05/22/18: Smackdown is on the verge of heading to FOX

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Good morning. It’s Tuesday May 22, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

 
Smackdown appears set to head to FOX, where WWE has reportedly agreed in principle to bring the property to FOX in a five-year deal with a total value of more than $1 billion, according to ESPN. The series has run on NBC Universal networks since 2010, although NBCU opted to only keep Raw in the upcoming rights cycle. The series is scheduled to make the jump in October 2019, and will shift to Fridays on the network, according to The Wrap.
 
 
ON THE AIR

The NBA and CBS locked in a deal that will allow ESPN Deportes to carry Super Bowl LIII in Spanish on Feb. 3, 2019 from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. That will mark the second Super Bowl telecast for ESPN Deportes. “As the broadcaster of Super Bowl LIII, it was important for us to find a Spanish-language partner to reach the NFL’s Hispanic fan base on the biggest day in television,” said Dan Weinberg, Executive Vice President, Programming, CBS Sports. “The presentation on ESPN will be a great complement to our broadcast on CBS.”
 
Speaking of the NFL, Commissioner Roger Goodell laid out the league’s vision for sports betting, following the Supreme Court’s ruling to allow states to pursue the industry. “We have spent considerable time planning for the potential of broadly legalized sports gambling and are prepared to address these changes in a thoughtful and comprehensive way, including substantial education and compliance trainings for our clubs, players, employees and partners. These efforts include supporting commonsense legislation that protects our players, coaches and fans and maintains public confidence in our games. We are asking Congress to enact uniform standards for states that choose to legalize sports betting that include, at a minimum, four core principles: There must be substantial consumer protections; Sports leagues can protect our content and intellectual property from those who attempt to steal or misuse it; Fans will have access to official, reliable league data; and Law enforcement will have the resources, monitoring and enforcement tools necessary to protect our fans and penalize bad actors here at home and abroad.”
 
TNT’s presentation of the 2018 NBA Western Conference Finals Game 3 averaged 7.8 million viewers for a markup of 23% when compared with the 2017 WCF Game 3 and 11% growth over last year’s ECF Game 3, based on Nielsen Fast Nationals. Overall, TNT’s first three WCF telecasts have averaged eight million viewers, up 30% over last year’s Eastern Conference Finals airing on the network.
 
Tennis Channel is deepening its French Open coverage plans, opening the door to include all 196 men’s and women’s qualifiers this year. Held this week, in advance of the tournament’s main draw from May 27-June 10, every contest played by those hoping to compete in the clay-court event will appear on digital subscription service Tennis Channel Plus, with select matches on television each day as well. Beginning with the first main-draw matches at 11a on May 27,  Tennis Channel will televise live competition every day through the men’s first singles semifinal Friday, June 8 and air Tennis Channel Live at Roland Garros at 8a on championship weekend. Martina Navratilova, Jim Courier, Tracy Austin and Lindsay Davenport return as analysts, along with anchor Mary Carillo Bill Macatee, Ted Robinson and Ian Eagle.
 
NBCSN’s NASCAR America announces the 2019 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class tomorrow at 5p. Krista Voda hosts coverage alongside Kyle Petty from NBC Sports Group’s headquarters in Stamford.
 
GLORY announced a deal with top Brazilian broadcast network Globo, for an extension to their existing broadcast agreement. “With Combate, Globo has created an unparalleled destination for fight fans in Brazil,” said Marshall Zelaznik, CEO, GLORY. “The best of mixed martial arts, grappling and in GLORY’s case striking, are all showcased on Combate. We are thrilled to be able to create opportunities for this fast and dynamic sport to reach an engaged fanbase through our continued partnership with Globo.”
 

Telemundo Station Group announced that it is dispatching a team of local station journalists from stations in Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, McAllen and its news bureaus in Washington, D.C. and Miami to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. The station group’s team consists of 12 sports and news anchors, photographers and producers, marking the largest group of Telemundo station journalists to ever report from an international, live sporting event.

 
Jerry West will sit down for a special SiriusXM Town Hall Q&A event with an audience of SiriusXM listeners and other guests at the Forum in Los Angeles. James Worthy will host the Town Hall, which coincides with West’s 80th birthday and will celebrate his legacy both on the court and as a front office executive.
 
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The St. Louis Blues and Enterprise locked in a building naming-rights agreement, renaming the home of the Blues “Enterprise Center.” The 15-year agreement calls for interior and exterior signage featuring the Enterprise logo. The venue was formerly named “Scottrade Center” and the new agreement goes into effect on July 1.
 
Major League Baseball and USA Baseball unveiled “Hit and Run Baseball,” a program supporting modified forms of the game that allow players to develop their skills in a more interactive format while also promoting player health and safety.The program falls under the “PLAY BALL” initiative, will serve youth leagues, tournament providers and amateur coaches with recommended game formats that can be easily applied at all levels of youth & amateur baseball.
 
On the collegiate front, the University of Cincinnati reached an agreement to extend its multimedia rights and licensing agreements with IMG through 2027. IMG College will continue to provide exclusive representation of the corporate partner program and commercial business for Bearcats Athletics including radio broadcasts, television features, club level sponsorships, hospitality, coaching endorsements and in-venue signage and continue to manage the university’s trademark licensing program for the duration of the agreement.
 
Meanwhile, Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment and the Kennesaw State University Athletic Department announced a long-term partnership on Monday, naming VWSE as the department’s exclusive multimedia rights partner and sales agent for the department’s corporate sponsorship program. VWSE Collegiate Services division will launch KSU Athletics Sponsorships, the local team that will be dedicated to representing the University in the marketplace.
 
San Manuel Casino and the Los Angeles Football Club announced a new partnership for the 2018 Major League Soccer season. Throughout the MLS season and other events at Banc of California Stadium, San Manuel Casino will take part in pre-match Fan Fest activation experiences, and sponsor the City View Club in addition to presenting post-game highlights via in-stadium “Thrill of the Match” broadcasts.
 
 
DIGITAL & STREAMING

STATS unveiled STATS GPS, a system that uses a 50-Hz sampling frequency to provide the “most advanced real-time GPS technology available.” STATS GPS allows teams to monitor player performance with customizable metrics like accelerations/decelerations, energy expenditure, count of zone entries, and time, distance and power thresholds. The solution uses real 50-Hz sampling frequency and allows practitioners to monitor up to 100 players in real-time and post-session with over 300 GPS, IMU and HR derived metrics.
 
 
ESPORTS

Epic Games is lining up $100 million for Fortnite competitions during the 2018-19 season, with funding dedicated toward esports prize pools. “We’re getting behind competitive play in a big way, but our approach will be different – we plan to be more inclusive, and focused on the joy of playing and watching the game,” the company announced. “Stay tuned for more details about competitive structures and eligible platforms in the weeks ahead!”
 
State Farm signed on as an official partner of the NBA 2K League and will present pregame segments titled Game Mode that capture strategy and insights from NBA 2K League players on Twitch broadcasts throughout the season. State Farm will also have a weekly highlights segment called Game Time on NBA2KLeague.com. State Farm will also receive courtside signage during in-season tournaments and NBA 2K League Finals games. “As a longstanding partner of the NBA and the WNBA, State Farm has a proven history of authentically connecting with fans and has demonstrated a commitment to eSports,” said Brendan Donohue, Managing Director, NBA 2K League.  “We’re excited for State Farm to engage with our NBA 2K League community through helping create unique content and compelling storylines about our players.”
 
In other deal news, AMD and Fnatic are partnering up, courtesy of an agreement that further expands AMD’s engagement in competitive gaming. AMD will serve as Fnatic’s exclusive partner across four competitive gaming hardware categories: motherboards, GPUs, CPUs and laptops. In this third year of collaboration, the partnership will include AMD’s top-tier brands, Ryzen and Radeon RX. “Fnatic is extremely proud to have AMD, a premium gaming hardware brand, on our side for the third year now,” said Wouter Sleijffers, CEO at Fnatic. “AMD and Fnatic both share a passion for high performance and top quality gaming hardware. Recently, Fnatic won the European Sponsorship Award and the exciting partnership with AMD was a big catalyst for this achievement. Fnatic will always strive to excel on-stage and off-stage, to bring maximum results for our fans and partners alike.”
 
 
ROSTER MOVES

Whistle Sports hired Joyce Parente as SVP of marketing brand partnerships. Parente was previously VP of integrated marketing at Evolve Media’s Craveonline, now known as Mandatory Media, and served as group director of global corporate partnerships at National Geographic, but will now oversee the Whistle Sports brand partner portfolio to drive revenue and relationships between the company’s brand clients like Nike, Marriott, Gatorade and Metro PCS, and its 500+ creator talent pool.
 
NBC Sports Washington named veteran media sales executive Darryl Heggans as Vice President of Sales. Heggans will oversee NBC Sports Washington’s multi-platform national and local sales efforts, which will include budgeting, forecasting, and strategic planning, along with the development of new business opportunities across all platforms.
 
French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain is creating an overseas office in New York. This third office for the club outside of France follows the first opening in Doha and a second in Singapore. With this new permanent base in the United States, Paris Saint-Germain hopes to increase brand visibility, cultivate new partnerships and nurture its growing fanbase. The office will be managed by Jerome de Chaunac, who is joining the club as Managing Director of the Americas.
 
 
THE MAIN EVENT

Rockets/Warriors on TNT at 6p.
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Join us tomorrow!
Tomorrow (May 23) at 1:30PM
 
These leaders in strategic data and research will equip your team with the tools needed to target viewers, streamline measurement and extend the reach of television campaigns. Hear from: JEFF BOEHME (SVP, Television Research at ComScore). MATT EMANS (Co-founder and CTO at Data Plus Math), JONATHAN BOHM (VP, Digital & Cross-Platform Ad Sales Research at NBCUniversal) and GEORGE TSIVIN (SVP, GM, Product Leadership at Nielsen).
 
 

ON THIS DAY in 2003: Annika Sorenstam becomes the first woman in 58 years to play in a PGA tournament.
 
In the Know: Which university did Annika Sorenstam play for? (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: What type of animal is Chance, the mascot for the Vegas Golden Knights, who are going on to the Stanley Cup Final?  Answer: A Gila monster. Kudos: Andrew Feingold-Fox News/NY; Marc Wollis-Cadent Network/NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Bryan Geidt-Cannella Response Television/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank

Later – Chris
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JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, PEOPLE ACQUISITION/A+E/NY: Mng the function to identify, assess & hire the best & brightest. Partner w/Talent Acquisition VP to create an engaging & cohesive employee life cycle. 5+ yrs recruitment exp within media. Strong HR ntwrk of recruiters, talent acq specialists, HR Professionals. Apply HERE (5/30)

 
JOB OPENING: WHITE HOUSE PRODUCER/MSNBC/DC: Join the NBC News team as a Producer. You will work with correspondents to prepare live reports and field produce. Min 3 yrs editorial exp working in prod at a network/cable news operation. Full info/apply HERE (5/30)
 
JOB OPENING: DIGITAL PRODUCER, THE STEVE WILKOS SHOW/NBCU/Stamford CT: Oversee daily website, app and digital initiatives and content including video, photos, promotional items, sales, marketing and public relations campaigns. Min of 2-4 yrs exp in online, digital or mktg/post prod. Full info/apply HERE (5/30)

JOB OPENING:  TV POST PRODUCTION TECHNICIAN/TV ONE/Silver Spring MD: Encoding and Duplication, using a variety of videotape formats & digitizing for non -linear editing.  BA deg in communications or video production + 1 yr work exp. Full info/apply HERE (5/30)


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JOB OPENING: PROGRAMMING ASSOCIATE/MEB Networks/Springfield VA: Organize/participate in daily screening sessions to evaluate programs being considered for acquisition. BA Deg in TV/Film Prod or Journalism & min 2 yrs hands-on exp TV prgmng/prod.  Proficiency in MS suite. Full info/apply HERE (5/26)


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