While the world struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic, many sporting events have had to be postponed or canceled, while some outliers have tried to push on. With the abrupt cancelation of many sporting events major TV networks like CBS and Turner have experienced a major loss in ad revenue.
According to The Hollywood Reporter March Madness brought in over $655 million in ad revenue last year.
“We are fully supportive of the NCAA’s decision to cancel this year’s NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship,” CBS Sports and Turner Sports said in a joint statement. “We’ll continue to work closely with the NCAA and all of our partners as we prioritize the health and well-being of everyone involved.”
The cancelation will also lose the NCAA itself and college programs a lot of money. It also will affect a lot of the players’ futures as March Madness provides the biggest stage for athletes to show off to NBA scouts. This is harder to track, because who knows what could have happened with players that are on the bubble of the NBA Draft.
Sticking with basketball, the NBA and their TV network partners are going to lose a lot of money and will have a major future impact.
According to the Washington Post the NBA will lose around $1 billion because of COVID-19. The association decided to postpone the season in Mid-March, but as time goes on people are getting more and more pessimistic that the season will resume.
Networks like ABC and TNT rely on the NBA playoffs that generate millions of dollars of ad revenue according to Eight Thirty-Eight.
The NBA players will also be greatly impacted as the NBA salary cap is projected to drop millions of dollars.
John Hollinger, a writer for the Athletic and a former Memphis Grizzlies executive, estimated that those losses could translate to a salary cap decline of $8 million next year, easily the largest ever, even if Silver can salvage the playoffs. A Bleacher Report estimate said the salary cap hit could reach $15 million if the season is lost.
For just a quick explainer, the salary cap is basically the payroll that each NBA franchise to allocate for its players. It’s designed to help give parity to the league by deciding the max amount players can be paid. With this significant drop, NBA stars will lose out on millions of dollars.
To help itself and TV networks, the NBA has discussed putting together a horse tournament with various players. The proposed tournament would be put on by ESPN.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, an ESPN NBA insider, initial plans are in the work. discussions have been ongoing among the NBA, NBPA and ESPN about a competition among several players in isolation — presumably using home gyms — that would include them competing shot for shot in the traditional playground game, sources said.
UFC, the biggest MMA company in the world, has gone in a completely different direction than other sports. The company has recently made a deal to host their latest fight on a private island.
White told ESPN on Monday that he has secured a location in the U.S. to host UFC 249 on April 18, which will be headlined by an interim title fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje and consist of 12 fights overall. He said the location will host weekly fights for at least the next two months.
UFC president Dana White has been adamant about continuing to hold fights during the COVID-19 pandemic. While White has said that safety is a concern, and assures that the UFC is doing everything they can to protect the fighters many media members are skeptical about the decision to continue on.