02/15/18: FOX Sports will partner with NFL Network to bring the NFL Draft to broadcast television

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Good morning. It’s Thursday February 15, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

The NFL Draft is coming to broadcast television, according to a report from the NY Times. The article says that FOX, fresh off locking in Thursday Night Football in a multi-year deal, will team with NFL Network for a joint production of the NFL Draft featuring a blend of talent from both networks on a co-branded broadcast. A singular feed would then run on both networks, with FOX carrying the first round on April 26, followed by the second and third rounds on April 27. ESPN, which has broadcast the draft since 1980, will continue its run as well with a separate production. This year’s draft will be held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
 
 
ON THE AIR

NBC Olympics reports that its coverage of the PyeongChang Winter Games delivered the “most dominant Winter Games Tuesday night ever,” posting a TAD average of 22.6 million viewers for the primetime telecast, according to live plus same day official national data released by Nielsen, and digital data from Adobe Analytics. NBCSN’s live primetime coverage has averaged 2.4 million viewers this time around since the opening Saturday night ranking as themost-watched cable network in primetime over the four-day span from Saturday through last night. In addition, NBC’s “Primetime Plus” show, which follows local news broadcasts on NBC stations, is averaging a Total Audience Delivery of 9.8 million viewers though Tuesday night, up 32% from the 2014 Sochi Olympics. On the digital front, NBC Sports Digital delivered its largest primetime PyeongChang viewership for a competition night, with an average minute audience of 321,000 for Tuesday night’s coverage.
 
Across the pond, Discovery Network International is touting that opening-weekend events from the Winter Olympics have been viewed by 212 million people across Europe, per Variety. across all platforms including Discovery’s pan-European sports network Eurosport and the Europort Player app. Overall, a total of 373 million hours of video was watched across Europe during the first weekend of coverage from Pyeongchang.
 
In hockey news, the group looking to bring the NHL to Seattle has formally applied to the league. The Oak View Group and its prospective NHL ownership group, anchored by David Bonderman and Jerry Bruckheimer, submitted the expansion application with the league on Tuesday. “We are excited for the next steps in the process and our continued partnership with the City of Seattle,” Oak View CEO Tim Leiweke said in a statement. Seattle’s application will now be reviewed and the league’s executive committee will make a recommendation to the full NHL Board of Governors.
 
FOX Sports will assign Robert Guerrero and longtime boxing trainer Virgil Hunter to microphone duties for Premier Boxing Champions: Ortiz vs. Alexander on FOX and FOX Deportes on Saturday at 8p. Guerrero and Hunter team with blow-by-blow announcer Sean Grande calling the fights. Kate Abdo hosts the broadcast. On FOX Deportes, Ernesto Amador joins blow-by-blow announcer Jaime Motta to call the action in Spanish.
 
Peyton Manning is set for one more go-around. The two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback is set to serve as honorary pace car driver for the 60th running of the Daytona 500. Manning will be behind the wheel of the Toyota pace car and lead the 40-car field to the green flag to start “The Great American Race” on Sunday.
 
SiriusXM is surrounding NBA All-Star 2018 this week with special live programming from Los Angeles on the SiriusXM NBA Radio channel, with live broadcasts that include 67th NBA All-Star Game. Coverage will include live shows hosted by former players Eddie Johnson and Brian Scalabrine, as well as SiriusXM analysts Frank Isola, Brian Geltzeiler, Jason Jackson and Justin Termine. Listeners will hear in-depth analysis of the league’s players and teams at the season’s midpoint, plus one-on-one interviews with dozens of current and former NBA players in town for the weekend’s events.
 
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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

NBA Cares and the Jr. NBA hit NBA All-Star 2018 with more than 30 outreach programs and events that will include NBA All-Star FIT Celebration presented by Kaiser Permanente, the annual NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service, Jr. NBA Day presented by Under Armour and the NBA Cares Special Olympics Unified Basketball Game. In addition, league will bring together Los Angeles youth, community leaders, law enforcement and NBA and WNBA players and executives for special programming through NBA Voices. At the conclusion of  NBA All-Star 2018, more than 15,500 members of the NBA family will have volunteered during NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service since the inaugural event in 2008 in New Orleans. 
 
The National Football Foundation unveiled to launch Football Matters, a “cross-platform media campaign to celebrate the positive impact the game has made on millions of players, coaches, administrators, volunteers, and fans nationwide.” The campaign debuts this month with plans that include a multi-network broadcast, digital and in-stadium campaign to premiere in the fall. The campaign will focus on amateur play from the pee wee level up through the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. 
 
 
DIGITAL & STREAMING

YouTube TV is adding multiple sports networks to its lineup, announcing new deals with Turner, NBA TV, and MLB Network for the streaming service. A slate of Turner-owned networks will now be added to YouTube TV’s base package, including TNT, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, HLN, truTV, and Turner Classic Movies. NBA TV and MLB Network will be added to the mix soon.
 
Sports media startup Overtime announced that it has raised a $9.5 million Series A funding round, led by Silicon Valley VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, with additional investment from Greycroft, basketball star Kevin Durant and several other investors. This news comes exactly a year after Overtime raised a $2.5 million seed round from Greycroft, Afore Capital, Chaac Ventures, Correlation Ventures, Fitz Gate Ventures, Horizons Alpha, TACK Ventures, 645 Ventures, Ken Miller Capital, Jordan Levy and former NBA commissioner David Stern.
 
Facebook is launching a new docu-series on Facebook Watch that explores the University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball program. “Inside the Madness: University of Kentucky Basketball” will run as a 10-part series that will debut on the platform this Saturday, following the team throughout the ’17-’18 season.
 
NeuLion is teaming with the NBA to debut a new live video syndication site for this weekend’s NBA All-Star event for publishers and distributors. For the first time, live player interviews from NBA Media Day at the Los Angeles Convention Center will be offered for free, as part of the new NBA syndication streaming service, with free access to the live streams in over 180 countries around the world, allowing TV operators, social media sites and publishers interested in the content, the ability to broadcast the interviews on their own sites and stations.
 
 
ESPORTS

In this week’s edition of Cynopsis Esports & Gaming…   
  • Team Allegiance gains Infinite access
  • Tespa throws a Fiesta
  • Overwatch League tweaks Stage presence
  • Forza Racing sets its mark
  • IMG snags PGL rights
  • HyperX’s Rainbow warriows
  • Renault, Richmond prep racing teams
 
ROSTER MOVES

SPEED Lacrosse appointed Wall Street investment executive Robert Minion as its first Chief Executive Officer to lead the company through its next phase of innovation and growth.
 
 
THE MAIN EVENT

NBC’s primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics features men’s figure skating, men’s skeleton, women’s snowboard cross and the cross-country women’s 10km freestyle at 8p.
 
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