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ESPN and Fox Sports have a problem: they have 24 hours of TV to fill, and no sports to fill them with.
March was supposed to a busy time for both networks. You have the NCAA Tournament, MLB opening day, NBA games, XFL games and much more to discuss. But all of those leagues have either canceled or postponed their play, leaving the sports networks with nothing to talk about.
So what does a sports television network air when there are no sports? Well, as you have probably guessed, not a whole lot. Both ESPN and Fox Sports have had to readjust their schedules as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, but the networks have gone in different directions.
As of now, ESPN is still moving forward with its live programming. An announcement went out Friday morning from ESPN’s public relations account detailing what would be aired and it included its usual slate of original programming such as “Get Up,” “First Take,” “Will Cain,” and multiple airings of “SportsCenter.”
Sports Business Journal reporter John Ourand reported Thursday that you can expect to see plenty of “SportsCenter” moving forward.
ESPN released the following statement:?This is an unprecedented situation. We have great relationships with our league partners and are confident we can address all issues constructively going forward. Our immediate focus is on everyones safety and well-being.
Fox Sports announced early Friday morning it will suspend production on its live shows.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we have made the decision to suspend production of our live FS1 daily studio shows through at least Friday, March 20. Our top priority is the health and safety of our employees. We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust accordingly.”
FS1 live broadcasts included “First Things First,” “Undisputed,” “The Herd,” “Speak for Yourself,” and “Lock It In.”
A schedule released by Fox Sports for the near future shows plenty of replays of previously live sporting events.