06/28/18: Disney agreed to sell off the FOX RSNs to complete the company’s acquisition

 CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM TENNIS CHANNEL
TENNIS CHANNEL PRESENTS STROKES OF GENIUS
Tennis Channel, with additional broadcast support from Sinclair Broadcast Group, Tribune Media, and The CW, premieres a landmark two-hour documentary celebrating Federer, Nadal, and their unparalleled connection on the eve of the most prestigious tournament in tennis, The Championships, Wimbledon.
Tennis Channel Premiere – July 1, 2018
The CW Premiere – July 3, 2018
Sinclair Broadcast Group & Tribune Stations Premiere – July 8, 2018

TENNIS MEDIA: Contact Adsales@tennis.com
CynopsisSports
Good morning. It’s Thursday June 28, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Disney agreed to sell the 22 RSNs it would pick up in its acquisition of 21st Century FOX in a move to secure the approval of the Justice Department in the latest news on the $71.3 billion transaction. The Justice Department on Wednesday filed a complaint in federal court seeking to block Disney from acquiring the networks but announced a settlement agreement with Disney that calls for the divestitures. Meanwhile, rival bidder Comcast is reportedly expected to respond with another offer beyond its latest $65 billion bid with some stories stating that he company is seeking potential acquisition partners if the bidding should climb as high as $90 billion.
 
 
ON THE AIR

Silver’s value continues to soar. NBA Board of Governors Chairman and Toronto Raptors Governor Larry Tanenbaum announced that Commissioner Adam Silver’s contract has been extended through the 2023-24 NBA season. He initially became Commissioner in February 2014 and joined the league in 1992.
 
FOX saw 2.977 million viewers tune in to watch Argentina’s World Cup win over Nigeria on Tuesday, marking the most-watched “non-US third-round Group State on English TV in nearly three decades,” according to Nielsen. On FOX alone, the audience averaged 2,613,000 viewers. To date, the top five local markets for FIFA World Cup viewing on FOX Sports networks are: Washington D.C., Miami, Austin, San Francisco and Providence.
 
In talent news, NBC Sports named Terry McAulay as an on-air rules analyst for NBC Sunday Night Football, Football Night in America, and Notre Dame Football. McAulay joins NBC Sports following his recent retirement after 20 years as an on-field NFL game official, and a college football officiating administrator for the past 10 seasons. McAulay will be on-site at SNF and Notre Dame Football games, moving between the broadcast booth during the game and the studio set for pre-game and halftime shows. In addition, on the mornings after games where rulings are a hot topic, McAulay will join Pro Football Talk with Mike Florio on NBC Sports Radio and NBCSN.
 
Meanwhile, boxing great Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley Jr., locked in a new multiyear contract extension with ESPN to continue to serve as boxing analyst for Top Rank on ESPN, alongside Joe Tessitore and Mark Kriegel. This Saturday, June 30, Bradley will be onsite at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, alongside Tessitore and Kriegel for ESPN’s telecast of Top Rank on ESPN headlined by WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez defending his title against Alexis Angulo.
 
NBA TV takes NBA free agency with a programming lineup that will include an all-time high 21 hours of dedicated free agency content starting today and running daily through July 6. The network will feature an expanded slate of live studio telecasts – including daily editions of Free Agent Fever, a live studio show utilizing a deep roster of commentators – as well as the network’s signature NBA GameTime program. Free Agent Fever coverage will begin with half-hour preview shows tonight at 11p, followed by a 3.5-hour live show on Saturday at 10p. ,
 
Around the dial, ESPN’s takes on NBA free agency with First Take delivering a week of “Two-a-Days” beginning July 2, with a morning edition from 10a-noon on ESPN2, followed by NBA Free Agency specials live from 4:30-6p on ESPN. Host Molly Qerim and commentators Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman will discuss the biggest storylines coming off the NBA Draft, as well as debating the prospective new teams for available free agents. Former star of ABC’s The Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay, will host the morning programs with a rotating group of commentators including Will Cain, Domonique Foxworth, Ryan Hollins and Jason Fitz.
 
CBS Sports lined up an hour-long special highlighting the organization’s charitable commitment, titled PGA TOUR 2018: For the Good of the Game presented by Ascension. The show will air Sunday, at 2p on the network, prior to the channel’s final-round coverage of the Quicken Loans National.
 
Tennis Channel debuts its first full-length feature film on Sunday at 8p ahead of its Wimbledon coverage. The special, Strokes of Genius, looks at the ongoing rivalry of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal through the prism of their epic 2008 championship at the All England Lawn Tennis Club and is based on the book Strokes of Genius: Federer, Nadal, and the Greatest Match Ever Played by author Jon Wertheim. Tennis Channel co-produced the film with Amblin Television and Angus Wall’s film-editing company Rock Paper Scissors.
 
FOX Sports is adding dirt aces and current NASCAR stars Christopher Bell and Kyle Larson to its broadcast team at Tony Stewart’s half-mile dirt track in Ohio. The pair will make their FOX Sports broadcasting debut in the July 18 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora with Bell covering pit road and Larson serving as an analyst in the FS1 booth.
 
In baseball news, MLB Network tells the story of 1988 World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers and one of baseball’s most iconic moments in Only in Hollywood, the latest installment of the MLB Network Presents documentary series. The program debuts on July 15 at 8p and will be narrated by Bryan Cranston.
 
Meanwhile, MLB on TBS gets underway with weekly regular season games starting July 8, featuring a matchup between the Brewers/Braves at 2p. Ernie Johnson (play-by-play) will be joined by analyst Ron Darling to call the game.
 
GLORY and Veronica announced a multi-year broadcast agreement that expands the television footprint of kickboxing in the Netherlands. The new deal will feature broadcasts of every GLORY fight night – including both GLORY numbered and SuperFight Series fight cards – as well as shoulder programming and archived events utilizing the kickboxing leader’s fight library in a regular time slot on the free-to-air commercial channel.
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
EARLY RATES EXPIRE TOMORROW
AUG 2 | 9AM – 3:30PM | Dream Downtown, NYC
 
Be in the room when these thought leaders tackle the most significant measurement challenges we face in today’s media landscape. Speakers will be joining us from A + E Networks, Ad-ID, the 4 A’s, Amobee, Blue 449, Data + Math, Del Monte, Discovery, Google, GroupM, Hulu, Shareablee, TV Time, Horizon Media and many more. Seating is limited Register today.
 
Sponsored by: TV Time, Data + Math, Discovery, Group M
 
 
SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

NBC Sports Group will gas up its promotion for the launch of the 2018 NASCAR on NBC season via a consumer engagement campaign that spotlights new family member Dale Earnhardt Jr. The “Same Dale. New View” campaign will see NBC Sports surround the start of its fourth season of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series racing with a multi-platform promotional effort highlighting Earnhardt’s transition from the track to the broadcast booth, including television promo spots, outdoor advertising, digital partnerships and social media. Earnhardt also offers listeners a sneak peek into his music queue, as he takes over Spotify’s Gameday playlist. The “NASCAR Race Weekend” playlist offers listeners a combination of Earnhardt’s eclectic music tastes, ranging from The Dangerous Summer and David Bowie to Third Eye Blind.
 
The PGA TOUR and Omni Hotels & Resorts announced a sponsorship agreement that runs through 2022 and designs Omni as the official hotel partner of the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions. The deal represents Omni’s first major league-wide sponsorship. In celebration of the two-year anniversary of Omni’s Say Goodnight to Hunger program, the company will help provide four meals for a family in need for every birdie-or-better made during each PGA TOUR event. In addition, they will offer a variety of benefits to players, including the highest-level membership in Omni’s Select Guest loyalty program and a designated number of room nights for members of the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions and Web.com Tour.
 
 
DIGITAL & STREAMING

Telemundo Deportes’ digital presentation of World Cup saw the Mexico/Sweden Group Stage match peaked at 1.02 million concurrent livestreams, marking the most for any event in NBC Sports Digital history, excluding Super Bowls, and the only event other than the Super Bowl to hit the 1 million mark. In addition, the 1.02 million concurrent livestreams topped by 53% the prior non-Super Bowl mark – 665,000 for the Mexico-South Korea match on June 23.
 
 
ESPORTS

In this week’s edition of Cynopsis Esports & Gaming…      
  • ELEAGUE returns to the Street for Celeb showdown
  • G2 Esports talks game
  • UTA Presses esports push
  • Overwatch World Cup’s global route
  • Comcast parks on N3rd Street
  • Ninja’s brief deal
  • Intel enters Battlegrounds
  • Twitch’s new records
 
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Celebrating the Best in Online Video Content & Advertising
 
An annual must for all digital innovators, entries for the 6th Annual Cynopsis Model D & Digital “It List” Awards are ramping up. And with over 50 categories to choose from, teams are shining a light on new technology, fresh formats and a pioneering spirit in the digital media landscape. The awards luncheon will take place in early November in NYC.
 
 

ON THIS DAY in 1975: Lee Trevino is struck by lightning while playing at the Western Open.
 
In the Know: In which sports movie did Tom Berenger portray athlete Jake Taylor? (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: In the classic TV show The Bionic Woman, Jamie Sommers was a professional at what sport before her skydiving accident ended her career?  Answer: Tennis. Kudos: Phyllis McQuillan-MSG Networks/NY; Mitch Askenas-Comcast/NY; Brad Stern-OPERR Technologies/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Michael Narracci-NESN/Watertown; Matt Deprey-C-SPAN/DC; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; ; John Kukla-KDFW/KDFI/Dallas-Fort Worth; Bill Robertson-WCHA/Bloomington; Andy Babb-Super League Gaming/Santa Monica; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank
 
Later – Chris
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