05/15/15: MLS tackles China; FOX Sports thinks big for World Cup compound; NASCAR goes Drafting



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CYNOPSISSPORTS
05.15.15

Good morning. It’s Friday May 15, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

More sports gains in China as Major League Soccer locked in a partnership with Letv Sports, China’s leading digital sports broadcaster, in a deal that will offer live coverage of all league matches throughout the mainland. The deal marks the first time Letv will hold MLS rights and the company will now offer at least two MLS regular-season matches per week, as well as the AT&T MLS All-Star Game, at least two matches from the newly created Decision Day, all MLS Cup Playoff games and MLS Cup. In addition, Letv will carry highlights, player features and other MLS content across its digital Letv Sports platforms.


A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM beIN SPORTS


beIN SPORTS, The International Sports Network
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is the multi- platform sports destination that brings the passionate sports fan live action, news, and analysis of the top soccer leagues and sporting events from around the planet, including: Spain’s La Liga, Italy’s Serie A, France’s Ligue 1 and EXCLUSIVE coverage of Copa America 2015.

For more information, please visit www.beinsports.tv.

Follow us on Twitter @beINSPORTSUSA and/or @ESbeINSPORTS and like our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page for breaking news and real-time updates.


ON THE AIR

The Rangers win over the Caps in a Game 7 overtime win on NBCSN became the highest-rated NHL game ever on the network in the New York and Washington D.C. markets, with local ratings of 9.3 and 7.9 respectively, according to Nielsen. On the national front, the game notched a 2.30 overnight score, the highest overnight of the 2015 playoffs on NBC/NBCSN/USA Network/CNBC, and the third-highest rated NHL game ever on NBCSN, excluding Stanley Cup Final games. Meanwhile, the Eastern and Western Conference Finals begin this weekend with a pair of Game 1 matchups on NBC starting Saturday at 1p with Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final between the Rangers and Lightening, followed by Game 1 of the Western Conference Final on Sunday at 3p between the Dicks/Blackhawks.

ONE World Sports announced plans to produce and televise the June 2 soccer match between the New York Cosmos and the Cuba National Team at 5p from Havana. This marks the first live sports production involving a U.S. team to originate out of Cuba since the 2008. JP Dellacamera and Shep Messing will call the game from ONE World Sports’ Stamford, CT, broadcast center, with Ed Cohen reporting live on-site from Havana. “As the broadcast home of the Cosmos — who remain the most iconic U.S. pro soccer brand worldwide — and the network focused on bringing global sports to American fans, ONE World Sports is an ideal platform to showcase this historic match,” said Alexander “Sandy” Brown, ONE World Sports President and CEO. ONE World Sports will partner with Havana-based RTV Comercial for the mobile production facilities, logistics support, crew and transmission.

Golf Channel on NBC’s Coverage of THE PLAYERS Championship reeled in 19.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen, making the tournament the most-viewed weekend for any PGA TOUR event since Tiger Woods’ 2013 win at TPC Sawgrass. Sunday’s coverage reached 5 million average viewers for a 66% year-over-year uptick.

Speaking of golf, CBS Sports serves up the PGA TOUR’s Wells Fargo Championship with the third- and final-round coverage on Saturday and Sunday from 3-6p. Jim Nantz serves as anchor with Sir Nick Faldo on as lead analyst in the 18th tower. Ian Baker-Finch calls the action at the 17th hole and Gary McCord at the 16th hole.

With the Preakness on deck on Saturday at 4:30p on NBC, TVG is carrying a Preakness Handicappers’ Preview tonight at 8p. Meanwhile, some of the TVG talent provided their Preakness picks for readers:

  • Todd Schrupp — American Pharoah, Firing Line, Divining Rod
  • Scott Hazelton — Dortmund, American Pharoah, Danzig Moon
  • Dave Weaver — American Pharoah,Danzig Moon, Firing Line

HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel returns May 19 at 10p with segments that include: In Harm’s Way- a look at the use of workout supplements in the military; Blind Ambition- spotlighting blind athlete Erik Weihenmayer’s feats; and an interview with Ronda Rousey.

ESPN lined up its matchups from the Big 12/SEC Challenge Presented by Sonic, with all games set to take place for the first time on a common bye date of Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. Eight of the 10 games will be televised on ESPN or ESPN2 and two games will air on ESPNU with games that include Kentucky/Kansas; Vanderbilt/Texas; Iowa State/Texas A&M; and Oklahoma/LSU.

SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

X Games Austin 2015 revealed seven, distinctly-themed festival villages to give fans entertainment and interactive activities at Circuit of The Americas showcasing large-scale sponsor activations, athlete meet ‘n greets, gaming areas, learn-to-ride clinics and demonstrations, a variety of concessions and beverages, retail offerings and more. Villages will include: Galleria (central retail hub with large-scale sponsor activations), Gaming Shack, Torchy Taco’s Playground, Sound Factory, Next X Parks, Garage and Piranha X Vert Village.

Syracuse University extended its run with CLC to continue building the school’s trademark licensing program. Syracuse joins 25 other schools extending their contracts with CLC this year. The 2013-14 season represented the largest royalty collection in the history of the school’s licensing program with 1,300+ retailers now carring officially-licensed Syracuse products.


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PRODUCTION & TECH

FOX Sports’ began construction of its media headquarters for the company’s FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 coverage. The area is located in Vancouver, British Columbia, adjacent to the Vancouver Convention Centre in Jack Poole Plaza. The television compound spans more than 7,500 square feet, housing offices, a control room and green room, and sits directly beneath the network’s state-of-the-art, custom-built set, which offers different looks for television: a main stage, a day lounge with a water backdrop, an evening lounge with a cityscape, and a soccer demo field. Tech will include: Two 84-inch touchscreens; 15 cameras highlighted by the “Super Techno 50” crane-cam which extends and retracts up to 50 feet at a speed of seven feet per second; a drone for unique aerial shots in and around the set; a retractable, motorized rain shield; and a large LED high resolution screen (21 x 11 feet) showing real-time game footage with custom information ticker

DIGITAL & STREAMING

Snapchat is teaming with Major League Baseball Advanced Media to deliver weekly baseball-related video content to its mobile-messaging service, according to the WSJ. Under the “Our Stories” umbrella, Snapchat will curate content submitted by fans at games and then package it to push out to users under the “MLB Story” moniker. The content will run every Wednesday or Thursday, representing the first time Snapchat has committed to regularly scheduled “programming” of this kind.

Back to the Rangers/Caps. NBC Sports Live Extra saw 151,000 uniques and 8.2 million minutes watched during Game 7 on Wednesday to rank as the platform’s best NHL stream ever for an NBCSN game. To date, the Stanley Cup Playoffs on NBC Sports Live Extra has tallied 940,000 uniques and 123 million minutes watched, up 4% and up 17%, respectively, versus the comparable period in 2014.

On May 28, Cynopsis will host a popular webinar focused on the latest strategies for monetizing OTT. Register to learn what the market leaders are doing, why it’s working, and how content owners can apply it to their businesses. Expert speakers from Hulu, Frank N. Magid Associates, and SeaChange International will offer insights & tactics for creating, managing and monetizing over-the-top offerings.

FANTASY/VIDEO GAMES/ESPORTS

NASCAR is hitting the daily fantasy sports space via a deal with DraftKings as its “Official Daily Fantasy Sports Partner.” The three-year deal will see DraftKings will have an exclusive license to develop NASCAR-branded games across the daily fantasy sports category. Players will see DraftKings have access to a direct data feed from NASCAR Digital Media that contains real-time statistics. “Pursuing ways to connect with our fans on a daily basis while enhancing their viewing experience has been paramount to NASCAR, and fantasy sports is a core tenet of that strategy,” said Steve Phelps, NASCAR Executive VP and CMO. “We are committed to growing our fan base, increasing engagement and diversifying our audience and partnering with DraftKings will strongly support all of these efforts.”

Mobile eSports company Skillz unveiled its real-time encoding and streaming technology that allows players to broadcast eSports action from any Skillz-enabled game to any content-sharing website. The tech is bundled into the free Skillz software development kit and is “the first to enable live, over-the-air streaming for games built in any development framework, including popular engines like Unity, Marmalade, OpenGL, UIKit and Cocos2d.”

THE MAIN EVENT

Double dribble on ESPN tonight beginning with Hawks/Wizards at 7p, followed by Warriors/Grizzlies at 9:30p.



ON THIS DAY in 1941: New York Yankees OF Joe DiMaggio begins his 56-game hitting streak.

In The Know: What was the name of the WWE tag team featuring B. Brian Blair and “Jumping” Jim Brunzell? (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: With what two teams did Steve Kerr win an NBA Championship? Answer: Spurs and Bulls. Kudos: Mitch Burg-Impact Communications/Israel; Jon Sabal-Apartment Therapy Media/NY; Ben Osborne-SLAM Magazine/NY; Don Gorski-Westwood One/NY; RJ Simoni-ESPN/NY; J. Barry McMullin-WWE/Stamford; John Miller-NBC Sports Group/Stamford;  Wayne "World B." Otto-Pro-Am Sports/Boone; Allison Lerer-Turner Sports/Atlanta; Steve McNair-KUBE TV/Houston; Justin Hirnisey-USA Gymnastics/Indianapolis; Jay Goslee-WZTV WUXP WNAB/Nashville; Gretchen Brady-KDAF/Dallas; David Hauptman/Denver; Sean Perez-Core Media Group/LA; Thomas Maiuri-CBS Television Distribution/LA; Don Surath-KPIX-TV KBCW-TV/San Francisco; Neal Stevens-Stevens & Associates/Beverly Hills.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for
Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine
05.15.15

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