While some media thrive, sports publishers have seen a majority of their daily visitors disappear as all major sports events around the world have been cancelled.
So what do you do if you are ESPN and governments around the world have released orders to suspend all sports events while you spent billions to acquire the coverage rights and have built up distribution capacity of 200 hours of TV daily. You try to come up with alternative content to keep going, but it’s really, really tough. Kevin Draper summed it up
nicely for the NY Times:
When Coronavirus Turns Every Sports Channel Into ESPN Classic: Replays of games that already happened. Documentaries that you might have missed. Yipes, no wonder the few dozen sports-only channels have a problem.
One example of ESPN succeeding in the current situation is the release of its documentary “The Last Dance” about the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls basketball team. The documentary was planned for June 2020 but fast-forwarded to 19 April and seen by millions of viewers.
A lot of sports newsletters are facing the same problem.
Patricia Nilsson summed up
their strategy for the FT:
Last week, it said it would extend a free trial period for new readers from 7 to 90 days. Instead of providing coverage of the latest fixture, it is asking readers to “find comfort and entertainment in the nostalgia, culture, and people behind the games we love”.