03.08.16 Good morning. It’s Tuesday March 8, 2016, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
CBS Sports and Turner Sports announced that this year’s edition of NCAA March Madness Live will serve its most platforms ever covering the Men’s Basketball Championship. The app is developed in partnership with the NCAA and will be offered across 12 platforms including Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku players and Roku TV models. This year’s service will also offer fans a redesigned GameCenter experience, Google Cast and Airplay support, enhanced video on demand capabilities and an updated Bracket Challenge in addition to alerts, scores, game alerts and the Coke Zero NCAA March Madness Social Arena. Fans will also have direct access to live radio broadcasts, courtesy of Westwood One, for all 67 games across the collection of digital products.
The National Semifinals will see three distinct live video streams of both games on the platform live streaming of the traditional game coverage provided on TBS, along with “Team Stream by Bleacher Report” coverage or team-specific presentations offered via TNT and truTV.
NBC Sports Group is feeding its schedule via a new partnership with Premiership Rugby, inking an exclusive multi-year US media rights deal that launches with the 2016-17 season. NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra will combine to present more than 75 Aviva Premiership Rugby matches each season, including Game of the Week matchups with NBCSN running approximately 25 matches throughout the regular season and playoffs. NBCSN will also present the first ever Premiership Rugby match on US soil on Saturday at 3p with the London Irish/Saracens.
Following a ratings downdraft in year two, the College Football Playoff is shifting its semifinals, announcing that the Dec. 31 games will start an hour earlier while the Orange Bowl will now be played in primetime on Dec. 30. Coverage of the first game on ESPN will now start at 3p, while the second game will begin at 7p.
FOX Sports’ Erin Andrews was awarded $55 million in her civil lawsuit caused by the secret video showing her undressed during a hotel stay while working for ESPN. According to ABC News, the jury found the convicted Michael David Barrett to be 51% at fault and required him to pay out more than $28 million, while West End Hotel Partners, which owns and operates the Nashville Marriott where she stayed, was charged with paying 49% to top $26 million.
NBA Sunday Showcase on ABC saw the Lakers upset over the Warriors hand the channel with a 2.9 overnight rating for a 26% markup over last year’s comparable game, according to Nielsen. The telecast matched the second-highest rated NBA game across ESPN networks this season (non-Christmas) and the highest-rated NBA Sunday Showcase telecast in nearly a year.
ESPN hits NFL free agency with a 4.5 hour programming block tomorrow beginning at 1:30p, when Suzy Kolber hosts NFL Insiders with Adam Schefter, Mark Dominik, Josina Anderson, Adam Caplan and Ed Werder. At 2:30p, Trey Wingo hosts NFL Live with analysts Tedy Bruschi, Herm Edwards and Tim Hasselbeck, followed by a special edition of NFL Insiders at 3:30p.
CBS Sports and Turner Sports are laying out the story of Bill Raftery with a one-hour documentary, dubbed With a Kiss, that will debut over Final Four weekend on April 2 at noon on CBS. The documentary is produced and narrated by Raftery’s son, Billy, and features interviews with numerous college coaches, broadcasting colleagues and current and former players.
ESPN and the Invictus Games Orlando 2016 Organizing Committee locked in a deal that will see ESPN offer exclusive coverage of the Games, a multi-sport event for wounded, ill and injured servicemen and women. More than 500 military competitors from 15 countries around the world will compete in the 2016 Games, being held at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex from May 8-12. ESPN serves up more than 40 hours of coverage beginning with the Opening Ceremony on ESPN2 on May 8 with the channel offering daily event coverage.
Ahead of Euro 2016 and Copa America, Reality Check Systems will partner with Vizrt to offer a specialized version of LaunchPad to assist plug-and-play full screen graphics and highlight analysis for studio programming surrounding the soccer events. The technology will also be on display in 4K at NAB 2016. Features include, according to the release: intuitive UI; web control, remote access and social media integration.
Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network is adding Gillette World Sports and Football Review to its sports lineup. Gillette World Sports covers sports from all over the globe, offering a mosaic of all sporting events to the US Hispanic market, while Football Review offers a detailed look at European and international soccer leagues, including top games and exclusive interviews with star athletes.
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Major League Baseball launched an initiative with the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce designed to "expand the economic opportunities and advancement of the LGBT business community." The deal was announced in Fortune and will allow certified businesses to become official suppliers for the MLB for the first time ever. The initiative will be discussed this week at MLB’s business diversity summit in Phoenix.
Auburn Athletics locked in a deal with FOX Sports to exclusively manage its multimedia rights and sponsorship sales via FOX Sports College Properties. The partnership will include athletics-related radio, corporate hospitality, in-venue signage, social media integration, promotional activities, and intellectual property rights, as well as other mutually agreed upon inventory. FOX Sports will look for additional synergies with its regional sports networks.
Chick-fil-A franchisees in the Los Angeles market are teaming up with the LA Galaxy to develop enhanced programming with activations that include serving as title sponsor for the LA Galaxy’s April 10 home game against the Portland Timbers; Chick-fil-A themed “Cows in the Corner” seating promotions; and a specialty “Kickin’ for Chicken” promotion. When a goal is scored off any free kick by the LA Galaxy, the fans in attendance will receive a coupon valid for a free Chick-fil-A® Chicken Sandwich from their neighborhood Chick-fil-A.
Victory Motorcycles will serve as the presenting sponsor for the 75th running of the Daytona 200 with the race taking place on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. Daytona 200 By Victory will showcase 600cc sportbikes on the Speedway’s 3.51-mile road course and offer a new Victory Octane as the official pace bike for the event.
FOX Sports and NextVR are taking their partnership to the Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament, announcing that the event’s quarterfinal, semifinal and championship games will be broadcast in virtual reality from Madison Square Garden starting March 10. The announcement marks the first time a college basketball tournament will be broadcast live to a global audience in virtual reality with seven games and more than 15 hours of live virtual reality coverage set to be streamed over three days with views that include center court, near the sideline player huddles and under the basket and include audio and graphics highlighting player stats, scores and game updates.
Sports-data startup OneTwoSee was acquired by Comcast with all employees set to join the media company. Current OneTwoSee partners AOL, Fox Sports, LG, NASCAR, Samsung and YES Network will continue to work with the startup, according to Chris Reynolds, cofounder and CEO of OneTwoSee.
Rachel Bonnetta is heading to FOX Sports to co-host daily social media series Soccer @TheBuzzer. She will also host original video series for FOX Sports Digital and contribute to FS1’s soccer coverage. Meanwhile, Soccer @TheBuzzer will expand its coverage to 7 days a week with the addition of Bonnetta and current co-host Nicole Dabeau.
The NBA struck a deal with TuneIn for a multiyear partnership that will include live play-by-play of NBA preseason, regular season and postseason games in the United States beginning with the 2016-17 season on TuneIn Premium. Users will have access to all 1,230 NBA 2016-17 regular-season games, the entire NBA Playoffs and The Finals, as well as events such as the NBA All-Star Game, State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, and the NBA Draft presented by State Farm. In May, WNBA regular season and playoff games will also be available. TuneIn will also work with the NBA to create and launch original content alongside the game broadcasts, including daily talk, analysis and fantasy shows during the regular season.
TickAssure!, a startup that allows college and professional sports fans the opportunity to experience championship events at lower prices, launched their Select Four Protection Plans for access to college basketball’s championship weekend in Houston. Select Four Protection Plan purchasers can choose the four teams they think will advance to the semifinal round of the college basketball championship tournament. If all four teams advance, Plan holders then purchase an all-sessions ticket for the championship weekend event, and TickAssure! will reimburse the entire cost of the ticket, up to the $1,500 maximum coverage value of the Select Four Protection Plan.
Canada’s TSN is getting into the eSports game, announcing the launch of a dedicated vertical to cover titles, teams, personalities and events. Coverage will include the likes of League of Legends, Dota 2, Call of Duty and Counter-Strike
Across the Atlantic, Sky announced its first eSports event, programming highlights of the Intel Extreme Masters tournament on the Sky 2. The tournament includes games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends.
Check out the FIS Cross Country World Cup as it makes a rare stop in North America this week with coverage of the Men’s and Women’s Classic Sprints on NBCSports.com and NBC Sports Live Extra app at 3p.
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Presentation Skills: How to Master Every Meeting Join Cynopsis, and training experts from McCormack Media and Impax Communication on Wednesday, March 30th to get the tools and techniques you need to deliver the most engaging, persuasive presentations possible. Click for more information and to register.
ON THIS DAY in 1971: “The Fight of the Century” sees Joe Frazier defeat Muhammad Ali to retain the Heavyweight boxing title.
In The Know:The WWE Hall of Fame will induct The Big Boss Man into its ranks on April 2. What weapon did he traditionally bring to the ring as part of his persona? (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: The only time a 16-seed bested a 1-seed during March Madness occurred at the 1998 NCAA Women’s Tournament when which team beat Stanford? Answer: Harvard. Kudos: Andrew Feingold-Nielsen/NY; Lewis Blaustein-GreenSportsBlogger/NY; Bob Dudelson-Leverage Agency/NY; Joshua Duboff-TSBX Networks/NY; Howie Schwab-Sports Jeopardy/West Hartford; Larry Kahn-Golf Channel/Orlando; Michael G. Hawkins-Francis Marion University/Florence; Matt Marini-MLB Network/New Jersey; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner and Triathlete magazine/Houston; Carson Wong-NBC4/Universal City; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions/Santa Monica; Joey Olsen/Manhattan Beach; Ryan Weaver-Band of Outsiders/LA.
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