Fox, Disney & Others Comment on Negative Impact of Coronavirus on Business in SEC Filings





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Remote controlFox Corp is the latest company to make a public statement about how coronavirus has impacted and will potentially continue to impact businesses.

Deadline reported that Fox’s latest SEC filing stated the pandemic “could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, financial condition or results of operations over the near to medium term.”

The company said, “The magnitude of the impacts will depend on the duration and extent of COVID-19 and the effect of governmental actions and consumer behavior in response to the pandemic and such governmental actions. The evolving and uncertain nature of this situation makes it challenging for the Company to estimate the future performance of its businesses, particularly over the near to medium term, including the supply and demand for its services, its cash flows and its current and future advertising revenues.”

In the filing, Fox Corp said that the company has continued to see strong news ratings, but the cancellation of sports events and entertainment content would negatively affect the network.

Prior to Fox Corp, ViacomCBS filed a similar statement. In that statement, ViacomCBS cited postponement of theatrical releases, cancellations of sporting events, and production delays as factors impacting finances.

“Due to the evolving and uncertain nature of this situation, we are not able to estimate the full extent of the negative impact on ViacomCBS’ operating results, cash flows and financial position – including advertising and filmed entertainment revenues – particularly over the near to medium term,” the company stated.

Comcast made a similar report, including theme park closures, film distribution delays, and a disruption in television programming as areas being impacted.

Disney also filed an SEC report, with a bit of twist. In the report, Disney noted that in an effort to lessen the impact of coronavirus on company employees, top execs would be taking a pay cut. Bob Iger agreed to forego most compensation, Bob Chapek agreed to forego 50%, and several others agreed to forego 30% of their base salaries.

The statement said “each of the Company’s named executive officers agreed by irrevocable waiver to effect a temporary reduction in the base salaries otherwise payable under their respective employment agreements, effective with the payroll period commencing April 5, 2020.”

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