01.27.15 Good morning. It’s Tuesday, January 27, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
CBS Sports laid out plans for golf coverage in 2015, announcing the “most extensive schedule in network television history.” The company is on deck to carry 21 golf tournaments this year, with more than 155 hours of coverage, including the Masters, PGA Championship, 19 PGA TOUR events as well as 10 golf specials and programming that launches Saturday at 3p with the Waste Management Phoenix Open. In addition, CBS Sports’ PGA TOUR coverage will be streamed live on CBSSports.com and PGATOUR.com. Jim Nantz once again serves as anchor with Sir Nick Faldo returning for his eighth year as lead analyst. Live coverage of The Masters will tee off on Aptil 11 at 3p while The 97th PGA Championship will go live on Aug. 15 at 2p.
Coach K helped propel FOX College Hoops to its best ever metered overnight numbers on Sunday. Duke’s win over St. John’s (which saw Krzyzewski reach 1,000 victories), scored the company’s best-ever metered market rating for a college basketball game and ranked as the highest-rated College Basketball game of the weekend, according to Nielsen. On the local front, Raleigh delivered a 10.5/21 rating/share, followed by Greensboro with a 9.7/17.
UFC on FOX 14 came away from Saturday averaging a 2.0/4 in the metered markets, and is projected to win the night in primetime across key male and adult demos including Adults 18-49 once National Ratings are released. The main event portion of the telecast averaged a 2.6/4. Fort Myers led all markets with a 4.5/7, with Albuquerque right behind at a 4.1/8 and Oklahoma City nabbing a 4.1/7.
Carrie Underwood will be performing a special “Waiting All Day for a Super Bowl Fight” opening theme for NBC’s telecast of Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday. The network reports that the opening theme for NBC’s coverage of Super Bowl XLIX will contain new elements, including lyrics featuring the AFC champion New England Patriots and NFC champion Seattle Seahawks, as well as a special set design.
Universal Sports Network struck an extension with the Union Cycliste Internationale to air the UCI’s major cycling events in the United States through 2018 in a multiyear deal. The deal gives Universal Sports multiplatform rights, including exclusive TV and digital rights, to the UCI Road World Championships and UCI World Championship and World Cup events in Track Cycling, BMX, Mountain Bike and Cyclo-cross.
NBC Sports Group added 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion and 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Dale Jarrett to its crew, where he will serve as a pre- and post-race analyst during live coverage of select NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR XFINITY Series racing on NBC and NBCSN starting this season. He will join Krista Voda and Kyle Petty when they open up NBC’s live pre-race coverage from Daytona International Speedway over 4th of July weekend. He will also serve as a booth analyst during select NASCAR XFINITY Series races and contribute to NASCAR AMERICA on NBCSN.
FOX Sports added more details to its programming plans for the coming NASCAR season. Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds return to the booth for Sprint Cup races on FOX and FOX Sports 1 and will be joined on pit road by reporters Matt Yocum and newcomers Jamie Little and Chris Neville. Chris Myers hosts FOX NASCAR Sunday beside Darrell and Michael Waltrip. Scheduling tweaks will see NASCAR Race Hub on Fox Sports 1 move to 6p starting Monday, Jan. 26. The series will also expand to the weekend in 2015 to offer at-track updates and news as it breaks throughout the course of the race weekend. In addition, FOX Sports 1 premieres two NASCAR original specials during Speedweeks in a special programming block on Feb. 13, with A perfect Storm at 7:30p while 1979 Daytona 500 premieres at 8:30p.
Speaking of NASCAR, Chairman and CEO Brian France told reporters on Monday that after an overhaul last year to the Chase, the run for the championship will remain unchanged this season. France notes that the organization is coming off "perhaps its best Chase ever.”
The ACC is reportedly looking to have its network moving as early as 2016. The AP writes that Florida State president John Thrasher stated that while the conference has been working with ESPN to create a network model that echoes of the SEC, Pac-12 and Big Ten, officials are hopeful that a formal channel could be launched soon rather than later. "I think that’s a viable thing," Thrasher told Rivals affiliate Warchant.com. "They’re working hard on it. Whether we can get it up and running by 2016, I don’t know. But that’s the goal. … We’re excited about that. And I’ll tell you, that would be a big boon to us in terms of revenue to do that. We’re going to work hard on that."
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club inked a three-year deal with Comcast SportsNet Chicago for regional rights to all of the Fire’s Major League Soccer matches beginning this season. CSN Chicago will now carry 21 Fire games in 2015, beginning with the home opener against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC on March 14. Match day coverage will include a live, 30-minute pre-game show, along with enhanced coverage on the network’s nightly sports news desk, SportsNet Central. In addition, the Fire and Comcast SportsNet will begin enhanced digital-platform collaboration starting this season.
Pac-12 Networks’ original all-access documentary series The Drive turns its attention to basketball with the season premiere of The Drive: Pac-12 Basketball, Presented by 5-hour ENERGY on Wednesday at 9p PT. The premiere episode focuses on top-ranked Arizona and their January 4 meeting with in-state rival Arizona State with behind-the-scenes practice footage and interviews.
Longhorn Network locked in its softball and baseball plans, and will carry more than 60 matchups this season, including 33 softball and 28 baseball games. First up will be the annual baseball Alumni Game at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Jan. 31 at 1p CT.
Speaking of baseball, MLB Network Presents returns tomorrow at 9p on the network with features on Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, Cubs manager Joe Maddon, and Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Bob Costas hosts.
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NBC Sports is gearing up for its own commercial as part of the Super Bowl festivities, casting Parks and Recreation star Nick Offerman for a spot pushing the company’s upcoming NASCAR coverage. Adweek writes that the campaign urges Americans to "get more NASCAR in your life" via a 60-second mock music video that will air as the first spot once the game is over. NBC also released a 30-second teaser yesterday morning. The ads were created by NBC’s in-house unit led by chief marketing officer John Miller, with as assist from Hungry Man. The network is also slating a spot (without the actor) called "Fan for Life" for Sunday’s pre-game.
PGA Tour Superstore struck a multi-year national partnership agreement with Golf Channel that will include a brand-integration program and a strategic media buy. The alliance will also see sponsorship of key PGA TOUR event highlights on programming schedules.
The Topps Company will honor the late Sy Berger, one of the fathers of the modern day baseball card, with two special sets, available as the Hot Stove season fully kicks in this coming week. The two post card size sets of Red and Blue back cards will see each set numbered to 99 to mimic the 1951 design that was the first baseball card that he designed for Topps.
More news on the digital front from NBC Sports ahead of the Super Bowl. The company will see offer more than 10 hours of live stream programming on Super Bowl Sunday. On ProFootballTalk.com, reporters Michael David Smith and Darin Gantt will be on-site at Super Bowl Media Day and offer coverage, and analysis, with PFT Live streaming from Noon-1p through Friday. NBCSports.com will see digital video correspondent Jenna Corrado on-site while NFL reporter Corey Griffin files daily stories from Phoenix. Of course, other content will run on NBCSportsWorld.com and Rotoworld.com.
Bulls/Warriors on NBA TV at 10:30p.
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ON THIS DAY in 1996: Monica Seles wins her first Grand Slam tournament since being attacked.
In The Know:Which tennis great was known as “The Punisher”? (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 is the only MLB player to win the AL batting title in a season in which he had no home runs? Answer: Rod Carew. Kudos: Jay Goldstein-Admore/NY; Kyle Helm-CBS Sports Network/NY; Denis Barry-CBS Television Sales/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Matt Meachem-Gracenote, Inc./Queensbury; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; David Leibowitz-CH Potoma/Rockville; Dean Lamb-CDW/Vernon Hills; Ron Salcedo-Zimmerman/Nashville; David Hauptman/Denver; Harry S Vested Jr.-GCI/Denver; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Doug Kelly-Foster Farms Bowl/South San Francisco.
Later — Chris
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