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NCAA college football cancellations could send networks, advertisers scrambling into 2021

REUTERS/Emily Elconin/File Photo

The cancellation of the fall college football season due to the coronavirus pandemic could send networks, athletic conferences, and advertisers scrambling to reshuffle their schedules for a congested 2021, sports industry experts say.

As preparations begin to salvage the iconic American cultural tradition in the spring semester, at stake is more than $3.3 billion in advertising and broadcast media rights.

The bigger dilemma is how marketers and networks like Walt Disney Co’s ESPN and Fox Sports will juggle a year jam-packed with other postponed sporting events that could see spring college football bumping against the regularly scheduled college basketball season, and possibly even the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

Everyone will be “scrambling harder than Trevor Lawrence under an all-out blitz,” with “little to replace the demographic power of college football,” said Bob Dorfman, a sports marketing expert at Baker Street Advertising in San Francisco. Lawrence is the Clemson Tigers quarterback whose tweets this week sparked a player-led movement #WeWantToPlay to resume the season.

12 August 2020

News Source Reuters

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