04/26/18: FOX Sports unveiled its full talent lineup for this summer’s World Cup

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CynopsisSports
Good morning. It’s Thursday April 26, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

 
FOX Sports marks the 50-day countdown to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia with the unveiling of its lineup of international broadcasters for this summer’s global event, which runs on FOX and FS1 from June 14 to July 15. The roster is comprised of six broadcast teams overall led by play-by-play announcer John Strong and Stu Holden. The duo will kick off their FIFA World Cup slate calling the Portugal/Spain match on June 15 at 2p on FOX. JP Dellacamera and Tony Meola take the call as Russia opesn group stage action against Saudi Arabia on June 14. Other pairings include: Derek Rae/Aly Wagner; Glenn Davis/Cobi Jones; Jorge Perez Navarro/Mariano Trujillo; and Mark Followill/Warren Barton. Rob Stone will make his debut as lead studio host on FIFA World Cup Today with a rotation of studio analysts including Lothar Matthaus, Guus Hiddink, Alexi Lalas, Kelly Smith, Ian Wright and Moises Munoz. Hernan Crespo has also been newly-added to the FOX Sports studio analyst team. Meanwhile, l journalist Kate Abdo will anchor FIFA World Cup Live while Fernando Fiore hosts FIFA World Cup Tonight.
 
 
ON THE AIR

Meanwhile, the Commission on College Basketball recommended overt changes in a move to clean up the sport, including an end to the one-and-done rule, potential lifetime bans for rule-breakers as well as changes to the relationship between the NCAA and apparel companies. NCAA president Mark Emmert has said he wants reforms in place by August, according to ESPN. “The NCAA appreciates the thorough review and comprehensive work by the Commission on College Basketball,” Emmert said in a statement. “The Board of Governors and Division I Board of Directors will now review the independent commission’s recommendations to determine the appropriate next steps.”
 
Turner Sports and CAA Sports are aligning to launch a charity golf tournament pitting current and past NFL greats against NBA all-stars and legends. The two-day golf event will be hosted by Chris Paul and Aaron Rodgers with Turner Sports offering multimedia coverage of the charity golf tournament, to be held at Mohegan Sun Golf Club in Uncasville, Conn. from June 27-28.  Bleacher Report will provide access to the NFL and NBA icons participating in the event through a variety of content offerings and top moments while TNT will televise a one-hour, all-access show on Aug. 10 at 8p.
 
The NBA updated its national telecast schedule for the playoffs, announcing the tonight’s matchup between Celtics/Bucks will run on TNT at 8p, while Saturday’s Warriors/Pelicans matchup will also take place on the network.
 
UFC announced that the 7th annual UFC International Fight Week will once again take place in Las Vegas, this year spanning July 3-8 and include UFC 226: MIOCIC vs. CORMIER, presented by Modelo, as well as THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: UNDEFEATED FINALE, the 2018 UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, and a two-day, interactive UFC Fan Experience®.
 
ESPN became the first sports broadcaster to air a live sporting event in 4K in Latin America. The company reports that it aired the first leg of a home-and-away UEFA Champions League semifinal in the format and made available on DIRECTV Channel 4000 in Argentina and Peru. ESPN’s coverage in 4K continues Saturday, May 26 with the UEFA Champions League Final live from Kiev, Ukraine.
 
Meanwhile, ESPN also detailed plans to provide coverage of 12 men’s and women’s lacrosse conference championships. ESPNU, ESPN3, ACC Network Extra and ESPN+ will combine to present more than 30 matchups as teams aim to compete in the NCAA Lacrosse Championship this May. Anish Shroff, Paul Carcaterra and Quint Kessenich will call all of the action from Charlottesville with the ACC Men’s Lacrosse Championship beginning Friday.
 
NBC Sports Philadelphia announced that Michael Barkann, the venerable day-one voice of the network, has been elevated to primary host of all pre and postgame shows. Barkann will focus on anchoring Sixers, Phillies and Flyers programming, in addition to his Eagles responsibilities.
 
Eclipse TV announced plans to return for a ninth year of its Incredible Dog challenge specials. The slate is already cleared in 86% of the US on station groups that include ABC, CBS, NBC, Cox, Tegna and Sinclair with four one hour barter shows over 2018 with the first airing in a May/June window. 
 
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DICK’S Sporting Goods locked in a three-year technology partnership between GameChanger, the leading digital scorekeeping and management app for baseball and softball teams, and the National Federation of State High School Associations. GameChanger by DICK’S Sporting Goods will allow coaches access to over 150 statistics, instant spray charts, and a full suite of team management features, including game and practice scheduling and a player attendance tracker.
 
Sports representation firm Athletes First announced the official launch of Athletes First Partners, an international sales and marketing services company. A1P will represent entities and work closely with its minority partner, Dentsu, Inc., and the Dentsu Aegis Network to secure domestic and international partnerships, create and distribute unique content and produce owned-and-operated events. A1P’s first client is THINK450, the new for-profit subsidiary of the National Basketball Players Association, for which it will help monetize collective sponsorship, licensing and content opportunities for NBA players off the court. Athletes First co-founder and President Brian Murphy will serve as CEO of A1P.
 
We are Golf – the coalition of the game’s leading associations and industry partners – unveiled its new US Golf Economy Report ahead of the 11th annual National Golf Day. Highlighting the study – conducted by TEConomy Partners – is $84.1 billion in activity directly driven by golf in 2016, a 22% rise from $68.8B in the 2011 report.  The industry supported $191.9B in total annual activity, including 1.89 million jobs and $58.7B in wages and benefits.
 
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum announced a new special exhibition, “Comeback Season: Sports After 9/11,” which explores how sports and athletes “helped to unite the country, console a grieving nation and give us a reason to cheer again following the 2001 attacks.” “Comeback Season” opens June 27 and will see Messier’s jersey from an October 2001 game be on display accompanied by imagery of him sporting an FDNY helmet before the crowd. Other moments will include Mike Piazza’s home run from the first professional baseball game in New York City after 9/11, President Bush’s first pitch, Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s victory lap, The Andruzzis as honorary captains, and The New York City Marathon.
 
Massage Envy signed a partnership with first-year professional golfer Hailey Ostrom who will serve as a brand ambassador across the company’s nearly 1200 franchise locations in the United States. The partnership follows Ostrom’s recent success on Golf Channel’s Shotmakers program where she competed as a member of the Massage Envy-sponsored RINGERS team.
 
 
DIGITAL & STREAMING

XGames.com saw Real Street launch yesterday with seven never-before-seen skateboard video parts. A forum for the world’s best riders and filmers to create premium action sports video content, the Real Series brings together the worlds of competitive action sports and core video parts for six competitions in 2018 – Ski, Snow, Street, BMX, Moto and Wake.
 
 
ESPORTS

In this week’s edition of Cynopsis Esports & Gaming…   
  • ESP Gaming feels Auzom
  • MLB’s VR Derby
  • Paris Olympics eye esports injection
  • Tencent plans for Fortnite
  • Lagardere Sports gets a RFRSH
  • Twitch’s Bits bites
  • Splyce gets an injection
 
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The NFL Draft on FOX, NFL Network and ESPN/ESPN2 at 8p.

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ON THIS DAY in 2006: Kobe Bryant changes his jersey number from #8 to #24.
 
In the Know: Only one school has seen its athletes selected with the very first overall pick in the NFL Draft in consecutive years. What is that school? (Email chris-sports@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
 
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Only one tight end since the merger has been picked with a top five selection in the NFL Draft. Who was he? Answer: Riley Odoms. Kudos: Marc Wollis-Cadent Network/NY; Ken White-KWTV/Charlotte; Joe Schreiber-3 Penny Films/Bethesda; Rick Rosenfelt-New York Red Bulls/Harrison; Daniel R. Tunnell-Broadband Cable Association of PA/Harrisburg; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner and Triathlete magazine/Houston; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Jim Himmel-TCB Media/San Clemente
 

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