ESPN Sports network will face a big loss that would cost around $400 million in lost advertising revenue because of the Covid Omicron variant.
According to Bloomberg News, the Walt Disney subsidiary has around $400 million in college football playoffs advertising at stake as games are being canceled because of pandemic fears.
On Sunday, Stephen Igoe of 247 Sports News reported that “A Military Bowl game between East Carolina University and Boston College would no longer take place due to COVID-19.”
Multiple sources confirm the Military Bowl game between ECU and Boston College has been canceled due to COVID-19 issues.
— Stephen Igoe (@StephenIgoe) December 26, 2021
According to CBS News:
Organizers have canceled the annual Military Bowl. Organizers have also called off the Fenway Bowl, which features a game between the Southern Methodist University Mustangs and the University of Virginia Cavaliers.
The cancelation happened after some players on the University of Virginia team tested positive for COVID-19, CBS Sports reported.
Earlier this Christmas Eve, Hawaii withdrew from a game against Memphis, citing pandemic woes. Texas dropped out of the Gator Bowl for the same reason, the outlet reported.
For a company that usually bags $350 million to $400 million per year, according to estimates from Bloomberg Intelligence, the pandemic cancelations are likely to bring big losses. Pre-pandemic, ESPN even saw a rise in revenue by a growth of 8 percent annually between 2013 and 2018.
Disney draws in around $12 billion in yearly sales through ESPN. The network helps the media conglomerate earn $4.3 billion every year before taxes, interest, depreciation and amortization, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.
“We are working closely with the College Football Playoff and other bowl organizers and are confident in the health and safety plans they have in place for the games to be played as scheduled,” ESPN told Bloomberg News in an emailed statement.
On Wednesday, James Phillip told CNN:
“Unlike anything we’ve ever seen, even at the peak of the prior surges of Covid, “What we’re experiencing right now is an absolute overwhelming of the emergency departments.
Due to this new variant, the White House is now even urging people to get vaccinated as prevention against the coronavirus and its variants in line with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.
CDC said in a statement that “The Omicron variant likely will spread more easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and how easily Omicron spreads compared to Delta remains unknown,” they believed anyone with Omicron infection can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms.”