NBA Season Cancellation Spells Trouble for Networks

In his article for ‘CNN Business’, Frank Pallotta covers the recent announcement that the NBA will be suspending games this season due to the coronavirus outbreak.  The news comes after an unnamed player tested positive for the virus ultimately resulting in the leagues temporary hiatus.  Pallotta in his analysis makes evident the huge blow this will result in regarding television partners and networks who heavily rely on sports ratings for advertising revenue.  NBA viewership is especially crucial for many networks as the league still manages to bring in solid ratings across the board.  With audiences jumping ship from cable to streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, this news will be an especially hard pill to swallow for television networks.  Another factor in this debacle is what will happen to advertising revenue that has already been booked? Will the networks be required to give the money back?  Some analysts have placed the estimates of lost advertising revenue for individual networks to be in the ballpark of 75 to 100 million dollars.  The NBA is not the only league who has suspended their season; with the NHL and Major League Soccer also cancelling games as a result of the pandemic. 

This article for me put into perspective how far reaching and impactful the coronavirus has been globally.  No avenue of business or entertainment will remain unaffected by the virus quarantine currently underway; the likes of which have not been seen in modern times.  In regard to this article and the implications of the NBA season being cancelled; it will be interesting if the playoff games in April will commence and potentially help alleviate some of the lost revenue woes networks are currently dealing with.


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