04/28/16: FOX Sports kicks off Copa plans; Telemundo books Olympic plans; NBC’s green is Gold



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Good morning. It’s Thursday April 28, 2016, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

FOX Sports pinned down its plans for this year’s 2016 Copa America Centenario, with programming set to include all 32 matches of the tournament live from 10 nationwide venues from June 3-26. FS1 is on deck to offer 21 matches beginning with USA/Columbia on June 3 at 9:30p, with four set for the FOX broadcast network starting June 4 with Costa Rica/Paraguay at 5p. FX, meanwhile, carries two quarterfinal matches and the Third Place match, with four group stage games appearing on FS2. Studio coverage will run prior to and following most matches, in addition to nine editions of Copa Tonight. Overall, 101 hours of match and studio coverage are in the cards.


Telemundo and NBC Universo unveiled programming plans for over 200 hours of coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, marking the most-ever in the history of US Spanish-language television. The action begins on Aug. 3, two days before the Opening Ceremony, with women’s soccer and runs through Aug. 21. The talent lineup is slated to feature more than 20 presenters, led by Andres Cantor along with Jessica Carrillo and Miguel Gurwitz, who will be hosting the Games from Rio. Events are set to range focus on outstanding Latin American athletes with an emphasis on the sports that are “proven favorites” among Hispanic audiences and in which Latin American teams are strong contenders including: soccer, boxing, swimming, diving, track and field and basketball.

ESPN is adding Elle Duncan to its team as an anchor for SportsCenter beginning May 9. Duncan has most recently served as an anchor, host and reporter for the New England Sports Network (NESN) most recently hosting the daily NESN Live and NESN Sports Today programs. Meanwhile, the company is also drafting former Major League Baseball All-Star Raul Ibanez as a baseball analyst where he primarily provide commentary for Baseball Tonight on ESPN and serve as an analyst for select games.

Golf Channel scored its most-watched April ever, drawing 137,000 average viewers per minute for 24-hour Total Day Nielsen numbers. That marks a 4% rise over last year’s tally with nearly 15.8 million unique viewers in the month of April. Viewership growth stemmed from all of its major tours and the network’s diverse programming slate, with the PGA TOUR up 2%, LPGA Tour up 14% and European Tour up 43%. “Golf Channel’s most-watched April ever is a clear indication that there is interest in the young, energizing stars of the game and the result of our investments in live, exclusive quality programming. Those investments will continue to pay dividends as the year progresses,” said Mike McCarley, President, Golf, NBC Sports Group. “The viewership increases across tournaments, news, instruction and entertainment programming is evidence that our loyal audience is turning to Golf Channel in record numbers.”

ESPN lined up its competitors for the 2016 Jimmy V Men’s Basketball Classic doubleheader on Dec. 6, announcing that Purdue/Arizona State will play at 7p while Florida/Duke take the court at 9p, with both games on ESPN.

FOX Sports is bringing in current welterweight champion Danny Garcia as part of its PBC on FOX broadcast team on Saturday at 8p where he will serve as an analyst on Premier Boxing Champions: Ortiz vs. Berto II on FOX and FOX Deportes. Garcia joins announcer Gus Johnson, and fellow analyst Mark Kriegel on microphone duties. Host Brian Kenny opens the show, while Kristine Leahy joins the team as reporter. FOX Deportes counters with Daniel Ponce de Leon joining blow-by-blow announcer Ricardo Celis to call the action in studio.
Speaking of PBC, Bounce TV delivers the new edition of Premier Boxing Champions: The Next Round on May 8 at 9p, anchored by Kanat Islam/Juan De Angel in the 10-round main event. 

UFC announced plans to sub in Jon Jones/Daniel Cormier for the canceled Conor McGregor fight at UFC 200, officially ending speculation that McGregor would be allowed back to the event after skipping promotional commitments.

ONE World Sports is serving up its May Freeview, a free one-month preview for participating affiliates including RCN, Atlantic Broadband, GCI Cable and Paul Bunyan TV.  “The May Freeview of ONE World Sports allows a larger audience to sample live and exclusive, action-packed, sports programming from around the globe,” said Randy Brown, Executive Vice President of Distribution. ONE World Sports and participating affiliates will promote the May Freeview and all the available live sports programming on the network their marketing platforms, including cross-channel spots, email communications, web banners and a digital presence on the interactive media guide available to all subscribers.


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NBC Olympics, the USOC, and the U.S. summer sport national governing bodies launched the new initiative, called Gold Map, in a move to promote youth participation in Olympic summer sports by leveraging the Rio Olympics this August. The platform “leads young viewers on a journey that begins on their television sets and ends with their participation in an Olympic sport in their local area” via a slate of short promotional features sending audiences to NBCOlympics.com/GoldMap that hosts an overview video and provides links to the websites of U.S. summer sport NGBs where the can find out how they can participate locally in the sport they were watching.

Leave it to the Olympics to push Hershey’s to changes its staple colors to more patriotic schemes. The candy brand unveiled a Team USA line of goodies ahead of the Summer Games at Hershey’s Chocolate World attractions with labeling that will extend to Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with Almond Bars, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Kit Kat Wafer Bars, Payday Bars as well as 12-ounce bags of Hershey’s Kisses Chocolates, Reese’s Miniatures, Hershey’s Miniatures, York Candies and Rolo Candies. The line goes national on May 6.

The NFL, USA Football, GENYOUth and Fuel Up to Play 60 are expanding the Fuel Up to Play 60 NFL FLAG Essentials program via the distribution of NFL Flag Essentials Kits to 4,000 schools nationwide to reach 1.5 million new students The expansion was made possible by a $1.5 million commitment from the NFL Foundation. "This partnership continues to positively impact the health and wellness of youth nationwide by helping kids be physically active, while also providing many of them with their first experience playing football," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "We are excited to offer more kids the opportunity to get involved in the sport and play 60 each day."

Sports crowdfunding-for-performance website FanAngel is partnering with Monumental Sports & Entertainment to launch a campaign with MSE Foundation and the Washington Capitals benefiting So Kids Can. The campaign will aid Horton’s Kids with an effort to raise at least $25,000. Thus far, more than $21,000 has been raised, with the majority of the funds being donated by Capital players Karl Alzner, Nicklas Backstrom and Braden Holtby along with Elliot Segal from the “Elliot in the Morning” show. Donations at select levels to the So Kids Can page on FanAngel.com have the opportunity to be rewarded with a Capitals playoff puck autographed by Alzner, Backstrom or Holtby. Fans can “Pledge-4-Play” to make a donation for each Washington Capitals win throughout the Playoffs.


The NBA continues to spread its wings with the launch of NBA.com in India. Partnering with 120 Media Collective, the geo-targeted NBA.com will offer personalized settings for fans to follow NBA teams and players, an NBA Fit corner with instructional basketball content, and "Supreme Courts" showcasing the best basketball courts across the country, as well as access to NBA League Pass.

CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports app serve up live video analysis throughout all three days of the 2016 Draft this week. The CBS Sports Live Draft Special starts at 7p today, with real-time draft reactions and commentary from a team of pro football insiders, including grades for every pick and fantasy football analysis. CBS Sports NFL columnist Pete Prisco, along with Kirk Morrison, Jon Beason and DJ Williams will join hosts Nick Kostos and Ryan Bass on set with live reports from experts around the country.

Speaking of the NFL, Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football is officially open for the 2016 season with fans able to sign up for leagues. The company is also hitting Chicago for a draft party at Mike Ditka’s restaurant , where Yahoo will also be hosting Live, pre-draft shows on Facebook Live featuring fantasy experts Brad Evans, Andy Behrens and Liz Loza.

Tough Mudder scored over 2.1 million views for its recent Los Angeles event. The competition, which was shown via Livestream and Facebook Live, with Livestream yielding close to 224,000 minutes of video viewed with an average of four minutes per view. Top streams included six time Tough Mudder, David Tyson "Superman" Perry, along with family and friends, as they tackled the course including Tough Mudder’s latest obstacle, the Block Ness Monster. 

Anthem Sports & Entertainment announced that Fantasy Sports Network and Fight Network have launched on YipTV, the mobile cable Internet streaming service. Both networks are included with YipTV’s premium membership for $14.99 a month.


ESL launched the world’s first 24/7 esports TV channel, entitled esportsTV. The channel is set to launch in May 2016 followed by the broadcast of ESL’s competitions and tournaments on parent company MTG’s Viasat platforms. “We have always dreamt of making eSports the world’s most popular sport, and it’s the opportunities like this one that bring us one step closer to making that dream come true,” said MD of ESL Ralf Reichert. “Bringing new and existing content to more screens worldwide is key to further accelerating the growth and popularity of eSports, and we’re on a mission to reach every gamer in the world.” Check out our new eSports & Gaming edition for more details.


NFL Draft on ESPN and NFL Network at 7p.

ON THIS DAY in 1960: The Minneapolis Lakers announce plans to move to LA.

In The Know: Steve Young was selected in the 1984 supplemental draft by what NFL team? (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: Who was the last running back to be taken with the very first pick of the NFL Draft? Answer: Ki-Jana Carter. Kudos: Ben Sturner-Leverage Agency/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Deerfield Beach; Tom Doherty-Starcom Media/Chicago; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Doug Kelly-Foster Farms Bowl/South San Francisco.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

Roberta Caploe: Publisher @robertacaploe
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