03/14/14: CBS opens the gates to the NCAA Tournament with its one hour Selection Show on Sunday at 6p


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Good morning. It’s Friday, March 14, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

CBS Sports and Turner Sports detailed Selection Sunday plans with the live first-time announcement of the pairings for the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship on the NCAA Basketball Championship Selection Show on Sunday at 6p on CBS. The companies announced that Greg Gumbel will host the one-hour show, and will be joined by Clark Kellogg, Doug Gottlieb and Seth Davis. Afterward, at 7p, the Infiniti Selection Sunday on truTV studio show will offer in-depth analysis of the entire tournament field from Turner Studios in Atlanta. Ernie Johnson will host the one-hour special, joined by Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and CBSSports.com college basketball columnist Gary Parrish.


ESPN’s coverage of Selection Sunday will include studio shows across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU; as well as the ACC, SEC and Sun Belt Championships; and the debut of ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 documentary Requiem for The BIG EAST. The day tips off with a two-hour College Basketball Live beginning at 11a on ESPN2 and continues on ESPN at noon. Studio coverage includes a two-hour Bracketology Presented by Staples programs at 7p on ESPN and 9p on ESPN2, and a three-hour Tournament Countdown: The Experts at 9p on ESPNU. The college sports network will also announce the NIT field with the NIT Selection Show at 8:30p.

As for the Women’s Tournament, ESPN unveils the 64-team field during the NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Special Presented by Capital One on Monday at 7p on ESPN and WatchESPN. ESPN’s Final Four studio team of host Kevin Negandhi and veteran analysts Kara Lawson and Rebecca Lobo will be on hand for in-depth analysis with the open of the show featuring Nashville stars Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere.

Chris Fowler and ESPN have a new deal that will see Fowler remain with the company as a lead voice on many of the network’s events, primarily college football and tennis Majors, through 2023. The deal will see Fowler return to the college football booth as part of the extension, taking over play-by-play on the weekly Saturday Night Football series on ABC with analyst Kirk Herbstreit and sideline reporter Heather Cox. The trio will also handle a College Football Playoff Semifinal game and the College Football National Championship. He will continue to host College GameDay.

Nickelodeon is broadening its sports ties, announcing a spinoff of its Kids’ Choice Awards to honor favorite teams, players and sports moments from the previous year. Michael Strahan will serve as executive producer and host, with the event set to take place on July 17 in LA. A panel of athletes that ranges from Cal Ripken Jr. and Ken Griffey Jr. to Lisa Leslie and Misty May-Treanor are set to help develop the show.

The UEFA Champions League Round of 16 matches delivered FOX Sports 1 with some good news, as the channel set new audience records. Barcelona’s 2-1 victory over Manchester City on Wednesday generated 420,000 viewers to make it the most-watched soccer match in FOX Sports 1 history. Meanwhile, Tuesday’s matchup between Bayern Munich and Arsenal drew 363,000 viewers to rank as the third most-watched UEFA Champions League match to date on the network.

Univision Deportes Network had a good week, announcing that it ranked as the top Spanish-language sports cable network in primetime and total day among Total Viewers. UDN averaged 155,000 Total Viewers and 88,000 Adults 18-49 in primetime last week, and 44,000 Total Viewers in total day numbers.

SiriusXM announced that its SiriusXM FC channel will offer live nationwide radio coverage of the 2014 MLS season, with programming that will include a live MLS Game of the Week broadcast throughout the regular season plus coverage of the MLS Cup Playoffs. This week’s matchup will feature Seattle Sounders FC/Toronto FC on Saturday, March 15 with pre-game coverage starting at 4p. The slate marks the most extensive MLS schedule aired by the satellite radio provider to date. SiriusXM’s coverage will include a live broadcast of the 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Game on August 6.

Speaking of radio, starting March 29, ESPN Radio will expand SportsCenter All Night to seven nights a week, offering fans news, highlights and commentary. Jay Reynolds will continue to host SportsCenter All Night for the Sunday/Monday through Thursday/Friday blocks, while John Brickley will serve as host of the late Friday and Saturday shows.

Also WestwoodOne will carry the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship beginning on Tuesday with play-by-play action from all 67 men’s basketball games. WestwoodOne will also broadcast the Division II Men’s Basketball Championship game on March 29, 2014 as well as all four NCAA Women’s Regional Finals on March 31 and April 1, 2014, the Women’s Final Four on April 6, 2014, and the Women’s Championship Game. The company tips it all off with Selection Sunday on Sunday, March 16, hosted by Jason Horowitz and John Thompson.

The NET10 Wireless Arena Football League and CBS Sports Network revealed on-air talent for CBS Sports Network’s 2014 schedule of AFL games. Andrew Catalon and Ari Wolfe are on deck to handle play-by-play while Anthony Herron and Sherdrick Bonner serve as analysts.



Honoring the best in kids programming and marketing 

Like the market it serves, the kids content business emanates creativity. From the most outstanding achievements in programming to the marketing and promotion that supports it, Cynopsis Kids !magination + People Awards honor the best in kids & tweens media. 



TiVo has wrapped up the company’s Live + 7 Days of advertising data around NBC’s primetime commercials throughout the Winter Olympics. Rankings are based on 15-Minute Total Commercial Retention, a metric designed to measure viewer engagement in a sporting event, were all spots built around the Winter Olympics, the athletes and patriotic fervor. Top three were 1) Procter & Gamble with 15-minute total commercial retention of 81.9%; 2) AT&T at 81.4%; and 3) Visa at 81.1%.

Turner Sports announced plans for National Bracket Day, with fan activation set to debut at Pennsylvania Station on March 17 and designed to celebrate the launch of NCAA March Madness on TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV. The company is installing National Bracket Day pop ups for fans that will see large-scale brackets spanning dozens of feet in construction highlighting this year’s 68 selected teams; tablets featuring the National Bracket Day Hub at www.bleacherreport.com/NationalBracketDay; and tweet-to vending machines in Atlanta and New York. Other large-scale brackets will also be unveiled in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Chicago.

Univision unveiled 2014 dates for CopaUnivision, the amateur soccer tournament and family friendly event. This year, 14 local communities will hold the special tournament, kicking off in Phoenix and Atlanta starting March 22. Activities are set to include live music, a kid’s corner with magicians and bounce houses, an activity center and contests for prizes starting March 22. In 2013, more than 7,000 players and 285,000 community members participated in local Copa Univision events across the country.


Fanatics.com is getting in on the selfie craze with a social contest designed to coincide with the start of the NCAA tournament. The contest spans three weeks (through March 30) with fans using the pic to show off their creative spirit in their favorite team gear with a $10,000 shopping spree up for grabs. Fans can enter by uploading and tagging their selfie with #SelfieFanatics and @Fanatics on Twitter, Instagram or online at Fanatics.com


NBC Sports Digital is entering a strategic partnership with digital platform Soccerly.com for an editorial and promotional alliance that will see Soccerly supply NBCSports.com with a deeper level of soccer content focused around the top global soccer competitions, leagues and players. The deal will see Soccerly provide NBCSports.com and its ProSoccerTalk with a combination of regional and global soccer editorial for World Cup, Champions League, European Championships and qualifying as well as the Premier League, MLS, Liga MX, Serie A, La Liga and Bundesliga.


Digital content group PERFORM named Russell Stopford, the former Head of Digital for Manchester City, as Product Development Director for the company where he will be responsible for bringing to market PERFORM’s digital consumer products across the group’s portals including Goal, the world’s largest digital soccer brand.


The NCAA Basketball Championship Selection Show on Sunday at 6p on CBS.


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ON THIS DAY in 1976: Jockey Bill Shoemaker wins his 7,000th race.

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