03/19/14: The PGA TOUR looks to the future with Jay Monahan appointment



CYNOPSISSPORTS
03.19.14

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, March 19, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

The PGA TOUR looked to its future yesterday, naming CMO Jay Monahan as Deputy Commissioner of the organization. The move will have Monahan "working closely on the entire scope of business operations and strategy," said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem in a statement. The role would appear to have Monahan in line to succeed Finchem one day, with the Commissioner now in the middle of a four-year extension that runs through 2016. Monahan joined the tour in 2008.

ON THE AIR

Congratulations to NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus, who will be accepting the prestigious Legacy Award at this year’s Cynopsis Sports Media Awards. With previous recipients that include FOX’s David Hill and the NFL’s Steve Bornstein, the honor recognizes top sports media executives for their innovative and transformational work in the industry. Lazarus’ achievements in recent years include: acquiring rights to the final 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races and final 19 NASCAR Nationwide Series events starting in 2015; four Olympic Games; a new 9-year NFL agreement; a 10-year agreement with the NHL; the launch of NBC Sports Live Extra; the most-watched event in U.S. television history in the 2012 London Games and more. Join us and fellow co-host Bonnie Bernstein on April 17 at Yale Club as we honor Mark, other luminaries and, of course, our annual winners. Click here to register and stay tuned for more exciting announcements about the event.

Speaking of NBC Sports, Premier League action continues to bolster NBCSN, with Sunday’s doubleheader averaging 725,000 viewers to rank as the most-watched Premier League Sunday doubleheader on cable ever, according to Nielsen. Liverpool’s win over Manchester United led the way with an average of 779,000 viewers. In addition, the company reports that fans live streamed 1,968,974 minutes of Manchester United/Liverpool, the most ever for a Sunday match via NBC Sports Live Extra. NBC Sports Group continues its Premier League coverage with 15 matches over five days beginning with an NBCSN tripleheader on Saturday starting at 7:30a with Premier League Live.

It was a big weekend for FOX Sports 1. The Big East Championship game on the channel last Saturday night delivered an average of 702,000 viewers to the channel, according to Nielsen. That marks the most-watched college basketball game on the network since launch. In addition, the channel announced that Sunday’s delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race (which shifted to FOX Sports 1) averaged 3,227,000 viewers from 7:05-9:30p, marking the second-most watched telecast in FOX Sports 1 history. Finally, Saturday night’s UFC 171 Prelims delivered 305,000 viewers to FOX Sports 2, setting a new record for the channel.
 
With brackets complete, ESPN laid out broadcast plans for the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Presented by Capital One, with games running across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, WatchESPN and ESPN FULL COURT starting Saturday. Most of the first- and second-round tournament games will be carried by ESPN2  with the exception of the Sunday 3p and 5:30p windows  within 12 telecast windows in a regionalized format with home market protection. The action tips off at 11a with Winthrop/Duke, Wright State/Kentucky, Arizona State/Vanderbilt and Florida Gulf Coast/Oklahoma State.

Universal Sports Network entered a new deal with the International Triathlon Union for a multi-year rights agreement to carry global triathlon events in the US through 2018. The deal includes multiplatform rights, including exclusive TV and Internet rights, to ITU’s World Triathlon Series and its monthly magazine program.
 
FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes are gearing up for UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Henderson 2 on Saturday at 7p. Jon Anik and Brian Stann call the matchups live from Natal, Brazil, while Karyn Bryant hosts the show from the FOX Sports 1 studios with Kenny Florian and Chael Sonnen. Coverage of the card is set to begin tonight at 7p on the channel with UFC Tonight with hosts Florian and Sonnen previewing the fights. Prelims start at 5p on Saturday on the channel with four fights.

ESPN Radio announced that its 17th Major League Baseball season will feature over 65 games, including multiple appearances from the Red Sox, Cardinals, Yankees and Dodgers. The season begins on Opening Night, March 30, with Dodgers/Padres at 7p. 

Beginning today, Pac-12 Networks will carry both pregame and postgame press conferences for each Pac-12 team surrounding their second and third round NCAA Men’s Tournament matchups. Coverage begins at 9:50a PT with Colorado.

SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

In addition to the promotion of Monahan, the PGA TOUR also announced that Wells Fargo has signed on for a five-year extension to serve as title sponsor of the Wells Fargo Championship through at least 2019. "The Wells Fargo Championship has become recognized as a premier tournament and a favorite among the players since it made its debut on the PGA Tour in 2003," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said as part of the announcement. This year’s event will be played from May 1-4.

Ozzie Smith is still looking to make Opening Day a national holiday. With about a week until the deadline, Ozzie needs just 15,000 more signatures to meet the 100,000 threshold and warrant an official response from the White House to make March 31 a day of national observance. Now, courtesy of partner Budweiser, a new video has been released to support the cause at http://youtu.be/uO-L2_U3E0A
 

DIGITAL & TECHNOLOGY

Conde Nast Entertainment and Golf Digest launched the brand’s first-ever premium digital video channel, which will be anchored by new original series inspired by the magazine’s editorial content. The channel will be sponsored by Callaway and will include shows such as The Hot List, Breaking Bad Scores, Nerve Wrackers, and #Golfsecrets with Ben Crane. Content will be distributed across multiple platforms, including Golf Digest’s video site and YouTube channel as well as through syndicated partnerships "These video programs add another dimension of entertainment to Golf Digest’s content," said Golf Digest Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Jerry Tarde. "We’re reaching new and younger golfers while reinforcing our connection to the passionate player. It’s helping us grow the game and deepen our ties to the core audience."

MLS is teaming with presenting partner adidas to bring back MLS Insider, the documentary series produced by Hock Films. Each episode of MLS Insider presented by adidas will debut on KICKTV  the soccer YouTube network as well as anchor a multi-media package on MLSsoccer.com that will include original written features, illustrations, infographics, photo galleries, bonus material and social media content. MLS Insider presented by adidas will be available on AppleTV and on mobile devices and tablets via the MLS Matchday app.

CBSSports.com is offering a new Fantasy App that features live mobile drafting for the first time this season. Fantasy Baseball players are able to sign up, draft, and manage their teams from anywhere on the CBS Sports Fantasy app, available for free on iOS and Android devices and now includes Fantasy Baseball, Football, and Basketball teams.

On March 5, the NHL’s trade deadline, NBCSports.com’s ProHockeyTalk set site records for page views, according to the company, hitting 542,000 and tied for its best single day in visits at 227,000. This beat the daily page view record set the previous day, March 4, by 14%. Meanwhile, CollegeBasketballTalk had its best two-day traffic total in page views (1.823 million) and uniques (624,000 up 23% from the previous record) from Monday, March 17 through Tuesday, March 18.

THE MAIN EVENT

Blues/Blackhawks in battle of heavyweights on NBCSN at 8p.


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Tomorrow Is The… CYNOPSIS KIDS WEBINAR
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Date: Thursday, March 20, 2014 | Time: 1:30 – 3:00pm ET| Register Today

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ON THIS DAY in 1966: Texas Western beats Kentucky to win the 28th NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.

In The Know: Which tournament school boasted the most players on an NBA roster on Opening Day this season? (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: Which tournament team is known as the Great Danes? Answer: Albany. Kudos: Keith Marder-Halstead Property/NY; Jay Goldstein-Admore/NY; Craig Ellenport-USABasketball.com/NY; Colin Sparaco-NBCSports.com/NY; Steve Kantscheidt-THREE/Albany; Rob Thompson-North American Sports Group/Saratoga Springs; Scott Jenkins-TMS/Queensbury; Bernie Greenberg-The Sports Network/Philadelphia; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc./Santa Monica; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA;
Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Doug Kelly-S.F. Bowl Game Association; San Francisco.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for
Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine
03.19.14

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