NEW YORK (AP) _ The Dallas Cowboys are the first sports franchise worth $4 billion, according to Forbes.
In its annual rankings, Forbes placed the Cowboys ahead of Real Madrid and Barcelona after the NFL team had a 25 percent increase in value.
Champions League winner Real dropped to the second spot at $3.65 billion, followed by its archrival Barcelona at 3.55 billion.
The rest of the top 10 has the New York Yankees ($3.4 billion) in fourth place, followed by Manchester United ($3.32 billion), the New England Patriots ($3.2 billion), New York Knicks ($3.0 billion), Washington Redskins ($2.8 billion), New York Giants ($2.8 billion), and tied for 10th, the Los Angeles Lakers and San Francisco 49ers ($2.7 billion).
The average current value of the 50 most valuable teams is $2.2 billion, the highest to date, a 25 percent increase over last year. NFL teams account for more than half the list with 27.
“Blockbuster TV contracts are fueling unprecedented increases in sports team values around the globe as the average value of a top 50 franchise has doubled over the past four years,” says Forbes senior editor Kurt Badenhausen. “The NFL is still king on TV with contracts worth nearly $7 billion annually from its media partners.”
Eight European soccer teams and eight NBA franchises made the list, and there were seven Major League Baseball clubs in the top 50.