Forecasting the impact of Coronavirus has proven to be an impossible task and as things begin to escalate in terms of the seriousness of response, unforeseen consequences become reality. Leagues around the world are canceling events and considering playing in front of ghost fans. Media coverage is also being impacted with locker rooms shuttering out of an abundance of caution. The next phase may be, as being considered in Boston, deeming visiting broadcasting crews non-essential personnel.
Mike Gorman, who does Celtics play-by-play, went on radio this morning and revealed discussions are underway to simply take the home team's television feed and broadcast remotely.
This is not as wild as idea as it may seem on first blush. Soccer utilized and still utilizes a secure bunker to house stateside commenters working a match thousands of miles away. Though the production loses some sharpness and detail, it is very possible to do passable work while basically watching on a monitor.
One could argue that it even retains the main element fans are searching for in local broadcasts, which is local perspective and homerism. Both can be given as well off-site as on-site.
It would not be surprising if this is the first in a trend. It would also not be surprising to see print and digital media outlets making the same choices for their employees. That is, the ones with enough budget to provide in-person reporting in the first place.
My prediction, based on pure speculation, is that national broadcasts will continue to be courtside, though who really knows at this point.