06/13/18: ESPN and NBA TV will air all 82 games of NBA Summer League for first time

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Good morning. It’s Wednesday June 13, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
 

For the first time, ESPN and NBA TV will combine to air every game of the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. The 12-day, 82-game schedule will tip off with a record 10 games on Friday, July 6 and continue through Tuesday, July 17 at the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The first day will include five games on NBA TV and a tripleheader on ESPN. The Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings, who are selecting first and second, respectively, in this year’s draft, will meet on Saturday, July 7 at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN. This year’s Summer League, which will feature all 30 NBA teams for the first time, will culminate with the Championship Game on July 17 at 10 p.m. on ESPN. ESPN will present every game via the ESPN App, along with a record 46 games on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. Meanwhile, NBA TV will air 36 games, beginning with the Summer League opener on July 6. NBA TV’s coverage of Day 1 will also feature a 5 p.m. ET game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Orlando Magic.
 

ON THE AIR

FOX Sports will air the 68th FIFA Congress, during which voting will take place to determine the host of the 2026 World Cup, on FS1 and the FOX Sports App. FoxSports.com and the Fox Sports App will livestream the Congress, which begins at 2 AM. Voting is expected to take place no earlier than 4 AM. Beginning at 6:30 AM, FS1 will provide additional coverage throughout regularly scheduled programming, as the two candidates – Morocco and the United Bid of the United States, Mexico and Canada – await the decision. I win by the United Bid would bring World Cup games to the U.S. for the first time since 1994.
 
Mike Francesa is back atop the New York radio ratings. In his first month back on WFAN, Francesa finished May with an average 6.8 percent share of the audience among men ages 25-54 from 3 to 6:30 p.m., according to Nielsen Audio. Those are the hours he is head-to-head against ESPN New York Radio’s Michael Kay. For the period of April 26 to May 23, Kay ranked fourth with a 5.5 share. Francesa had left WFAN on Dec. 15 before returning on May 1.
 
Shaquille O’Neal was promoted to “General” as part of an expanding role at PodcastOne Sportsnet, where he currently hosts The BIG Podcast with Shaq. In addition to his own podcast, the four-time NBA champion will also take part in the promotion and curation of the sports network’s programming slate, PodcastOne said.
 
SiriusXM will feature a minimum of 32 hours of live hole-by-hole coverage of the U.S. Open across all four rounds of play – June 14th through the 17th – and will include a playoff if one occurs. Live coverage will begin each day at Shinnecock Hills at 12:00 pm on SiriusXM PGA TOUR. SiriusXM’s Brian Katrek will anchor the play-by-play broadcast with former PGA Tour pro Mark Carnevale serving as the analyst in the booth. A team of roving reporters, including Fred AlbersMaureen MadillJohn MaginnesDennis Paulson and Bill Rosinski will provide commentary from around the course. SiriusXM’s Debbie Doniger will be on site conducting pre- and post-round interviews with the competitors. SiriusXM’s Taylor Zarzour and former Tour pros Carl Paulson and Mark Lye will host live pre- and post-round broadcasts. Three-time U.S. Open champion and SiriusXM host Hale Irwin will co-host the pre- and post-round show on Sunday.
 
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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

The University of Florida’s Sun Dome will be renamed the Yuengling Center on July 1 as part of a new 10-year sponsorship agreement between the school and D.G. Yuengling & Son. Yuengling, based in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, has operated a brewery in Tampa since 1999 and in recent years has been trying to raise its profile in the Tampa Bay area. The agreement also includes field level signs and LED ribbon board branding in Raymond James Stadium for USF home football games, USF said.
 
The PGA Tour’s Houston Open will now be operated and hosted by the Astros Foundation as part of a new five-year agreement with the PGA Tour, beginning with the 2019 tournament. The Astros Foundation, with the support of a consortium of local sponsors, is in place through 2023. The 2019 tournament will be conducted at the Golf Club of Houston during the fall portion of the PGA Tour’s 2019-20 FedExCup Season with a $7.5 million purse and 500 FedExCup points awarded to the winner. “Our team is committed to the continued growth of the Houston Open and making a positive impact in the city of Houston,” Astros owner and Chairman Jim Crane said.
 
UFC reached a partnership that will have Black Rifle Coffee Company serve as the “Official Coffee” of Season Two of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, which returned to UFC Fight Pass on Tuesday, June 12. Throughout the sponsorship, Black Rifle Coffee will work with UFC to provide social content about the series and promote a national campaign with prizes and exclusive UFC experiences. 
 
FIFA signed its first 2018 World Cup sponsor from Africa, agreeing to a deal with the government of Egypt. “Egypt – Experience & Invest” – a campaign which FIFA says aims to showcase the “wide spectrum of tourism experiences and investment potential Egypt has to offer” – fills the first of four African slots in a program for third-tier commercial deals. The agreement is also the first World Cup sponsorship deal for FIFA in the past five years from outside China, Qatar and Russia. FIFA now has 20 sponsors of the 34 places in its 2018 World Cup commercial program.
 
Westgate Resorts reached a multiyear agreement to serve as title sponsor of Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s September NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. The World of Westgate 200, the second race of the Truck Series playoff, will take place at the 1.5-mile superspeedway on Friday, September 14, and is the second of four consecutive days of racing at the Las Vegas track. It’s Westgate Resorts’ first title sponsorship in NASCAR.
 

DIGITAL & STREAMING

FOX Sports will stream on Facebook Watch one game per week each Friday during the 2018 season of the BIG3, a new 3-on-3, half-court basketball league started by Ice Cube. Each week, the Facebook broadcast will lead into three additional games on FOX or FS1 (simulcast live in the FOX Sports app) during the regular season and playoffs. The first BIG3 game to stream on Facebook will feature a match-up between 2017 BIG3 MVP Rashard Lewis’ 3 Headed Monsters and Mike Bibby’s Ghost Ballers on June 22 from Houston, TX, followed by Chauncey Billups’ Killer 3’s and Dermarr Johnson’s 3’s Company; Corey Maggette’s Power and Brian Scalabrine’s Ball Hogs; and Kenyon Martin’s Trilogy and Jermaine O’Neal’s Tri-State on FS1.
 
NBC Sports Gold has launched its “Cycling Pass” for the 2018-19 season, which gives U.S. cycling fans access to premiere cycling races from July 2018 through June 2019, beginning with next month’s Tour de France. The $49.99 streaming subscription features live, commercial-free coverage of every stage of the Tour de France and other Grand Tours, including Vuelta a Espana, Monument Classics, including Paris–Roubaix and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, UCI Mountain Bike and Road World Championships, and the Amgen Tour of California.
 
Just in time for Father’s Day, MLB.TV is now offering a one-year subscription for $49.99, a savings of more than 50% from the usual $115.99 annual price. A single-team subscription is now available for $39.99, a $50 savings from the usual price.
 

ESPORTS

Intel upped its prize ante as the sponsor of the grassroot Go4 tournaments on ESL Play. Starting this month, total prize money has been increased to $50,000 from $30,000, ESL announced. Five Go4 series across two games will benefit from the new Go4 prize pool, now titled with a prize pot of over $5,000 per month; Go4CS: GO Europe, Go4LoL EU West, Go4Lol EU Nordic & East, Go4Lol LatAm North. And Go4Lol LatAm South.
 
Harrisburg University will be holding a summer esports camp for high school students next week. The goal of the camp will be to improve skills in esports and gain a strategic advantage in games like League of Legends, Overwatch and Hearthstone, the University said. The “Esports Immersion Bootcamp” will give an overview of the esports industry and teach about future career opportunities in esports management, production and entertainment.
 

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On This Day in 1930: Bobby Jones shoots 287 at Interlachen CC in Minnesota to win golf’s U.S. Open, the third leg of the Grand Slam.

In the Know: With a chance to win the U.S. Open, what score did Roy McAvoy (Kevin Costner) card on the final hole in the 1996 movie Tin Cup? (Email mikebuteau@gmail.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: In the 1977 cult hockey movie Slapshot, forward Ned Braden was an All-American for which university before joining the Charlestown Chiefs? Answer: Princeton University. Kudos: Chris Long-DraftKings, NY; Traci Liner-Endeavor, NY; Keith Marder-Halstead Real Estate, NY; Erik Matuszewski-National Golf Foundation/Hopewell; Joe Sabo-Asbury Park Press, New Brunswick; Jon Achar-Creative Consultants, Inc./Weston; Matt Deprey-C-Span, Washington; Joe Lyons-Back Nine Productions, Dallas; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner & Triathlete magazine/Houston; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions, Los Angeles; David Westberg-SAG•AFTRA Federal Credit Union, Burbank 
 
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