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March 3, 2020 1:40 pm  #1


Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

It was probably only a matter of time before the Coronavirus began affecting what you see on TV, aside from just the news. And it's just starting, although not in an extensive way.
 
Among other things, CBS has “delayed” production on this season’s “The Amazing Race,” over fears of the virus spreading. There’s no immediate word on when the Emmy-winning reality show could resume or what might happen to the Canadian version.
 
CNN has also pulled back on travel for its producers and correspondents, allowing them to go on assignment only when absolutely necessary – like major political or sporting events. Otherwise, very few will be flying anywhere.
 
And although I almost never watch the show, I caught an unusual notice at the tail end of “The Price Is Right” on Tuesday. A woman had apparently just won a trip to the Netherlands in the Showcase, and the credits rolled. As the contestant celebrated and was standing there clapping, one of the very final notices supered over her read as follows:
 
“This episode was recorded prior to the outbreak of COVID-19.
Travel prizes in regions affected by COVID-19 may be fulfilled with alternative arrangements.
 
For more information on COVID-19, please visit the Center for Disease Control’s website at CDC.ORG.”
 
Not sure how long this has been running but it’s likely quite new. I'm curious about what those "alternative arrangements" might be - the cost of the trip in cash?

If this thing continues to spread, I wonder how long it will be before it affects the shooting schedules for major American shows, especially those shot in B.C. and Toronto - and whether that means a lot more reruns in our future. 
 
Something to watch for – or maybe not watch for – in the coming months. 

https://i.ibb.co/VL600hk/tpir1.jpg

 

March 3, 2020 3:38 pm  #2


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

Canada's public broadcaster is offering some very useful information (made digestable by Dr. Peter Lin) on COVID19. For those who don't know, Dr. Lin is the CBC News go-to guy on medical issues.


 

 

March 3, 2020 4:47 pm  #3


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

If you ever have the opportunity to hear Dr. Peter Lin speak it is well worth the time. I have heard him twice at my doctor's annual Heart Health Seminar in Cambridge ON.  Peter makes complex health issues easy to understand.  He is funny in person, plain spoken and very informative. Whenever I see or hear him on TV or radio I always make a point to really listen to what he has to say. He speaks and teaches all over North American but he is based and lives in the Toronto area. 

He is very positive and  reassuring about our health care system and the research going on here and elsewhere. He has been approachable when I have heard him speak and he seems to enjoy meeting the public and answering questions.  His humour and his 'no question is stupid" attitude really helps those who are worried or somewhat shy asking questions about health issues. We are lucky to have a guy like him and it is great that he appears from time to time on TV and radio.

 

March 4, 2020 8:25 am  #4


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

Excellent, very informative video. Thank you for posting it.

 

March 4, 2020 8:39 am  #5


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

When I the weekend morning show host on CFRB, for 15 years, Dr. Lin was on my Sunday show many times. Really a very smart guy with a great sense of humor.

 

March 10, 2020 7:45 am  #6


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

Now we know it's serious! Both Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune will be taping all of their remaining episodes this season without a studio audience over fears of COVID-19. There are a host of reasons, including that they tend to attract older audiences and visitors - all of whom are hard to track. 

And then there's the reason of hosts - Alex Trebek is considered immunocompromised because of his cancer battle and Pat Sajak recently had emergency surgery himself. 

So will they add canned applause? So far, no one seems to have asked that question, but you have to wonder how it will change the feeling of the show if there's total silence when someone answers a difficult Daily Double or wins a car.

On GNR 640, Mike Stafford noted that neither show is especially audience dependent -  but wondered what would happen if they banned people from The Price Is Right or Let's Make A Deal, where the audience IS the show?

And as noted above, there are already issues with giving away trips, a common game show prize. Another unexpected consequence of this terrible virus.

Coronavirus Concerns Prompt ‘Jeopardy!’, ‘Wheel of Fortune’ to Tape Without Live Audiences

     Thread Starter
 

March 11, 2020 3:32 pm  #7


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

The latest showbiz effects were on view Wednesday when popular morning shows, including "Kelly & Ryan," "Good Morning America" and "The View" all aired their shows without an audience

Meanwhile, a host of British radio and TV stations - including the BBC - have started restricting who they'll allow into their buildings. I wonder if stations here will implement similar restrictions as this grows in Canada. 

But my favourite story of the day, and likely the week, has to be this one - and it has nothing to do with broadcasting.

But it's so great, I thought I'd include it here because we can all use a laugh in the middle of the now-officially-a-pandemic. (And by the way, did you know that the word "panic" is contained at the beginning and the end of "pandemic?")

The yarn I love is about this 13-year-old kid from Leeds, England who got kicked out of school for selling squirts of hand sanitizer to fellow students for about a buck a shot. He used the money to buy a package of Doritos. And when his stepfather found out, he was furious - at the school administration, not his son, calling the boy a "'f***ing legend." What a great story. 

Boy, 13, is sent home from school for selling squirts of hand sanitizer to fellow pupils  

     Thread Starter
 

March 11, 2020 3:39 pm  #8


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

Citynews reported that Cityline would have no audience "Wednesday"...when does that air? This morning's episode was clearly a repeat episode. 

 

March 11, 2020 3:59 pm  #9


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

NAB has officially cancelled their annual convention and equipment trade show scheduled for April in Las Vegas...

 

 

March 11, 2020 6:22 pm  #10


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

Normally, anchor Lester Holt charges into the first story of the night with a quick intro. But on NBC Nightly News Wednesday, it was different. For the first time in my memory, he began the broadcast not with a headline, but a very solemn statement. 

“Good evening everyone. As it has been virtually every night since February, our lede story tonight is the Coronavirus outbreak. The headlines only grow more worrisome. Today, the World Health Organization officially calling it a “pandemic.” Literally, the whole world is talking about this outbreak, none of us is unaffected by its impact.
 
“As anchor of this broadcast, I want you to know we’re focused on bringing you the facts. And trying to answer the questions on your minds. The last thing we want to do is unnecessarily alarm people. But this is serious stuff. And we are going to continue to follow the story wherever it take us.”


He then threw to their first report.

I'm sure that was meant to calm an already nervous public. But actually, by departing from the usual routine, I'm not sure it didn't just make things worse!

     Thread Starter
 

March 11, 2020 6:34 pm  #11


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

We can now add the March Madness NCAA Basketball and Frozen Four NCAA Hockey tournaments added to the list of events to be played without fans in attendance. Not a big deal here unless one is entered in a bracket pool. HUGE south of the border.

 

March 11, 2020 6:52 pm  #12


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

I expect more of this and there's a chance that we may not see the end of the TV season for some shows if this continues. 

Riverdale Shuts Down Production on Season 4 After 'Team Member' Comes in Contact With Coronavirus Patient

Survivor Delays Season 41 and 42 Production Due to 'Unprecedented' Coronavirus Pandemic

And you know all those late night comedy excerpts John Moore plays on CFRB every morning at 6:30 and 8:30 AM? Expect those to sound very different next week, as well. 

The Tonight Show, The Daily Show and More Late-Night Series to Forgo Live Audiences Due to Coronavirus Concerns

     Thread Starter
 

March 11, 2020 9:00 pm  #13


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

The NBA season is now shut down apparently. Trump came out and announced a ban for travel from Europe for 30 days. He seemed very nervous but at least he did not call the virus a democratic party hoax as he did two weeks ago nor did he say that the US will not be impacted as he did last week. or that it will go away when it gets warmer. Tell that to Tom Hanks in Austrailia. 

He said many things that were not in sync with reality. He also said last week that the people on the cruise ship off California should not come ashore because we do not want them to impact our numbers. The reality seems to be setting in now thankfully.

Last edited by Fitz (March 11, 2020 9:02 pm)


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March 11, 2020 9:23 pm  #14


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz has tested positive for the Corona virus. As a result, the NBA has suspended its season until further notice, after the completion of Wednesday's games. If an NHL player tests positive, I suspect Gary Bettman will issue a similar announcement.

 

March 11, 2020 9:29 pm  #15


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

Tom Hanks and his wife have also tested positive for the virus as I alluded to above.


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
 

March 11, 2020 10:17 pm  #16


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

The NBA suspension is stunning and unprecedented. I wonder what TSN, Sportsnet, and their respective radio stations will do to fill that gap. I can't remember anything like this ever happening and it remains to be seen how many other leagues will be forced to follow suit.

Outside of the so-far still on Tokyo Summer Olympics (which might be postponed or cancelled) it could be a sportsless summer. That thought is simply incredible. And it could cost the sports-formatted radio and TV stations across North America a fortune.

Already on Wednesday night, both the Fan 590 (which had local programming) and TSN 1050, which was taking an ESPN feed, each had the same topic: what will you do with a spring and summer without sports? That works for a while but if everyone puts on the brakes and it goes on for any major length of time, what the hell are they going to have to talk about two or three weeks (or worse months) from now?

     Thread Starter
 

March 12, 2020 1:57 am  #17


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

RadioActive wrote:

what the hell are they going to have to talk about two or three weeks (or worse months) from now?

The same way sports radio made money during a strike or a lock out maybe...(?)
 

 

March 12, 2020 5:23 am  #18


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

The White House already had to clarify the Europe travel ban for the "foreign virus" Does not include American citizens or cargo. 

Testing has been a big factor in the containment achieved by South Korea. Hopefully North America will follow suit.


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
 

March 12, 2020 6:12 am  #19


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

I hope this doesn't affect Wrestlemania 

 

March 12, 2020 6:40 am  #20


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

CTV weatherman Tom Brown was doing a live hit on Wednesday's 6 PM show with the Raptors' Norm Powell, who was sponsoring a fundraiser called "BasketBowl," a bowling event. Lots of kids were there, too. I didn't see the 11 PM show, but he could have been back in studio with all the on air people and crew after coming back from the remote. I believe he interviewed Powell as part of the broadcast, which means close contact.

What happens to all of the folks at Channel 9 Court and what will CTV do now? It will be interesting to see who shows up for future newscasts in the next two weeks and what precautions they may take to protect the rest of their staff.

     Thread Starter
 

March 12, 2020 10:14 am  #21


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

I just read in today's Toronto Sun that all Premiere League and lower division soccer matches will be played without spectators in attendance AND none will be shown in pubs "to avoid congregation of people"

 

March 12, 2020 12:13 pm  #22


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

I suppose it would be easier to keep a radio station going than a TV outlet if a majority of its employees were forced into isolation because a single staffer came down with COVID-19.

John Moore addressed that very possibility on CFRB Thursday when he noted that not only did Bell Media have an emergency HQ to deal with something like that, but they had a back-up room in place as well. Although the question remains if there are too few people to staff it, it doesn't really matter how many rooms there are.

I was actually thinking about this on Thursday when I coincidentally saw these two stories.

CBS News shuts down office after two employees get coronavirus   

BBC could be forced to SHUT down radio or TV stations over coronavirus

Worst case scenarios, I suppose, and probably unlikely. But whoever thought the entire NBA season could be put on hold because of a bug?

Still, some believe the virus can not only be the bane of a radio station's existence but also a boon if it's handled right. 

"Live and local.

"That's been the official broadcast radio mantra for years now, even though many companies and even more stations have gravitated away from its core principles.  Voicetracking, syndication, and other cost-savers have created more generic-sounding radio stations. 

"That doesn't mean they haven't been successful, of course.  But when it comes to covering the local impact of COVID-19 in a meaningful way, many stations don't have a plan in place, nor the infrastructure to do much about it.

"Simply put, if you don't have the horses, you're not going to run a competitive race."


How Radio Can Best Deal With A Global Pandemic: Live And Local, Of Course

     Thread Starter
 

March 12, 2020 12:45 pm  #23


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

Baseball has struck out on spring training and the regular season until further notice. 

MLB to Suspend All Operations Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

The NHL has followed suit.

Another big blow to all sports stations, with most of the biggest leagues taking a COVID-19 pause. As John Moore observed on Thursday, "Well, there's still golf." 

But that play-by-play doesn't work very well on the radio. 

     Thread Starter
 

March 12, 2020 12:52 pm  #24


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

So, the NBA, NLL and MLS have all "suspended" operations. The NHL has "paused" operations. The AHL is expected to follow the NHL. MLB has a conference call today at 2pm. The OHL, WHL and QMJHL have a conference call scheduled for 3pm today. I suspect play in those leagues will end today as well.

 

March 12, 2020 1:05 pm  #25


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

I hope radio doesn't get postponed.  We need guidance in these dark days and only radio can save us. 

 

March 12, 2020 1:55 pm  #26


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

Actually, despite your endless snide comments which contribute very little, I've found radio to be of real use in the past few days. Covering press conferences, holding special shows with experts to dispel myths and gathering breaking info on the effects of the virus has really been helpful.

It's exactly how radio serves a purpose beyond just music and generic dashboard pounding talk when it counts. And it just shows how useful the medium can be in a time of crisis when things are changing hour-by-hour. I think the radio in this town has done itself proud so far and with everything in flux, that hasn't always been easy. 

The question is, what happens if those who work there come down with the symptoms and there aren't enough people to keep things running? I'm sure there are meetings going on right now to discuss plans for home remotes and no-shows. Hopefully, they'll never have to use them.

     Thread Starter
 

March 12, 2020 2:04 pm  #27


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

The Council on Foreign Relations has canceled a roundtable called “Doing Business Under Coronavirus” scheduled for Friday in New York due to the spread of the infection itself.

From Bloomberg

 

March 12, 2020 2:18 pm  #28


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

RadioActive wrote:

Actually, despite your endless snide comments which contribute very little, I've found radio to be of real use in the past few days.

I would say, for all the hype, some sports stations, like Fan 590, have stepped up to the plate in a big way. Interviewed someone or other (not sure who; I was in the car and missed the intro) who was quite knowledgeable about the virus and what the risks are etc).

But I am getting tired of it all. The cancellations are probably wise. But I'm wondering what the next one will be - sunrise?

 

March 12, 2020 2:34 pm  #29


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

This reminds me in some ways of the endless debate over weather warnings on TV and radio.

If they overhype the looming blizzard, they're accused of exploiting a coming storm for "weather porn," especially if it doesn't happen as forecast. 

If they underplay the coming blizzard and it's worse than predicted, they get accused of not informing the public enough. 

We used to talk about this a lot in our newsroom, but there was never a "just right" answer. In the end, it's a no-win situation, I guess. Although I can tell you that in my experience, when you lead with a major worthy local weather story, it often winds up being one of the highest rated newscasts of the year.

Maybe it will be the same with COVID-19. How much is so much that people get tired of it? One thing can be said - Thursday was a whirlwind, with so much breaking news that it was overwhelming. Perhaps it will die down (you should pardon the expression) as this unfortunately becomes more the norm.

And I wonder if they'll add "social distancing" to the next edition of the dictionary?

     Thread Starter
 

March 12, 2020 3:33 pm  #30


Re: Coronavirus Affecting TV Shows & Pro Sports

RadioActive wrote:

Actually, despite your endless snide comments which contribute very little, I've found radio to be of real use in the past few days. Covering press conferences, holding special shows with experts to dispel myths and gathering breaking info on the effects of the virus has really been helpful.

It's exactly how radio serves a purpose beyond just music and generic dashboard pounding talk when it counts. And it just shows how useful the medium can be in a time of crisis when things are changing hour-by-hour. I think the radio in this town has done itself proud so far and with everything in flux, that hasn't always been easy. 

The question is, what happens if those who work there come down with the symptoms and there aren't enough people to keep things running? I'm sure there are meetings going on right now to discuss plans for home remotes and no-shows. Hopefully, they'll never have to use them.

Agreed.  Radio is still the best source of the latest news and developments.  With all the postponements and shut-downs, the economy is going to be the ultimate casualty of this mass panic, and we'll all feel the effects of that.