By Harry Allison
The postponement of much of the college football season could mean more than $1 won’t be spent by advertisers to the television networks that count on a slate of game broadcasts every fall.
The return of the college game might have helped the TV industry salvage a year of declining revenues resulting from pandemic-related cancellations and production delays.
Now that the Big Ten and the Pacific-12 conferences, two of college football’s five powerhouse leagues, have pushed back their seasons amid concerns about the coronavirus, media companies are preparing for more pain.
Many players and school administrators, and even President Trump, had lobbied against the postponement, which could have financial ramifications for teams, campuses and local communities. The punting of the season will also affect the networks that have spent billions to secure broadcast rights, as well as the companies that had planned to spend millions to advertise their products.
“The implications are huge economically,” Kevin Krim, the chief executive of EDO, a TV ad measurement platform that works with the networks and advertisers, told the New York Times. “The cable and broadcast television ecosystem, with advertisers and rights fees and subscriber fees, are heavily anchored to live sports, and the most valuable franchises there are football.”