Mar 18, 2020 - Sports

Japan's deputy PM: Olympics "would not make sense" if countries can't send athletes

Japanese Deputy PM Taro Aso. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Taro Aso, Japan's deputy prime minister, said Wednesday that holding the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo "would not make sense" if other countries cannot send their athletes, while the government's top spokesperson insisted the Games were still on, per Reuters.

Why it matters: Though numerous sports leagues around the world have suspended their seasons in response to the pandemic, Japan, which has only 882 confirmed coronavirus cases, remains on track to host the games as scheduled in July even as the pandemic expands across the world.

Go deeper: Kevin Durant among 4 Brooklyn Nets to test positive for coronavirus

Go deeper

Abe says Tokyo may have to postpone Olympic Games over coronavirus

Odaiba Seaside Park in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Philip Fong/AFP via Getty Images

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the Tokyo Olympics may have to be postponed if the Games cannot run in "complete form" because of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the Japan Times reports.

Why it matters: This is the first time Abe has made such a statement. The International Olympic Committee said in a statement Sunday it would "step up its scenario-planning" for the event and was in talks with the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and Japanese authorities "to complete its assessment of the rapid development of the worldwide health situation and its impact on the Olympic Games, including the scenario of postponement."

Kevin Durant among 4 Brooklyn Nets to test positive for coronavirus

Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Four Brooklyn Nets players tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the NBA team announced in a statement Tuesday.

The state of play: One of the four players is exhibiting symptoms, and the others are asymptomatic. All, including Kevin Durant, are currently self-isolating, along with the rest of the team and travel party.

Go deeperArrowMar 17, 2020 - Sports

The Olympics and the 2020 election are saving next year's TV advertising sales

Data: MAGNA Advertising; Table: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

If it weren't for the Olympics and the election next year, TV advertising sales would be down again next year, according to MAGNA, an advertising firm.

Why it matters: Engaged live audiences have become a commodity for advertisers, and they are willing to spend big.