July 19, 2018 / 12:02 AM / a year ago

NFL's Cowboys top Forbes most valuable teams list

(Reuters) - The Dallas Cowboys have been ranked the world’s most valuable sports team for a third consecutive year, an annual list published by Forbes showed on Wednesday, with the National Football League accounting for more than half of the top 50.

FILE PHOTO: Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) and quarterback Dak Prescott (4) run onto the field before a game against the Seattle Seahawks at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, U.S., . December 24, 2017. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY SportsREUTERS/ /File Photo

The NFL’s Cowboys were valued at $4.8 billion, a 14 percent jump compared to last year, Forbes said in a statement.

Soccer teams Manchester United ($4.12 billion), Real Madrid ($4.09 billion) and Barcelona ($4.06 billion) occupied the next three spots.

Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees, who were second on the list last year, rounded out the top five with a value of $4 billion, up 8 percent from a year ago.

The average value of the 50 teams on the list is $2.74 billion, the highest to date, up from last year when the average value was $2.5 billion

“There has never been a better time to own a top-notch pro sports franchise,” said Kurt Badenhausen, a senior editor at Forbes.

“Blockbuster TV contracts and owner-friendly collective bargaining agreements are fuelling record sale prices across

major sports leagues.”

Teams from the NFL, whose lucrative broadcast contracts dwarf those of other leagues, took up 29 of the top 50 spots.

The National Basketball Association had eight teams on the list, led by the Los Angeles Lakers ($3.3 billion) in eighth place, followed by European soccer and MLB, who had seven and six teams.

No ice hockey, Formula One or Nascar teams made the cut.

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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