06/29/18: NBC Sports is lining up its most coverage of the Tour de France ever

Good morning. It’s Friday June 29, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. Note: Due to the holiday, we will be dark for most of next week!

NBC Sports will ride a record 365+ hours of live, primetime, and encore coverage of the 105th Tour de France, with content spanning NBC, NBCSN, and the NBC Sports Gold app. Daily live coverage begins July 7, at 5a with Stage 1 on NBCSN with coverage continuing each week night with the Tour Primetime show featuring a look at the day’s top action. Coverage culminates with the final stage on July 29 on NBCSN. Phil Liggett (play-by-play) and Paul Sherwen (analyst) will call the race action, joined by Jens Voigt. Meanwhile, NBC Sports Gold’s live stream includes access to a live GPS tracking map to follow the riders’ progress, an enhanced interactive map for each stage, the ability to pause the video, full stage video replay, highlights, and short­form video clips, and more.

Dan Le Batard and Jon “Stugotz” Weiner, hosts of ESPN Radio program The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz have signed multiyear agreements to remain with the company. The duo will continue to host their Miami-based program from 10a-1p while Le Batard will also continue to co-host Highly Questionable alongside his father Gonzalo “Papi” Le Batard and another of a rotating crop of guest hosts. Le Batard will also conduct six longform interviews each year that will live across multiple ESPN platforms including TV and digital. Weiner will make appearances on SportsCenter and continue hosting and guesting on other ESPN Radio shows.
Wednesday’s third-round 2018 FIFA World Cup Group Stage matches drew an average viewership of 1,523,000 for FOX and FS1, marking the tournament’s highest Matchday 14 audience since 2006, according to the company. World Cup viewing also drove FOX Sports to its best day ever in authenticated streaming with 140 million minutes streamed and 1.8 million unique streamers across all sports. Average viewership for the day saw a 16% markup over Matchday 14 of the 2014 World Cup. Meanwhile, Brazil’s 2-0 win over Serbia delivered 2,610,000 viewers to the FOX broadcast network and FOX streaming sources.
Telemundo reports that Wednesday’s Mexico/Sweden Group Stage finale pushed Telemundo Deportes to record- delivery, averaging a Total Audience Delivery of 5.2 million viewers across Telemundo, TelemundoDeportes.com, and the Telemundo En Vivo and NBC Sports apps, according to Nielsen and Adobe Analytics. Overall, Mexico/Sweden now ranks as Telemundo Deportes’ third-most watched match of the tournament, behind two Mexico weekend matches. With 6.9 million livestreams, the game is also the most-watched livestream event in Spanish-language history, with 119 million minutes viewed.
Meanwhile, the hosts of Telemundo’s morning show Un Nuevo Dia, “Chef James” Tahhan and Janice Bencosme have been suspended indefinitely after being seen making slant-eye gestures referring to South Korea. In a statement released to USA TODAY Sports on Thursday, Telemundo said the behavior was “contrary to our values and standards.”
NBC Sports offers coverage of the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens from San Francisco, on July 20-22, lining up more than 30 hours of live programming across NBC, NBCSN, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, and digital platforms, representing the most U.S. coverage of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in the event’s history. NBC Sports will present live coverage of all matches of the men’s and women’s tournaments. Linear coverage begins on July 20, at 4p on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, followed by six hours of coverage on NBCSN at 7p.
ESPN detailed coverage plans for X Games Minneapolis 2018, which runs July 19 – 22. ESPN and ABC will televise a combined 19 hours of live X Games Minneapolis 2018 coverage in addition to eight and a half additional hours of event coverage streamed live on the X Games Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages. Following the event, ABC will deliver four hours of anthology programming, two-hours on both July 29 and August 4 as part of the World of X Games series as well as a one-hour Best of Show featuring highlights from both the sports and music on Sunday, August 5.
The NBA booked the sixth NBA Canada Series presented by Bell, featuring two 2018-19 preseason games taking place in Vancouver and Montreal. The Raptors will take on the Trail Blazers at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on September 29, while the Raptors then face the Nets at the Bell Centre in Montreal on Oct. 10. The NBA Canada Series will once again feature an expanded schedule of interactive fan events and NBA Cares community outreach programs in Vancouver and Montreal.
SiriusXM takes on The Championships, Wimbledon 2018 starting Monday with broadcasts courtesy of ESPN Audio. Live play-by-play of matches will air on Sirius channel 145 and XM channel 207 and on channel 963 on the SiriusXM app with up to 13 hours of daily live Wimbledon coverage starting at 4a.
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

Minor League Baseball is teaming with Cartoon Network for a summer-long promotion for the in-park “Best Summer Ever” program. Blending baseball games and CN original series, the campaign will continue through Aug. 26 with participating MiLB teams dedicating three home games each in June, July or August to activate Cartoon Network’s in-game promotions. Activities include pre- and post-game screenings of Cartoon Network’s original series’, high-energy video mashups mixed with MiLB game and ballpark experience highlights, as well as in-game vignettes featuring Cartoon Network’s Stop Bullying Speak-Up pro-social campaign.
The ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced a multimedia rights agreement with Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment’s collegiate services division. The 10-year deal hands Van Wagner exclusive rights to represent ETSU as the rights holder for the program’s sponsorship and media sales, as well as on- and off-campus marketing promotions for the Buccaneers’ brand.
The Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee and the City of Atlanta are teaming with arts and advocacy organization WonderRoot to launch a community initiative titled “Off the Wall.” The project will produce up to 30 public murals to capture the past, present and future of Atlanta’s historic civil rights legacy and current social justice movements.

The San Francisco 49ers will deliver free live streaming for all its four preseason games at 49ers.com. The move makes them the first NFL team to activate its streaming rights with their local broadcast partner via the primary club website. As the official preseason broadcast partner of the 49ers and local CBS affiliate, KPIX 5 will carry all four preseason games locally while their production will also now be available via 49ers.com and the 49ers Mobile App throughout the Bay Area.
Visa, the Official Payment Services Partner of FIFA, released an analysis of foreign travelers’ spending during opening days of 2018 FIFA World Cup, discovering that – in the 11 Russian host cities of the tournament – approximately one in every five (17%) purchases with Visa used contactless payment technology, including smartphones, bracelets and rings. In the stadiums themselves, the share of contactless payments grew to 54%, inclusive of purchases made by fans from Russia and abroad.
WENN Digital Inc., creator and operator of the to-be developed blockchain-secured KODAKOne Image Rights Management Platform, agreed in principle to a partnership with two-time Formula 1 World Champion and World Endurance Championship driver, Fernando Alonso, to protect his professional and personal images and videos. As part of the partnership, KODAKOne Platform will become the exclusive image registration, protection and license-monitoring solution for certain images and videos of Alonso.

Twitch and YouTube are on-board to carry live streaming coverage of Universal Open Rocket League – NBC Sports Group and FACEIT’s annual esports tournament. The platforms will live stream nearly 100 hours of action via Twitch and a newly-developed Universal Open YouTube Channel, including Regional Finals and Closed Qualifiers, culminating with the Grand Finals on the weekend of August 24-26.
Magic Gaming unlocked a partnership that will see the NBA 2K League team align with HyperX to serve as the official gaming peripherals partner of the squad. Deal points will see HyperX receive assets in multiple areas for Magic Gaming including in-game and social media campaigns offering fans a chance to win prizes.
Envy Gaming named Geoff Moore as President and Chief Operating Officer. Moore most recently served as a partner at LOGE Capital Partners, a joint-venture with HKS Sports & Entertainment. In this role, he consulted on stadium design to enhance revenue performance and fan interaction and served as Chief Revenue Officer and Chief Marketing Officer for Circuit of The Americas.
Panda Global announced that YouTuber Jacob “Alpharad” Rabon IV is joining the organization as an equity partner. “Panda Global has finally decided to bring in a new equity partner and investor into the fold. When choosing investors and partners to work with, we wanted to be very selective about who would be part of Panda Global,” said Alan Bunney, Panda Global CEO. “We wanted someone that could help us elevate the PG brand without transforming it completely. When we talked to Alpharad about his aspirations and feelings towards esports, we felt like he would be a perfect fit for PG.”

World Cup’s Round of 16 with France/Argentina at 9:30a on Saturday on FOX and Telemundo.

Thursday, July 12th at 1:30PM
Millennial and Gen Z men are an elusive group for networks and marketers, but a valuable one. A report from Engagement Labs, “The Remarkable Influence of Millennial Men,” shows they’re 50% more likely than millennial women to be word-of-mouth influencers. During our upcoming webinar on July 12, “ Connecting with the New Young Male Demo ,” our experts will share how to align your marketing efforts with millennial male interests, at a time when the definition of masculinity is undergoing a major shift. 

ON THIS DAY in 1989: The Hawks’ Chris Washburn receives a lifetime suspension after violating the NBA’s substance-abuse policy.
In the Know: What is the name of the belt awarded to the winner of the annual Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog eating Contest? (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 which sports movie did Tom Berenger portray athlete Jake Taylor? Answer: Major League. Kudos: David Kopelman-New York Excelsior/NY; Chris Long-DraftKings/NY; Traci Liner-Endeavor/NY; Tim Morrison- SendtoNews/NY; Brianne Maciejowski-Miles/Sarasota; Christian Matthews-Washington Redskins/DC; Chris Schwartz -ISC|MRN/Charlotte; Sonia Durr-Carat/Atlanta; Nick Casanova-NBC Sports/Stamford; Joe Lyons-Back Nine Productions/Dallas; Lance Davis-ESPN/Milwaukee; JT Ward-NBCU/Chicago; Dory Petsrillo-CoxReps/Dallas; Larry Hutchings/Nipomo; John J. Tymick-Nigro Karlin Segal & Feldstein, LLP/LA; Jaymz Wooden-Bottelsen American Dart Lines/Santa Maria; Greg Dudsic/Venice
Later – Chris
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