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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In the Era of No Sports, media publications, TV networks and leagues are scrambling to find alternatives to fill the void — and in some cases, redeploying staff to work on non-sports coverage.

Driving the news: The Washington Post has redirected some of its sports staff to help with non-sports coverage and, starting this Saturday, the newspaper's daily Sports section will move inside the Style section, per an internal memo (Sunday Sports will continue to stand on its own).

  • The New York Times has "redeployed a handful of reporters and editors to other desks and assignments to meet the unprecedented challenge of this story," sports editor Randy Archibold told me in an email.
  • The Action Network, which covers sports betting, has instructed its staff to focus on futures (i.e. how Tom Brady's arrival impacts the Bucs' Super Bowl odds) and pivot to other types of content, like politics.

League-owned apps/networks:

  • NFL Game Pass, which offers replays of past regular and postseason games and episodes of shows like "Hard Knocks," "Mic'd Up," and "A Football Life," is available for free starting today and running through May 31.
  • NBA League Pass, which offers replays of every game from the 2019-20 season plus an "expansive archive" of classic games and content, will also be made available for free.
  • MLB Network and NHL Network are centering their coverage around classic games or moments.

ESPN ... Q&A with EVP of programming, Burke Magnus:

  • On showing classic games: "Re-airing full-game presentations is not a right that we or other media companies typically have at our disposal at all times. ... We are working with the leagues themselves to free up the possibility to show encore presentations and discussing how we can present them."
  • On moving up the debut of the MJ doc: "Any original content project that we can conceivably move up, we are obviously considering that, [but] the reality is that the production of ['The Last Dance'] has not yet been completed, so we are limited there at the moment."

What to watch: A subplot of the Netflix movie "High Flying Bird" involves locked-out NBA players streaming games they play in a gym. Could the real-life NBA try something similar? Sounds like Adam Silver is open to the idea...

"Is there a protocol where [players] can be tested and quarantined and isolated in some way, and they could compete against one another? ... Maybe it's for a giant fundraiser ... Because people are stuck at home, and I think they need a diversion. They need to be entertained."
— Adam Silver, via SportsCenter

Go deeper: Coronavirus sends sports betting scrambling

Go deeper

Oct 17, 2020 - Health

N.Y. deploys "micro-cluster strategy" to target coronavirus "block by block"

New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a news conference. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Saturday announced the state will deploy a "micro-cluster strategy" to target the coronavirus "block-by-block" instead of at the statewide or regional levels.

Why it matters: Cuomo said that while New York's infection rate has remained relatively low — at an average of 1.1% average as of Saturday — “the fall is a new phase."

The industries that won’t recover without a vaccine

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Industries that were once expected to recover after the initial coronavirus lockdowns lifted are now unlikely to bounce back until a vaccine arrives.

Why it matters: In the absence of a widely-adopted vaccine, businesses in the entertainment, travel, restaurant and other industries are struggling to overcome consumer skepticism around indoor activities — even with new safety protocols in place.

Oct 17, 2020 - Health

Kamala Harris to campaign in Florida on Monday

Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Image

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) took a COVID-19 test on Saturday and the virus was not detected, according to a campaign aide.

Driving the news: The Democratic vice presidential nominee paused her campaign travel through Sunday after her communications director tested positive for the coronavirus.