02.21.14 Good morning. It’s Friday, February 21, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
Time Inc. and MLBAM unveiled the birth of 120 Sports, a network partnership involving multiple leagues and media properties designed to offer a live-streaming platform for fans. Launch partners are set to include not only Time’s Sports Illustrated brand, but also the likes of the NHL, NBA, MLB.com, NASCAR and Campus Insiders. If I had a correction, it could go here. The platform will launch in the spring and look to offer original sports programming as well as produce and distribute a 24-hour live linear network driven by a "videocentric, 360-degree look across all sports." The product also marks another notch for MLBAM, with the platform created and powered by the equity investor’s technology infrastructure and mobile app development while Silver Chalice, also an equity investor, will oversee production and business operations.
"This is the right time to collaborate across the infrastructure of sports properties as we take the collective assets of each partner directly to fans on their favorite devices," said Bob Bowman, President & CEO, MLBAM. "Building a venture of this magnitude could only succeed with the right group of sports and news organizations and in the 120 Sports launch partners we have a product that will deliver on its promise to fans."
Wednesday night’s primetime Olympic coverage on NBC averaged 20.2 million viewers and a 12.2 household rating/20 share, according to Nielsen fast nationals, marking the most-watched and highest-rated second Wednesday of a Winter Olympics in 12 years. Both viewership and household rating were up 26% and 22% respectively from the last European Winter Games in Torino.
FOX Sports 1 set a record on Saturday, with NASCAR and UFC events propelling the channel to a new total day viewership high. Nielsen reports that the network averaged 964,000 viewers, easily surpassing the previous total day record of 522,000, set on Oct. 19. NASCAR’s Sprint Unlimited averaged 3,526,000 viewers in primetime, marking the most-watched program on FOX Sports 1 since launch. The UFC Fight Night generated 1.4 million viewers making it the most-watched Fight Night since last August.
NBA TV saw viewership spikes during its coverage of NBA All-Star 2014, drawing a 33% boost in primetime from Thursday to Sunday versus the same window a year ago. In primetime, NBA TV also drew a 110% boost among Men 18-34 over the previous year.
MLB Network announced plans to carry more Spring Training games than ever before; with over 200 on deck starting Feb. 26, with features at least one live game televised each day through March 29. The channel will offer live matchups of every team including the Mariners/Dodgers on March 8, Cardinals/Nationals on March 9, Red Sox/Rays on March 10, and Tigers/Yankees on March 12. In addition, the network’s annual list of Top 100 Players Right Now, wraps up tonight with players 40-21 at 9p and the top 20 players in baseball at 10p.
Keith Olbermann is temporarily stepping away from his ESPN2 series, announcing that he is suffering from shingles. Deadline reports that he is day-to-day.
NBC Sports announced that it was adding USA Today Sports auto racing writer Nate Ryan to its crew for Monday’s launch of NASCAR America on NBCSN. Ryan will join host Rick Allen, fellow reporters Kelli Stavast and Marty Snider, as well as a rotating panel of guest analysts when the show premieres at 5p.
Meanwhile, NBC Olympics will telecast the documentary Lokomotiv on Saturday during its afternoon coverage. The special chronicles the tragedy surrounding the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey club and the rebuilding of the team.
Communications expert Dr. Frank Luntz, CEO of Luntz Global, is joining FOX Sports 1 where he will serve as its sports communications analyst. Dr. Luntz’s contributions to the channel will include being available either live in-studio or via remote location to provide analysis on breaking news, press conferences and current events pertaining to sports. In addition, he will host a segment called Sound Off on FOX Sports Live.
CBS Sports broadcasts the World Golf Championships: Accenture Match Play Championship over the weekend from 2-6p on Saturday and Sunday. Jim Nantz anchors with Sir Nick Faldo as lead analyst.
CBS Sports Network debuts documentary Court of Change on Sunday at 7p, which explores the role of basketball in African-American history and how the sport has served as a vehicle for social change. Interviews include Oscar Robertson; Earl Lloyd; Mannie Jackson and more with Civil Rights activist Timuel Black narrating.
ESPN opens the 2014 college football season with Sam Houston State/Eastern Washington as part of the new FCS Kickoff on Saturday, Aug. 23, at 3:30p on ESPN. The 2013 season included 58 regular-season games exclusively on ESPN3 as well as all 23 games of the FCS Championship on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.
ESPN also announced plans to expand its coverage of the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships on March 20-22 with the network televising all six sessions and carrying every match on ESPN3, both for the first time. ESPN will televise the semifinals and championship finals while ESPNU will air the preliminary sessions and medal round.
AXS TV Fights acquired the Russian two-on-two arena fighting show HIP Show: Arena Combat for a "best of" special. The two-hour program will debut on March 14 at 7p and will include the best fights from the show’s season one lightweight and middleweight tournaments and championship finals. Cyrus Fees delivers the play-by-play with Casey Oxendine handling color commentary.
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Honoring the Best in Kids Programming & Marketing Entry Deadline: 3 WEEKS AWAY! – 3/14/2014
Late Deadline: Mar. 21, 2014
Awards Event: June 11, 2014 (NYC) Visit our website for additional information on:
Who Should Enter, How to Enter, Eligibility Period, Categories, Deadlines, Sponsorship Opportunities, Contact Information & FAQs.
NBC Olympics is rolling out a special one-day marketing campaign leading up to today’s men’s ice hockey semifinal between the Team USA and Canada. The game, which will be presented at 11:30a on NBCSN, will receive a "What are you doing for lunch Friday?" marketing push that will include TV promotions that are running across multiple NBCU television networks and websites.
NASCAR inked an extension with Mondelez International, one of the world’s largest snacks companies, that makes its brands the Official Cookies (OREO, Nilla Wafers, Nutter Butter) and Crackers (RITZ, Wheat Thins) of NASCAR. The three-year deal will see Mondelez International offer specially marked packages of OREO cookies and RITZ crackers for a national consumer sweepstakes.
Swan Racing announced that online loan company LendingTree will sponsor the No. 30 Toyota and Parker Kligerman for the Daytona 500.
Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball is now the official Commissioner Draft and Trade Fantasy Baseball game of MLB.com. The new partnership will allow users to view MLB.com content, and MLB.TV subscribers will get additional features integrated into the Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball experience. Users can also follow all of the in-game action using the MLB.TV Player Tracker and re-live top plays and game-changing moments. In addition, for the first time in baseball season, the company is offering mobile drafting via its Fantasy Sports app.
Thursday’s women’s hockey Olympic gold medal game between Team USA and Canada is the latest event to claim the crown of most-streamed event in the history of NBC Sports Digital, excluding Super Bowl XLVI. The stream was viewed by 1.2 million unique users and generated 34.9 million minutes of consumption.
CampusInsiders.com will feature over two dozen college teams on Saturday in a variety of sporting events, including the men’s basketball game between Saint Louis and George Washington University. Fans can visit the site at 8p to watch the game with the other college action beginning at 10:30a with the Patriot League Swimming & Diving Championships.
Xtreme Fighting Championships named Edward Jung as the new CEO of the MMA organization where he will lead the growth of both the US and International divisions including strategic partnership and business development in North America and Worldwide.
Team USA faces Canada at 11:30a on NBCSN.
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CYNOPSIS KIDS WEBINAR
The Exploding World of Kids’ Tablets: The New Way to Build Your Brand
At this Kids webinar on Thursday, March 20, join Cynopsis Kids and industry insiders including PBS Kids and you’ll walk away with critical business intel including: - How to best launch or extend a kids brand in the tablet world
– The key differences between kid-specific tablets and general-use devices
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ON THIS DAY in 1948: NASCAR is founded.
In The Know:What sportscaster is famous for using the phrase "Oh My!"? (Note: George Takei is not a sportscaster.) (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: The 1988 Jamaican national bobsleigh team served as the inspiration for what feature film? Answer: Cool Runnings. Kudos: Michael Jaquet-U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association/Sochi; Steven Stewart-CBS/NY; Colin Sparaco-NBCSports.com/NY; Josh Lappin-MLB Network/NY; Mark Erlichson-NHL/NY; Katie Cifarelli-ESPN/NY; Bernie Greenberg-The Sports Network/Philadelphia; Dave Goren-National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association & Hall of Fame/Salibury; Colleen Lloyd-Discovery Communications/Silver Spring; Karen Yaldoo-Comcast Spotlight/Bingham Farms; Benjamin Simonds-NFL/Chicago; Jonathan Lau-Aon/Chicago; Lucie Prann-The Richards Group/Dallas; Robert Teinowitz-Live Action Media/Chicago; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Matt Sautter-OpenTV/Golden; Curtis Nettles-CBS TV Stations/LA; Peter Steckelman-The Tennis Channel/Santa Monica; Dani Beaulieu-USA TODAY Sports Media Group/LA; Amy Joanides-The Nielsen Company/Santa Cruz; Katie Rosenthal-Cox/San Diego.
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Reaching Today’s U.S. Hispanic Connected Audience Through
Digital, Social Media and Web Video Webinar Daniel Eilemberg, Chief Digital Officer (Fusion)
Virginia Lennon, SVP, Client Partnerships (Ipsos MediaCT)
Carlos Restrepo, VP, Business Development (Outrigger Media) Sign-Up Today: March 27th, 2013 | 1:30-3:00 pm EST
Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine
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