06/12/19: Oh Canada: Combining viewing from north of the border with U.S. watching boosts NBA Finals audience above 2018 levels

CynopsisSports
Good morning. It’s Wednesday June 12, 2019 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
 

While ABC’s U.S. ratings have been hampered by the absence of Toronto as a Nielsen-measured market, the NBA Finals have netted an advance when viewing from north of the border is factored in. Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals between the Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors, in which the two-time defending champions, staved off elimination, scored an aggregate average audience in the United States and Canada of 25 million viewers.  Through five games, the aggregate average audience of 19.3 million viewers was up 4% vs. the 2018 NBA Finals between the Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers averaged 18.5 million watchers over Golden State’s four-game sweep.

In Canada, Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals delivered a combined average audience of 6.9 million viewers across simulcast coverage on Sportsnet, CityTV, ABC (in Canada) and RDS, making it the country’s most-watched TV program this year and the country’s most-watched NBA game ever. 

All told, 14.5 million people – some 40% of Canada’ population – watched all or part of Game 5 in Canada.  The 2019 NBA Finals now accounts for five of the top eight programs of 2019 in the nation.
 

PROGRAMMING
 
ESPN will shutter its ESPN Deportes radio business in September as the company looks to shift resources into mobile and podcasts, according to the Sports Business Daily. The division, which debuted in 2005, has 44 terrestrial affiliates in 15 states, as well as a SiriusXM channel. The Sept. 8 move, which follows the company’s April announcement that ESPN The Magazine will print its last issue that month, is expected to results in staff layoffs.
 
When Fox Sports cuts from Fox Sports 1 coverage of the first round of the U.S. Open on June 13 to the broadcast network at 7:30p, the cable channel will remain on course, following the action of two top group. Fox Sports 1’s feed will provide extensive coverage of one group comprising Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Justin Rose, as well as the trio of Francesco Molinari, Victor Hovland and PGA champion Brooks Koepka, who is looking to add a third consecutive U.S Open crown to his bag.

WNBA action is off to a solid ratings start. ABCs coverage of the Los Angeles-Minnesota on Jun8 scored a 0.6 rating, marking a 200% jump from a 0.2 for last season’s comparable telecast of Seattle-Los Angeles on ESPN2. Through the first three telecasts, the WNBA contests have averaged 413,000 viewers on ABC and ESPN2, a 64% gain from four telecasts on ESPN through the same date in 2018. Seattle-Connecticut tangle June 16 at 3 p on ABC.

CBS Sports’ June 9 presentation of the final round of the RBC Canadian Open – Rory McIlroy shot a nine-under 61 to win by seven strokes — averaged 2.63 million viewers. That stands as 27% improvement over the event’s final round in 2018 and its best mark since the broadcaster began airing the tournament in 2007.
 
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Join us Monday night, September 9th to honor the outstanding contributions by women in every facet of the media industry — TV, digital/tech, esports, sports, marketing and more. These are the women making bold decisions at every level – from corporate visionaries to rising stars — driving their businesses forward.
This will be the biggest gala event celebrating women in the industry. Don’t miss it!

 

SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Jacksonville University has inked a multiyear deal with Van Wagner Sports Entertainment as the school’s exclusive agent for strategic business partnerships, athletic sponsorship and media rights deal. In addition to building exposure for the university’s athletes across 20 sports, Van Wagner is charged with executing corporate partnerships, encompassing facility signage, in-game promotions and corporate hospitality.

MLB.TV wants to give dad the gift of out-of-market hardball this Father’s Day. During the league’s Father’s Week Sale, it is offering the package at a 50% discount, offering dads (and all other fans) the opportunity to watch the balance of the 2019 schedule for $49.99.

DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

Global publishing platform Minute Media has raised $40 million in its latest funding round, with an eye toward more acquisitions around more content verticals. Minute Media owns and operates five media brands powered by its proprietary technology platform: 90min, DBLTAP and 12up, and its two recently acquired brands As well as Mental Floss and The Big Lead. Combined, Minute Media’s properties reach more than 140 million monthly and feature original content in 12 languages. In the U.S. specifically, Minute Media reached #1 in Comscore’s Video Metrix across the sports sector for unique multi-platform viewers in February, March and April 2019.Combined with the with investments from Hamilton Lane and Maor Investments, the company has raised some $120 million to date, including earlier contributions include Battery Ventures, Goldman Sachs, ProSieben, Dawn Capital, Qumra Capital, Vintage Investment Partners and Gemini Israel Ventures.

“With the commercial momentum we’re experiencing as an organization, growing at 100% year-on-year, we’re purposely focusing investment on the deepening of our publisher product and tech offering — a part of our business that is rapidly expanding. Additionally, the new capital enables us to continue to be aggressive on the M&A front, constantly looking to acquire premium publishing brands across new content verticals and within new markets,” said Asaf Peled, Founder & CEO.

The league’s logo is the subject of the latest installment of podcast, Building a Champion. Over two installments, former NBA player and executive Dave Wohl will delved into Jerry West’s career as Mr. Clutch and his post-playing days in various teams’ front office. The pair discuss the state of today’s game and his opinions on such notables as Magic Johnson and Lebron James.

 


ROSTER MOVES

 
Tunity has added former ESPN research executive Artie Bulgrin to its advisory board, which provides the TV analytics company insights about  industry best practices, measurement advancements, consumer behaviors, and client feedback. Bulgrin, a 21 year veteran of ESPN until 2017, is currently executive vice president of insights and strategy at lab-based research firm MediaScience.

THE MAIN EVENT

Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final sees St. Louis looking for its first NHL title as the Blues visit the Boston Bruins on NBC at 8p.
 


ON THIS DAY in 2011, the Dallas Mavericks won their only NBA championship, beating the Miami Heat 4 games to 2.
 
  In the Know: Who was the Conn Smythe winner the last time there was a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final? (Email cpursell@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).
 
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: In 2015, this US player in the Women’s World Cup made history that included scoring the fastest goal from kickoff in a final, scoring in the third minute. Answer: Carli Lloyd. Congrats: Anne Wetlig-Fox Sports, Los Angeles; David Westberg-SAG AFTRA Federal Credit Union, Burbank; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group, Boca Raton; Bradon Morales-NYU, New York; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions, Los Angeles; Art Salisch-CBS-TV, New York; Dan Weiner-Conde Nast, Los Angeles; Joe Lyons-ESPN, Dallas; Traci Liner- Endeavor, New York; and Mike May-PHIT America, Wellington, Fla.

Later — Chris

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