World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has resumed broadcasting live games after being viewed as an “essential service” in Florida.
New WWE fights were broadcast Monday evening, with no audience in the ring.
The wrestling company had been broadcasting pre-recorded programs for several weeks, but the Republican Governor of Florida said live production could continue as a vital function.
Sports events have been canceled worldwide due to Covid-19.
The wrestling society welcomed the ruling signed by Governor Ron DeSantis to exempt “professional sports and media production with a national audience” from a statewide home stay order.
The company said, “We believe it is now more important than ever to offer people a diversion from these difficult times.”
WWE had previously been the subject of scrutiny for continuing to record events despite the coronavirus, with some stars choosing not to participate due to health concerns.
The company said it was taking precautions to “ensure the health and well-being of our artists and staff.”
The United States is the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, with 554,684 confirmed cases and 23,608 deaths. In Florida, more than 20,000 cases and more than 460 deaths have been reported.
The state is under an executive decree that restricts movement outside of homes to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Professional basketball, baseball and American football have all been suspended in the United States and international tennis, football and Olympic events are delayed or canceled.
Five of WWE’s six weekly shows – Raw, Smackdown Live, NXT, 205 Live and Main Event – have been broadcast continuously from the WWE Florida training center since the lockout began.
The only exception is NXT UK, which is pre-recorded to audiences across the UK. No similar exemption has been granted across the Atlantic, the show broadcast this week a retrospective on the history of the brand.