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TV Industry Faces Billions in Lost Ads During Sports Hiatus

  • With sports gone, broadcasters sub in less lucrative reruns
  • Spring sporting events generate over $2 billion in ad sales
Sport is televised at a bar and restaurant, in West Hollywood, California.

Sport is televised at a bar and restaurant, in West Hollywood, California.

Photographer: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

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TNT will air old NBA Games. ESPN will broadcast news. CBS is running extra episodes of “Young Sheldon,” “Hawaii Five-0” and “Tommy.” None of it will make up for the loss of televised sports.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, TV networks are scrambling to fill their airwaves. Fear of spreading the disease has led to the suspension or cancellation of several major sporting events, including March Madness and games from the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League.