01.21.15 Good morning. It’s Wednesday, January 21, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
NBCUniversal is gearing up for Super Stream Sunday on Feb. 1, offering viewers 11 straight hours of NBC content on Super Bowl Sunday with programming that includes the game, halftime show, pre- and post-game shows as well as the midseason debut of The Blacklist. Streaming begins at noon with pre-game coverage. Consumers accessing NBC Sports Live Extra and NBC.com during Super Stream Sunday will get the event for free and will not be prompted to log-in to desktops with their cable/satellite/telco credentials.
“Super Stream Sunday builds off of NBCUniversal’s commitment to create broader TV Everywhere opportunities for our consumers,” said Alison Moore, GM and EVP, TV Everywhere, NBCUniversal. “We are leveraging the massive digital reach of the Super Bowl to help raise overall awareness of TV Everywhere by allowing consumers to explore our vast TVE offering with this special one-day-only access.”
Speaking of the Super Bowl, NFL Network is on deck to offer a record 87 hours of live, on-location coverage from Arizona, including 12.5 hours on Super Bowl Sunday. There will be 41 on-air personalities with programming launching on Monday with live coverage of the team arrivals including special Super Bowl-related programming such as Players Only: Super Bowl XLIX and Playbook: Super Bowl XLIX Preview.
ESPN laid out plans for the 2015 NFL Pro Bowl with Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and reporter Lisa Salters on deck to call the game on Sunday, January 25 at 8p on the network. The telecast will also be available via WatchESPN and in Spanish on both ESPN Deportes (commentators: Alvaro Martin, Raul Allegre and reporter John Sutcliffe) and ESPN Deportes Radio (Kenneth Garay and Sebastian Martinez Christensen). Production elements are set to include players wearing microphones; In-game coaches audio and from coach-quarterback communication; Live talk-backs with Carter and Irvin; Aerial coverage via Spidercam; Next-gen NFL stats applications. Pregame will see Chris Berman host a special two-hour Postseason NFL Countdown at 6p.
Meanwhile, NBSSN booked its plans for the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend beginning on Friday night at 7:30p with the NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft. Coverage. Other programming will include Saturday night’s NHL All-Star Skills Competition at 7p before wrapping up on Sunday at 5p with the All-Star Game with Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, analyst Eddie Olczyk and analyst Pierre McGuire on the call.
The FCC fined ESPN and Viacom a cool $1.4 million for “misusing” the Emergency Alert System warning tones after the cable networks transmitted EAS warning tones to promote the film Olympus Has Fallen, which portrayed a terrorist attack on Washington, D.C. “The public relies on this system to prepare them for real emergencies,” said Travis LeBlanc, Chief of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. “Our action here sends a strong signal that use of the EAS tones for non-emergency purposes presents a danger to public safety which we will not tolerate.”
Oscar De La Hoya is reportedly looking to launch De La Hoya TV, a Spanish-language sports and lifestyle channel targeting Hispanic men who follow boxing and other combat sports. The WSJ will initially be offered to distributors as a free video-on-demand service starting in the spring before transitioning to a traditional channel with a subscriber fee.
NBC Sports Group is deepening ties with Nate Ryan via a new full-time position that will see him both serve as an on-air reporter during NASCAR coverage on NBC and NBCSN as well as take a leading role within NBCSports.com’s digital coverage of NASCAR and motorsports. Ryan joins as Lead Writer for the soon-to-be-introduced NASCARTalk franchise and contribute long-form stories to the recently introduced NBC SportsWorld.
Tomorrow is the last day to enter the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards (at least before late fees kick in) and your shot to stand out in a competition that recognizes the best in show both in front of and behind the cameras for the sports industry. We have added some new categories this year including; Athlete in a Web Series/Special/Spot, Brand Marketer, RSN of the Year, Over-the-top (OTT) Content Service and more. Click here to start your entry.
ESPN and DIRECTV announced that Longhorn Network will be available to fans within the state of Texas and nationwide starting today. Longhorn Network will be available to DIRECTV customers in Texas on channel 677 in the CHOICE package or above, and nationwide for customers who subscribe to the DIRECTV SPORTS PACK.
English sports television personality Cara Robinson as joined Golf Channel’s on-air team, where she will become co-host for the network’s staple daily news and lifestyle show, Morning Drive. Robinson most recently served as host of Golfing World, a weekly program on Sky Sports.
ESPN’s SEC Network launches its inaugural baseball season with 80 games set to run on the network. The new network will quadruple SEC baseball’s coverage over last year’s nationally televised schedule. In addition to those games, more than 350 matchups will be digitally exclusive SEC Network + events available on SECNetwork.com and WatchESPN.
Arlington will play host to WWE’s WrestleMania 32 with city officials and the company announcing that the event will take place on April 3, 2016. “The city of Dallas is proud to team with Arlington to bring WrestleMania 32 to AT&T Stadium,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “The week-long series of events will provide an economic boost to our region, while giving visitors a chance to experience all the great things Dallas has to offer.”
On the international front, the UFC struck a deal with Russian broadcasters VGTRK, (The All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company). The deal will see all 2015 UFC events made available across a combination of Russia 2, Sport 1, Fight Club and Sportbox.ru, beginning with the upcoming UFC Fight Night in Stockholm on Saturday January 24.
International sports media rights agency MP & Silva was appointed by the Football Association of Malaysia as its Global Advisor for all media and commercial rights for a slate of FAM competitions designed to extend the broadcast reach of the organization and maximizing the commercial potential of its properties. The 15-year deal begins in 2016 and comprises worldwide media rights covering an extensive line-up of competitions organized by the FAM, including the Malaysia Super League, the Malaysia Premier League, the FA Cup, the Malaysia Cup, and the Piala Sumbangsih Match. The partnership also sees the establishment of the Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP) between MP & Silva and the FAM.
Motorsport channel Motors TV is broadening its global ties with launches in North and South America on January 28. Two new programming feeds a Spanish-language version for Latin America and English language platform for the US via Eutelsat America’s 113 West A. Launch week will feature live action from motorcycle beach race Enduropale du Touquet while the season-long schedule includes live FIA World Endurance Championship and British GT coverage, as well as same-day FIA World Rally Championship highlights.
US Spanish-language channel Ecuavisa Internacional locked in exclusive US rights for ‘A’ league matches of the Ecuatorian Federation of Soccer (FEF), the country’s leading professional soccer league. Ecuavisa’s agreement includes access to the broadcast feed and highlights of a total of 139 games per year. Additionally, the network has committed to provide highlights from all 12 teams for all platforms.
SiriusXM announced that Pete Bevacqua, the PGA of America’s Chief Executive Officer, will host a new show on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. State of the Game will make its live debut on Wednesday, January 28, at 8p and air monthly throughout the year. Bevacqua and co-host Brian Katrek will discuss the world of golf and examine the health and growth of the game in the U.S. and abroad.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Turner Sports and DC Entertainment unveiled the release of The Justice League Goes Inside the NBA All Star 2015, a special edition comic book teaming TNT’s Inside the NBA studio team host Ernie Johnson and analysts Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal with The Justice League from DC Comics. The 16-page, limited edition comic book will be available for the first time at comic book stores free of charge, throughout the US starting today and sees the foursome paired with Justice League members Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and The Flash to see who can make it from Barclays to Madison Square Garden first.
Speaking of the NBA, H&R Block entered a new multiyear promotional partnership with the league marks the company’s first-ever partnership with a North American sports league and makes the brand the Tax Services Partner of the NBA. The deal will see the company make stops at several upcoming league events along the company’s 2015 national consumer activation tour. The first of these events is at the Cleveland Cavaliers home game on Jan. 28, followed by activities during NBA All-Star 2015 in New York, where H&R Block will showcase their expertise during one the league’s biggest events of the year.
The PGA TOUR and Charles Schwab & Co. locked in a 20-year extension of their marketing partnership, representing the longest marketing agreement the PGA TOUR has ever entered. In conjunction with the extension, the Champions Tour will launch a playoff system beginning with the 2016 season, with details on the structure forthcoming. The deal makes Schwab’s the Official Marketing Partner of the Official Investment Firm of the PGA TOUR and Champions Tour and includes Schwab’s umbrella sponsorship of the season-long Charles Schwab Cup competition on the Champions Tour as well as its sponsorship of the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
120 Sports unveiled the inaugural Millennials’ Athlete Index based on exclusive research, which was conducted in conjunction with Ranker, showcasing the athletes that matter the most to its target audience of millennials. Athletes representing eight different major sports, including basketball, football, baseball, soccer, golf, hockey, tennis and action sports were represented within the top 40 with the top 10 headed by the NBA’s Stephen Curry. Rounding out the top ten were the MLB’s Mike Trout, the NFL’s Russell Wilson, the NBA’s Kevin Durant, MLB’s Madison Bumgarner, the NFL’s Aaron Rodgers, J.J. Watt and Andrew Luck, La Liga’s Lionel Messi and the NFL’s Odell Beckham Jr.
The top five most mentioned players on Twitter during the Conference Championships (Sunday, Jan. 18):
Tennis Channel is now available on Apple TV, representing the network’s first digital streaming partner. Apple TV users who subscribe to Tennis Channel via their cable, satellite or telco providers will have TV Everywhere access to the network’s linear feed though the platform. Furthermore, those who subscribe to the network’s digital subscription service, Tennis Channel Plus, will be able to watch live coverage from the Australian Open this year during the first eight days of the two-week competition.
A one-two punch bolstered FOX Sports GO to its second most-viewed day ever on Sunday. Led by the NFC Championship Game and UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Siver, the platform saw cumulative unique visitors to the NFC Championship Game more than double (+122%) last year’s live stream of the NFC Championship.
Sports video highlights syndicator SendtoNews saw a 24% Canadian market share last month, according to comScore’s December 2014 Video Metrix report. The company reached the number 1 position in total sports video views (30,888,758) and reached the number 2 position in total unique viewers (1,362,819), according to the same report.
The ACC Digital Network is bringing back its Guest Reporter Search campaign to find a reporter to join its coverage team on site at the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament in Greensboro, NC on March 10-14. “We met so many creative and passionate personalities through our initial campaign this fall, many of which we will continue to build relationships with,” said Natalie Jenkins, Director of Marketing for the ACCDN. “After all, we are a college sports network so it is fitting that we would continue offer these kinds of experiences to those looking to get into this business, and look forward to another Guest Reporter joining us in Greensboro this March.”
FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 are launching a Talent Relations & Development department with George Greenberg, FOX Sports Executive Vice President, Content Integration and Presentation, leading the group. Other names will include Roy Hamilton, Senior Vice President, Talent & Development; Jacob Ullman, Vice President, Production & Talent Development; Laura Marcus, Vice President, Talent Relations; and Heather Munson, Senior Manager. The group is designed to serve as a service organization for production; develops and recruits top talent to FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2; manages placement of talent in coordination with show and news producers; and maximizes the use of this robust lineup of on-air personalities.
Thunder/Wizards on ESPN at 8p.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
ON THIS DAY in 1990: John McEnroe become the first player since 1963 to be disqualified from a Grand Slam tournament for misconduct.
In The Know:What was the name of the game show John McEnroe hosted on ABC in 2002? (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: Sunday saw Patriots coach Bill Belichick set the NFL record for playoff coaching victories with 21. Whose record did he break? Answer: Tom Landry. Kudos: Michael Neuman-Scout Sports and Entertainment/NY; Andrew Feingold-Nielsen/NY; Russ Camlet-NBCU/NY; J. Barry McMullin-WWE/Stamford; Tom Wetzel-MMSI/Warwick; Tim Overmyer-20th TV/Atlanta; Eric Turner-WPFO FOX23/Portland; Andy Pittman-Texas A&M University/College Station; Gretchen Brady-KDAF/Dallas; Brad Brown-B2 Consulting, LLC/St. Louis; Rick Pike-InterMedia Advertising/Woodland Hills; Miriam Aardahl-OMD/LA; Mary Downey-Mary Downey Casting/Burbank; Brian Sullivan-KHQ-TV/Spokane.
Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for
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