The coronavirus outbreak has not only affected industries like manufacturing, automobile, travel and hospitality. The pandemic has also caused the shutdown of all types of sports events. All major and minor events have been canceled, shifted or postponed as athletes, officials and spectators concern about the spread of the virus. Besides, more and more international sports associations and organisations are coming forward with statements and concrete campaigns amid the outbreak of novel coronavirus, Covid-19.
The professional sports industry is already profoundly affected. The National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Hockey League (NHL), in the United States, have suspended their seasons until further notice. Major League Baseball (MLB) and Major League Soccer (MLS) have also delayed their seasons for 2-4 weeks and events on the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Tour have been canceled. On the other hand, in Europe, many football matches are being reportedly played without spectators and leagues are starting to act. The Premier League seems to hang up its season, as Serie A in Italy and La Liga have done in Spain, among others around Europe.
Moreover, UEFA’s Euro 2020 football tournament and the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are due to see this summer, which has been shown to millions around the world. Though these events are not easily postponed or replaced in a broadcaster’s programming schedule. Initially, the governor of Tokyo said the event will happen, although some changes might have to be made. But now reports claim the date will postpone and will go for 2021. However, organizers of the event hold the first meeting to tackle the unprecedented challenge, where the task force will aim to decide the new dates in 2021 for the Games as soon as possible.
Since 1988, the media giant NBC has been the major broadcaster of the Summer Games and the Winter Games since 2002. In 2014, it paid around US$7.7 billion to retain the U.S. broadcast rights to the Olympics through 2032. However, in 1980, according to The New York Times, when the US boycotted the Moscow Olympics the media giant lost US$34 million despite having insurance.
Combating the Virus Fallout
The world of sports around the globe is moving closer together to support the fight against the Covid-19. Portugal’s sporting goods and textile industry, for instance, is actively involved in wrestling against the virus. The textile association ATP, in conjunction with the Citeve Technology Centre, is organising a platform of the Portuguese textile industry to retort the call of the Ministry of Health for textile equipment for healthcare centers. Many clothing manufacturing companies from northern Portugal impulsively offered to shift their fashion production to protective masks and clothing.
Moreover, FIFA, together with the WHO, has launched an information campaign with world-famous faces from the world of football. According to reports, 28 football stars talk about the five most significant measures – wash your hands, cough in the crook of your arm, avoid touching your face, keep physical distance and stay at home – under the Motto “Pass the message to kick out Coronavirus”. Reportedly, the campaign will be sent to FIFA’s 211 member associations for distribution and media agencies as well.