01/04/16: Turner Sports’ CES ticket; Super Bowl ads pick up high-profile directors; Activision brings in a new player


Happy New Year! It’s Monday, January 4, 2016, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. A mighty thank you to Michael McCarthy for stepping in while I was away.

The opening of the New Year brings the traditional harbinger of brighter things to come with the annual CES gathering in Las Vegas this week. Along with the innovations in cars, TVs, wearables and fitness tech, this year will also see Turner Sports entrench itself into hustle and bustle with the launch of a trio of events at the expo, serving up a quartet of panels at the new Sports Business Forum on Thursday, followed by an eSports Showcase teasing the upcoming launch of the eSports-driven ELeague as well as a live NBA on TNT broadcast in the afternoon.

The forum will include sessions ranging from a sit down with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred (moderated by Ernie Johnson), to topics that include “Updating the In-Venue Experience (with Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag, Qualcomm executive Chairman Paul Jacobs and moderator Dana Jacobson), “The Future of Sports Content” (with NextVR Executive Chairman Brad Allen, Verizon SVP Brian Angiolet, Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, and Uninterrupted President Maverick Carter), as well as “Tech Investing in Sports” with speakers Shaquille O’Neal, Mark Cuban, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and Joe Ravitch, Co-founder, The Raine Group.

Cynopsis Sports spoke with Turner Sports President Lenny Daniels about the investment in CES, as well as the company’s expectations for its eSports venture ELeague and what to look for in 2016.

Daniels on setting up a tentpole at CES: We will be there to present how we are at the forefront of being innovative in the media industry. How we have defined innovation in the past is far different than how we will define it moving forward. I really think that’s going to be the thing that people walk away with, the “wow” factor, thinking of sports in a much different way. It doesn’t mean we are alienating any sports fans, we are still going to do Inside the NBA and we are going to do it the best. But maybe we are going to do some content a little differently with these guys and maybe we are going to figure how to present eSports differently and showcase storylines and build characters. So I think it is a whole new generation of innovation.

On panels: We have a great lineup that begins with the Commissioners focused on what forward-thinking will look like. On the other side, topics will cover how you continue to build brands and build franchises and do it in an ecosystem that’s changing. You have to be able to take risks, but how much of a risk do you take. Where’s that line? In between, we are going to have people talking about different kinds of content and how they perceive creating content for that next generation because it will be very different from the kinds of content we grew up watching. Again you have to raw that line because you don’t want to alienate either side.

On eSports fans: This is going to be a great new space for us to explore. There are different versions of fans. When you talk about traditional sports, we all think we know what the traditional sports fan and how they operate and think. But when it comes to eSports, there is an underserved fan, there’s an overserved fan and then there is the purist. If we can connect all three of those in a way that keeps it authentic, but grows the sports and helps people understand it more, that’s really what is growing to grow the industry.

On sponsors’ approach to ELeague: It’s been positive. As with anything new, it is very much that they want to get involved but aren’t sure how to get involved. That’s one thing that we are finding that Turner can bring to the table that they didn’t have before. They trust us. If we say we are going to do this, the new we are going to do it in a way that doesn’t hurt their brands. I think that’s kind of where we are with them, they see the size and scale of the audience and now they are figuring out how to get their brand to interact with it.

On Turner Sports’ take on 2016: I’m looking forward to all these next-generation of thinking events that we are going to be taking part in. We’re going into a new NBA deal, which is not really far different from our previous deal but now we have a whole different way of thinking about how we grow together with the league. It’s the same thing with the NCAA, now we have to figure out how to move it to the next level. eSports is clearly something I want to watch and grow and I think how that whole ecosystem of how the athletes and economics come together will be very interesting. So I think there is a lot going on that’s going to be a lot of fun. 


A one-two punch of blowouts and New Year’s Eve festivities delivered a loss of a third of audiences for the College Football Playoff semifinals on ESPN, according to Nielsen. Shifting the action to New Year’s Eve, the two telecasts saw a 35% decrease from last year’s action, played on New Year’s Day, with total viewership dropping from a cable record of over 28 million to 18.5 million (which clearly still packs a wallop). ”That decline, frankly, is not much of a surprise and it’s modest,” College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock told the AP. ”It’s too soon to know how much was due to the lopsided games or how much what I think we all thought would be an inevitable decline from the excitement of the first year or the semifinals on New Year’s Eve. I suspect it’s a combination of those three, but I don’t have any idea what the weighting is. ESPN is studying the numbers and we’ll learn a lot more in the next few months.”

Meanwhile, the New Year’s Six also saw a Rose Bowl blowout hand the game with a 7.9 score, to mark its lowest rating since the fixture became part of the BCS in 1999. Overall, the ratings for the six major games played Thursday and Friday averaged a 7.1 overnight rating, down from 8.2 last season. On the digital front, the semifinals via the Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl become the second and third most-streamed games for any sport, excluding the World Cup, in the history of WatchESPN based on average minute impressions. The Cotton Bowl scored 318,000 average minute impressions to its TV audience while the Orange Bowl reeled in 300,000 average minute impressions to its TV audience. Other positive spins on the numbers saw four of the six games notching ratings increases (bowl to bowl and time slot to time slot) over last season’s inaugural year with the four bowls not designated as a semifinal this season (Peach, Fiesta, Rose, and Sugar) averaging a 5.8 overnight, up 26% from the four bowls last season which were not semifinals (Peach, Fiesta, Orange and Cotton).

CBS and the NFL announced a deal with ESPN Deportes to carry Super Bowl 50 in Spanish on Feb. 7, marking the first Super Bowl telecast for the channel. “As the broadcaster of Super Bowl 50, it was a priority for us to find a Spanish-language partner to televise this historic broadcast  and reach the NFL’s Hispanic fan base,” said Sean McManus, Chairman, CBS Sports. “The ESPN Deportes presentation of Super Bowl 50 will be a great complement to our broadcast on CBS.” ESPN Deportes’ Monday Night Football commentator team of Alvaro Martin (play-by-play), former NFL kicker and Super Bowl champion Raul Allegre (analyst), and sideline reporter John Sutcliffe will call the game from Levi’s Stadium.
Meanwhile, the NBA’s Christmas Day game saw audience’s swell for ABC and ESPN with game averages growing over year ago numbers. This year’s slate averaged 5,546,000 viewers for a 6% markup over last year’s lineup five-game slate (5,217,000 viewers p2+), which saw three games on ABC and ESPN combined and delivered ESPN’s second-most watched prime-time doubleheader ever.

Wrapping up some 2015 numbers, CBS and NFL Network report that, for the 16 games of the season’s schedule, Thursday Night Football on the channels averaged 13.0 million viewers, this season, up 6% compared to last year’s 12.3 million. The roster scored a national household rating/share of 7.93/14, up 5%, making it the most-watched and highest-rated THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL season ever.  

Ifyou’re headed to CES this week, make sure you check out the "Tech Futures Suite” @Aria, a hospitality oasis hosted by Cynopsis, MyersBizNet, and GK Digital Media. Media, brand, and agency executives will be networking, attending our“Knowledge Exchange” sessions, andenjoying a bite to eat. Register to be invited here.

Showtime Sports announced plans to expand its coverage of The Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and will be offering a bonus bowl game episode of the series A Season with Notre Dame Football tomorrow night at 10p. The season finale will feature the team’s preparation for the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State.

Showtime also announced that ShoBox: The New Generation will launch its 15th year on Jan. 22 with a quadrupleheader at 10:35p. The main event will spotlight undefeated middleweight Rob “Bravo” Brant (18-0, 11 KOs, 0-3 in World Series of Boxing) versus Decarlo Perez (15-3-1, 5 KOs) in a 10-round matchup.
Feld Motor Sports unveiled the television schedule for the 2016 AMSOIL Arenacross season with FS1 offering 12 of the 14 stops. The premiere broadcast from the opening round at Cincinnati’s U.S. Bank Arena will air on Saturday, January 16 at 11a. Robbie Floyd will handle the play-by-play duties with analyst Daniel Blair and Dianna Dahlgren as trackside reporter.

The New York Racing Association (NYRA) and MSG Networks locked in a multi-year agreement for live programming from Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course. MSG+ will see live programming from mid-May through early October with shows featuring NYRA TV analysts Jason Blewitt, Richard Migliore, Sean Morris, Andy Serling, and Maggie Wolfendale. In addition, MSG+ will air a special Belmont Stakes Preview Show in early June and live shows for New York Showcase Day during the Belmont Park Fall meet and Cigar Mile Day from Aqueduct Racetrack in November.


What does it mean to win a Sports Media Award?
Here are just some of the benefits: Crystal award trophy, recognition at an awards breakfast on April 21 in New York, editorial coverage in Cynopsis Sports eNewsletter, editorial coverage on Cynopsis.com, award logo to use for marketing on your site, and most importantly, winning a Sports Media Award positions your program & your people as industry leaders.

The deadline to enter is Thursday, January 21, 2016.

Who Should Enter?  |  Eligibility Period  |  Enter Now  |  Deadlines & Fees.


Hyundai announced a lineup of high-profile directors for its four ads during Super Bowl 50. Directors will include Peter Berg, who takes on two of the spots, while Fredrik Bond is also on board for a new ad as is Aaron Stoller and Janusz Kaminski. "We collaborated with these world-class directors to create what we think will be incredibly engaging and memorable ads," said Dean Evans, CMO, Hyundai Motor America. "As we are finishing up shooting the spots, seeing their talent and skill in storytelling was inspirational to our entire team. We can’t wait to see the finished products."

Meanwhile, LG Electronics is turning to family for its first-ever Super Bowl commercial, announcing that its spot will be produced by Ridley Scott’s production company, RSA Films. Jake Scott will direct the spot, which promoted LG’s “widely acclaimed OLED TV technology” and introduces a soon-to-be announced addition to its OLED TV line in a father/son collaboration. Jake has six Super Bowl commercials under his belt, including Budweiser’s ‘Lost Dog’, USA Today’s highest rated commercial from last season.

With the Winter Classic in the books, Kraft Hockeyville USA 2016 is once again on the hunt, in its annual search for America’s most passionate hockey community. The campaign reunites the NHLPA, NHL, NBC Sports Group, and USA Hockey with hockey communities offered the chance of hosting an NHL Pre-Season game televised live on NBCSN and $150,000 in arena upgrades.  “Our first Kraft Hockeyville in the U.S. last year was a tremendous success that truly ignited the passion of hockey communities across the country,” said Nina Barton, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Kraft Heinz. “The spirit and tradition in Johnstown  last year’s winning community  demonstrated to America what Kraft Hockeyville is really all about. Now, as Kraft Heinz, we’re eager to once again celebrate the pride of local hockey communities and help build the sport by providing much needed awareness and financial support for local rinks.”


MLB.tv is reportedly introducing single-team packages next season, according to FanGraphs, expanding its menu beyond the season-long out-of-market package. The new comes from the lawsuit, Garber vs. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, challenging some of the league’s broadcasting practices under federal antitrust law.

NBC Sports Digital launched its Snapchat account, NBCSports, ahead of the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Friday with the account going behind-the-scenes into NBC Sports production trucks and onto the ice. Dec. 31 saw NHL analyst Jeremy Roenick take over the account to show “a day in the life” as he visited the set and interacted with fans.

Oculus and Samsung debuted “Striving for Greatness: An UNINTERRUPTED Original,” a 12+minute virtual reality experience featuring LeBron James created exclusively for Oculus on Samsung Gear VR. The experience was directed by Felix & Paul Studios, taking fans inside the world of LeBron’s training regime and allowed viewers to experience the “intensive training, challenges and inspiration it takes to stay on top of his game.” Samsung also released a new ad campaign, highlighting the LeBron James virtual reality content.

ESPN announced that it reached 89.9 million unique US visitors in November, the sixth largest total all-time in the sports category. Fans spent 9.0 billion minutes using ESPN digital properties with 1.0 billion total visits.


After luring MLG co-founder Mike Sepso to Activision Blizzard, the company is now reportedly plotting a reunion, acquiring the eSports giant Major League Gaming for $46 million, according to eSports Observer. The move follows Activision Blizzard’s launch of a new eSports unit in October.

Daily fantasy site DraftKings and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan agreed to an expedited schedule and a bench trial in a lawsuit to determine the future of fantasy sports betting in the state. Local reports state that Madigan agreed to respond to the company’s complaint by Jan. 22 with a potential trial set to begin on June 27.


Oklahoma/Kansas on ESPN at 9p.




ON THIS DAY in 2004: LSU captured its second BCS National Championship with a 21-14 win over Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.

In The Know: The Houston Texans’ JJ Watt became one of only two players to notch at least 15 sacks in three of their first five NFL seasons. Who was the other great to accomplish this? (Email Chris-Sports@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Speaking of Bradshaw, what was his won-loss record in the Super Bowl? Answer: A perfect 4-0. Kudos: David Kalan-NHL.com/NY; Lewis Blaustein-Lewis Brand Solution/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Joshua Duboff-TSBX Networks/NY; Matt Deprey-Discovery Communications/Silver Spring; Glen Ross/Harrisonburg; Michael Goodman-Radio-One/Atlanta; Tom Wetzel-MMSI/Warwick; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Steve McNair-KUBE TV/Houston; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; David Hauptman/Denver; Matt Sautter-Imagine Communications/Denver; Paul Gygli-NBCUniversal Television Distribution/Universal City; Rich Greene-FOX/LA; Alan Perris/Beverly Hills; Adam Deverell-Cox Reps/LA.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

Roberta Caploe: Associate Publisher @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

Cynopsis Ad Sales: Mike Farina | VP, Sales | 203-218-6480
Cynopsis Job Listings Sales: Trish Pihonak | Director of Operations | 203-899-8459

Cynopsis Media: a division of Access Intelligence, LLC * 10 Norden Place * Norwalk, CT * 06855 * USA

CYNOPSISJOBSFor More jobs, visit Cynopsis.com

JOB OPENING: VP SPONSORSHIPS & AD SALES/Interlude/NY: Leader to dvlp/grow our rev stream. Exp building/leading teams that generate rev from brand advrtsrs & record of closing big deals, a ntwrk of contacts & a self-starter spirit needed. 15+ yrs exp Full info/apply HERE (1/15)

JOB OPENING: DIR, AFFILIATE SALES/Music Choice/NYC: Oversee sales, affiliate relations & local promo efforts. Min 5-7 yrs exp strategic sales & mktg cable/dist or related ind. Knwlg contractual language & negotiation of complex carriage agreements. Full info/apply HERE (1/15)

JOB OPENING: SR MGR STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS/CMA/Nashville: Dvlp/maint strategic partnerships to meet CMA imperatives-promote Country Music to corp America, create strategic alliances w/companies that can further Country Music & their mission. Resumes HERE (1/15)

JOB OPENING: PROGRAMMATIC SALES DEV ASSOC: Candidate to connect w/ high quality leads.1+yrs exp selling ad solutions or software to Advertisers, Agencies or DSP’s. BA/BS req’d or equivalent exp w/in advrtsng tech ind. NY, SF, LA, Chic, ATL. Full info/apply HERE (1/15)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, GMD/NBA/NYC: Leading role in the distribution and monetization of the NBA’s int’l programming portfolio across TV and digital platforms. Min 7 yrs of TV & digital media industry exp. Apply HERE (1/14)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, GMD/NBA/NYC: Identify & develop content licensing opportunities, negotiate deal terms & manage NBA’s domestic media partners. Min 7 yrs exp negotiating and structuring content distribution deals. Apply HERE (1/14)

JOB OPENING: SVP, PLANNING & INSIGHTS/Performics/Chicago: Lead team resp for providing strategic insights via knwldg of trends & rsch combined w/full understanding of how to activate data. 10+yrs bus exp in Interactive mktg, media, and strategic brand/acct plan’g. Res/cvr HERE (1/14)

JOB OPENING: MGR, AD SALES & INTEGRATED PARTNERSHIP/Crown Media Family Networks/LA: Support VP of AD Sales & Integrated Partnerships thru oversight of integration & added value processes. Mng lifestyle integration scripts & process. BS req and min 4 yrs exp. Apply HERE (1/14)

JOB OPENING: DIR RESPONSE AD SALES ASST/Crown Media Family Networks/NY: Provide sales support to the Director, Direct Response and Direct Response Team. Including entering sales orders, sending pre and post logs, and updating account info. BS req. Apply HERE (1/13)

JOB OPENING: RESEARCH ANALYST/CNN/NYC: Perform trend & data analyses for current perf of prgrms, ntwrks & media landscape. 1+yrs work exp relevant internship pref’d. BA deg in related field. Strong math skills & ability to master new software. Full info/apply HERE (1/13)

JOB OPENING: SOCIAL MEDIA ANALYTICS MGR/HBO/NYC: Transform data into actionable insights that impact strategy & guide decision-making at brand, prgrm & prod level. Min 4 yrs’ exp dig. analytics &/or sm analytics w/focus on optimizing mktg strategy. Full info/apply HERE (1/13)

JOB OPENING: MULTIPLATFORM WRITER/EDITOR/PRODUCER/(4 mo.Temp) Syfy/NYC: Create short form video assets. 2 yrs post-production role & video & audio editing exp.Job via third-party vendor. Send resumes to EntertainmentCableJobs@nbcuni.com (1/13)

JOB OPENING: RESEARCH ANALYST/TNT/ATLANTA: Support TNT w/qualitative/quantitative cross platform research creating actionable insights. Min 1+ yrs exp, strong math skills, statistical background. Full info/apply HERE (1/13)

JOB OPENING: COORDINATOR, AD SALES MARKETING/Travel Channel/NYC: Seeking strong communicator to support development and activation of client-specific marketing solutions and maintain communication tools.  www.scrippsnetworks.com #5161 (1/13)

JOB OPENING: TRAFFIC COORD/Tennis Channel/NYC: Proactive ind who takes initiative can work both independently & part of team seamlessly. Analytical & critical thinking skills. Strong knwlg log editing, formatting & copy req’d. 1-2 yrs log editing, exp w/copy pref’d. Res HERE (1/13)

JOB OPENING: ACCT EXEC/ABC Full Circle/SFO & NYC: (2 needed) ABC Full Circle the business dvlpmnt team of NTVS needs a passionate, career-minded, self-motivated sales professional for team. Min 5 yrs business dvlpmnt exp brdcst & dig platforms. Apply HERE (1/12)

JOB OPENING: SR ANALYST/ESPN/Miami: Deliver creative rsrch initiatives. Promote ESPN properties from a qualitative/quantitative rsrch perspective & support dir of rsrch in cross platform projects Min 3 yrs prof exp w/prior agency, ntwrk or media. Full info/apply HERE (1/12)

JOB OPENING: MGR, DIGITAL PLANNING/NBCU/NYC: Mgr, Digital Sales Planning for the News Group. Lead team of Planners & processes to drive revenue. 4+ years exp. in digital planning. Apply: Full info/apply HERE (1/12)

JOB OPENING: NAT’L SALES PLANNER/Pop/LA: Support Ad Sales team w/proposals, allocating & stewarding of accounts. Work closely w/AE’s, Traffic, Mktg and MGT on all aspects of biz. Must have TV exp. Agency a plus. Media Math, Excellent Comm & MS Office. Email resume HERE (1/8)

JOB OPENING: SPORTS PROGRAMMING ANALYST/NCC MEDIA/NYC: Collect and maintain sked info; analyze Nielsen audiences; support marketing efforts. Strong knowledge of Sports. Exceptional problem solving skills and adv’d experience with Microsoft Office. Resumes HERE (1/8) 

JOB OPENING: ENGINEERING COORD/NBCU/East Coast: Min 3 yrs; exp in a professional office environment. Ability to partner with management to support the engineering team with administrative operations at WCAU. Full info/apply HERE (1/8)

JOB OPENING: MGR, OPERATIONS/SPIKE/NYC: Rundown/traffic creation. BA deg w/at least 3 – 5 yrs relevant exp & 3+ yrs managing a server and working in Dig Asset Mngmnt on a daily basis. Exp owning onboarding process for a server &/or Dig Asset Mngmnt system. Full info/apply HERE (1/8)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, PROGRAMMING/EDITORIAL/MTV/NYC: Driven, focused & versatile candidate to transform our college brand, mtvU, into a new multi-platform college editorial network. 5-7 yrs exp in Digital Media. BA in Journalism or media comm. Resume HERE (1/8)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, LOCAL SALES/WFAA/DFW: Create/execute WFAA sales strategy to meet revenue goals across all station platforms. 3 yrs exp. Mng staff local mgrs., integrated acct execs, acct mgrs. & and sales assistants. Apply HERE (1/8)

CASTING CALL: Companies can showcase their casting notices/casting calls here. For information on rates and specs for posting a casting notice, please email Trish at Trish@cynopsis.com

EXPERT SERVICES ADS: These ads are for companies or people who offer an expertise in the field of media by way of production, voice over artistry, writing, set development, etc. For information on rates and specs for posting an Expertise Service ad email Trish at Trish@cynopsis.com

INTERNSHIPS – These positions are for credit only – nobody gets paid here. These ads are always posted for free, and students work for school credit only. For more information on the specs for posting an Internship ad, email Trish at trish@cynopsis.com.

SITUATION WANTED ADS, POSTED BY THOSE LOOKING TO BE HIRED… There is no charge for placing your Situation Wanted ad… for more information contact Trish Pihonak at trish@cynopsis.com

E-mail Trish@cynopsis.com or call Trish Pihonak at 203-899-8459 for rates and specs for Job Openings.

To subscribe to any Cynopsis edition(s) click here.
%%PLUGIN_Unsubscribe: 2193667-unsub-generic%%

Copyright Cynopsis 2016

All outgoing e-mails are scanned and sent out virus free. Copyright Cynopsis 2016

Related Stories

07/22/18: Cynopsis Jobs

Job of the Week RESEARCH DIRECTORNBCPHL Lead all research efforts for stations w/primary goal of helping drive rev through creative use of all of our qualitative/quantitative rsrch tools. Create daily, persuasive ratings & ad non-linear aud stories for sales team to use w/clients. Full info/apply HERE CynopsisJOBS Good morning. It’s Sunday […]

07/19/18: Springsteen on Broadway headed to Netflix

CYNOPSIS Good morning. It’s Thursday July 19, 2018 and this is your first early morning briefing.   Tonight’s Premieres: A&E: Live PD Presents: PD Cam at 10p BET: The Grand Hustle at 10p Cooking: Seaside Snacks & Shacks at 10p FX: Snowfall at 10p Great American Country: Lakefront Bargain Hunt at 9p […]

07/19/18: FOX’s carriage of the MLB All-Star Game was down, but averaged 8.8 million viewers

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM TENNIS CHANNEL THE GRASS-COURT SEASON CONTINUES While the Wimbledon Champions are crowned, the Grass-Court Season continues this week. Tennis Channel is the only network to carry the Tennis Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Tournament. Events include an exhibition with 2017 US Open Champion Sloane Stephens against fellow American and top-12 player Madison Keys on Friday and […]