An ESPN exec explains how the sports network is pitching advertisers in the absence of live sports like NBA and MLB games
- The lack of live sports has hit TV networks hard as leagues delay games.
- Without live sports, Disney’s sports properties ESPN and ABC are filling air time with programs like the NFL Draft, documentaries, and replay games.
- ESPN has signed on advertisers like State Farm, Verizon, and Pizza Hut that regularly sponsor live events to advertise in the interim.
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One of the advertising industries hit hardest by the coronavirus are sports TV networks that banked on advertising tied to National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, and National Hockey Association programming.
According to data from TV ad-buying firm Tatari, during the week of April 13, viewership on sports networks fell 33% to 82% depending on the TV network compared to January and February.
Disney is particularly exposed to the lack of live sports, according to a note from Wall Street firm UBS. The firm estimates that sports accounts for 16% of Disney’s total viewership, with sports making up about 45% of ESPN and ABC’s programming.
ESPN is filling the gap from live sports with programs like a 10-part documentary about Michael Jordan’s career titled “The Last Dance.” The network says the first …continued .
[Source: Business Insider]