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NFL's Cowboys extend reign atop Forbes' most valuable teams list

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(Reuters) – The Dallas Cowboys were ranked the world’s most valuable sports team for a fourth consecutive year according to an annual list published by Forbes on Monday that was dominated by National Football League clubs.

The NFL’s Cowboys, who unseated Spanish soccer club Real Madrid for top spot on the list in 2016, were valued at $5 billion (£4.01 billion), a 4% rise when compared to last year, Forbes said in a statement.

Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees, who last year enjoyed a 10% jump in attendance along with strong ratings on the team’s YES Network, moved up three spots to sit second on the list with a value of $4.6 billion.

Real Madrid ($4.2 billion), Spanish soccer club Barcelona ($4.02 billion) and the National Basketball Association’s New York Knicks ($4 billion) rounded out the top five.

“The values of teams in major sports leagues are booming thanks to sky-high TV deals, both local and national,” said Kurt Badenhausen, senior editor, Forbes Media. “And with revenue growing faster than player salaries, franchises are more profitable than they have ever been.”

Teams from the NFL, whose lucrative broadcast contracts are not comparable to any other league, accounted for 26 of the 50 teams on the list, down from 29 teams a year ago as some other major sports chipped away at its dominance.

The NBA had nine teams on the list, one more than last year, while European soccer and MLB each had one more team represented this time around with eight and seven, respectively.

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

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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