01/29/15: Facebook likes its chances with the Super Bowl; FCC denies rematch for Tennis Channel; Red Bull scores a billion


2015 Cynopsis Boot Camp
February 10, 2015 | 8:30am – 3:30pm | Yale Club NYC
(Early Bird Ends  Friday, January 30, 2015)

Featured Speakers:
David Wong – SVP, Product Leadership, Nielsen Global Digital
Jacqueline Corbelli – Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO, Brightline
Jeff Semones – President, M80
Andrew Stevens – VP, Strategy & Research, ShareThis

Registration: Pete Romas; 203.899.8483 | Sponsorships: Mike Farina; 203.218.6480


Good morning. It’s Thursday, January 29, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Facebook is making some big moves ahead of the Super Bowl, announcing that  for the first time  the company will be selling ads that target people on what they are talking about in real time. The Big Game targeting segment marks the company’s first segment that “utilizes real-time conversations (updating frequently throughout the game) related to the Super Bowl” and includes football fans as well as people engaging around topics likes party planning, sharing recipes, buying a new flatscreen TV, etc. The audience segment will then change as more people become engaged with different Super Bowl topics on Facebook. Last year, 170 million people were reached with stories about the Super Bowl on Facebook on game day.

Upping the ante, Facebook will also unveil its own Super Bowl experience. The hub will allow users to not only see posts from friends and people in their network, but also view real-time reactions from people around the world with Live Feed; see photos and videos from news outlets; read posts from the NFL, teams, players, NBC and other public voices with In the Story; check out live scores, the current play time, and play by play updates at a glance as well as join the conversation by posting about the game.

"We want to incorporate the social experience of going to a game into the ‘lean-back’ experience of watching on the couch at home," says Dan Reed, Head of Global Sports Partnerships for Facebook. "Facebook brings together the single largest collection of sports fans anywhere on the planet, into one global, mobile, social stadium." Out of the 1.35 billion people who use Facebook worldwide, more than 650 million of them are connected to at least one sports Page. Facebook is the world’s largest real-time, social media audience.More than 350 million unique people joined the conversation on Facebook about last year’s World Cup.


The FCC reversed an initial ruling, denying Tennis Channel’s petition to rehear its program-carriage complaint Comcast, which claimed placement bias for its own channels. After initially winning its FCC complaint, a D.C. Federal Court later overturned that decision on appeal in 2013. “We respectfully disagree with the FCC’s decision today,” the network said in a statement. “Two-and-half years ago the FCC found that Comcast had blatantly violated Section 616 of the Communications Act in its carriage of our network vis-à-vis its own competing Golf Channel and NBC Sports Network. Just as Comcast explored all options following its disagreement with that Order, we fully intend to do the same now.”

The NFL and Univision Deportes are again teaming up for the ninth installment of Tazon Latino, the nationally televised flag football game featuring current and former NFL players and Hispanic celebrities. The game will air nationally on Univision Network and UDN on Saturday, February 1 at 4:55p. Under Armour is an event sponsor. Players are set to include the likes of Pro Football Hall of Famers Derrick Brooks and Deion Sanders, three-time Pro Bowler Mark Brunell, as well as Warrick Dunn, Tony Gonzalez, Torry Holt, Jake Plummer and Fred Taylor. Latino celebrities will include actress and former Miss USA Susie Castillo, actor Khotan Fernandez, October Gonzalez, wife of Tony Gonzalez, JR Martinez, Adam Rodriguez and Carlos Santos. Tazon Latino IX will be hosted by former San Diego Chargers defensive end Luis Castillo and Univision Deportes sportscasters Jorge Perez Navarro and Adriana Monsalve.

NBC Sports is partnering with nearly 150 NBC affiliated and owned stations to offer Super Bowl Zone, a 30-minute show previewing the big game. The preview will air on Saturday at 7:30p and be co-hosted by NBC Sports commentators Carolyn Manno and Kathryn Tappen.

BTN is tackling National Signing Day with a live, two-hour BTN Football & Beyond: Football Signing Day Special at 3:30p on Feb. 4. The program is hosted by Mike Hall with analysts Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith who will evaluate the incoming class of future Big Ten football stars.

USC and ESPNLA inked a four-year contract extension that will see Trojan football continue to be heard live on ESPNLA 710 AM through the 2018-19 season. The deal will see around one-half of USC’s men’s basketball broadcasts air on the station through 2018-19. “We are pleased to continue our relationship with ESPNLA and give fans more USC programming than ever before,” said Dan Shell, Vice President and General Manager of USC Sports Properties. “Additionally, to be showcased on ESPN’s national platform is great for the USC brand and Trojan fans around the country.”


Cynopsis Sports Media Awards

Late Deadline: January 29, 2015
Awards Event: April 16, 2015 (NYC)

Visit our website for additional information on:
Who Should Enter, How to Enter, Eligibility Period, Categories, Deadlines, Sponsorship Opportunities & FAQs.
Questions? Contact Pete Romas at 203.899.8483


NBC is officially out of inventory for the Super Bowl. Company executives said that sales were closed for the Feb. 1 game, with the contest, post-game and digital stream all off the table, according to multiple reports. The company estimated that more than 70 brands had bought in, including 15 rookie sponsors. NBC was asking for around $4.5 million for a 30-second spot.

Burson-Marsteller unveiled insights from its Super Bowl Survey, which saw 51% of Americans thinking of the Super Bowl as a social event or entertainment spectacle, while 49% consider it a sporting event. Meanwhile, 47% of fans are interested in multiple camera views that they could select themselves, and 43% of social media users look for commentary from close friends during the Super Bowl, versus 12% interested in what companies and brands are saying. As for Millennials, over half (consider the Super Bowl to be a social or entertaining spectacle as opposed to a sporting event with 48% stating that they purchased a product they saw featured in a game day ad last year. “Based on this, we believe that the Super Bowl is more of a communal, social activity as opposed to a pastime of rabid sports fans,” said Jason Teitler, head of sports at the company. “Through this lens, brands have an opportunity to significantly adjust their communications and marketing approaches from what they committed to during the regular season and the playoffs to instead appeal to the entertainment and social cravings of Super Bowl viewers, including those consumers that only tune in for the Big Game.”

Long-time NFL sponsor Visa is giving Visa Checkout users watching the Super Bowl the chance to buy items inspired by Katy Perry’s halftime show performance directly from their Smart TVs, dubbed the first “shoppable halftime show” moment.  

Continuing the Super Bowl theme, Oxygen will host a multi-day challenge promoting its upcoming competition series Street Art Throwdown with four up-and-coming street artists creating Super Bowl XLIX themed art throughout the three days. The first two days (starting tomorrow) will see an interactive activation where fans, celebrities, and former/current NFL players have the opportunity to assist the artist teams by dipping footballs into various paints and throwing them at 2 blank canvases to create an abstract expression of street art. Day 3 will see the Super Bowl mural.

SendtoNews announced that it had sold 90% of its available Super Bowl XLIX digital ad inventory in Canada. Last year’s Super Bowl brought in 7.6 million viewers on the SendtoNews partnership network. "We’re very pleased by the response to our Super Bowl ad offering. Advertisers recognize that premium video content like the NFL highlights, with huge consumer reach, comes at a price that is worth the premium," said SendtoNews CEO Greg Bobolo.

Tiger Woods is partnering with global audio brand Sol Republic. “Music is a huge part of my life and my training; it inspires me to work harder, stay focused and get better every day,” Woods on the press release. “It’s exciting to find a brand that cares about music the way that I do, and I’m ready to work with Sol Republic on bringing that passion to life.”

Speaking of golf, GolfNow’s "Free Golf for Life" sweepstakes will be featured within NBC’s Super Bowl XLIX pre-game coverage as PGA TOUR reigning FedExCup champion Billy Horschel and All-Pro linebacker Brian Urlacher launch the contest. The promotion will see one lucky golfer win Free Golf for Life with  a complimentary foursome once per month courtesy of GolfNow.


YouTube’s Red Bull Channel scored its 1 billionth view, according to the company, which first uploaded a video to the site in 2006. That marks one of only two sports channels globally to hit 1 Billion views. In October 2014, Red Bull Media House produced the biggest livestream in Internet history with Red Bull Stratos totaling 9.5MM concurrent views, which took up 8% of all internet bandwidth that day.

CineSport and SportsManias entered a content partnership in which the news aggregation platform will distribute CineSport’s videos on its website and mobile applications. Videos will include breaking news and trending topics, feature programming, game analysis, and more.

Bleacher Report published the first in an exclusive video series chronicling Indiana Pacers star Paul George’s recovery and road back to the NBA after suffering a compound fracture of his leg this past summer. The first episode of Paul George: The Road Back features one-on-one interviews with George and his parents, Paul and Paulette.


Ahead of Super Bowl XLIX, Reality Check Systems deployed 24 of its mobile hardware/software solutions to networks that include DirecTV, ESPN and NFLN to enliven remote studio shows and gameday broadcasts. This year’s technology includes 18 Bullets, one Twitter Bullet, a custom touchscreen and four tailored systems that will be used to splash compelling graphics across live Super Bowl coverage and pre- and post-game shows.


Ducks/Sharks on NBCSN at 10p.

ON THIS DAY in 1936: The Baseball Hall of Fame elects its first members for Cooperstown.

In The Know: Which quarterback threw the most passes in a single Super Bowl game? (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: Which three NFL teams have the Patriots previously beaten to win the Super Bowl? Answer: Rams, Panthers, Eagles. Kudos: Michael Brown-Lagardere Unlimited/NY; David Tratner-Rodale Inc. Sports Group/NY; Jeff Day-NHL/NY; Greg Conner-Tennis Channel/NY; Jon Show-Show Sports Media/Charlotte; Jack Mula-Troika Sports Partners/Boston; Dave Goren-National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame/Salisbury; Mike Antolini-Tiger Woods Foundation/Boston; Andy Pittman-Texas A&M University/College Station; Benjamin Simonds-National Football League/Chicago; Kevin Micklo-Pinnacle Advertising/Chicago; Miriam Aardahl-OMD/LA; Robb Rothfarb-AdMore/Temecula; Adam Deverell-Cox Reps/LA; Doug Kelly-Foster Farms Bowl/South San Francisco.

Later — Chris
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