04/18/19: NBC breaks ground for 2028; Networks line up NFL slate; LeBron James gets in ring with DAZN

CynopsisSports
Good morning. It’s Thursday April 18, 2019 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
 
NBCUniversal and LA 2028 established a partnership that will include media, sponsorship, and activation opportunities in the US for the Olympic and Paralympic Games from 2021-2028. The deal, which marks the first of its kind in US Olympic and Paralympic history, gives brands the opportunity to connect with audiences across Olympic and Paralympic touchpoints throughout the next decade. Linda Yaccarino, Chairman, Advertising and Partnerships, NBCUniversal will lead this effort in partnership with Casey Wasserman, LA 2028 Chairperson.
 
“Nothing brings people together like the pure emotional power of the Olympic Games. This partnership between NBCUniversal and LA 2028 is a true first for the industry, and gives marketers the opportunity to make an unrivaled economic and cultural impact,” said Yaccarino. “Together, we’re building what’s never been available before—the chance to be an exclusive partner of a monumental global movement for the next decade, culminating with the first Summer Games in the U.S. in more than three decades.”
 
“At no other time in Olympic and Paralympic history have the stakes been higher, and yet more rewarding. We are at an inflection point in the sports, lifestyle and live event business that demands a complete reimagining of the model and approach to embracing and involving marketers,” said Wasserman. “I am so proud to partner with NBCUniversal and their team of innovators to bring the true promise of the Games to audiences in a way that is more connected and relevant. NBCUniversal’s commitment to our partnership guarantees 2028’s success like no other Games before it.”
 
 
PROGRAMMING
 
The NFL revealed its schedule for the 2019 season, for its affiliated networks. Hitting season 60 on CBS, the channel’s regular season coverage will kick off on Sept. 8 with games that include Chiefs/Patriots in Week 14 and Patriots/Eagles on Week 11. This year’s annual Thanksgiving Day broadcast for the NFL on CBS will see Bills/Cowboys as well as a London game in Week 8 featuring the Bengals/Rams. In addition, the CBS schedule features nine appearances each by Super Bowl championsPatriots, the Steelers and Chiefs as well as 10 appearances by the new-lookBrowns.
 
Around the dial on FOX, which will carry Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2, 2020, week 1 opens with America’s Game of the week pitting the Giants/Cowboys on Sept. 8. Counting 11 weeks of TNF, see below, plus a Sunday afternoon slate, FOX Sports’ 2019 NFL schedule includes 110 total regular-season games overall with a regular season schedule that features 37 divisional matchups. FOX’s NFL Thanksgiving Day coverage features a NFC North matchup as the pitting the Bears/Lions this year.
 
Sunday evenings will see NBC’s Sunday Night Football carry 19 NFL games during the 2019 regular season, including the first game of the NFL’s milestone 100th season on Sept. 5 with the Bears/Packers for the Kickoff game. The season opener of SNF on Sept. 8 will see the Steelers/Patriots. New England will raise its sixth Super Bowl banner at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., All 18 scheduled NBC SNF games feature at least one 2018 playoff team, including three games each for the Patriots, Rams, Chiefs, Cowboys, Bears, and Eagles.
 
ESPN’s slate begins with a season-opening doubleheader on Sept. 9 featuring Texans/Saints and Broncos/Raiders. MNF’s 50thseason will serve up nine division rivalry games, and appearances by all 12 playoff teams from 2018. ESPN will again televise the NFL International Series game in Mexico City when the Chiefs play the Chargers on Nov. 18. Meanwhile, nine teams have multiple MNFappearances –Browns, Packers, Vikings, Saints, Giants, Jets, Steelers, 49ers and Seahawks.
 
Thursday Night Football will air exclusively on NFL Network in Weeks 2-3, while FOX kicks off its Thursday night slate in Week 4 with FOX carrying 11 TNF games overall between Weeks 4-15 (excluding Thanksgiving night) that will be simulcast via NFL Network, distributed in Spanish on FOX Deportes, and streamed on Amazon Prime Video, beginning with the Eagles/Packers on Sept. 26. All in, NFL Network will exclusively televise seven games (two on Thursday night, two games in London and all three in Week 16 on Dec. 21 with FOX producing the full slate of 18 games.
 
LeBron James’ UNINTERRUPTED and DAZN cemented a global distribution partnership that will launch with a new docu-series called 40 Days, produced by UNINTERRUPTED. As part of the ongoing media partnership, the company will be producing a slate of content in the boxing space, with the new series debuting consecutive Tuesdays on its own channels, as well as on the DAZN platform and social media, and then each episode will premiere the following day on Univision, NBC Sports Network and a slate of regional sports networks including MSG.
 
Venus Williams and Bob and Mike Bryan, the most decorated doubles team in tennis history, are among a lineup of tennis stars that will showcase their talent and Grand Slam pedigree as Franchise players partaking in season 44 of World TeamTennis from July 14-31. Williams returns to the Washington Kastles and will play a home-and-home series against Philadelphia on July 25 and July 26. WTT’s expansion franchises, the Orlando Storm and Vegas Rollers, will see Vegas welcome the Bryan brothers, among other names, while Orlando will feature players such as Madison Keys. WTT previously announced its 59-match regular season – seven home matches and seven away matches for each team – for 2019 and concluding with the WTT Finals on Aug. 3.
 
The defunct Alliance of American Football has formally filed for bankruptcy, according to reports, with the Chapter 7 filing listing over $11 in assets and over $48 million in liabilities. 
 
NASCAR is reformatting the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race, as the org and Charlotte Motor Speedway announced the format and technical specifications for the 2019 edition, with four stages that will last 30 laps, 20 laps, 20 laps and 15 laps. Both green flag and yellow flag laps will count in Stages 1-3; with only green flag laps counting in the Final Stage. NASCAR Overtime rules will be in effect for Stages 1-3. In the final stage, if the race is restarted with two or less laps remaining, there will be unlimited attempts at a green, white, checkered finish under green flag conditions. Two new technical elements that NASCAR may incorporate into the Gen-7 car slated to debut in 2021: a single-piece carbon fiber splitter/pan and the car will be configured with a radiator duct which exits through the hood as opposed to the current design which exits into the engine compartment. Coverage of the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race will begin on May 18 at 5p on FS1.
 
The NHL Awards are slated to return to Las Vegas this summer at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on June 19, marking the first year that the show will be held at the resort’s sports and entertainment venue and the first time Bridgestone will be the presenting sponsor of the event. NBCSN and Sportsnet will broadcast the event live.
 
NBC Sports reports that its coverage of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series is averaging a Total Audience Delivery of nearly 400,000 viewers (397,000) so far this season across NBCSN, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app, up 21% over its first four races of 2018. This past weekend’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach averaged a TAD of 442,000 viewers on NBCSN and NBC Sports’ digital platforms, making it the most-watched Grand Prix of Long Beach in seven years and up 18% vs. 2018.
 
We are ONE WEEK OUT!!! Mingle with the best in the business on April 25 for the Cynopsis Sports Awards in NYC. Join executives from AT&T SportsNet, Barstool Sports, beIN SPORTS, Big Ten Network, Break Media Group, CBS Sports Digital, Discovery Education, ESPN, ESPN Films, FloSports, FOX Sports, HBO, Immortals, Intel Sports, Marsar Sports & Entertainment, Mercedes-Benz USA, MLB Network, NASCAR, NBA, NBCUniversal, MGM Resorts, New York Jets, NFL, NFL Films, ONE Championship, Optimum Sports, PepsiCo, Scout Sports & Entertainment, Showtime, Sinclair Broadcast Group, SiriusXM, Telemundo, NBC Sports Group, theScore, Turner Sports, Univision, USTA, and more by clicking here for your ticket.
 
FOX Sports will see WBC Welterweight World Champion Shawn Porter join Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and host Kate Abdo in FOX Sports’ Los Angeles studios for coverage of FOX PBC Fight Night: Danny Garcia vs. Adrian Granados tonight and tomorrow. Calling the action live on Saturday at 8p will be Lennox Lewis, Joe Goossen and blow-by-blow announcer Kenny Albert.
 
In local news, NBC Sports Chicago announced that the podcast White Sox Talk presented by Wintrust, will be expanding cross-platform beginning April 28 at 7p and the   new half-hour show will now run on Sunday nights throughout the year on the channel.
 
MSG will play host to the expansion New York Streets of the National Arena League as the television home for the team’s 2019 home games this season, beginning with the New York Streets home opener on Saturday night at 7p. The broadcast team is led by veteran NYC sportscaster Peter Schwartz, the long-time voice of the former New York Dragons of the AFL.


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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION
 
The College Football Playoff unveiled festivity plans for the 2020 National Championship in New Orleans (Jan. 13), with events starting Jan. 11 with the opening of Playoff Fan Centralat the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The interactive event will feature youth clinics, appearances by some of the sport’s greatest legends, pep rallies, marching band performances and hands-on experiences. Meanwhile, Woldenberg Parkwill be home to AT&T Playoff Playlist Live!. “Championship Campus is the area that encompasses the many fun public events during the weekend,” said Bill Hancock, executive director of the CFP. “A national champion will be crowned Monday night, but that capstone will be preceded by an entire weekend of activities. It will be an opportunity for fans of all ages to come together to sample what college football is all about. We’ve worked closely with the New Orleans Host Committee to develop a fan-friendly campus that thousands will enjoy.”
 
Gateway Motorsports Park and World Wide Technology locked in a multi-year naming rights commitment that will rebrand the venue to World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. WWT also becomes the official technology partner of the track and will use the venue to advance development programs for the company and its community outreach initiatives.
 
 
DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

 

AT&T U-Verse TV and the DirecTV Now streaming service are now longer carrying NFL Network. “Our rights to provide the NFL Network in your TV lineup have expired,” AT&T said in a note to those customers on its website. “We’re sorry for any inconvenience.
 
 
ESPORTS

 

In this week’s edition of Cynopsis Esports
  •  G gets Fresh Investment as Will Smith buys in
  •  ELEAGUE oils up Gears run
  •  NBA 2K League goes west
  •  PewDiePie’s DLive influence
  •  Twitch looks forward
  •  Riot’s new look
  •  Console news
 
 
THE MAIN EVENT

 

Golden Knights look to close out the Sharks at 10p on NBCSN.
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Talk About a Breakfast of Champions…
Cynopsis Sports Media Awards
APRIL 25 – 8:30-10:30AM |NY Athletic Club,NYC
 
Join Cynopsis and your peers for the ultimate gathering of the industry’s innovators pushing boundaries in sports media. The awards breakfast will include a celebration of the 2019 Sports Awards finalists, and a salute to luminary honorees from MGM, NFL Films, NBC Sports and ONE Championship.
 
REGISTER YOUR TEAM

 

 
ON THIS DAY in 1966: Bill Russell becomes the first African-American head coach in NBA history.
 
In the Know: Which team became the lowest seed (a 6) to become NBA Champions? (Email chris-sports@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
 
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia QuestionWhich NHL team made history by becoming the first 8-seed to win the Stanley Cup?  Answer: The Kings. Kudos: Michael Ritz-Northwestern Mutual/NY; Art Salisch-SMRC/East Windsor; Russ DelCore-A4 Media/Oakland; Matt Sautter-WideOrbit/Harrisburg; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Larry Hutchings/Nipomo;Brian Robin-Pechanga Resort Casino/Temecula
 
Later — Chris

 

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AD SALES ACCOUNT EXEC /Crown Media Family Networks/LA:  Sell Nat’l advertising time to established and prospective clients. Strong negotiation skills and presentation skills. Strong knowledge of Los Angeles mktplace. Established relationships with automotive and tech clients.  BA/BS req & Min 2 yrs exp. Apply HERE (5/2)

 

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