02.25.14 Good morning. It’s Tuesday, February 25, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
ESPN revealed programming plans for all 64 matches of the 2014 FIFA World Cup this summer across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC. Spanning June 12-July 13, content will include pre-match shows, halftime and post-match segments with ESPN on deck for 43 World Cup matches, while ESPN2 will air 11. ABC, meanwhile, carries 10 matches beginning with Colombia/Greece at 11:30a on Saturday, June 14. In addition, the tournament will conclude on ABC with the title match Sunday, July 13, at 2:30p. Play begins with the opening match on ESPN on Thursday, June 12 with Brazil/Croatia at 3:30p while US matches start on June 16 at 5:30 against Ghana.
ESPN’s coverage of every match will be preceded by a 30-minute pregame show, including teams walking onto the pitch, national anthems and ceremonial handshakes. Meanwhile, special editions of SportsCenter will air between match telecasts on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, while World Cup Tonight recaps the day’s action and ESPN FC World Cup Encore offers condensed versions of the action.
NBC’s coverage for the Winter Olympics from the Opening Ceremony on Feb. 7 through the Closing Ceremony averaged 21.4 million viewers for its primetime Sochi Olympics coverage, up 6% from Torino but down from the 24.4 million average from Vancouver. Meanwhile, coverage of the Closing Ceremony on Sunday averaging 15.1 million viewers and an 8.7 household rating/13 share in Nielsen Fast Nationals. That was off-pace from the live Vancouver games but up 2% over 2006 from Torino. Meanwhile, the channel’s Nancy & Tonya documentary delivered 12.7 million viewers and a 7.8 household rating/12 share.
Speaking of the Winter Games, TiVo reports that, according to its data, the top five moments from the Winter Games were boosted by a big night on Feb. 8. Here they are:
1) 02/08 10:16p-Team USA’s Ashley Wagner consults the scoreboard after delivering a short program performance in Women’s Figure Skating to Pink Floyd’s "Shine on Your Crazy Diamond," keeping her team in the running for Bronze.
2) 02/08 10:22p-Russia’s Yulia Lipnitskaya begins a spin that ends in a vertical spinning split with one leg on the ice and the other held vertically over her head.
3) 02/02 9:46p-Max Parrot of Canada finishes his Men’s Slopestyle run, temporarily moving him into second place behind Team USA’s Sage Kotsenburg.
4) 02/13 9:56p- Jeremy Abbott, US figure skating champion, falls while attempting a quadruple toe loop in the Men’s Figure Skating Short Program.
5) 02/08 9:36p- Team USA’s Sage Kotsenburg finishes three nearly perfect jumps in his second and final run in the Men’s Slopestyle competition with his 1260-degree flip.
Despite a terrific race, a six hour, 22-minute weather delay took a toll on FOX Sports’ coverage of the 56th running of the DAYTONA 500. The event averaged a 4.0/8 in the metered markets up against the Olympics but still managed to retain 69% of its pre-rain delay audience throughout the interruption. As a result, the 2014 DAYTONA 500 posted a 5.6/10 fast national household rating/share, averaging 9.3 million viewers. Due to the delay, the race ended up being broken out into two parts: earning a 6.3/15 with 10.1 million viewers from 1:30-2:17p, and 5.5/9 with 9.1 million viewers from 8:25-11:23p. The top five markets included: Greensboro (17.5/26), Orlando (13.2/21), Greenville (13.0/20), Richmond (12.0/18) and Jacksonville (11.8/18). On the digital front, mobile visits to the NASCAR section on FOXSports.com rose 24% versus last year, accounting for 30% of total NASCAR traffic.
The Supreme Court decided not to take up Tennis Channel’s petition versus Comcast, which sought to mandate that Comcast place the channel on the same tiers as its own sports channels. In a statement, Tennis Channel representatives wrote that "We are disappointed that the Supreme Court chose not to hear the case. This is not, of course, a decision on its merits, and not entirely surprising given the Court’s crowded docket. There remain a number of available options for Tennis Channel in the case, and we are considering our next steps in light of these options."
CBS Sports filled out its studio roster for The NFL Today by locking in Bart Scott as a studio analyst for the pregame show. Scott was elevated from his role last season as a studio analyst on CBS Sports Network’s weekly Sunday pre-game show That Other Pregame Show. He now joins James Brown, Bill Cowher, Boomer Esiason and recently named Tony Gonzalez on the program.
FOX Sports entered a partnership with Burton Snowboards that will see the 32nd Annual Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships presented by MINI air live on FOX Sports 2 on March 7 and 8. The deal serves as part of a larger partnership between Burton Snowboards and FOX Sports, with additional coverage of Burton’s Global Event Series on FOX Sports 2 and FOX Sports Regional Sports Networks throughout the year. Veteran snowboard TV host Preston Strout calls the play-by-play, while Tom Monterosso, Snowboarder Magazine Editor, provides analysis from the booth.
ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 series is set to continue with Requiem for the Big East on Sunday, March 16 at 9p after Bracketology on ESPN. The film explores the rise of the Big East Conference, and how in less than a decade under founder and Commissioner Dave Gavitt, it became the most successful college sports league in America. Following the premiere, ESPNU will air Big East Extras, a special featuring bonus material such as extended highlights and interviews from the film.
Utah Jazz CEO Greg Miller will take part in the Feb. 28 edition of CBS’ Undercover Boss where he will work among Jazz employees in four different departments. The Utah Jazz is the first NBA franchise to be featured on the show.
Bellator MMA is beefing up its international presence. The MMA promotion locked in a broadcast alliance with OSN, the leading pay-TV network in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. OSN will begin airing Bellator events immediately, starting with this Friday’s Season 10 premiere in a multi-year deal. In addition, FOX Sports Latin America announced today that fans in the region will now be able to watch the company starting Friday. The partnership originally called for all live Bellator content to begin airing in 2015.
Bright House Networks announced that new Dodgers channel, SportsNet LA, will be available to Bright House Networks Standard customers in Bakersfield starting today as the new regional sports network launches. The network will also launch in Bright House Networks Orlando, Tampa, Birmingham and Indianapolis service areas in March, and in its Detroit service area in April.
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First NASCAR, now college football. Duck Commander, the brand made famous by A&E’s Duck Dynasty, locked in a six-year deal to serve as title sponsor of the Independence Bowl in Shreveport. The Shreveport Times reports that an official announcement will be made on Wednesday. Duck Commander now becomes the 38-year-old bowl game’s sixth title sponsor, replacing 2009-2013 sponsor Advocare.
CAA Sports has acquired Inside Sports & Entertainment Group. The corporate hospitality, event management, and marketing company will now operate as a subsidiary of the agency’s sports division. ISEG handles corporate hospitality, event management, experiential marketing, integrated marketing, corporate appearances, and digital services, among others. Corporate customers include Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Verizon, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, American Express, and more.
Daytona handed NASCAR with record numbers for its digital media platforms, marking year-over-year upticks in traffic on NASCAR.com, NASCAR Mobile, NASCAR RACEVIEW MOBILE and NASCAR’s mobile website during the Daytona 500. Overall, the platforms saw a 39% rise in uniques, 61% in total visits, 25% in video views and 131% in page views. Overall, NASCAR Digital Media’s platforms served up a total of 37 million page views from Thurs., Feb. 20 through Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014, which is a 72% increase over 2013.
Manchester City Football Club locked in a new partnership with iON Cameras that will see the company become City’s Official Global Sports Action Camera Partner. Over the course of the multi-year partnership, iON will provide City with cameras and state-of-the-art software to capture unique behind-the-scenes training footage for fans. In addition, iON cameras will also be used to enhance supporters’ match-day experience on and off the pitch, through the installation of iON fan booths in BT City Square, and be used for performance analysis.
The Charlotte Bobcats have partnered with Charlotte-based 10 Foot Wave, which specializes in place-based digital solutions, to incorporate their FanConnect platform within Time Warner Cable Arena. FanConnect, which is installed in more than 50 college venues, combines sponsor messaging with live game content, real-time stats, out of town NBA scores and social media feeds that are all delivered in high-definition on the television screens found throughout The venue.
Bulls/Hawks on WGN at 7:30p.
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Late Submissions: March 21, 2014
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ON THIS DAY in 1964: Underdog Cassius Clay beats Sonny Liston in a TKO to claim the World Heavyweight title.
In The Know:In honor of the late, great Harold Ramis… Scenes from Caddyshack were emulated in a 2007 American Express commercial by what athlete? (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: Not counting Johnny Manziel, name one Heisman Trophy winner not to be selected in the NFL draft since the debut of the Super Bowl. Answer: Charlie Ward, Jason White. Kudos: Michael Dittelman-SportsOnEarth.com/NY; Mike Lee-BPN/NY; JR Podvesker-Comcast Spotlight/NY; Heath Price-Khan-WWE/NY; Rich Dubroff-CSNBaltimore.com/Baltimore; Jack Valente-InStadium/Detroit; Melissa Pattillo-Turner Sports/Atlanta; Jeff Crehan-Media Storm LLC/Norwalk; Gretchen Brady-KDAF/Dallas; Kevin Micklo-Pinnacle Advertising/Chicago; Victor Cates-UT Martin/Martin; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA; Doug Verb-ACTION Sports America/Las Vegas; Miguel Velasco-FOX Sports/LA.
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Reaching Today’s U.S. Hispanic Connected Audience Through Digital, Social Media and Web Video Join Cynopsis Digital at 1:30 PM Thursday, March 27 to gain fresh data & insights into where the powerful and growing Hispanic market is most active on the second screen, apps, online and mobile video and the digital space in general. Register now for this outstanding training session for you & your team!.
Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine
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