A World Without Sports: TV Networks Brace for Billion-Dollar Losses During Coronavirus Pandemic

Lost games mean lost TV ratings and ad dollars — and the fear of long-term effects

The coronavirus pandemic brought the sports world to a screeching halt this week, and the networks that paid billions of dollars for the right to televise those games are bracing for impact.

And nobody knows how far and wide this financial hit will be during an unprecedented time when uncertainty has become the normal operating procedure. But this much is a sure thing: A spring without any live sports would cost networks like ESPN and TNT millions of viewers and billions of dollars.

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Tim Baysinger

TV reporter • tim.baysinger@thewrap.com • Twitter: @tim_bays