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Infront's Bruno Marty on seeking digital distractions from empty seats

Zug, Switzerland – Infront Senior Vice President of ProSports Bruno Marty spoke to CNN Money Switzerland on Wednesday and discussed some of the ways broadcasters and sponsors can counter sport behind closed doors.

Financial impact on postponed and cancelled events

It is hard to pin down the financial implications. Some events have been postponed and others have been cancelled and will not be repeated this year. There are a range of factors that will still influence how much of a financial impact COVID-19 will have. One needs to consider the situation in each specific country and how the governments act towards that. Also, whether there is room in the calendar as well as the insurance situation for each specific sport.

The worst case will obviously be if an event is cancelled and will not be repeated. If an event has been postponed to later in the year then you will see case by case re-negotiations both with the rights holder and commercial partners. Each case is separate.

There has been much more flexibility from both the rights holder and commercial partner side to find good solutions.

Benefits to coming back early

There is a wave of sports events that are now beginning to return to some form of action. They will no doubt benefit through reaching fans who are eagerly waiting for sports to relaunch and enjoy a broader audience for their sport or league.

If played without spectators in the next month there will again be those who are more creative by using digital technology to engage fans who are not in the stadium. This might also be through LED boards or virtual advertising. We're seeing many innovations being tested on the market that will partly compensate for the current situation.

Digital transition for long-term benefits

Nothing can replace the buzzing atmosphere of a real event. That will always be the case. In terms of learnings I think this transition has shown us there is a lot of space for engagement with fans not at the stadium through digital technology.

I think the way you work together with partners will be partly redefined. Contracts in the future could also include terms and clauses on how to deal with situations like this. We will also see an impact on how insurance companies treat such cancellations. There will always be some companies that come out stronger from such a transition period. It is primarily companies who work in the digital and online space that have been able to do additional business in these times.

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