the Paris Games across Eurosport, discovery+ or Max in multiple languages. Media companies have increased their coverage because women’s sports attract large and committed audiences in the US and Europe.

The growth of women’s sports in non-Olympic years can be seen through the expanded coverage of women’s basketball in the US and women’s soccer in Europe. Big-name stars such as Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese have driven record engagement with women’s NCAA Division I basketball. In 2024, the women's March Madness tournament averaged 2.2 million viewers across ESPN’s platforms, a 121% year-over-year increase. The same increases in engagement can be seen in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). Ticket sales are up 93% this season for WNBA games while attendance and viewership numbers continue to break records. 

In the UK, record viewing and attendance at women’s Euro and World Cup soccer matches have translated into exponential growth for the country's Women's Super League (WSL). Crowds have increased threefold for WSL games, leading teams such as Arsenal to host women’s games in the larger stadiums that used to be reserved for men’s games. 

In Olympic and professional sports, audience size translates into dollars. US Olympics rights holder NBCUniversal’s expected ad sales of more than $1.4 billion for the Paris Games will be due, in part, to engagement with women’s sports. ESPN’s $920 million deal for the rights to broadcast women’s NCAA basketball games represents a tenfold increase from the previous deal. Revenue for the most recent women's Euro soccer tournament, played in the UK in 2022, came in at €63.2 million, almost quintuple the earnings from the prior tournament in 2017, implying a 38% annual growth rate.

Due to these large and growing audiences, women’s sports franchises are also increasing in value. The implied growth rates for investments in WNBA franchises from 2006 through 2024 range from 13% to 348%. WSL franchises in the UK and National Women's Soccer League franchises in the US have experienced similar increases in valuation.

Today is Monday, July 8, 2024, and here is today’s essential intelligence. 

Unpriced Environmental Costs: The Top Externalities of the Global Market

The world’s publicly listed companies depend on natural capital for their operations yet cause trillions of dollars in environmental costs that are not accounted for each year, according to new research produced by S&P Global Sustainable1 with feedback and support from Capitals Coalition.

—Read the article from S&P Global Sustainable1

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On top of the debt accumulated on the back of the 2008-2011 global financial crisis, sovereigns in developed markets borrowed heavily between 2020 and 2022 to address a series of global emergencies: first the pandemic, then a spike in energy prices after Russia's invasion of Ukraine. At the start of this borrowing spree, interest rates were unusually low, underpinned by quantitative easing.

—Read the article from S&P Global Ratings

State Farm Flags Surplus Deterioration, Seeks 30% Homeowners Hike In California

State Farm General Insurance Co. is seeking to significantly raise homeowners insurance rates in California while flagging to regulators that it faces "further surplus deterioration" if rate hikes are not approved. In filings with the state's Department of Insurance on June 27, the company outlined its reasoning for raising rates for various home lines, including a 30% hike for homeowners renewal policies dated Jan. 1, 2025, and later.

—Read the article from S&P Global Market Intelligence

Russia's Seaborne Crude Exports Rise In June Despite OPEC+ Pledges

Russian seaborne crude exports rose 5% in June from a six-month low in May, according to tanker tracking data, despite pledges by Moscow to adhere more strictly to its OPEC+ output target from this month. At the same time, oil product exports fell 9% on the month despite Russian refineries damaged by Ukrainian drone strikes having largely been restored.

—Read the article from S&P Global Commodity Insights

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The UAE's Abu Dhabi National Oil Co.'s transition into a low-carbon global energy company is taking it closer to acquiring Europe's specialty chemicals maker Covestro, which makes some of the world's fastest-growing products used in electronics, home furnishings and automobiles. Leverkusen, Germany-based Covestro on June 24 said it and ADNOC have entered "concrete discussions" about a possible transaction, with the starting point for a possible offer at Eur62 for each Covestro share.

—Read the article from S&P Global Commodity Insights

Listen: Next In Tech | Ep. 174: Open Source Innovation

Over a decade ago, Marc Andreessen said that software was eating the world and today we could easily say that open source is eating the software world. It’s widely adopted and deployed and has become a key element of the IT landscape. The last year has seen some players shifting their approaches to the market, but have these affected the fundamental values of the open source community? Dr. Thomas Di Giacomo, Chief Technical and Product Officer at SUSE and Cloud Native Computing Foundation board member, joins host Eric Hanselman at the SUSECON conference to talk about some of the dynamics of the open source market.

—Listen and subscribe to the podcast from S&P Global Market Intelligence

Beyond ESG With Mid-Year Economic Outlooks (July 17, 2024)

As we look towards the second half of 2024, we invite you to join us on Wednesday, July 17 as we look back — and forward — at the key sustainability trends impacting mid-year economic outlooks.

—Register for the webinar from S&P Global Sustainable1

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