02/05/19: The Super Bowl is off-pace from recent years, garnering just over 100 million viewers

CynopsisSports
Good morning. It’s Tuesday February 5, 2019 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
 
 
Super Bowl LIII drew a Total Audience Delivery of 100.7 million viewers, across all platforms including CBS Television Network, CBS Interactive, NFL digital properties, Verizon Media mobile properties and ESPN Deportes television and digital properties, according to Nielsen and was watched on CBS in all-or-part by 149.0 million in Fast Total Audience Estimates. Streaming coverage set viewership records, streaming across 7.5 million unique devices, up 20% from last year, viewers consumed more than 560 million total minutes of live game coverage, up  19% from last year. While still an obvious juggernaut, last year’s game drew 103.4 million viewers on NBC alone. We’ll have final numbers later this week.
 
 
PROGRAMMING

NASCAR unveiled several initiatives and procedural updates for the 2019 season, including a plan to move its thorough post-race inspection to the race track immediately following each national series race. If a vehicle fails post-race inspection, it will be disqualified, resulting in a last-place finish and the loss of all benefits from the win/finish, as well as any stage points. All other vehicles would move up in the finishing order under this scenario. NASCAR will inspect the first- and second-place vehicles, as well as a random vehicle, after each event. In addition, NASCAR announced that the “Generation 7” car in the Monster Energy Series is scheduled to make its debut for the 2021 season while the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series will feature the “Triple Truck Challenge” this season.
 
The Oakland Raiders may be closing in on a home for the 2019 season, with team officials in talks with the San Francisco Giants about playing home games next season at Oracle Park in San Francisco, according to the AP. The Raiders hunting for a home next season after the city of Oakland sued the team and the NFL over the planned move to Las Vegas in 2020.
 
Lindsey Vonn, the winningest woman in alpine skiing World Cup history, will compete in the final two races of her career when she participates in the World Alpine Skiing Championships in Are, Sweden with coverage on NBC Sports. Vonn will compete in super-G on today at 6:25a  on NBCSN, marking the final time Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin compete in the same race. Sunday sees Vonn’s final run in the downhill with coverage starting at 6:25a on NBCSN and Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA. An encore will air later in the day on NBC at 3p.
 
On the regional front, MSG Networks is launching a full week of special programming, presented by Chase, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Rangers’ 1994 Stanley Cup season. The programming will lead up to the upcoming anniversary celebration event to honor the 1994 Championship team on Friday at Madison Square Garden. On Thursday and Friday, MSG Networks will also re-air Games 6 and 7 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals versus the Devils and 1994 Stanley Cup Finals Games 4 and 7 against the Canucks.
 
Live coverage of softball returns to Pac-12 Networks with the 2019 Kajikawa Classic from Feb. 8-10 with the Networks carrying 12 games over three days of the tournament, including games for Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford and Utah. Additionally, a 13th game will be covered on Friday via the Pac-12 Plus live stream. Talent assignments for the Kajikawa Classic include the duos of play-by-play announcer Anne Marie Anderson and analyst Amanda Freed, as well play-by-play announcer Ann Schatz with Kenzie Fowler as analyst.
 
This week will mark the first-ever “Players Week” on SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio channel. Current major league players, including All-Stars and World Series winners, will join hosts for special extended feature segments over the course of the week with today featuring Pirates pitcher Trevor Williams and Marlins pitcher Dan Straily.
 
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The Clio Awards announced that the best commercial of the Super Bowl was Bud Light and HBO’s “Joust,” which takes home the fifth annual Super Clio. The call was made following a jury panel deliberation of leading industry creatives, with the honor going to Wieden + Kennedy for Bud Light and Droga5 for HBO. Beyond the big winner, this year’s short list also featured: Audi “Cashew,” Burger King “#EatLikeAndy” and NFL “100 Year Game.” “It’s great to have a jury of top industry creatives debate the Super Bowl spots—it’s fascinating to hear their insights on which work cut through the noise of the game. HBO and Bud Light’s ‘Joust’ was a clever, funny, brilliantly crafted commercial—a hilarious and timely crowd-pleaser that’s also a great example of the kind of openness and collaboration that will be useful for all brands going forward,” said Tim Nudd, Clio’s Editor-in-Chief. “Congrats to both marketers, and to Droga5 and Wieden + Kennedy, for making it happen and catching Super Bowl watchers by surprise.”
 
The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football announced a multiyear agreement with OEG Sports as its global master licensee and licensing agent for consumer products. The rights deal makes OEG Sports the first official and exclusive master licensee and licensing agent of Concacaf and covers a range of championships through 2022 including the Concacaf Gold Cup, the newly launched Concacaf Nations League, as well as properties such as development-focused youth tournaments and initiatives.
 
 
DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

The PGA TOUR announced that PGA TOUR AR, an augmented reality app, will add a “360° Tee Box presented by AT&T” experience on holes No. 1 and 18 on Pebble Beach Golf Links at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. The AR experience will begin in conjunction with the opening round of the tournament on Thursday, February 7 and will go live one hour before the first tee time Thursday-Sunday. “The AT&T 360° Tee Box in the PGA TOUR AR app offers fans a unique and exclusive view of Pebble Beach Golf Links,” said Devon Fox, PGA TOUR Director, Digital Platform Innovation. “Fans will be able to see holes No. 1 and 18 in an entirely new way, getting them closer to the action than ever before. Collaborating with AT&T to bring fans this exclusive experience represents a new way for the TOUR to add value for sponsors and partners in the future.”
 
Compass Media Networks announced that The Mike Lupica Podcast has doubled its content from one podcast each week to two “based on the show’s continued success in attracting a growing and diverse audience with several hundred thousand downloads per month.” “We want to keep building momentum for the show and reward our loyal listeners with more insightful conversations with leaders in their respective spaces,” said Lupica. “Thanks to Compass Media Networks and Hiltzik Strategies for their continued faith in the show and spirit of partnership.”
 
 
ESPORTS

Gfinity will host the third open event of the 2019 Call of Duty World League season, CWL London, at the Copper Box Arena in London from May 3-5, featuring 16 of the top CWL professional teams competing for prizing as well as an amateur tournament with its own dedicated prize pool which will feature up to 200 teams. CWL London marks Gfinity’s first major Call of Duty event since 2016 and a return to the Copper Box Arena for the first time since the Last Chance Qualifier event during the 2017 Call of Duty World League season.
 
Major League Soccer dropped details for eMLS League Series Two with the second event of the 2019 eMLS season taking place on Feb, 17 at the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Frisco, Texas. Each of the 22 players representing an MLS team will compete in a round-robin regular season before the League Series Two live stream begins with players set to earn three points for a win, one for a tie and zero for a loss. The top four gamers in each of the Eastern and Western Conferences will then advance to compete for the title.
 
Collegiate Rocket League mapped out its plans for 2019, detailing the inaugural Spring Season of CRL for universities across the United States and Canada. The Spring Season will be focused on finding four conference champions to claim their share of $50,000 in scholarship prizing. Each conference will compete in a 16-team single-elimination bracket to determine the four best teams in the Spring Season.
 
 
INDUSTRY & ROSTER MOVES

JMI Sports promoted Paul Archey to chief commercial officer of the company, and Kim Shelton to president of the UK Sports & Campus Marketing multi-media rights property. In his new role, Archey will be responsible for developing strategic partnerships across the spectrum of JMI Sports’ expanding portfolio to increase revenue and create bold new opportunities for the company and its partners. Shelton will lead the Kentucky team as they focus on growth, deepening relationships with partners and the university alike to deliver an ever-improving experience to Wildcat fans.
 
NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California announced the appointment of Juan Maio as Vice President of Sales. In his new role, he will oversee the advertising revenue for the network’s multi-platform assets surrounding its core programming: MLB’s San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s, NBA’s Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings, NHL’s San Jose Sharks, MLS’s San Jose Earthquakes and NFL’s San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders. Maio joins from DAZN Group (previously Perform Group), where he served as Senior Regional Vice President (2016-2019).
 
 
THE MAIN EVENT

Raptors/76ers on TNT at 8p.
 
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ON THIS DAY in 1989: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar becomes the first NBA player to score 38,000 points.
 
In the Know: Lindsey Vonn made her Olympic debut in what city? (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: Who is the Patriots’ all-time rushing leader? Answer: Sam Cunningham. Kudos: Michael Ritz-Northwestern Mutual/NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Ken White-Kwtv/Charlotte; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Larry Hutchings/Nipomo; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Jonathan Parkman-American Chainsaws Ent./LA
 
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