The spread of the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the economy, as new cases continued to surface worldwide, the death toll mounted and the World Health Organization officially declared the outbreak a global pandemic. The media business responded quickly, banning live studio audiences from show tapings and postponing upfront gatherings and industry conferences, including the sector’s biggest trade event, NAB Show in Las Vegas.
Other organizations have postponed smaller industry gatherings like the ACA Connects annual Washington, D.C., policy conference and the T. Howard Foundation’s annual fundraising dinner.
As the cases mount — at press time, there were about 2,000 COVID-19 cases in the U.S., with 41 deaths — many in the industry fear the impact could grow worse. Globally, more than 140,000 people have been infected with the virus and more than 5,000 have died. With information around the virus and its potential effects changing daily, here is an update of the potential impact to the TV business. Broadcasting & Cable