During the March 5 segment of the Sports Business Journal’s daily sports business podcast, and as part of an accompanying article published by the Sports Business Journal on March 9, Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Tim Browne discussed the potential financial ramifications of COVID-19 on the U.S. sports industry if COVID-19 leads to the cancellation of games, and provided insight on the likelihood of whether insurance would cover resulting losses in revenue.
Due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19, some leagues and promoters have opted to stage games in empty stadiums and arenas rather than canceling them entirely. “Playing without spectators likely would enable those covered for a cancellation in the event of an outbreak to recoup lost revenue from tickets and concessions,” said Tim.
However, while conceding that staging games without a live audience does not make for a great TV viewer experience, Tim pointed out to SBJ that sports leagues and teams are still able to rely on the valuable revenue from their media rights deals, advertisers and sponsors when these games are not cancelled entirely. “I’ve never seen a media contract specify that a game had to be played with any number of fans in the building,” noted Tim.
The full content can be accessed at the following links:
- SBJ Unpacks COVID-19 podcast (March 5, 2020)
- “Key to Event Cancellation Coverage is in Wording,” Sports Business Journal (March 9, 2020)
- “As COVID-19 Hits Events Sector, Here’s How Operators Can Reduce Losses from Cancellations,” South Florida Business Journal (March 11, 2020)