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Media Players Want Pandemic Risk Insurance

(Image credit: Getty Images (Lapandr))

WASHINGTON—A group of media trade groups, unions and a couple of sports leagues are seeking Congressional legislation that would provide insurance against COVID-19 related issues that would potentially interrupt their operations.

The group—made up of the NAB, NCTA—Internet & Television Association, Motion Picture Association, Independent Film & Television Alliance, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, NASCAR, NFL, the Directors Guild of America, the Producers Guild of America, SAG-AFTRA, NPACT and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers—sent a letter to House and Senate leaders in both parties on July 1, making their case for such an insurance plan.

“Whether it be professional and collegiate sporting events, the next must-see film, a bingeworthy TV series or a marquee Broadway production, we cannot envision any long-term recovery of these American experiences without some form of business interruption insurance that mitigates the risks associated with producing these popular events and programs in the COVID era now facing the country,” the letter reads.

The letter states that the combined industries employ millions of Americans in the news, sports and entertainment fields, generating more than $200 billion in wages annually. They say that the ability to secure pandemic insurance will be key in America’s economic recovery.

The idea behind this letter is that as it stands, if a production or sporting event were to make preparations or begin an event that was then forced to shut down because of government posed restrictions, without insurance the companies involved would have to eat those costs.

According to TVT’s sister publication B+C, insurance companies currently aren’t offering pandemic riders and aren’t likely to do so without action from D.C.

“We recognize that there are a variety of effective bipartisan approaches that could be undertaken to reach a legislative solution addressing the outsized economic risk posed by COVID-19 and future pandemics,” the letter reads, referencing some current proposals being worked on in Congress. “We stand ready to work with all parties on both sides of the Capitol to ensure the U.S. economy can re-start effectively and is prepared for future pandemic-related disruptions.”

The full letter is available online.