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Fenway Sports Group moves up to No. 3 in Forbes’ latest rankings of sports empires

The Red Sox reached the American League Championship Series last season.Sgtan Grossfeld/Globe Staff

The addition of an NHL team, fresh capital, and increased media rights among all sports lifted Fenway Sports Group’s value by nearly 50 percent to $9.81 billion, climbing one spot to No. 3 on Forbes’ annual list of the world’s largest sports empires.

The Kraft family remained at No. 7 at $5.3 billion.

FSG, which owns the Red Sox, Liverpool Football Club, 80 percent of NESN, Fenway Sports Management, Fenway Real Estate, and is a part-owner of a NASCAR franchise, paid $900 million to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins last month. The portfolio addition, along with an injection of $750 million in capital from RedBird Capital last spring, helped to spur a 48.6 increase in its enterprise value, which stood at $6.6 billion one year ago.

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The Kraft family, headed by Robert Kraft, owns the New England Patriots, New England Revolution, Kraft Analytics Group, the Boston Uprising esports team, and has significant stakes in DraftKings and the Skillz esports gaming platform.

Its value increased 10.9 percent.

FSG swapped rankings with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, whose portfolio also includes real estate, hospitality and gaming. Jones’ $8.85 billion in holdings increased by 26.8 percent.

Holding onto its firm grasp of the No. 1 ranking is Liberty Media, owner of the world champion Atlanta Braves and Formula 1 racing. The company grew at a 32.2 percent clip, from $13 billion to $17.2 billion.

Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, owners of the Los Angeles Rams, Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, and Arsenal FC of England’s Premier League is at No. 2 at $10.54 billion.

Yankees Global Enterprises ($6.81 billion) dropped one spot, from fifth to sixth.

Overall, Forbes said the aggregate value of its top 20 sports companies grew by 22 percent over the year, from $102 billion to $124 billion.

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John Henry, principal owner of FSG, also owns the Boston Globe.


Michael Silverman can be reached at michael.silverman@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeSilvermanBB.