06/06/14: Stanley Cup opens with 4.8 million viewers; Broadcasters tee up for US Open Championship; Tim Brando announces new home


Good morning. It’s Friday, June 6, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Game 1 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final between the Rangers and Kings averaged 4.777 million viewers, which makes it NBC’s second-most watched Stanley Cup Final Game 1 ever and the second-most watched Game 1 overall since 1999, according to Nielsen. The game drew a 3.0 household rating, off-pace from last year’s thriller, but up 65% over 2012. The only Game 1 on NBC to surpass last night’s viewership was last year’s triple-overtime thriller between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks, which averaged 6.358 million. Anyway, New York delivered its best NHL rating ever on NBC/NBCSN with a 10.1 metered market rating, while LA saw a 7.1 metered market rating, ranking as L.A.’s third-best ever on NBC.


Broadcasters revealed plans for the 2014 US Open Championship, with NBC Sports Group slotting more than 75 hours of combined live coverage. Golf Channel on NBC has programmed 19 live hours of the tournament from June 12-15, as well as 57 live hours of news, analysis and highlights on Golf Channel, the most in channel history. Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller will anchor NBC’s four-day coverage, which also will feature Peter Jacobsen and Gary Koch in outer tower positions; Notah Begay, Roger Maltbie and Mark Rolfing walking and reporting from the golf course; Steve Sands conducting player interviews; and Jimmy Roberts presenting his signature video essays. Ryan Burr, Rich Lerner and Kelly Tilghman will anchor Golf Channel’s Live From the U.S. Open telecasts from Pinehurst.

ESPN’s coverage of the US Open Championship will span June 10-16 with eight hours of live play in each of the first two rounds that will air each day from 9a3p and 5-7p on Thursday and Friday, June 12. An edited encore presentation from each of the first two rounds will later air in prime time on ESPN and WatchESPN at 8p, while edited highlights from Saturday and Sunday’s third and final round action will air on ESPN2 and WatchESPN in the overnight hours after each round. SportsCenter will originate from the tournament site with special SportsCenter at the U.S. Open programs each day starting Tuesday, June 10.

Tim Brando confirmed rumors of his new gig at the upcoming SEC Network, posting "The truth is, at this stage, I have no idea if I will be involved in any of the SEC Network’s coverage of College Football. I am hopeful and remain passionate about my love of College Football. In whatever capacity they deem me worthy of inclusion; I will be ready to work." He added, "Okay, that’s what I don’t know. Here is what I do know. The SEC Network wants me to call a lot of College Basketball. I have always placed College Hoops on a pedestal and the chance to get back into the SEC in the winter, along with my ACC relationship with Raycom genuinely excites me."

Set to inherit the World Cup following this year’s tournament, FOX Sports announced coverage plans for this month’s event. The company lined up a slew of talent to contribute daily to America’s Pregame and FOX Sports Live, as well as FOXSoccer.com. FOX Sports’ soccer contributor and Sports Illustrated Senior Columnist Grant Wahl will report live for both shows from the USA team base, while FOX Sports reporter Geoff Schreeves will be entrenched within the England camp. Daily studio coverage includes Eric Wynalda and Cobi Jones as will Warren Barton and Mario Melchiot. FOX Sports will also draw from its assets with the latest updates from FOX Sports Brasil, Sky Sports Germany, Sky Sports Italia and Sky Sports Japan.

Speaking of FOX, after battling rain all season, NASCAR on FOX announced that it once again finished as the top-rated regular season sport from February through June with nine of the 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup races run on FOX ranking as the most-watched sports event that day. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series package this season averaged 4.3/9 with 7 million viewers compared to 4.8/10 with 7.8 million viewers a year ago, off 10% in household rating, according to Nielsen. FOX also announced that NASCAR’s new "knockout" qualifying format paid dividends, with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying telecasts on FOX Sports 1 up 48% from 2013. On the digital front, FOX Sports GO saw, in an average week during the NASCAR season, nearly one third of all streams on the FOX Sports GO iOS app driven by NASCAR content. Fans spent an average of 42 minutes per user streaming NASCAR races on the iOS app.

UniMas’ broadcast of the Mexico/Bosnia-Herzegovina friendly match, which was simulcast on Univision Deportes Network (UDN), delivered an average of 2.6 million Total Viewers and 1.6 million Adults 18-49, according to Nielsen. Regardless of language, UniMas ranked as the highest rated broadcast station during the match among Total Viewers in Los Angeles and Houston.

Good news for the US Ski and Snowboard Association, which landed the International Ski Federation’s 2019 World Championships for freestyle, freeskiing and snowboarding in partnership with the Olympic community of Park City and state of Utah. The bid featured an alliance of Canyons Resort, Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain Resort for the Feb. 2019 event. The event will be broadcast globally with anticipated audiences in the tens of millions with local coverage from NBC Sports Group.

Once again we are happy to provide you with HRTV’s picks for tomorrow’s Belmont Stakes. HRTV’s own Peter Lurie nailed the trifecta for the Preakness and now projects: 1) California Chrome; 2) Tonalist; 3) Wicked Strong. "California Chrome is the fastest, seems to glide over the Belmont surface, and more importantly is the pace of the race. As long as everyone rides their race, the drought might be over. Tonalist loved the ‘off’ going at Belmont and is bred to love the distance, and if CC faulters could be a nice upset price. Can’t give up on Wicked Strong. The Derby was a tough trip, and he broke his maiden right here impressively." Other picks: Scott Hazelton: Wicked Strong, California Chrome, Samraat; Richard Migliore: California Chrome, Tonalist, Wicked Strong

The NFL announced via Twitter yesterday that the league is looking at two sets of windows for next year’s draft: April 22-25 & April 29-May 2, both of which are four days long. In addition, spokesman Brian McCarthy stated that the league is focusing on three cities for now to play host: NY, Chicago and LA, although other cities remain in play.

FOX Sports is hitting 24 Hours of Le Mans with five live coverage segments, led by host Bob Varsha and a team of 10 on-air personalities starting June 14 at 8:30a on FOX Sports 1. Brian Till will hit the driver’s seat when on-air teams rotate in multi-hour segments in similar fashion to the multi-driver entries. Analysis is provided by Calvin Fish, Dorsey Schroeder, Tommy Kendall and Darren Law. Reporting from Le Mans will be Justin Bell, Jamie Howe, Andrew Marriott and Greg Creamer. In addition to television coverage, FOXSports.com offers on-board cameras from seven-time Class winner Corvette’s two entries, as well as the team Pit Cam.

Save the date! The 2014 Cynopsis Sports Summit is set for NY on Aug. 19-20 this year. Don’t miss out on some of the industry’s most dynamic and influential speakers – from Commissioners to CEOs – breaking down the most important issues and trends of the industry. Details coming soon…


Is your content and brand relevant to Younger Hispanics?

How to Better Reach Younger Hispanics – TV’s Most Coveted Demo
June 10, 2014 | 2:00-3:30 pm ET
Experts Include:
Michael Teicher
, EVP, Media Sales – Twentieth Television
Joel Kliksberg
, VP & Chief Strategy Officer Fusion
Donna Murphy
, SVP, Strategic Research & Insights – Discovery Communications
Jeffrey Bowman
, Sr. Partner & Managing Dir
Ogilvy Group & Founder/ Chairman CCMCA


The UFC and the Topps Company launched the 2014 Topps UFC Knockout card set, marking the "most comprehensive and engaging collectable card product ever launched" in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. The launch of the 2014 set will offer special giveaways and promotional opportunities, including a "Golden Ticket" insertion in select sets where fans can win a chance to train with UFC star and new Topps ambassador Chael Sonnen.

ESPN Consumer Products is partnering with lifestyle brand HOMAGE to create a limited edition Every 4 Years collection based on ESPN’s brand marketing campaign for this year’s World Cup. The T-shirts feature graphics inspired by the network’s slate of posters, created by Brazilian designer Cristiano Siqueira, and ESPN commercials such as "I Believe."

Meanwhile, ESPN is adding the latest installment of This is SportsCenter with a World Cup-themed spot that features United States National Team midfielder Michael Bradley and SportsCenter host Bram Weinstein. Dubbed "Kids," Weinstein explains ESPN’s efforts to do special things for children while Bradley walks around ESPN headquarters, hand in hand with his young confidant, performing menial tasks like making photo copies and checking the mail. 


The Rangers/Kings Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final handed NBC Sports Live Extra with the most unique viewers for an NHL live stream with 177,860 ever (90,635 desktop, 87,225 mobile). Overall, fans consumed 6,494,189 million minutes for the overtime contest to rank as the third-best ever for an NHL game.


California Chrome makes his run for history tomorrow on NBC starting at 4:30p with the Belmont Stakes.


Want more news and updates from Cynopsis Media?

Check out our CYNSIDERS blog:
What’s Behind the Resurgence of the Historical Miniseries
– By Stephen David, President & EP – Stephen David Entertainment

Post-NewFronts: So Now What? 4 Questions We Should All Be Asking Now
– By Dan Goodman, Bill Masterson & Danny Fishman – Believe Entertainment Group

View more stories on our website here..

ON THIS DAY in 1992: Eddie Murray set an RBI record for a switch hitter.

In The Know: Three strikes in a row are known by what term in bowling? (Email Chris-Sports@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Which actor and former superhero rode Seabiscuit to a 2004 Best Picture Oscar nomination? Answer: Tobey Maguire. Kudos: Charles O’Neill-Initiative/NY; Mark McDonald-ESPN/NY; Keith Wan-World Wrestling Entertainment/NY; Shev Murad-Time Warner Cable/NY; Rusty Mintz-Turner Sports/Atlanta; Anthony Uro-Stage 3 Productions/Philadelphia; Liz Eng-NBC Sports Group/Stamford; Ellen Harvey-Harness Racing Communications/Freehold; Dacia Smith-Continental TV Sales/Chicago; Karl Duesterhaus-CTV Sales/Chicago; Heather Floore-CW33/Dallas; Kristin Staskowski-Charter Media/Birmingham; Denise M. Abbott-PBR/Pueblo; Brienne Chance-G/O Digital/Phoenix; Charles Kundrat-The Band Inc./Denver; David Hauptman/Denver; Kyle Fox-Tennis Channel/Santa Monica; Jaime Martinez-KMEX/LA; Bryan Geidt-Direct Avenue/Carlsbad; Amy Joanides-The Nielsen Company/Santa Cruz.

Later — Chris
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