The global crisis brought on by COVID-19 has changed just about every facet of modern existence. But for sports fans in particular, lockdown life has been a bitter pill to swallow.
Weekends and evenings that were once spent channel-hopping from one sporting spectacle to another are now unnervingly empty as schedules cleared and leagues shut down across the globe in response to the pandemic.
We are still a long way from resuming normal service. But for competition-starved fans, the good news is that we will soon see the return of sports on our screens.
So from German soccer to Korean baseball, here’s how you can get your live action fix over the coming weeks. (And if you sport of choice isn't covered here, make sure to check out Launchtrip+ for up to the minute information on all the virtual events happening around the world.)
Soccer: The Bundesliga
While the image of stadia packed with ravenous fans is on hold for now, the good news for lovers of the beautiful game is that the on-field action returns to Germany’s top flight this weekend. Even after a two month hiatus there’s still everything to play for, and with just five points separating the Bundesliga’s top three teams, fans could be treated to the tightest title race in years.
How to watch: SportsNet (Canada), Fox Sports (USA).
Baseball: Korean Baseball Organization
Summer just wouldn’t be summer without baseball. Sadly the MLB season is currently mothballed, but thankfully they are still playing ball in South Korea. Yes, the KBO got underway earlier this month and sports fans have been quick to lap up the action online. With players wearing face-masks and the crack of the bat reverberating around empty stadiums, things obviously look a little bit different. But the action is every bit as engaging, with some of the best talent outside of North America showcasing why the KBO is held in such high esteem.
How to watch: Games are being broadcast on ESPN (USA), but you can also enjoy live action via their website and app.
UFC became the first major sporting organization to return to our screens when fighters entered the octagon for UFC 249. And fight fans can continue to watch the fists fly as the action continues from the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville this weekend, with a heavyweight clash between Alistair Overeem vs. Walt Harris headlining the event.
How to watch: Pay Per View coverage is available via ESPN/ ESPN+ (USA) and TSN (CANADA)
Gentlepeople, start your engines. Race fans will be revved up this weekend when the cars return to the track at the Darlington Raceway in South Carolina on Sunday, May 17. The disruption caused by COVID-19 has played havoc with the NASCAR season, but the good news for viewers at home is that while the season will be condensed, organizers still expect to host a full 36 races.
How to watch: FOX sports (USA), TSN (Canada)
Racing: Churchill Downs
The starter’s pistol will sound at Kentucky’s Churchill Downs this Saturday as horse racing kicks off again. The action will be spectator-less for now, but for those who’ve missed the sport of kings (and the world of wagers that surrounds it) this will be a very welcome return.
How to watch: The action will be broadcast live on NBC Sports (USA)