Forbes ranks Celtics world's 20th most valuable sports franchise

Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck during the 4th quarter of Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals.

As we reported back in January, Forbes has valued the Celtics at $1.7 billion, the fourth highest of any NBA team behind the Lakers ($2.6 billion), Knicks ($2.5 billion) and Bulls ($2 billion).

Forbes has now compiled a list of the top 50 most valuable franchise across all sports worldwide:

According to the report, recent lucrative TV deals are the driving force behind the escalating net worth of professional sports teams.  No. 1 is Spanish soccer club Real Madrid ($3.26 billion), with the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees a close second and third.

The Celtics check in at No. 20 overall.  Also in the top 20 are the New England Patriots (No. 6, $2.6 billion) and Boston Red Sox (No. 12, $2.1 billion).

Follow Mark Vandeusen on Twitter @LucidSportsFan