02/22/19: NBC Sports named Bevacqua to oversee all of sports for the company

CynopsisSports
Good morning. It’s Friday February 22, 2019 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
 
 
NBC Sports Group President Pete Bevacqua is now being given the keys to oversee the entire NBC Sports Group portfolio, and is adding NBC Olympics, Production, and Operations, among others, to his areas of responsibility, effective immediately. Bevacqua had joined the company as President, NBC Sports Group last September and had been managing Programming, Marketing, Digital, Golf and the NBC Sports Regional Networks. He continues to report to Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Broadcast, Cable, Sports and News. “Pete’s impact to NBC Sports and to our Company in general has been significant and immediate,” said Lazarus. “He is a proven leader in the sports industry, and complements our talented team.”
 
 
PROGRAMMING

FOX Sports released plans for its “most expansive” Major League Baseball schedule to date with a lineup that includes the 2019 All-Star Game from Progressive Field in Cleveland as well as the American League Division Series and Championship Series airing across FOX, FS1, and FOX Deportes. The season culminates with exclusive coverage of the 115th World Series on FOX and FOX Deportes. In addition, June 29 will see FOX Sports showcase the inaugural Mitel & MLB Present London Series 2019 with the Yankees and Red Sox from London’s Olympic Stadium. Overall, FOX Sports’ regular season national broadcast schedule showcases 68 appearances by 2018 Postseason participants with the Red Sox and Yankees each appearing a total of eight times across the FOX Sports family of networks, while the Dodgers appear seven times during the upcoming regular season and the Chicago Cubs are featured six times. FS1 opens the regular season with the Braves/Phillies on March 30 at 4p. FOX carries regionalized action on eight Saturdays in prime time, beginning May 18.
 
Meanwhile, Univision Deportes announced that it will serve up 27 matches of the 2019 Major League Soccer regular season, this year, along with the MLS All-Star Game, two MLS Playoff matches and the 2019 MLS Cup. Broadcast networks Univision and UniMas will both be home to MLS action this season, with most matches simulcast on Univision Deportes Network, Univision Deportes will air four MLS doubleheaders this season, starting May 24 with Orlando City SC/LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake/Atlanta United FC.
 
ESPN signed former World Series Champion and three-time All-Star Ryan Howard to a multi-year agreement where he will serve as a Baseball Tonight analyst. Howard is a Partner at SeventySix Capital and Chairman of the SeventySix Capital Athlete Venture Group.
 
WWE announced that Roman Reigns, aka Joe Anoa’I will appear on Monday Night Raw on Feb. 25 on USA Network to address his fight against leukemia.
 
Wednesday night’s battle between North Carolina and Duke delivered a 3.2 overnight rating for ESPN, to rank as the third highest-rated regular season college basketball game on the channel in addition to being the highest-rated college basketball game of the season across all networks. The top five markets were Raleigh-Durham, Greensboro-High Point, Charlotte and Norfolk, who all set season-high market ratings, as well as Louisville.
 
Sportscasters Kenny Albert and Joe Micheletti are on deck to call three NHL games (involving 5 teams) in three different cities across a 24-hour period for both MSG Networks and Westwood One/NBC Sports Radio, and they won’t always be calling the games together. The feat will begin at Madison Square Garden on Saturday at 1p with the Rangers/Devils game, before heading to Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia and team up to broadcast Westwood One/NBC Sports Radio’s national radio coverage of the NHL Stadium Series matchup between the Penguins/Flyers on Saturday night at 8p. After the game, the duo will then complete the hat trick by traveling down south to Washington, D.C. for MSG Networks’ television and radio broadcast of the Rangers/Capitals game on Sunday at 12:30p at Capital One Arena.
 
March 1 will see the season premiere of the unscripted series The Shop from HBO Sports and UNINTERRUPTED, starring LeBron James and Maverick Carter at 10:30p. Joining them will be Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown, Oscar winner Jamie Foxx, American rappers and activists Meek Mill and 2 Chainz, New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis and stand-up comedian Jerrod Carmichael.
 
BTN announced its 2019 coverage of Big Ten men’s and women’s lacrosse, televising at least 28 games, including six postseason matchups, and streaming dozens of other games on BTN Plus. Men’s television coverage begins on Saturday, Feb. 23, when top-ranked Loyola Maryland visits No. 19 Rutgers at 2p. BTN’s coverage is led by analysts Mark Dixon and Sheehan Stanwick Burch, along with play-by-play announcers Joe Beninati, Pete Medhurst, Mike Monaco, Dean Linke and Jason Knapp.
 
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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Paris Saint-Germain inked a new deal with French-owned hotel group Accor in a multi-year partnership to serve as its principal sponsor starting next year. The deal see Accor replace Emirates airline, according to the AP. French media reports estimate the deal is worth more than $57 million each year.
 
 
DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

Speaking of soccer, Canadian Soccer Business inked a ten-year “Official Media Partnership” with MEDIAPRO, which now acquires all the media rights under CSB management for the next ten years including the global and domestic rights to the Canadian Premier League, as well as the the global and domestic media rights to the Canadian Championship. As part of the agreement, the leading global content producer will be in charge of the production of all matches and will launch a channel that will be available for all platforms and devices entirely devoted to Canadian soccer coverage and content, including a soccer streaming channel. MEDIAPRO will continue to work with CSB to contemplate all distribution opportunities, partnerships and platforms that ensure the future success of CSB’s media assets.
 
The Action Network, a sports media company that provides in-depth betting content, tools and analytics for sports fans, announced a close of 17.5 million in Series B funding led by Fertitta Capital. As part of this investment, Nakisa Bidarian, CEO of Fertitta Capital, joins The Action Network’s board of directors. The Chernin Group, which formed The Action Network in October 2017, also re-invested in the Series B round. In addition, Mike Kerns, President of Chernin Digital, was named the chairman of the company’s board of directors.
 
 
ESPORTS

Twitch and Team Liquid are bonding, with the two brands unveiling a multi-year partnership that will see the platform become the exclusive sponsorship sales representative of the organization. The deal will give Twitch the exclusive rights to manage sales and to broaden Team Liquid’s connections with brands seeking to design disruptive and thoughtful partnerships with one of the world’s most accomplished esports teams. According to the announcement, the accord also provides one-stop access to Team Liquid and the 360-degree promotional opportunities found on Twitch, streamlining the hurdles brands frequently encounter when trying to enter the space.
 
ELEAGUE kicks off the first-ever ELEAGUE FUT Champions Cup this weekend, featuring top stars in the professional EA SPORTS FIFA 19 scene from ELEAGUE Arena at Turner Studios in Atlanta. Live coverage will be available across Twitch in addition to TBS will televise a series of episodes highlighting the event’s best moments and stories starting April 19.
 
Monumental Sports & Entertainment announced that Leidos will be the presenting sponsor of the 2019 Capitals Esports Faceoff as well as a new interactive esports gaming zone on the second level concourse at Capital One Arena. In addition to jersey patch and logo integration on player uniforms, Leidos will have integration on all team social posts related to the esports platform, brand integration in all posted original programming, Twitch in-stream integration and tile inclusion, and branding on Capitals Esports Faceoff player profiles.
 
 
THE MAIN EVENT

NASCAR’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 on Sunday on FOX at 2p.
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
ESPORTS UPFRONT
Monday, April 15 | New York City
 
The event is back by popular demand! Cynopsis, along with our friends from Player2 + Esports Ad Bureau, will host decision makers from brands and media agencies in an intimate setting to hear presentations from esports properties. Last year’s line-up included: MLG/Overwatch, Counter Logic Gaming / Madison Square Garden, ELEAGUE, Press X, and other industry leaders.
 
 

ON THIS DAY in 1980: The Miracle on Ice sees the US ice hockey team beat the Soviet Union 4-3.
 
In the Know: Which NBA Hall of Famer was nicknamed Iceman? (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: In the series Cheers, which position did Sam Malone once play?  Answer: Pitcher (bonus points to those who specified relief pitcher). Kudos: Frank Costa-CBS Sports Research/NY; Lori Paterson-Spectrum Reach/NY; Russ Camlet-NBCU/NY; Len Appel-TMZ/TMZ Sports/NY; Art Salisch-SMRC/East Windsor; Matt Deprey-CSPAN/DC; Stephanie Ann-Freelance Live Sports Producer/Baltimore; Joseph A. Vogl-SVSU/University Center; Aimee Clark-Tony Fay PR/Dallas; Joe Lyons-ESPN/Dallas; Jean Edhlund-Cooperative Network Services/Menahga; Kort Koppmann-FOX Sports/Chicago; Kyle Krebs-KXAS-TV/KXTX-TV/DFW; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; David Hauptman/Denver; Peter Steckelman-Tennis Channel/Santa Monica; Eric Burak-Bellator MMA/Hollywood; Tony Reyes-ShadowMachine/Hollywood; Anne WettigFox Cable Networks S&P/LA
 
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