February 23, 2024

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Specialists in technology

Coronavirus cancellations and delays: From the NBA to Disney films and Broadway


A new coronavirus is spreading.

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For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

The novel coronavirus continues to wreak havoc in industries worldwide — from tech and sports to entertainment and politics. Many companies have shut factories and banned business-related travel; major cultural institutions like New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art have closed; political rallies have been canceled; and big tech industry events like the E3 gaming showFacebook’s F8, the Geneva Motor ShowGoogle I/O and Mobile World Congress have been called off. 

On March 11, the same day the WHO declared the outbreak a pandemic, the NBA suspended the remainder of its season. Other cultural events like the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and the Ultra Music Festival in Miami have been postponed.  

COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, has killed more than 5,000 people and infected more than 137,000 people.  

Here’s how the outbreak is affecting our lives:

Sporting events

  • On March 11, the NBA suspended the rest of the 2019-2020 season after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus.
  • Major League Soccer suspended the season on March 12 as it “continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 with its medical task force and public health officials.”
  • Several major Division I conferences in the NCAA, including the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC and American Athletic Conference, said on March 12 that they would cancel their respective conference tournaments this week. The March Madness tournament was also canceled.  
  • On March 12, the NHL joined the list of leagues suspending their season. The MLB said it was suspending spring training games and will delay the start of the 2020 baseball regular season by at least two weeks. 
  • The Australian Grand Prix, the first race of the 2020 Formula One season, was canceled after a team member tested positive for the virus.
  • Officials in Long Beach, California, also called for the cancellation of all large-scale events through April, which includes the city’s Grand Prix. 
  • The English Premier League suspended all matches until at least April 3 after a player and coach on different teams tested positive for the virus.
  • The Augusta National Golf Club postponed the 2020 Masters Tournament on March 13 citing “the health and well-being of everyone associated with these events and the citizens of the Augusta community.” The club didn’t provide a new date for the tournament.
  • The Boston Marathon will move its date from April 20 to Sept. 14, according to the Boston Athletic Association. 

Cultural events and institutions

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York said on March 12 that it would temporarily close. 
  • The Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival was pushed back to October, and the Ultra Music Festival in Miami was postponed until next year.
  • On March 12, WonderCon Anaheim, which was slated to take place in April, was postponed.
  • The Kentucky Derby Festival postponed all events through April 4.
  • The Tribeca Film Festival, which was slated to take place in April, was postponed after New York banned events with 500 or more people. Broadway theaters also closed on March 12.
  • Beyond Wonderland SoCal, which was scheduled to take place in March, was postponed until June. EDC Las Vegas is still currently scheduled to take place in May.
  • Patreon will be hosting a livestream on March 18 to support artists affected by canceled concerts and events.
  • Billie Eilish said she’s postponing several of her North American tour dates “until further notice,” adding that details on the rescheduled dates will be announced soon.
  • A handful of late-night shows in New York, including The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers, will reportedly halt production until March 30, at the soonest.
  • A number of high-profile movies have seen their release dates pushed back, including A Quiet Place 2, Mulan and the next James Bond installment, No Time to Die. On Friday, Walt Disney Studios said it’s pausing production on some live action films.

Theme parks

Political events


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  • Announced it’s “recommending” all Seattle, Puget Sound area and San Francisco Bay Area employees who are “in a job that can be done from home should do so through March 25.” Company president Brad Smith also said it’ll continue to pay its hourly campus workers their regular wages even if their work hours are reduced.
  • Warned investors that revenue in the business segment that includes its Windows operating system and Surface devices would likely miss earlier forecasts.
  • Microsoft announced on March 12 it’s canceling its in-person Build 2020 developer event. The Build show will go on in a virtual way, officials said, in the same mid-May time slot that the regular conference was planned. 







  • Will allow guests to cancel reservations without penalty if they’ve booked in China through April 1.
  • Offered a new program called “More Flexible Reservations” that allows travelers to cancel eligible reservations without being charged, and requires hosts to refund the reservation regardless of any previous contracted cancellation policy. Airbnb’s service fees for trips booked through June 1 will be refundable with travel coupons.


  • Temporarily suspended roughly 240 user accounts in Mexico to prevent the spread of coronavirus after those users had come in contact with two drivers possibly exposed to the virus.
  • Announced any driver or Uber Eats delivery person who’s diagnosed with COVID-19 or is individually asked to self-isolate by a public health authority will get financial assistance for up to 14 days while the account is on hold.
  • When ordering Uber Eats delivery, customers now have the option of leaving a note in the Uber Eats app asking the delivery person to leave the food at the door, rather than have an in-person transaction.
  • Created a support team to help public health authorities in their response to the epidemic. The company said this team may temporarily suspend the accounts of riders or drivers confirmed to have contracted or been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Strongly recommended employees to work from home in several countries where the number of COVID-19 cases is increasing, including the US, Canada, Japan, Europe and South Korea. The recommendation extends through April 6.


  • Encouraged employees at its San Francisco headquarters to work from home after one team member was found to be “in contact with someone who was exposed to COVID-19.”
  • Has partnered with EO Products to distribute more than 200,000 bottles of hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies to drivers. The company also said in mid-March that it would “provide funds to drivers should they be diagnosed with COVID-19 or put under individual quarantine by a public health agency.” 


  • Closed its new plant in Shanghai for a planned week and a half after the Chinese government told private companies to temporarily cease operations.
  • Warned investors that the shutdown may “slightly” affect first-quarter profits.



  • IBM tweeted March 9 it’s encouraging employees who live and work in New York City or Westchester County to work from home until further notice if their job permits. Both areas are subject to coronavirus community spread.



  • Cloudflare is offering its Cloudflare for Teams, a suite of security tools, to small businesses affected by the coronavirus for free for six months. It’s also helped launch an industry effort, called OpenforBusiness.org, to support small companies.
  • The company is letting employees in affected regions work remotely.



  • Discord is easing the limit on its Go Live streaming service from 10 people at a time to 50, so teachers can conduct classes, co-workers can collaborate and groups can meet remotely. 
  • This will last for “as long as it’s critically needed,” CEO Jason Citron said in a blog post. He also warned that demand for the service is likely to surge, and it may suffer performance issues.

Tech industry events

Several prominent industry events were canceled or revamped because of concerns over the coronavirus. They include:

  • Facebook’s March marketing summit and its F8 developer conference.
  • The Geneva Motor Show, one of the largest car shows of the year, after the Swiss government banned all events of 1,000 people or more.
  • The annual Adobe Summit in Las Vegas. Instead the company says some content will be offered online.
  • Google I/O, the company’s biggest event of the year, where the tech giant announces its newest products and initiatives.
  • Nvidia’s GPU Technology Conference, typically held in San Jose and attracting about 10,000 people. It’ll now be a digital-only event with a webcast planned March 24.
  • The annual Snap Partner Summit. Snap, the parent company of messaging app Snapchat, said it will be an online-only event, with a keynote scheduled for April 2.
  • Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty League live matches planned for 2020. They’ll be shifted into online-only events, after the company canceled all Overwatch League homestand matches through April.

Also, the annual Game Developers Conference, originally scheduled to take place March 16 to 20 in San Francisco, has been postponed to an unspecified date after exhibitors such as Amazon, Microsoft, Epic Games, Sony, EA and Facebook dropped out. 

The annual cybersecurity RSA Conference took place as scheduled in late February in San Francisco, but major exhibitors like IBM, Verizon and AT&T Cybersecurity backed out. 

SXSW, which was slated to take place in March, was also cancelled earlier this month

CNET’s Corinne Reichert, Ben Fox Rubin, Jackson Ryan, Shara Tibken, Lynn La, Sean Szymkowski, Dara Kerr, Queenie Wong, Oscar Gonzalez, Dan Ackerman, Stephen Shankland, Chris Paukert, Erin Carson, Edward Moyer, Sean Keane and Abrar Al-Heeti contributed to this report. 

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