03.27.14 Good morning. It’s Thursday, March 27, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
The 35th Annual Sports Emmy Award nominations were unveiled yesterday, with the ceremony set to take place on Tuesday, May 6th in New York City. ESPN led the pack of networks, reeling 30 nods, followed by FOX at 18, HBO at 15 and NBC and NBCSN each earning 14 nominations. Rounding out the top ten (technically 11) were MLB Network at 13, CBS with 11, NFL Network at 10, TNT at 9 and Showtime and ESPN2 each drawing 8 nominations. HBO docu-series 24/7 earned the most nominations for a program, scoring 7 nods.
- MLB Network earned its highest number of nominations in network history at 13, and has drawn a total of 50 Sports Emmy Award nominations since its launch.
- Golf Channel also scored the most in the channel’s history, with four nods.
- Telemundo Sports led all Spanish-language networks in nominations with six nominations.
- Pac-12 Networks scored its first nominations ever, including Rick Neuheisel’s nod for the ‘Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Analyst’ category.
"The world of sports television grows bigger each year," said Malachy Wienges, Chair, NATAS. "We have had over 900 submissions coming from the sports community demonstrating that this is another outstanding year for sports and for The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. With so much outstanding talent vying for the prestigious Emmy® Award and with our Lifetime Achievement Award going to Ted Turner, an icon in broadcast television, this year’s ceremony promises to be an exciting evening for the entire industry."
Although there will be a slew of hurdles to overcome, including Title IX issues, a federal agency said Wednesday that football players at Northwestern University will be allowed to create the nation’s first college athlete union. The National Labor Relations cited the players’ time commitment to their sport as well as athlete scholarships being tied directly to their performance on the field as causes to grant them union rights. Northwestern subsequently issued a statement that the school would appeal to the full NLRB in Washington, D.C.
The United States Olympic Committee’s inaugural Best of U.S. Awards Show is set to air on April 7 on NBCSN at 7p. Willie Geist serves as host for the ceremony, which will honor outstanding American performances from the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski will host red carpet coverage, with more than 200 members of Team USA hitting the Warner Theatre for the live taping on April 2.
ESPN reached a new deal with the WTA Family Circle Cup that will extend their relationship with continued TV coverage beginning with the Round of 16 and an expanded weeklong schedule on ESPN3. The multi-year deal begins with this year’s event, starting March 31 with exclusive coverage daily on ESPN3, and joined by ESPN2 on Thursday, April 3.
Molly McGrath will be the news anchor for FOX Sports 1’s upcoming series America’s Pregame. McGrath joined FOX Sports last year as a FOX Sports Live update desk anchor and sideline reporter. The series debuts April 7 at 6p.
Tickets to the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards are going fast. This event will once again sell out!! Come join me as I co-host with Campus Insiders’ Bonnie Bernstein to honor the year’s best and brightest work from across the sports industry. Special awards will be presented to NASCAR’s Brian France, NBC Sports Group’s Mark Lazarus and Turner Sports’ Christina Miller. Presenters will include some of the hottest names in sports as well as some of the most powerful people driving the business today. Don’t miss out! Click here for tickets.
With Opening Day on the horizon, MLB Network reports that it drew its largest total day Q1 audience in network history (apart from the 2013 World Baseball Classic) last Saturday with the special two Opening Series games that took place in Sydney, Australia, as well as two live Spring Training games and MLB Tonight. Overall, MLB Network averaged 137,000 viewers throughout the day. MLB Network wraps up its schedule of more than 200 Spring Training games this week with six live games on Friday and Saturday.
NBCSN’s coverage of the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday, March 16 averaged 248,000 viewers, for a 100% markup over year-ago numbers. Across NBCSN’s four Australian Grand Prix telecasts (which include two practices, qualifying and the grand prix), NBCSN reached a total audience of 852,000 viewers, up 64% from the same coverage last year.
The Mid-American Conference and UMass are heading for a quickie divorce, as the conference announced that it had reached a deal with the university to force the Minutemen to leave the league as a football-only member after 2015. UMass had been a football-only member of the MAC the past two seasons and has been a member of the Atlantic 10 in other sports.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters that the league was feeling positive about expanding the playoffs with two additional teams, noting that it could happen as early as this coming season. "It’s not out of the question, but we didn’t make that decision at all. We have more work to do," he said. "I wouldn’t rule it out, but I wouldn’t say that’s the direction we’re heading right now."
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With its next card on deck this Saturday, World Series of Fighting is reeling in two new sponsors for the league in mobile platform Shout and fantasy sports league Fan Duel. NBCSN will carry the show at 9p, which will be headlined by a pair of title fights in the welterweight and bantamweight divisions. Play-by-play announcer Todd Harris and analyst Bas Rutten will call the action from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Major League Baseball Properties locked in a multi-year sponsorship agreement with Church & Dwight that makes Arm & Hammer and OxiClean that Official Laundry Detergent and Stain Remover of MLB. This marks the largest sponsorship deal for Church & Dwight and the first-of-its kind for MLBP across several categories including fabric, pet and oral care.
SportsonEarth.com is launching its newest documentary, Charity Stripe. The special takes a look at Rick Barry’s famed underhand free throw during the ’60s (shooting 90% from the line!) and how it "revolutionized basketball and then was forgotten completely."
Sweet Sixteen action begins on CBS and TBS, starting at 7:15 on CBS with Dayton/Stanford.
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April 17 | 8:00-10:00am | Yale Club, NYC Aside from a terrific group of finalists, the following Sports Luminaries
will also be honored at the event: Brian France [CEO & Chairman of NASCAR]
Christina Miller [NBA Digital’s SVP & GM for Turner Sports]
Mark Lazarus [Chairman of the NBC Sports Group] Preview the list of finalists and register before seats sell out!
Thank You to Our 2014 Sponsor – Electric Sheep
ON THIS DAY in 1939: The first NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship is played, as Oregon beats Ohio State 46-33.
In The Know:What team retired Rick Barry’s #24? (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: What was Larry Bird’s number? Answer: 33. Kudos: Mitch Burg-Syndicated Network Television Association/NY; Keith Marder-Halstead Property/NY; Barry G. Waldman-Vistrada/NY; Robert Dudelson-Cross MediaWorks/NY; Adam Zimmerman-CSE/Atlanta; Tony Smythe-Bright House Media Strategies/Orlando; Chris Faulds-Bell Media Digital/Toronto; RT Harris-WideOrbit/Detroit; Chuck Gordon-Clear Channel Media/Mobile; Suzy Shoup-Moroch/Dallas; Benjamin Simonds-National Football League/Chicago; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; David Hauptman/Denver; Matt Sautter-OpenTV/Golden; Mary Downey-Mary Downey Casting/Burbank; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc./Santa Monica; Thomas Tyrer-Circle Change Media/LA; Steve Morrow-Eclipse/Mill Valley.
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Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine
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