TV revenues are vital to the economics of American sports. COVID-19 has virtually stopped all live sporting events. Without live sports, consumers may balk at paying for sports channels.
The consumer pays fees for sports programming that trickle down to the TV distributors, television networks, sport leagues, individual teams and players. The relationship among these parties is complex and deciding which parties will absorb the losses will be heavily disputed.
...sports leagues, television networks and television distributors are firing the opening salvos in what will be an exhausting war to determine who should pay for hundreds of millions — perhaps billions — in economic damages. As that takes shape, most American households will have little choice but to continue paying for live sports even as sports channels are reduced to reruns of historic games, documentaries and sports video game simulations. Television is the biggest source of revenue for American sports. When people pay their monthly television bills, their money goes to television distributors, like Comcast, which in turn pay television networks, like ESPN, which in turn pay sports leagues, like the N.B.A. Along the way, everybody keeps a cut.