01/09/15: ESPN gives Oregon/Ohio State the Megacast treatment; USOC taps Boston as potential 2024 host; MLS gets a new spin on health


Good morning. It’s Friday, January 9, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

The first-ever College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T will see ESPN deliver a CFP Megacast with over a dozen ways to follow the big game across its platforms. In addition to the traditional telecast on Monday, Jan. 12, at 8:30p on ESPN,  the initiative will include a different telecast across ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Goal Line; ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes Radio broadcasts; five variations on ESPN3.

ESPN2 will deliver a Film Room option, with analysts Chris Spielman and Tom Luginbill joining coaches for in-depth X and O analysis of the game. The ESPNU telecast will take fans into a specially-created viewing theatre with a “cross-section of ESPN on-air personalities from outside college football responsibilities as they watch and discuss the game,” including Jay Bilas, Aaron Boone, Julie Foudy, Barry Melrose, Mark Schlereth and Michael Wilbon. ESPNEWS will be Off the Ball and give viewers an inside look at the way current ESPN analysts Kevin Carter, Matt Millen, Jason Sehorn and Matt Stinchcomb, as well as Super Bowl-winning wide receiver Amani Toomer, study and dissect the game by focusing on the plays away from the ball. Meanwhile, ESPN Classic will have a Sounds of the Game theme. Of course, ESPN Deportes will provide a traditional telecast of the game with Eduardo Varela and analyst Pablo Viruega providing a Spanish language call of the action.


Boston was selected to represent the US in its bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USOC stated that the ruling followed more than one round of voting. “We’re excited about our plans to submit a bid for the 2024 Games and feel we have an incredibly strong partner in Boston that will work with us to present a compelling bid,” said USOC Chairman Larry Probst. “We’re grateful to the leaders in each of the four cities for their partnership and interest in hosting the most exciting sports competition on earth. The deliberative and collaborative process that we put in place for selecting a city has resulted in a strong U.S. bid that can truly serve the athletes and the Olympic and Paralympic movements.”

Back to the CFP, ESPN officially scored its most-viewed week ever thanks to the SemiFinals and the network’s first-ever NFL Playoff telecast. In fact, three of the top eight most-viewed programs in cable television history ran on ESPN from Dec. 29-Jan. 4, according to Nielsen. The network also announced that ESPN’s 33 bowl telecasts this season averaged 5,423,000 viewers, up 4% (5,229,000 viewers) from the 2013-2014 bowl telecasts (minus the BCS Championship game).

ESPN picked up seven new NBA games for its telecast slate. Matchups include the Wizards/Bulls on Jan. 14 at 8p, Nets/Hawks on Jan. 28, Clippers/Raptors on Feb. 6, Suns/Nets on Mar. 6, Magic/Mavericks on Mar. 18, Bulls/Raptors on Mar. 25 and Thunder/Grizzlies on April 3.

This weekend’s PBA World Championship will see some new spins. Set for Sunday at 1p on ESPN, the event will mark the first-ever that will be televised live utilizing the recently developed “Blue Oil” lanes, which allows viewers to see patterns developed from each individual’s throws and how the moving oils can affect an opponent’s roll. Host Mike Jakubowski will have access during the show to a range of data analytics never previously available during a broadcast thanks to a partnership between the PBA and RollTech.

MLB Network is launching a new series dubbed, MLB Network Presents, that will be hosted by Bob Costas and debuts on Tuesday, January 13 at 9p. The premiere episode offers an in-depth look at “the unique friendship between San Francisco Giants manager Bruch Bochy and his longtime third base coach Tim Flannery, including the first interview with the two together since Flannery announced his retirement from coaching in November.”

NFL Championship Chase will once again return to the airwaves with part one slated for Saturday at 2:30p on FOX, followed by the finale on Jan. 18. The annual collaboration between Intersport and NFL Films spotlights the best stories from the playoffs with NFL Films’ storytelling style and iconic film and sound.

HBO Boxing slated Road to Alvarado-Rios 3 for Saturday at midnight. The special spotlights the upcoming final chapter of a trilogy between welterweights Mike Alvarado and Brandon Rios that takes place Saturday, Jan. 24. 

TV channel ASPiRE launches its HBCU college basketball slate on Saturday at 4p with the first of 12 scheduled basketball games on deck this season. Games include five CIAA Men’s match-ups, the CIAA Men’s Quarter Finals and CIAA Men’s Semi-Finals, along with the annual CIAA Women’s Basketball Championship Game. Game one pits Virginia Union/Fayetteville State.

BTN series The Journey returns for its sixth basketball season on Sunday at 10:30p, immediately following the Illinois at Nebraska men’s basketball game. The season premiere will see “how Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky has emerged into one of the nation’s elite. The show will also feature Nebraska’s Terran Petteway andShavon Shields as the Huskers look to build on the success of last year, and will profile Maryland’s Melo Trimble, a standout freshman who elected to stay close to home and has spearheaded the Terrapins strong start.”


What does it mean to win a Sports Media Award?

Here are just some of the benefits: Crystal award trophy, recognition at awards luncheon 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.

Deadline: January 22, 2015 | Event Date: Thursday, April 16, 2015
Who Should Enter? | Eligibility Period | Enter Now | Cost & Deadlines.


MLS set up a long-term relationship with AdvoCare International, a health and wellness company via a multiyear partnership with the brand set to be the league’s Official Sports Nutrition Partner. This new relationship is the largest sports partnership and the first League partnership for AdvoCare, and is effective beginning the 2015 MLS season and running through 2019.  The deal will also see AdvoCare Rehydrate become the Official Sports Drink of Major League Soccer.

Adidas nabbed the University of Miami as its newest partner with the pair striking a 12 year deal. A source told the AP that the deal is worth "multiple times" more than Miami’s previous arrangement with Nike, which chose not to match Adidas’ offer.

Big news for rEvolution, the Chicago-based integrated sports marketing and media services agency. The company announced the acquisition of Indianapolis-based Act(s) Marketing. Act(s) Marketing is the official sponsorship marketing agency of record for Continental Tire in the U.S. and Canada. The deal will also lead to the creation of a new Indianapolis location, the fifth satellite office for rEvolution.


Grantland Features’ first full-length documentary, Son of the Congo will make its premiere at SXSW. The feature chronicles Oklahoma City Thunder star Serge Ibaka’s improbable journey from his native Congo and return home as a top echelon NBA player and will be shown on March 14. Following its SXSW premiere, Son of the Congo will debut on Grantland in five parts from March 23-27. Additionally, the film will air April 17 at 8p on ESPN.


Pete Bevacqua, the PGA of America’s CEO, has been named Chairman of World Golf Foundation (WGF)’s Board of Directors for 2015. Bevacqua succeeds Tim Finchem, Commissioner of the PGA TOUR, who served as the 2014 Board Chairman.


Cowboys/Packers at 1p on Sunday on FOX.


Want to find out what shows are online and when?

Check out the Watcheroo Digital Programming Guide

Organized by show name, date, and platform, we have everything you’ll need to be caught up on digital premieres, ongoing programs, live-streamed events and integrated series.

ON THIS DAY in 1991: Dean Smith at North Carolina nabs win #700.

In The Know: At what school did coaching great Dean Smith play college basketball? (Email Chris-Sports@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Who scored the only Giants touchdown in Super Bowl XXXV, against the Baltimore Ravens? Answer: Ron Dixon. Kudos: Conor Kennedy-Mindshare/NY; Eddie Kish-NBCUniversal/NY; Bobby Coyle-iHeartMedia/NY; David Kalan-NHL.com/NY; Tim Overmyer-20th TV/Atlanta; Michael Goodman-Radio One/Atlanta; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Glenn Demby-Plain Language Media/Norwalk; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA; Doug Kelly-Foster Farms Bowl/South San Francisco; Mindi Sue-black & blue star/Santa Monica.

Later — Chris
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