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What do ESPN, FS1 others do with no sports to show?

ESPN has a peculiar problem to solve over the next several weeks:

What does a sports TV network put on TV when there are no live sports anymore?

The answer for them and other sports networks right now is unclear in the long term. They’re all trying to figure it out after games in all major sports were cancelled or postponed to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“We appreciate your patience as we work through modifications for the days ahead,” ESPN vice president Josh Krulewitz said in response to programming inquiries. “Our programming team is hard at work to fill the holes on our networks, and we will provide updates when finalized.”

Empty basketball arenas and other venues as a result of coronavirus cancellations are challenging sports TV networks to fill hours of programming.

They’re scrambling just like many other businesses these days. And their attempts to fill the void will test their creativity for an indefinite period.

Unlike other TV networks that can fill their programming lineup with re-runs, movies and non-sports news, ESPN, Fox Sports 1, NBCSN and others rely on games to attract viewers and then fill the rest of their time talking about those games. But now that there are no games, the TV guide on Friday said “To be announced” in some time slots, with replays of old games scheduled in others.



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