Business of Sports in 2020: Massive Losses

The folks at have summed up what we all assumed about the world of sports in 2020. Major losses to sports leagues and teams at all levels.

FOS identified the following business losses in the world of sports:

The sports industry saw tremendous ups and downs throughout 2020.

A calendar full of sporting events, including the Summer Olympic Games, was quickly erased as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe.

That unprecedented turn of events led to massive losses:

  • The NFL could lose $2.7 billion in revenue this season due to lessened or no fans.
  • MLB lost $5.2 billion when it reduced its season to 60 games.
  • The NBA missed revenue projections by roughly $1.5 billion after finishing its season in a fan-less bubble.
  • NHL revenue dropped 14% from roughly $4.5 billion, another bubble casualty.
  • MLS and its clubs lost over $1 billion in revenue.


  • Some aspects of the industry benefited from people staying at home. Peloton’s stock rose more than 417% as it hit record sales numbers. Twitch reached a record 1.7 billion hours watched in November alone.
  • The pandemic didn’t slow down deals either, as more than twice the number of companies went public in 2020 than 2019, with $167.4 billion raised through IPOs. Multiple professional teams changed hands, including the New York Mets and the Utah Jazz. 
  • It wasn’t all about the bottom line.
  • Athletes made waves with activism, from calls for social justice to major voting initiatives. The world mourned over the loss of Kobe Bryant. Teams and leagues pushed for greater diversity in their hiring practices and women’s sports got more mainstream attention with new broadcast deals.

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David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]