03/04/14: FOX Sports Fills the McCarver Void with Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci



CYNOPSISSPORTS
03.04.14

Good morning. It’s Tuesday, March 4, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

FOX Sports found its replacement(s) for Tim McCarver, announcing that its MLB on FOX telecasts will now see staple Joe Buck joined by analysts Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci as the new lead game broadcast team for the company. Reporters Ken Rosenthal and Erin Andrews will also join the roster throughout the season, while Kenny Albert and Thom Brennaman are scheduled for additional play-by-play assignments. In addition, the MLB on FOX pregame show will return to the FOX Network Studios in Los Angeles for the first time since the 2012 season, preceding most Saturday game telecasts on FOX Sports 1.

MLB on FOX’s expanded studio coverage this season will include the introduction of MLB Whiparound on FOX Sports 1, a baseball-specific show running weeknights with quick-turnaround highlights of in-progress games, news and analysis, also live from Los Angeles. Field and FOX Sports veteran Chris Myers host individual editions, with one or two analysts from the Thomas, Karros, Kapler and Nitkowski roster. MLB Whiparound debuts March 31, running Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights at 10p, and most Wednesdays at midnight.

ON THE AIR

USA Gymnastics locked in an extension with NBC Sports Group and Universal Sports Network for television and digital coverage of USA Gymnastics’ premier events through 2016. The deal will see NBC Sports Group cover the organization’s two annual premier events – the AT&T American Cup and P&G Championships – as well as the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships and the 2016 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships. Meanwhile, Universal Sports Network carries coverage of the Nastia Liukin Cup, along with a web simulcast, and provides expanded coverage of the World Championships on both its cable network and the web.

Beadle is back, as the one-time SportsNation staple officially returned to the ESPN2 series yesterday. Michelle Beadle hosted, alongside commentators Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley following her stint at NBC Sports. SportsNation also launched an Instagram account on Monday featuring memes and photoshops as well as original video Beadle behind the scenes at the show. "I’ve missed the everyday fun of this show and this group so when given the chance to reunite, I got here as fast as I could," said Beadle. "For two years, I’ve kept my pirate costume hanging in my closet. It was starting to collect dust. Returning to SportsNation is my destiny."

NBC Sports reports that February marked the best-ever monthly audience in the US for the Premier League. The month saw 17 matches on NBC, NBCSN and USA Network average 609,000 viewers, according to Nielsen. NBC posted its best monthly Premier League average with 1.1 million February viewers while NBCSN also set a monthly mark with an average of 508,000 Premier League viewers during the month.

Bellator MMA saw lifts with Quinton "Rampage" Jackson’s first round TKO over Christian M’Pumbu at Bellator 110 on Spike TV. The bout was seen by 1.1 million viewers on Friday. Overall, the event delivered 880,000 viewers and was up +99% in Persons 18-49, and up 81% in Men 18-49, and 54% Men 18-34 compared to the Season 9 premiere last August.

Daytona is the gift that keeps giving for FOX Sports 1, as Friday’s encore of the Daytona 500 handed the channel with 423,000 viewers, while the day’s edition of NASCAR Race HUB posted 392,000 viewers to set a new record for the show on the outlet.

HBO Sports’ 24/7 reality franchise will return on March 29 at midnight with a look at the upcoming world welterweight championship rematch between Manny Pacquiao and unbeaten titleholder Timothy Bradley Jr. The series will span three weeks, as they prepare for their welterweight title showdown April 12 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
 
ONE World Sports has a new deal with Hawaiian Telcom in a move to extends the network’s reach to Oahu. The multiyear, multiplatform deal is being offered as part of the Advantage Plus package to which a majority of their customers subscribe.

CBC announced plans for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, which start Friday, March 7 with more than 90 hours of TV broadcasts on deck and over 250 hours of online coverage slated throughout the Paralympic Winter Games. Coverage begins March 7 at 2p with the Opening Ceremony.


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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Major League Soccer reeled in another sponsor, this time inking Chipotle Mexican Grill as the Official Fast-Casual Mexican Restaurant of MLS and 12 MLS Clubs. The sponsorship marks Chipotle’s largest single sports partnership and will feature promotional programs with the dozen teams, individual players, and programs across the entire league. In addition to its promotions and activations, Chipotle will sponsor the inaugural Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game featuring the nation’s top Homegrown players from MLS Club rosters during the AT&T MLS All-Star Week in August.

Learfield Sports locked in Temple University for a 10 year deal that begins with the upcoming 2014-15 athletic season. The agreement will see Learfield assume the Owls’ comprehensive multimedia rights and establish a local entity, Temple Sports Properties, to work with the university’s athletics administration and corporate sponsors of the Owl program and will manage every aspect of the Owls’ rights including signage, sponsorships, corporate hospitality, event marketing, play-by-play radio, television and radio coaches’ shows, and official athletic website advertising.

DIGITAL & TECHNOLOGY

NCAA.com, managed by Turner Sports, is debuting a completely redesigned NCAA Sports app presented by Buick designed to offer fans a more personalized viewing experience, as well as enhanced navigation features and broader social integration. The app for iPhone and iPod touch has been completely redesigned for iOS 7. Additionally, for the first time, the app is available for Android smartphones via Google Play and offers exclusive live streaming video for more than 65 NCAA Championships, along with comprehensive regular season coverage including live scoring and custom alerts.
 
Yahoo Sports is partnering with Quicken Loans and Warren Buffett for the headline-grabbing Quicken Loans Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge w/Yahoo Sports. The first 15 million people to sign up for the contest are eligible and if someone predicts the winner of every single tournament game, they get a cool $1 billion. Given the odds of that happening, players can also have a shot at $2 million of guaranteed prizes. The promotion allows players to fill out brackets, play against friends, track the games, follow a school, get instant reactions and enter the Challenge from the Yahoo Sports apps on iOS and Android Smartphones. While you watch, you can also share your own shining moments by creating Loops with special effects and captions. In addition, this year’s Celebrity Bracket Challenge will feature Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Paul George and Chris Paul.

ROSTER MOVES

Actor/writer/producer Billy Baldwin was named honorary chair of the 2014 Freestyle World Cup in Wrestling, which will be held as a 2-day event on March 15 and 16 at the Forum in LA. Baldwin has been a champion for wrestling most his life and was a key player of the Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling, which worked to preserve wrestling on the program of the Olympic Games.

THE MAIN EVENT

Heat/Rockets on NBATV at 8p.


 A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE


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ON THIS DAY in 1990: College basketball player Hank Gathers collapses and dies during a WCC tournament quarterfinal game.

In The Know: Temple University athletic teams are known by what nickname? (Please keep it clean.) (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: Before moving to Philadelphia, the 76ers were originally known by what name? The Syracuse Nationals. Kudos: Seth Goldberg-Student/Syracuse University in London; Andrew Feingold-Nielsen Sports/NY; David Baer-Rachael Ray/CBS/NY; Art Salisch-HEARST Television/NY; Julian Segal  Fox Digital Media/NY; Juan Delgado-Telemundo/Hialeah; Gordon Beck-Beck Communications LLC/Northeast Harbor; Tim Fox-NewsChannel 9 WSYR/Syracuse; George Finkel-MegaSport TV/Myrtle Beach; Joe Lyons-Back Nine Productions, Inc./Dallas; Ron Salcedo-Zimmerman/Nashville; Tamara Brcka-Fox Consumer Products/LA; Greg Dudsic/Venice Beach; Jim Alexander-The Press-Enterprise/Riverside; Doug Verb-ACTION Sports America/Las Vegas.


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03.04.14

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