These are the stories shaping sports and business for Thursday, October 8th, 2020
Tennessee Titans COVID-19 Outbreak
The Tennessee Titans continue to produce positive tests putting their next game, scheduled for this Sunday against Buffalo, in question again. Not only does the NFL have to determine how to handle scheduling and contingency plans for the remainder of the season. There are also questions as to how the league will deal with the Titans individually as the team could be facing discipline regarding reports that they broke protocols by holding informal workouts in the midst of all this.
According to Johns Hopkins, There are over 36.2 million cases of the virus worldwide, with over one million deaths.
The U.S. has surpassed 7.5 million cases with 212,000 deaths.
Per the COVID-19 Tracking Project, there were 50,602 new cases reported Wednesday, which is higher than the 38,661 cases reported the day earlier. 860,669 new tests were reported. And 916 deaths were reported yesterday, which is higher than the 634 deaths reported the day prior.
Regeneron said that it will seek emergency use authorization from the Food & Drug Administration for its monoclonal antibody treatment for the coronavirus.
This is the same treatment that President Donald Trump has been treated with after he announced on Twitter that he had tested positive for the coronavirus early Friday morning of last week.
The company said its treatment, a combination of two monoclonal antibodies, is designed to prevent the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The group has around 50,000 doses available for public use and said it would have doses available for "300,000 patients in total within the next few months" if the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) is approved.
Regeneron’s treatment is undergoing a jointly run trial with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, of 2,000 people, as well as a separate study of 2,900 coronavirus patients who are in hospitals and ambulatory settings.
This comes after Eli Lilly filed an EUA application with the FDA with trial data that showed that the experimental antibody Y-CoV5555 met both primary and secondary endpoints.
NFL Week 4
An unprecedented week 4 schedule shuffle due to the league’s first coronavirus outbreak resulted in another mixed ratings bag for the NFL and its broadcast partners.
This week’s slate of games started with a Thursday night DUD between an injured Denver Broncos team and a bad New York Jets one. Just 5.4 million tuned in to that game, a 70% decline year over year. However, that sharp year-over-year drop is due to the fact that this year’s game was only shown on NFL Network, as opposed to last year’s Week 4 simulcast on NFL Network and Fox.
For Sunday’s slate of late afternoon games, CBS registered 18.6 million viewers with nearly 10% of all television watchers tuning in to its Double Header. Fox’s less compelling matchup between the Giants and Rams in the same slot was still able to garner 16.85 million viewers with 9% of tv watchers tuning in.
The CBS and Fox broadcasts were down 12% and 7%, respectively, from last year.
Which brings us to Monday night.
Remember that schedule shuffle, well the New England Patriots were forced to play the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night instead of Sunday and that game brought in 14.6 million viewers with just over 8% of television sets tuning in.
It was by far the most-watched program on broadcast television and even easily topped the 6.7 million viewers that tuned into NBC for the simulcast of presidential candidate Joe Biden’s town hall that night.
That little nugget encapsulates the sports viewership journey over the past few years. Ratings for sports across the board are falling in the age of COVID-19, but viewers are choosing live sports over anything else on broadcast television.
Sports Illustrated's Robin Lundberg and TheStreet's Tony Owusu contributed to this report.
You can follow Katherine Ross on Twitter at @byKatherineRoss.
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