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Coronavirus & NAB Show: What We Know (UPDATED)

(Image credit: CDC)

The coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread across the globe and the broadcast industry is not excluded from its impact, including at one of the industry’s marquee events, the 2020 NAB Show in Las Vegas. 

NAB SHOW NOT HAPPENING IN APRIL

The coronavirus has officially been labeled a global pandemic by the World Health Organization—with more than 118,000 reported cases as of March 11—and now the NAB has announced that it will not be holding its annual NAB Show conference as planned in April.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there have been between one and five confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nevada as of March 11. A March 9 report from U.S. News reports that there have been four confirmed cases in the state, two of which are in Clark County. Las Vegas resides in Clark County. 

In a statement, NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith said the following:

"In the interest of addressing the health and safety concerns of our stakeholders and in consultation with partners throughout the media and entertainment industry, we have decided not to move forward with NAB Show in April. We are currently considering a number of potential alternatives to create the best possible experience for our community.

"We are committed to exploring all possible alternatives so that we can provide a productive setting where the industry can engage with the latest technology, hear from industry thought leaders and make the game-changing connection that drive our industry forward."

PBS TechCon, which was scheduled to go concurrently with the NAB Show, announced last week that it was cancelling its event due to coronavirus concerns.

In addition, the Broadcasters Foundation of America has announced that is has suspended its annual breakfast and the Philip J. Lombardo Charity Golf Tournament that was scheduled for the week of the NAB Show. BFA plans to reschedule both events and will provide more details at a later time.

EXHIBITORS EXPLORING PLAN B's 

Prior to the NAB's announcement of the show's postponement, a number of exhibitors had announced that they were not going to participate on-location in Las Vegas.

Here is the list of companies that had pulled out of the conference as of March 11:

The LPTV Spectrum Rights Coalition had also announced that it is cancelling its event in Las Vegas that was scheduled to take place on April 19 during the NAB Show. The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has also announced it is postponing the Tech & Engineering Awards dinner, which was scheduled to take place during the NAB Show, to the fall. 

Some of the above companies, and others, had also announced that they were working on some kind of virtual presence to share with those not able to attend the show.

Vizrt Group, for example, announced that it will offer a pair of digital communication platforms, VizrTV and NewTekTV, to help share announcements regarding new technology.

This article will be updated as new information becomes available.