03/13/14: SEC Network recruits Brent Musberger, Jesse Palmer


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Good morning. It’s Thursday, March 13, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

The SEC Network found its voices for the football season, with ESPN formally announcing that Brent Musburger and analyst Jesse Palmer will team up in the booth on Saturdays for microphone duties this fall. Both reached an agreement with ESPN to be the lead college football game commentators on the new network and will kick off the season with Texas A&M/South Carolina on Aug. 28. In addition to lending his voice to one of the three football games slated for the network each Saturday, Musburger will remain a play-by-play announcer for Big 12 college basketball games across ESPN networks. He and Palmer will call multiple college football bowl games on ESPN as well. Palmer will continue as an analyst on ESPN’s Thursday Night College Football package.


FOX Sports is doubling down on Mike Francesa. The company locked in a deal with CBS Radio’s WFAN-AM/FM that brings Francesa’s radio show to both FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2. The Mike Francesa Show is set to begin telecasts on March 24, with FOX Sports 1 carrying it from 1-4p and FOX Sports 2 in the 4-6p block.

ESPN.com’s long-time front-page columnist Rick Reilly is turning his attention to television. Starting July 1, Reilly will drop his online weekly column to concentrate on broadcast duties for ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown, presenting his weekly four-minute human interest features as well as other features and essays for SportsCenter and Sunday NFL Countdown.

Golf Channel saw Monday night’s third episode of Big Break Florida draw an average of 441,000 viewers, making it the most-watched Big Break episode as well as the most-watched episode premiere of any Golf Channel original series. Monday’s Big Break Florida episode spiked 63% vs. Big Break Mexico episode 3 a year ago and is up 67% over Big Break NFL Puerto Rico episode 3 from last fall.

CBS Sports Network detailed plans for its coverage of the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, including its NCAA March Madness Bracket Breakdown on Sunday from 4-6p and 8-10p. Programming also includes NCAA March Madness 360 as well as encore showings of every 2014 Tournament game that airs on CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV.

Mighty Oak Entertainment announced that its syndicated staple Whacked Out Sports will begin airing “lost episodes” with 22 episodes that have not aired since the first season due to a sponsored bill board at the top of the show. Overall there are a total of 208 episodes of Whacked Out Sports and Whacked Out Videos and the season is now in season eight of syndication. The series is distributed by by Trifecta and has already been renewed for seasons nine and ten.

ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 series is set to continue on April 17 at 8p with Bad Boys. The documentary will look at the Detroit Pistons of the late ’80s and early ’90s and includes interviews with Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer, Joe Dumars, Dennis Rodman, Adrian Dantley and Mark Aguirre among others. A special one-hour presentation of Grantland’s Bad Boys Remix, featuring Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose, will air immediately following the premiere on ESPN.

NBCSN renewed its deal with Formula DRIFT for 2014, with the seven stop championship set to run a minimum of 24 times on the network on Sundays beginning July 27. Programming is set to include both on-track and off-track action. Formula DRIFT also announced a deal with Dailymotion to serve as the exclusive partner for the organization’s domestic live stream, known as Driftstream and well as all VOD content produced by the company.

MLB Network announced its first slate of live regular season games, with over 40 contests on deck beginning with the MLB Opening Series Sydney 2014 starting March 22. The channel will then carry nine games during Opening Week from April 1 through April 6, including the Red Sox’s home opener against the Milwaukee Brewers on MLB Network Showcase on Friday, April 4 at 2p with Bob Costas, Jim Kaat and Sam Ryan on the call. The next day, the Cardinals face the Pirates at 7p. MLB Network will also begin a new slate of Sunday matinee games for the first half of the season beginning with the Orioles and Tigers on April 6 at 1p.

FOX Deportes’ Spanish-language coverage of both the Copa Libertadores Group Stage and UEFA Champions League round of 16 scored for the network on Tuesday. The Emelec/Leon Copa Libertadores match drew 292,000 total viewers as well as 200,000 in the adult 18-49 demo.


Honoring the Best in Kids Programming & Marketing 

Entry Deadline: TOMORROW!!
Awards Event:June 11, 2014 (NYC) 

Visit ourwebsitefor additional information on:
Who Should Enter, How to Enter, Eligibility Period, Categories, Deadlines, Sponsorship Opportunities, Contact Information & FAQs.


Target is celebrating its 25th anniversary season as title sponsor of Ganassi’s IndyCar team and revealed a special silver livery that both Ganassi’s  IndyCar and NASCAR teams will run in this year’s Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600, respectively, on May 25. “Sponsorship is just about putting a logo on a car and a partnership is where you’re developing a mutually beneficial relationship, and that’s what we have here,” said Dan Griffis, VP of Experiential Marketing and Alliances for Target. “It’s about one team. We want his organization to be the best on the planet. We want to partner with the best, whether it’s design or fashion or technology or racing. Chip is a true collaborator and we draw a lot of parallels with the race team.”

Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products unveiled its first look at the “Simpsonized” FC Barcelona for the company’s kind campaign featuring a partnership between The Simpsons and soccer. Fox and FC Barcelona will co-create a broad line of branded merchandise that will be available to consumers in 2014. The first line up of FC Barcelona players to receive the “Simpsonized” treatment include: Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi and Neymar da Silva Santos Junior.


AMA Pro Racing, IMSA and NASCAR are launching FansChoice.tv, a collaborative digital platform that designed to live stream various races not covered by broadcast television. It will also provide fans with the ability to watch multiple cameras on their tablet or mobile device, as well as access to archived broadcasts on demand. FansChoice.tv will be the official home for AMA Pro Road Racing and AMA Pro Flat Track events in 2014. The site also will provide coverage of selected IMSA and NASCAR’s touring and weekly series events.

Digital sports video agency SendtoNews locked in a rights agreement with the Big East Men’s Basketball tournament to distribute digital video to local news sites throughout the US and Canada. Beginning March 12th, SendtoNews will distribute tournament highlights, player interviews, commentary and other video content through its digital News Partnership Network.


Changes on the digital side of ESPN. ESPN Digital & Print appointed new editors-in-chiefs for ESPN.com and espnW. Effective immediately, Chad Millman serves as Editor-in-Chief of both ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com. Meanwhile, Alison Overholt former deputy editor, ESPN Publishing  will join espnW as Editor-in-Chief. Millman will now look to “accelerate ESPN’s storytelling in a platform-agnostic manner, further integrating an efficient digital and print media approach that serves fans news, commentary, analysis and enterprise content in both a timely and timeless manner.” Meanwhile, Overholt will be charged with “leading a unified team across business and content to ensure espnW’s continued growth and ability to serve women who love sports through digital, mobile, social, print, and video.”


Connecticut/Memphis in ESPNU at 9p.



Only 1 Week Away…
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Abby Jenkins– Director of Content {PBS KIDS Digital}
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Moderator:Cathy Applefeld Olson Editor{Cynopsis Kids!}

ON THIS DAY in 1960: The NFL’s Chicago Cardinals relocate to St. Louis.

In The Know: What was the name of sportscaster George Michael’s long-running syndicated series?(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: Gordie Howe played for the Detroit Red Wings and what other NHL team? Answer: The Hartford Whalers. Kudos: Matt Schulde-REVShare/NY; Daniel Weber-MLB Network/NY; Jeff Day-Met Golf Association/NY; Andreas Droste-NBC Sports/NY; James Stuart-NBC Sports/Stamford; Mike Doyle-Spot On Media Consultants/Madison; Allison Wright-Viacom Media Networks/Detroit; Larry Kahn-Golf Channel/Orlando; Benjamin Simonds-National Football League/Chicago; David Hauptman/Denver; Matt Sautter-OpenTV/Golden; Mike Antolini-Tiger Woods Foundation/Irvine; Adam Deverell-Cox Reps/LA; Bob Ware-CBS Local 2/Thousand Palms; Doug Kelly-S.F. Bowl Game Association/South San Francisco.

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