There is, of course, a human cost to COVID-19 as the pandemic has raged across the country this past year. There also is an impact on business and, the business of sports. The cancellation of this weekend’s Michigan at Ohio State is costing FOX quite a pretty penny.

The loss of the Big Ten’s most storied and high-profile rivalry is set to cost FOX Sports $18.5 million according to a report on Wednesday morning. The game is a ratings bonanza and last year was the second-highest watched regular season game of the college football season.

That 2019 contest saw over 12 million people tune in for the game.

Ohio State has been a ratings hit this year. Last month, the game between Ohio State and Indiana on FOX was the most watched program of the week on any network, absolutely dominating the Midwest.

The annual rivalry game, which traditionally closes out the regular season for both programs, was cancelled due to a spread of COVID-19 within the Michigan program. For Ohio State, No. 4 in the nation and 5-0 on the year, the loss of a sixth regular season game this season casts some doubt on their eligibility for the looming Big Ten Championship Game.

Before the season, the conference ruled a minimum of six games played was needed to qualify for the championship. Without an appearance in the game, it is unlikely that the Buckeyes would qualify for the College Football Playoff.