Broadway theatres are to remain closed until at least September and Disney has turned to the debt markets to weather the impact of COVID-19…
Broadway theatres in New York City will remain closed until at least September 6, according to the industry’s trade organisation, the Broadway League.
The announcement means that the most recent June 7 target for reopening the venues, which have been shut due to the COVID-19 outbreak since March 12, has evaporated.
A total of 41 theatres are located in the district in Manhattan and support nearly 90,000 jobs. Thirty-one productions were cancelled on the opening day of the shutdown alone, with concerns increasing about the financial impact for stakeholders.
Charlotte St Martin, president of the Broadway League, said: “While all Broadway shows would love to resume performances as soon as possible, we need to ensure the health and well-being of everyone who comes to the theatre – behind the curtain and in front of it – before shows can return.
“The Broadway League’s membership is working in cooperation with the theatrical unions, government officials, and health experts to determine the safest ways to restart our industry.”
Disney has raised $11bn in a new debt offering in response to the COVID-19 crisis that forced the shuttering of its theme parks globally and stopped film and TV productions.
In a regulatory filing, it was revealed that the world’s largest media company took out a series of notes that are due between 2026 and 2060.
Disney said the proceeds would be used for “general corporate purposes,” including the repayment of other debt.
The firm has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with its Disneyland in Anaheim and Walt Disney World in Orlando, being closed since mid-March and its Shanghai and Hong Kong parks being closed since January.
The debt announcement was announced on the same day that the Shanghai Disneyland Resort reopened at 30 per cent capacity.
Moody’s ratings agency allocated Disney’s debt raise, which came to a total of $10.92bn, an A2 rating. Such ratings reflect both the likelihood of default and any financial loss suffered in the event of default
Neil Begley, Moody’s senior vice president, said the move “essentially removes any question that the company has robust liquidity to help carry it through this ‘black swan’ cycle caused by the spread of COVID-19.”
Last week, Disney reported it has lost an estimated $1.4bn in the last three months due primarily to a loss of ticketing revenue from COVID-19 forcing the closure of its theme parks.
Image: George Hodan