The widespread outbreak of coronavirus is having an impact on markets and industries across the globe. The creation of television content is no exception.

With advice ranging from country to country but generally recommending or enforcing isolation and social distancing, the creation of content will be limited. Television content from soap operas to sporting events will be affected. Curbed television content will have a detrimental impact on all involved including broadcasters and content creators.

Televised events that attract large audiences cancelled

In the UK, the English Premier League is currently postponed until April 30, with the season extended indefinitely. In the 2018/19 season, the Premier League revealed that it reached a cumulative global television audience of 3.2 billion. UEFA has postponed EURO 2020 by 12 months, with this football tournament being watched by a television audience of two billion in 2016.

The Eurovision Song Contest 2020 has also been cancelled. The contest attracted 182 million viewers in 2019.

A decision regarding the postponement of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be made in mid-April. It is expected that the event will be postponed. The Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016 drew in an audience of 3.6 billion viewers.

Other cancelled events include UK music festival Glastonbury, which drew television audiences of around three million in 2019. Australia’s National Rugby League, The World Snooker Championship, Formula 1, and all Rugby Union competitions have all been postponed.

Other television content affected

Soap operas and television shows in many countries have either stopped recording or have been significantly restricted.

In the UK, soaps including BBC’s EastEnders and ITV’s Coronation Street have suspended filming for the foreseeable future. Both soap operas regularly attract audiences of over five million.

Curbed television content will have a widespread impact

The widespread postponement and cancellation of events and television shows will leave holes in broadcasting schedules. This will lead to a loss in revenue for broadcasters and a challenging operating environment. Those involved in content creation will feel the impact; including script writers, actors, producers, and more.

Sky Sports is allowing consumers to freeze their sports package subscriptions in the wake of postponed Premier League football and Formula 1 racing. This will undoubtedly impact the broadcaster’s revenues.

What is more, Sky and BT sports pay more than £1.3bn per year to the Premier League to live broadcast matches, with each match costing up to £9m. This will have a knock on effect on football clubs, which will make it harder to pay player salaries.

While the full impact remains to be seen, it is clear content creators and broadcasters will be detrimentally affected in the coming weeks and months.

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