How Covid-19 Has Affected the NBA’s Health and Income

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As hard as it may be, NBA players will now have to get used to not having fans in the stands.

     The NBA has changed tremendously since the Covid-19 virus hit. Coronavirus cases have gone up among the NBA’s players and new changes needed to be made in order to bring back the game. This multimillion-dollar industry was hit hard by Covid-19. Profits have since dropped due to the sudden suspension of all the players and the absence of the crowd. 

     Although the NBA took rapid safety precautions throughout the beginning stages of this pandemic players still ended up catching Covid. NBA players would be tested regularly combined with strict common-sense rules, such as not going outside if it’s not necessary, wearing a mask, and staying six feet apart. Even with all these precautions, four months later over thirty players and coaches tested positive. These players were compromised. The NBA was very cautious and made all those who caught the virus take a series of physical tests including electrocardiograms which detect changes in the heartbeat before any player or coaches could come back. Players who had caught the virus were instructed to stay home for two weeks before coming back. Players who had caught Covid were posed with a disadvantage because of the changes Covid did to their bodies. The sport itself was changed drastically as well. 

     Many things have changed the NBA is more than happy to announce that they are back. A few of the new changes included fans were no longer allowed to sit in the stands and watch games. As you may have already guessed this is the first time in history where the NBA had to play without a live audience. Along with the fact that hockey-style plexiglass was now surrounding the score table. Quarters in each game have since been shortened to ten minutes. The NBA is still trying to complete their previous season, which has lasted for over twelve months.  

     COVID-19 has put additional stress on all national sports teams. Whether it’s how much money they make, to how their games function. Specifically, the NBA has faced many challenges regarding their profits and how many people can play. The NBA has 3 main streams of income, broadcasting, commercial, and matchday revenue. All of these income sources have been struggling through this pandemic. In a normal season, the NBA earns around $8.76 billion in revenue. In 2020 the NBA has made $1.5 billion less than projected. Already, many people have been fired, and has taken a toll on their staffing and paycheck, also resulting in a lot of people quitting.

     These two pictures show the vast difference between the crowds. For most people part of the fun of watching the NBA, NFL, and other sports teams is to see the crowd riled up and cheering for your team. Unfortunately in 2020, fans at home do not get to see this in the stands, and it shows in their viewing analytics. In 2019, the viewers were at 15.1 million, while in 2020 they are at 7.5 million. With the viewers being at half of what they normally are, the NBA has lost a lot of money due to the fact that viewers at home do not see fans in the stands cheering for their team. Overall the main problems that the NBA has faced are fewer viewers, no one in the stands, and cut staffing. All of these issues combined it has led to $1.5 billion less revenue than expected. 2020 has impacted everything anyone does, the NBA is taking precautions, but even with precautions, they cannot guarantee every player’s safety.