Coronavirus Effect on Media Houses

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Coronavirus Effect on Media Houses

The global economic impact of Coronavirus pandemic is already taking shape as markets tumble, and countries are taking emergency actions to respond. The Coronavirus disease, also known as COVID-19, has significantly affected the media industry and has shown far-reaching effects, particularly on movie studios, TV networks, and Print publishers.

Movie studios.

Walt Disney Studios.

  • Since late February, Disney's stocks have tumbled over 30% amidst growing fear over the Coronavirus pandemic; this is a significant decline for a stock that was trading at $150 per share about four months ago.
  • Walt Disney Studios have temporarily halted the production of its live-action films, including "The Little Mermaid" as a measure to prevent the potential spread of the Coronavirus.
  • Production of Marvel films like "Shang-Chi" and "The Legend of the Ten Rings" have already stopped owing to fear of the spread of the Coronavirus disease while other Disney productions like "Home Alone," "The Last Duel," "Nightmare Alley," "Peter Pan & Wendy," and "Shrunk" were also put on hiatus.
  • Walt Disney Studios had also announced that it would be postponing the theatrical release of the live-action "Mulan," which was supposed to hit theaters March 27. This delay of "Mulan," an estimated $200 million movie, could hit Disney with tens of millions in sunk marketing costs, including TV ad spending and events.
  • Disney also postponed the release of 20th Century Studios’ X-Men spin-off “The New Mutants” and the Searchlight Pictures horror film “Antlers.” These closures and postponements are expected to have a severe impact on Disney’s financial results.

TV networks.

National Broadcasting Company (NBC).

  • NBC Universal has suspended work on about 35 shows, including the “Chicago” franchise, “Law and Order: SVU,” “News Amsterdam,” and “FBI.” Other shows being suspended include Kelly Clarkson’s talk show and the Emmy Rossum-starring “Angelyne,” which is filming for NBC’s upcoming streaming platform Peacock.
  • The shutdown is also affecting reality shows like "American Ninja Warrior" whose production has been postponed while the hit show "America's Got Talent" will tape its first round of auditions without an audience.
  • NBC also had to suspend The Tonight Show (hosted by Jimmy Fallon) and Late Night With Seth Meyers owing to the fears of the spread of the Coronavirus disease.
  • The Coronavirus has significantly hit the sports industry as significant sporting events have been suspended, and TV networks are losing revenue from the coverage of these sporting events. NBC sports shall also lose its NHL games coverage, and this means lost revenue, as any programming airing in place of live sports won't command ad rates on the same level.
  • The Coronavirus may also result in the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, an idea that is significantly echoed by world leaders like US President Trump, which may jeopardize NBC Universal's more than $1.25 billion in advertising commitments that are on the line for the network and its parent company, Comcast.

Print publishers.

Chico News & Review.

  • Chico News & Review and its sister publications in Sacramento and Reno were forced to temporarily suspend their publication due to a sharp decline in revenue as a result of the Coronavirus disease.
  • The majority of the revenue for the paper came from advertising for bars, nightclubs, and other places that draw people together. Since these venues had dropped their advertising and closed down to slow the spread of the Coronavirus disease, the revenue stream for the paper dried up.
  • The Chico News & Review lost around 50% of its ad revenue under a week and had to temporarily lay off all the staff bringing the organization to a total standstill.