05/23/19: NASCAR announced a merger with ISC

CynopsisSports
Good morning. It’s Thursday May 23, 2019 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
 

NASCAR announced a $2 billion merger with International Speedway Corp., picking up ownership of 12 tracks that host NASCAR races, including Daytona International Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Darlington Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. ”We are pleased with the progress that the negotiation and execution of the merger agreement between NASCAR and ISC represents,” NASCAR said in a statement. ”While important regulatory and shareholder approval processes remain, we look forward to the successful final resolution of this matter and continuing our work to grow this sport and deliver great racing experiences for our fans everywhere. With a strong vision for the future, the France family’s commitment to NASCAR and the larger motorsports industry has never been greater.”
 
 
PROGRAMMING

The NFL announced a bevy of news, including the elimination of the single-header rule, so fans throughout the country will now be able to see three games every Sunday afternoon during the 2019 regular season. In addition, the league will see Sunday playoff games in the divisional round moved to later in the day, with start times of 3p and 6:30p, which the number of commercial breaks in the Super Bowl will officially be cut from five to four per quarter. Meanwhile the NFL also announced the hosts for the 2021 and 2023 NFL Drafts, selecting Cleveland and Kansas City respectively.
 
FIFA is abandoning plans to expand the 2022 World Cup to 48 nations, according to the AP, and will stick with 32 countries for Qatar, due to political and logistical issues within the region. Subsequently, the World Cup will expand until 2026, with FIFA already having approved a format with 48 teams for that tournament in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
 
NBC Sports announced that Mike Tirico and Dan Hicks will join its coverage of the French Open, with Tirico calling matches on the weekend of June 1-2 and Hicks handling the semifinals and finals from June 6-9. They will be joined by analysts Mary Carillo and John McEnroe. Coverage begins on May 27 at noon with the first round and continues through June 8-9 with the Women’s and Men’s Final.
 
Speaking of NBC Sports, the end of the television season sees Sunday Night Football come out on top once again as primetime’s top TV show in all key metrics for an eighth consecutive year, based on official live plus same day data provided by Nielsen. NBC Sunday Night Football posted a Total Audience Delivery average of 19.6 million viewers in 2018 – up 7% from the 2017 season.
 
Liga MX crowns a new Mexican champion in the Torneo Clausura 2019 Gran Final between top-seeded Club León and the dynastic Tigres UANL. Univision Deportes carries the action on May 23 and 26. Coverage of both matches begins with pre-game analysis on Fútbol Central.
 
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told NBC’s Today that he will be asking western conference teams to possibly move up start times for games to allow for more east coast viewers. 
 
FOX Sports sees WBC World Super Welterweight Champion Tony Harrison join Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and Chris Myers to call FS1 PBC Fight Night: Austin Trout vs. Terrell Gausha on Saturday at 8p. On FOX Deportes, blow-by-blow announcer Adrian Garcia Marquez is joined by Jaime Motta to call the fights in Spanish.
 
Nitro World Games, in partnership with the Utah Sports Commission, announced plans to come back to ‘the State of Sport,’ for a two-day event on Aug. 16 and 17. “Last year we proved that race cars could fly and this year we have re-designed the track to be even crazier.” said Travis Pastrana on the 2019 Nitro World Games. “All of the athletes couldn’t be more excited that we are heading back to the UMC with NWG and NRX. Utah has been Nitro’s home since the beginning and we are excited to continue pushing the limits of action sports right here where it started.”
 
YES Network will become the official regional TV partner of the WNBA’s New York Liberty this season. YES will televise 16 Liberty home games, beginning Friday, May 24 at 8p. CBS Sports Network also will telecast one Liberty home game this season, on August 23.
 
Meanwhile, Atlanta Dream and WSB-TV announced a new multi-platform media deal that will feature Dream games being broadcast and streamed across WSB-TV platforms this season. WSB-TV will present a total of 18 Dream games during the 2019 season, including eight road contests, starting tomorrow.
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
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June 11 | 11:45AM – 5:00PM | CNVS, NYC
 
SESSION SPOTLIGHT > Solving the Data Jigsaw Puzzle
Missing and overlapping data is leading to lost revenue and content opportunities for programmers and cost redundancies for agencies. Hear how A + E Networks, Kantar Media, Omnicom and Telemundo are putting the pieces together so dollars are well invested.
 
 
Sponsored by: NCC Media, Videa, Tubular Labs, TVSquared and Tunity
 

SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Outback Steakhouse signed on to continue its title sponsorship of Tampa’s postseason collegiate Outback Bowl after announcing a six-year extension that runs through the January 2026 game. The bowl will give $45 million to schools, plus at least $3.5 million to charities, over the next seven games.
 
Carnival Cruise Line locked in an exclusive partnership with the Harlem Globetrotters to serve as the team’s official cruise line sponsor worldwide. “For more than nine decades, we’ve used basketball as a means to bring laughter, joy and fun to our fans worldwide,” said Howard Smith, Harlem Globetrotters president. “When we heard about the opportunity to partner with cruise industry leader Carnival, we couldn’t wait to use our combined love of entertaining audiences to make our games more fun and memorable than ever.”
 
ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF announced plans to sponsor UFC heavyweight Alexey Oleynik. “MJ is a heavyweight in the ETF industry,” said Oleynik. “It has had a great deal of success and I look forward to watching it continue to knock out its competition. My wife and I are excited to be able to represent a world-class financial group like ETFMG and a product like MJ.”
 
 
DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

NextVR and the National Hockey League in association with Disney Streaming Services will offer fans free on-demand virtual reality game highlights of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final featuring the Boston Bruins vs. St. Louis Blues. Following each game of the Stanley Cup Final, fans will be able to access highlights in the Stanley Cup Final channel within the NextVR app. NextVR is also unveiling a completely new way to experience hockey with its “Goalie Experience” viewpoint.
 
Poker Central and CBS are teaming to live-stream the gold bracelet events at the 50th annual World Series of Poker across platforms including PokerGO, Poker Central’s direct-to-consumer OTT service, and CBS All Access, from May 30-July 16, with additional coverage to air on CBS Sports Network and CBS Sports Digital platforms.
 
 
ESPORTS

In this week’s edition of Cynopsis Esports
  • Riot formalizes college plans with launch of RSAA
  • WarnerMedia’s synergistic Kombat plans
  • Breaking down MSI
  • Razer takes in Evil Geniuses
  • Riot eyes mobile League
  • Sony launches PlayStation Productions
  • Netflix eyes game breaks
 
INDUSTRY/ROSTER MOVES

NASCAR announced inductees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2020. The five-person group – the 11th since the inception of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010 – consists of Buddy Baker, Joe Gibbs, Bobby Labonte, Tony Stewart and Waddell Wilson. In addition, NASCAR announced that Edsel Ford II earned the 2020 Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. The distinguished group will be honored during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Jan. 31.
 
Marquee Sports Network, the new network between the Cubs and Sinclair, announced that Michael McCarthy will serve as the channel’s general manager. McCarthy was previously president of New York’s MSG Network, vice chairman and chief executive of the NHL’s St. Louis Blues and chief operating officer of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks.
 
Congratulations to Andrea Kremer & Hannah Storm, who took home the Ceiling Breakers Award at the annual Gracie Awards for their work calling Thursday Night Football for Amazon Prime Video.
 
 
THE MAIN EVENT

Raptors/Bucks on TNT at 8:30p.
 


ON THIS DAY in 2002: Legendary golfer Sam Snead passes away following a stroke.
 
In the Know: Name the only two cities that have seen their teams square off against each other in the World Series, Super Bowl, NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final. (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 is the St. Louis Blues all-time goals leader? Answer: Brett Hull. Kudos: Traci Liner-Endeavor/NY; Rob Casalaina-ITN/NY; Rob Duke-A&E Networks/NY; Randy Ingram-WISH/WNDY-TV/Indianapolis; Art Salisch-SMRC/East Windsor; Synda KollmanCharter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Mike Seidel-CSI Sports/Jersey City; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Kevin Kelly-theAudience/Hollywood; Jim Bernard-PRG/LA
 

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