05/18/18: Telemundo is bringing production of its shows to Russia for the World Cup

CynopsisSports
Good morning. It’s Friday May 18, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

 
Telemundo Deportes added another layer to its coverage of the 2018 World Cup Russia, announcing a complete line-up of Telemundo’s daily news and entertainment programming that will run live and on-site from Russia to supplement its coverage during the month-long event. Among the shows to temporarily relocate will be Un Nuevo Dia, Noticias Telemundo, Al Rojo Vivo and Titulares y Mas in addition to the new primetime studio show Viva el Mundial y Mas. The all-day programming will include more than 100 hours of content beginning each morning at 7a and often running through midnight.
 
“Our focus at Telemundo Deportes is on the World Cup and what is taking place in Russia, so it only makes sense for us to create the most robust coverage we can throughout the entire day, leveraging Telemundo network’s highly popular, daily network properties,” said Eli Velazquez, executive vice president, programming production and content, Telemundo Deportes. “We guarantee Telemundo’s presence in Russia will not go unnoticed.”
 
 
ON THE AIR

TNT is seeing its presentation of the 2018 NBA Western Conference Finals deliver record-setting audiences and viewership growth across all Turner platforms for the Warriors/Rockets matchup. Through the first two games of the series, TNT’s game coverage is averaging 8,160,000 total viewers to garner the network’s most-viewed NBA Western Conference Finals series to date, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals. This year’s WCF series is now up 41% over last year’s Eastern Conference Finals on TNT (Boston/Cleveland) and 16% vs. the 2017 WCF (Warriors/Spurs) with Wednesday night’s Game 2 averaging 7.5 million viewers for an increase of 47% when compared with last year’s ECF Game 2 and 30% over the 2017 WCF Game 2.  
 
Around the dial, NBC Sports reports that a record 39.3 million Americans watched its presentation of the Premier League on its platforms in 2017-18. The season concluded on Sunday, and drew a rise of 14% over last season’s numbers, according to live plus same day data released by Nielsen. NBC Sports Group averaged a Total Audience Delivery of 449,000 viewers per match window across up from last season’s 447,000.
 
Meanwhile, THR writes that NBCU is going all in on WWE franchise Raw for USA Network, with the deal expected to close at as much as three times its current value. However, the company will opt out of Smackdown, according to the report, which is being shopped to various networks after NBCUniversal declined to re-up its deal.
 
The CBS Sports Classic announced the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas would serve as the home for the 2019 annual event that features Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio State and UCLA in a college hoops doubleheader. The sixth edition of the CBS Sports Classic will run Dec. 21, 2019 and mark the second time T-Mobile Arena has hosted the CBS Sports Classic. This year’s showcase will take palce on Dec. 22 from United Center in Chicago.
 
NBC serves up live coverage of the 2018 US Diving National Championships from Dallas this weekend starting Saturday at 2p. Ted Robinson calls the action, joined by analyst and Olympic gold medalist Laura Wilkinson and reporter Kelli Stavast.
 
The Canadian Premier League announced that Cavalry FC, based in Calgary, will be one of the founding clubs to play in the upcoming professional men’s soccer league set to debut in Spring 2019. Cavalry FC is owned and operated by Spruce Meadows Sports & Entertainment.
 
CBS Sports will showcase the CrossFit Regionals for the first time, featuring coverage across broadcast, cable and digital platforms with TV coverage starting Saturday at 2p on CBS. CBS Sports Digital will stream more than 200 hours of live coverage throughout the 2018 Reebok CrossFit Regionals on CBSSports.com and on the CBS Sports app for mobile and connected TV devices.
 
ESPN locked in a broad multimedia rights agreement with UEFA to continue carrying  the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the UEFA Europa League in Spanish-speaking Latin America, effective 2018/19 to 2020/21.ESPN will carry a total of 71 UEFA Champions League matches each season. 
 
Elsewhere at ESPN, MMA journalist and host Ariel Helwani is heading to ESPN in June to cover the sport. Helwani will have several roles at ESPN, including: co-host of Ariel & The Bad Guy, a new weekly MMA program on ESPN+; host of ongoing podcast Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show and reporter for MMA across ESPN digital media and television platforms.
 
Following the recent Supreme Court decision to open the door to sports betting, the NCAA announced that it supports federal regulation of sports gambling and will now (temporarily) allow states that sponsor single-game sports wagering to host championship events, opening the door for Las Vegas to host NCAA events in the future.
 
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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Taco Bell’s “Steal a Game, Steal a Taco” promotion is officially back for the NBA Finals as fans can snag a free Doritos Locos Taco throughout the country once a road team “steals” a win from the home team during the Finals. “The NBA Finals and Taco Bell are the perfect matchup, and we can’t wait to once again raise the stakes of an already fierce competition by putting free Doritos® Locos Tacos for America on the line,” said Marisa Thalberg, Global Chief Brand Officer, Taco Bell Corp. “This is the third time we’ve partnered with the NBA, and the power of our combined fanbase creates an exciting cultural moment around the Finals. We know one thing is for certain, everyone will be rooting for tacos.” The 2018 NBA Finals start May 31 on ABC.
 
Meanwhile, the NBA released the spot Finally Mine as the postseason prepares for the Finals. The spot “ shows the emotions that players go through when they win an NBA championship” and features current and former NBA stars like Steph Curry, Tim Duncan, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Dirk Nowitzki and more. The spot is set to the retro-soul beat of “Finally Mine,” sung by music artist Juliet Roberts.
 
The WNBA launched “Take a Seat, Take a Stand,” its new women and girls empowerment program for the 2018 season.  When regular-season games tip off today, fans who take a seat at a WNBA game will also have the chance to support several organizations that are changing the game for women and girls For each ticket purchased, the WNBA will donate $5 to one of six organizations of the fans’ choosing in addition to a ticket to send a young woman or girl to a game to inspire her by the strength, talent and leadership of the women of the WNBA. Partner organizations include: Bright Pink, GLSEN, It’s On US, MENTOR, Planned Parenthood and The United State of Women.
 
Hyundai Motor America, an official sponsor of the NFL, is offering the Hyundai Youth Football Camp for the third year in a row to children ages 7-13 to have the chance to take the field and learn from their favorite teams and players. Sessions will be held in Pittsburgh, South Florida, Minnesota, Arizona, Los Angeles, the New York City area and Houston.
 
 
DIGITAL & STREAMING

NextVR introduced the 2017-2018 season NBA MVP highlight reel live in the NextVR app, taking fans courtside. According to the company, fans will be able to immerse themselves in a compilation of the most epic shots, dunks and assists of this season from MVP contenders James Harden, Lebron James, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis. NextVR will also roll out rookie of the year highlights, showcasing the rising talent of Donovon Mitchell, Jayson Tatum, Ben Simmons. 
 
ESPN hired reporter Lindsey Thiry to cover the Los Angeles Rams, while former NFL Nation team reporter Alden Gonzalez shifts into a new multimedia reporter role. Thiry joins ESPN from the Los Angeles Times where she worked as a multimedia sports reporter the past four years, covering the Rams, Dodgers, Lakers, USC and UCLA.
 
 
ESPORTS

Razer inked an official sponsorship of Overwatch League squad Los Angeles Valiant as part of a wider deal with the Immortals global esports organization. The two-year deal will feature Razer as the exclusive peripherals partner for Immortals and LA Valiant where teams will sport Razer’s esports-grade PC peripherals, including equipment comprising of mice, keyboards, headsets and surfaces, and the newly formed Immortals Mobile Division will be using the Razer Phone. “Team Razer is committed to fostering a roster of passionate and truly ambitious esports players,” says Razer Co-Founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan. “Immortals and LA Valiant exude a caliber of excellence that makes our partnership with them a natural fit, and one that we are very excited to support.”
 
Gfinity appointed Garry Cook as Executive Chairman of the company. Cook replaces Tony Collyer, who will step down from the Board after four years. Cook previously served as President and General Manager for Nike’s Jordan Brand, was the CEO of the Manchester City Football Club, and most recently held the Chief Global Brand Officer position for the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
 
Turner and IMG’s ELEAGUE will see the conclusion to its first ever reality television series –ELEAGUE The Challenger: Street Fighter V tonight as the final two housemates compete for one spot in the upcoming ELEAGUE Street Fighter V Invitational and a shot at its $250,000 prize pool. The one-hour finale will premiere at 11p on TBS.
 

ROSTER MOVES

Public relations executive Avis Roper has been named Senior Director, Communications for FOX Sports. Roper will support communications strategy and day-to-day publicity for FOX Sports with a spotlight on NFL and MLB coverage. For the past seven years, he served as the senior director of communications for the Indianapolis Colts.

 
THE MAIN EVENT

Jets/Golden Knights tonight at 8p on NBCSN.
 
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ON THIS DAY in 2014: Adam Scott passes Tiger Woods to become the No. 1 ranked golfer in the world.
 
In the Know: At the age of 40, this pitcher threw a perfect game in 2004 to become the oldest MLB player to accomplish the feat… (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: Which team was David Wells playing for during his perfect game? Answer: Yankees. Kudos: John Ferlazzo/London; Bill Domeika-21 Marketing/NY; Marissa Ruskin-MLB Sponsorship/NY; Jim Kahn-SiriusXM/NY; Nicole Correnti-Fuse Media/NY; Vinny D’Assaro-CSE Talent/Atlanta; Matt Deprey-C-SPAN/DC; Ron Cioffi-USTA Southern/Peachtree Corners; Jon Miller-NBC Sports/Stamford; John Ward-Tennis.com/Chicago; John Kukla-KSFW/KDFI/Dallas-Fort Worth; Travis Wacker-Good Karma Brands/Milwaukee; Mark Stulberger-Stully’s Broadcasting School.Houston; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Don Surath-CBS 360/San Francisco; Anne Wettig-Fox Cable Networks S&P/LA; Jeff Mirkin-Atari Studios/Santa Monica; Aditya Putcha-KVCR/San Bernardino

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