06/11/14: USGA stays home in Bell Media extension; CBS Sports unveils NFL pairings; Twitter, Facebook launch World Cup hubs


Good morning. It’s Wednesday, June 11, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

The United States Golf Association is going long-term with Bell Media’s TSN and RDS in Canada. The organization locked in a new media rights agreement extending the networks’ partnership with the USGA through 2022, making TSN and RDS the exclusive Canadian broadcasters of the US Open. The move comes ahead of the channels’ coverage of the 114th US Open on Thursday. The eight-year deal will also include the US Women’s Open, and US Senior Open Championships, as well as the USGA’s national amateur championships. "The US Open is one of the preeminent golf championships in the world and has been a key component to our coverage of the biggest events in sports," said Stewart Johnston, President of TSN. "We’re thrilled to work even closer with the USGA executive team on this new and expanded partnership as we elevate Canadian coverage of USGA events across all of our platforms."


CBS Sports revealed its broadcast pairings for the network’s 55th year of broadcasting the NFL. In addition to Jim Nantz, Phil Simms and Tracy Wolfson toplining The NFL on CBS, with the full slate of Thursday Night Football games on CBS and the NFL Network, along with selected Sunday games, Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts have been named the number two announce team and will call the network’s top game on Sundays when Nantz and Simms do not call a game. The company will also utilize additional sideline reporters during the season including Jenny Dell and Evan Washburn. Other tandems will include Greg Gumbel/Trent Green; Kevin Harlan/Rich Gannon; Spero Dedes/Solomon Wilcots, and Andrew Catalon/Steve Tasker/Steve Beuerlein.
ESPN gears up for the NCAA College World Series on Saturday for the company’s 12th straight year of televising every College World Series game. Coverage will include up to 17 telecasts, including the best-of-three College World Series Finals on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU. Kyle Peterson will rotate analyst responsibilities with Aaron Boone while Karl Ravech and Jon Sciambi handle play-by-play. Jessica Mendoza will report from the field along with Jaymee Sire.

After FIFA chief Sepp Blatter sounded off about recent reports alleging corruption within the organization, the AP reports that European football leaders have now told Blatter that he should leave the governing body next year. According to the report, UEFA executive committee member Michael van Praag and English Football Association President Greg Dyke “directly challenged Blatter not to stand again during a closed-door meeting of Europe’s 54 football nations.”

UniMas’ broadcast of the Mexico/Portugal friendly match on Friday delivered an average of 2.6 million Total Viewers and 1.6 million Adults 18-49, according to Nielsen. In addition, Univision Deportes’ live stream of the game ranked as Univision’s most viewed live streaming event in 2014.

ESPN’s own Stuart Scott will be the recipient of the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at this year’s 2014 ESPYS presented by Capital One on July 16. The honor will be presented due to Scott’s “passion and determination he has displayed in the face of ongoing personal challenges.” As one of ESPN’s most recognizable talents’, Scott was first diagnosed with appendiceal cancer in November of 2007 and has since fought a public battle with the disease.


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WWE and Totino’s BOLD are partnering for a “Show Us Your Superstar” contest to offer one fan the chance to travel to SummerSlam on Aug. 17 in LA. Totino’s BOLD, a General Mills brand, will be the presenting sponsor of SummerSlam and the “Show Us Your Superstar” contest. The promotion will allow fans to submit videos no longer than three minutes showcasing their ultimate WWE persona and one winner will be selected and sent to WWE’s Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, where the winner’s character will be developed.
Big Ten Network has launched a three-week search for Big Ten superfans from the New York tri-state area via the “most creative and inspired selfies” taken in front of iconic New York and New Jersey locations. Winners will receive prize packages, including a trip to the 2014 Big Ten Football Championship Game or the 2015 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament. Entries will be judged on expression of Big Ten pride, showcasing iconic NYC/NJ locations in the background and creativity.

Athlete representation and sports marketing group TLA Worldwide has been named by USA Rugby as its exclusive commercial agency for the USA v All Blacks fixture at Soldier Field, Chicago, 1 November 2014. American Insurance Group serves as title sponsor for the match, while NBC will show the game live.


Facebook and Twitter rolled out World Cup conversation hubs yesterday. Twitter’s platform will give new users the ability to choose their team flag as their profile picture, and all users can use “hashflags” or mini country flags next to team mentions, and read game coverage on a single timeline. Facebook is also aggregating sources around matches that will also feature an interactive world map, and friends’ posts about the World Cup in a page called Trending World Cup.


ESPN Radio will offer talk shows and events on iTunes Radio available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, iTunes on Mac and Windows, as well as Apple TV. ESPN Radio will become the first sports content available on iTunes Radio. The stream will offer the likes of Mike & Mike, The Herd with Colin Cowherd, SVP & Russillo, The Dan LeBatard Show, Sedano & Stink and The Freddie Coleman Show.

Live-clips from the Wimbledon tennis tournament will be made instantly shareable on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter under a new partnership with the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club. From June 23 to July 6, the social-video platform Grabyo with the AELTC will distribute clips on the social platforms, along with video highlights on Wimbledon.com and YouTube.

Electronic Arts officially launched EA Sports PGA TOUR King of the Course for mobile devices. The game offers real PGA TOUR pros and courses, utilizing swipe-swing and swipe shot-shaping controls.


Can the Kings make it a sweep? Kings/Rangers on NBCSN at 8p.


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ON THIS DAY in 1950: Ben Hogan completes a comeback to win the US Open.

In The Know: What was the last host country to win the World Cup? (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 three South American countries have won the men’s FIFA World Cup? Answer: Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina. Kudos: Jim Seifert/Sao Paulo; Andrew Feingold-Nielsen Sports/NY; Lewis Blaustein-Lewis Brand Solutions, Inc./NY; Ivette Herrera-WestwoodOne/NY; Asher Levine-OMG/NY; Mike May/PHIT America; Jeff Crehan-Media Storm LLC/Norwalk; Bernie Greenberg-The Sports Network/Philadelphia; Anthony Antonelli-Rogers Media/Toronto; Joe Lyons-Back Nine Productions, Inc./Dallas; Matt Sautter-OpenTV/Golden; Charles Kundrat-The Band Inc./Denver; Jack Simmons-Fox Sports/LA; Paul Gygli-NBCUniversal Television Distribution/Universal City; Brian Robin-Brener Zwikel & Associates. Inc./Reseda; Khalil Garriott-Yahoo! Sports/Santa Monica.

Later — Chris
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