06/17/14: NBA Finals finish up over 2013; ESPN, Tennis Channel brace for Wimbledon; World Cup trends from CSE


Good morning. It’s Tuesday, June 17, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

With the Spurs clinching the series in only five games, the 2014 NBA Finals on ABC wrapped up with an average of 15,524,000 viewers and a 9.3 U.S. household rating, according to Nielsen, with both figures up from last year’s series between the two teams (through five games). The clinching contest reeled in 17,881,000 viewers, up 10% from 16,267,000 viewers last year and a 10.3 rating, up 8% from a 9.5 rating a year ago. On ESPN3, the NBA Finals averaged 374,000 unique viewers, rising 53% from 244,000 unique viewers for the first five games of the 2013 NBA Finals.

Here’s TiVo’s Top Moments for the 2014 NBA Finals:
1.  Game 5: 10:47pm – As time winds down the Spurs clinch their fifth NBA Championship, ranking them fourth overall in the history of the league.
2.  Game 5: 10:27pm – Tony Parker pulls up short on a drive and hits a 7 footer giving the Spurs an 18 point lead with 7:09 left in game 5.
3.  Game 2: 10:38pm – Following a Ginobili miss, James drives with 1:18 remaining in the game and kicks it out to Bosh for a 3 giving the Heat a 95-93 lead.
4.  Game 5: 9:55pm – With the Heat down by 14 in the 3rd quarter, Wade drives in for a dunk that is rejected by Splitter.
5.  Game 4: 10:52pm – The Spurs up by 19 in the 3rd quarter, moving the ball seemingly at will, pass the ball to Duncan inside who slams home a dunk.


Already time for Wimbledon, this year’s tournament will see ESPN serve up 140 live hours across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS and ABC, with 1000 on ESPN3. Coverage begins Monday and will see the return of Cross Court Coverage on three days to start the second week. The first four days of the tournament will begin on ESPN at 7a for daylong coverage that transitions to ESPNEWS at 11:30a, with ESPN2 simulcasting from 2-3:30p. Starting Thursday, July 3, the action begins each day with Breakfast at Wimbledon hosted by Hannah Storm on ESPN. Talent is slated to include Darren Cahill, Cliff Drysdale, Chrissie Evert, Mary Joe Fernandez, Chris Fowler, Brad Gilbert, LZ Granderson, John McEnroe, Patrick McEnroe, and more.

Around the dial, Tennis Channel will dedicate close to 215 hours to Wimbledon during its seventh year of nightly Wimbledon Primetime coverage. Beginning Monday, the three-and-a-half-hour show will air each evening of the two-week competition, followed by immediate replays that run throughout the late night and early morning. The network plans 85 first-run Wimbledon Primetime hours starting at 4p. Overall, talent will include Bill Macatee, Martina Navratilova, Jim Courier, Mary Carillo, Lindsay Davenport, and more.

Wrapping up the Stanley Cup, with a record 93 postseason games  including 46 one-goal games and 26 overtime games  the NHL postseason ranked as the second-most watched ever for NBC Sports Group, according to Fast National data from Nielsen. NBC, NBCSN and CNBC combined to average a 0.87 HH rating and 1.445 million viewers. The 2014 Stanley Cup Final delivered a 3.01 HH rating and averaged 5.001 million viewers, off-pace from a heated Chicago/Boston matchup a year ago, but still ranking in the top five since 1994.

Turning to the World Cup, through the first 11 games, ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC have combined to average 3,740,000 viewers (based on a 2.3 US HH rating) for a 2% rise over the 2010 event, which included the US/England match on the second day of the tournament. WatchESPN has posted a 157% spike in viewers and 170% in minutes through the first 11 games, averaging 643,000 viewers and 27,100,000 minutes viewed per match.

Over on Univision, the World Cup handed the company with its most-viewed opening weekend in Univision Deportes World Cup history, averaging 3.8 million Total Viewers and 2.0 million Adults 18-49, and besting its 2010 World Cup coverage by 45% in viewership and 31% in the demo. On Sunday, Univision Digital’s three FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 matches generated over 2 million live stream views, with Argentina/Bosnia-Herzegovina ranking as the company’s most watched live stream of the day, nabbing over 780K views.

NBC and Golf Channel are gearing up to offer more than 20 hours of combined live tournament and news coverage of the 2014 US Women’s Open starting Saturday at 3p. Annika Sorenstam will join Golf Channel on NBC’s Dan Hicks and analyst Gary Koch in the main booth for the coverage, while Mark Rolfing and Steve Sands report from outer tower position.

HBO Sports slated five boxing documentaries on consecutive Thursday evenings this summer on HBO2, starting June 26 at 7p with Ali-Frazier I: One Nation… Divisible. The schedule will then offer programs focusing on Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Louis, and Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko before wrapping up with Legendary Night: the Tale of Gatti-Ward on July 24 at 6:30p. 

Pac-12 Networks is beefing up its volleyball coverage, offering 96 women’s volleyball matchups next season, the most in Networks’ history. The action begins Friday, September 5 with a doubleheader from Stanford as the Cardinal hosts NCAA defending champion Penn State at 6p, followed by UCLA facing off against Illinois at 8:30p. Each Pac-12 team will appear on the Networks at least 12 times.

Australia’s Seven Network locked in a five-year agreement to carry the NFL, according to multiple local reports, with free-to-air broadcast television rights the will offer three consecutive games live on Sunday, concluding with NFL Sunday Night Football as well as the NFL Playoffs live and events such as the Kick-off game and Thanksgiving NFL matches as well as the Super Bowl. Sister channel 7mate will telecast series such as Hard Knocks, Sound FX, A Football Life, Road to the Super Bowl, Road to the Playoffs and America’s Game: The Super Bowl Champions.

WORLD CUP TRENDS: CSE’s Social Branding at the World Cup
Trend: Visibility – Adidas vs. Nike vs. Puma
In the battle of the equipment sponsors, Adidas, Official FIFA Partner of the World Cup, is outdueling Nike and Puma (official providers for teams.) The #allin campaign is reaching grand heights across the social platforms, thanks to player special videos including Messi “arriving” in Rio received X and Portugal’s Nani releasing “My Dream” prior to the Portugal/Germany game.
Adidas’ #allin campaign engagement is receiving 13.3 times more interactions than Puma, 10.3 times more interactions than Nike, and a total of 5.8 times more than Nike and Puma combined.

Trend: Intensity
Budweiser, the Official Beer of 2014 World Cup, has focused their media spend to promote ownership of #ManoftheMatch. In addition to voting online at FIFA.com and via the FIFA app, fans can tweet their vote using #ManoftheMatch to determine the winner of that coveted award. Branding has been pushed both in the digital space as well as on television. The spikes in social activity have been severe as voting opens up at the start of each game’s 2nd half. Information to date on #ManoftheMatch: Total tweets from June 12-16 (at halftime of Iran-Nigeria game): 35,376=9.9x as many #MotM tweets during game hours as opposed to non-game hours.

Trend: Authenticity
Moy Park Chicken is a European provider of organic, corn fed and free range chicken and is an official FIFA World Cup sponsor. As the Spain/Netherlands game started Moy Park Chicken tweeted the following with the corresponding #ChickenFootballers hashtag. “Robin van Poultry #ChickenFootballers Reckon you can do better? We’ll RT the best ones. #WorldCup #NED.”

Throughout the game users tweeted a variety of other name options including: David PECK-em; Robbie FOWLer; Petr Cech-en; PeLAY and even created player cards for some content.


Learfield Sports entered an agreement to acquire Licensing Resource Group, adding a slate of licensing, merchandising and brand marketing services to its portfolio of college businesses. Learfield will not be making any employee changes, and the terms of the transaction will remain confidential. LRG primarily provides schools with a suite of licensing services, including trademark and brand management.

Comcast Xfinity appears poised to replace Nationwide as title sponsor of NASCAR’s secondary series, according to SBD. The potential deal is considered to be in the “advanced” stages and talks have been going on for several months. NASCAR is asking $12 million to $15 million annually in rights fees for the title sponsorship of the series.



Cynopsis Digital BIG Monetization Summit

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Twitter reports that there were over 17 million Tweets around the world containing terms related to the #NBAFinals during the live telecasts of each game, including more than 6.6 million Tweets alone in Game 5.


IBM is marking its 25-year partnership with Wimbledon, with “new ways to access and interact with the latest Championships news and court-side action as it happens.” This year will see the company offer an enhanced interactive mobile experience; redesigned and simplified SlamTracker analytics; and a new Social Command Centre that will provide AELTC with insights into social media conversations about The Championships.


Mexico/Brazil on ESPN and Univision at 3p.


Cynopsis Digital is proud to launch the highly anticipated…

2013 Cynopsis: Digital Model D Awards
The 2nd Cynopsis Digital Model D Awards competition to benchmark excellence in online and multiplatform video programming, advertising, technology and services in 2013-2014, as well as recognize the leading players propelling the industry into the future.

For more information & to enter, visit the awards webpage:

ON THIS DAY in 1992: The 76ers trade Charles Barkley to the Phoenix Suns.

In The Know: RIP to the great Tony Gwynn. What fellow baseball great was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame with Gwynn in 2007? (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: Boxer Roberto Duran is known by what nickname? Answer: (Sorry everyone, I’m not counting ‘No Mas’ as he was never introduced by that name.) Manos de Piedra aka Hands of Stone. Kudos: Sheila Mills-Showtime Sports/NY; Teddy Coleman-Teddy Coleman Inc-Productions/NY; Gabe Alfaya-XL Worldwide/NY; Keith Marder-Halstead Property/NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Jeffrey Miller-CW Atlanta/Atlanta; Jerehmy White-BusyBuddy Books/Glen Rock; Chuck Gordon-Clear Channel Media/Mobile; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Paul Gygli-NBCUniversal Television Distribution/Universal City; Don Surath-KPIX-TV  KBCW-TV/San Francisco; John Sutton-Charter Digital Media/LA; Jim Bernard-FOX Sports/LA.

Later — Chris
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