Real Madrid edge Yankees, Cowboys as most valuable sports franchise

Real Madrid top Forbes' list for the third consecutive year, but two iconic American franchises made big jumps.

Real Madrid have been named the world's most valuable sports team by Forbes, edging Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees into second and third respectively.

The Spanish football powerhouse lead the Forbes list of the 50 most valuable sports franchises for the third consecutive year, although Forbes pegs their value at $3.26 billion, down slightly from last year.

The Cowboys and Yankees are next at $3.2 billion, with each franchise making a big jump from last year's projection.

Real Madrid's arch-rivals Barcelona are fourth at $3.16 billion, just ahead of Manchester United at $3.1 billion.

Rounding out the top 10 are the Los Angeles Lakers ($2.6 billion), New England Patriots ($2.6 billion), New York Knicks ($2.5 billion), Los Angeles Dodgers ($2.4 billion) and Washington Redskins ($2.4 billion).

Real and Barca's ability to negotiate their own television deals bolsters their respective revenues although failures in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League last season cost Real, along with the recent rejection of plans to expand their Santiago Bernabeu home.