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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Baseball might get canceled this season, putting TV networks and pay-TV providers in a position to lose as much as $587 million in national TV ad dollars, according to a new report from iSpotTV, a TV ad measurement company.

Why it matters: These figures are on top of mounting ad losses for the television industry. EMarketer expects television ad revenue to be down $10 billion in the first half of the year, due mostly to the coronavirus.

By the numbers: Baseball was off to a hot start, both from a viewership and advertising perspective.

  • ESPN said it had its largest audience ever for the opener between the Washington Nationals and the New York Yankees.
  • Those ratings helped generate $27.8 million in TV ad dollars, per iSpot.

The big picture: Baseball is one of the most lucrative professional sports franchises globally. Its media rights alone cost nearly $3.6 billion, according to SportBusiness Consulting.

  • For regional and local broadcasters, the losses would be devastating. The rights for those networks were worth a combined $1.8 billion last season.

What's next: Networks and brands have to be watching closely as the most lucrative TV franchise, the National Football League, could still potentially be on hold. The NFL canceled preseason games on Monday.

Go deeper

Tech ran from politics, but couldn't hide

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Tech companies that entered the 2020 election season hoping to stay out of politics find themselves more embroiled in partisan conflict than ever on Election Day.

Driving the news: Twitter and Facebook have scrambled to make late changes in complex misinformation policies — intended to dampen candidates' premature claims of victory — as they face a barrage of complaints and censorship charges from President Trump and his camp.

Beauty giant Coty Cosmetics looking to sell its own branded products

Coty Cosmetics CEO Sue Nabi. Photo: Axios on HBO

Coty Cosmetics CEO Sue Nabi tells Axios the beauty giant will “probably” introduce Coty-branded products one day.

Why it matters: Coty produces some of the world’s most popular fragrances, skin care products and color cosmetics on behalf of other well-known brands, but has shied away from producing its own branded products.

54 mins ago - Sports

NFL to end race-based testing in concussion settlements

Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The National Football League on Wednesday reached an agreement with former players to end the controversial practice of race-based adjustments in dementia testing, AP reports.

Why it matters: The deal, which must still be approved by a judge, comes amid a broader discussion of racial inequities in health care.