As coronavirus fears shutter big events left and right, Discovery executives reassured Wall Street Thursday that all systems were still a go for the Tokyo Olympics at its pan-European broadcast subsidiary Eurosport but that the financial impact of an eventual cancellation would be minimal.
The International Olympic Committee said yesterday that the games could be canceled if the virus was not controlled. Today, Japan announced that schools across the country will close starting Monday through the end of the school year in March. The games are scheduled to start July 24.
Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels said on a conference call to discuss quarterly earnings that the company is keeping a close eye on the coronavirus spread and is in close touch with the IOC. He said Discovery would take a top-line hit if the event is canceled but that expenses would fall as well, making the financial impact minimal.
“We will continue to keep you updated if things change It will be a positive if it happens, and if it doesn’t happen there won’t be an adverse effect on our financials.”
The company said it also has insurance it took out some time about in case of cancellation.
Earlier today, Facebook announced it was canceling its high-profile developers conference F8 in San Jose in May due to the virus.