Rebooting Content: Broadcasting Sport & Esports to Homes During COVID-19
Michael M. Goldman and David P. Hedlund
Beginning in early March 2020, sport in the U.S. entered an unprecedented period of hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The postponement, suspension, and cancellation of live sporting events impacted every professional and amateur sport organization, from the NBA to NASCAR, high school sports to college football, and even esports leagues. Although the abrupt cancellation of live sporting events was disruptive, it did create opportunities for the production of new media and consumption opportunities for sport leagues, teams, and their fans through different types of sport media broadcasts. This commentary examines how the U.S. sport industry developed media content strategies using new, mixed, and rebroadcasted content, across multiple broadcast and streaming platforms, to provide sport consumption opportunities to fans largely quarantined at home. This research contributes to the existing scholarship on live and rebroadcasted mediated content, while providing guidance to content owners and rights holders facing uncertainty in the marketplace.