06/27/18: DAZN adds Bellator to its recent bevy of partnerships

Good morning. It’s Wednesday June 27, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Perform Group’s live streaming service DAZN continued to shore up its partnerships, this time announcing a deal with MMA promotion Bellator for a multi-year landmark distribution agreement. The nine-figure deal will feature seven exclusive stacked fight cards per year on the platform along with another 15 that are simulcast across Paramount Network and DAZN. All fights will stream in any country where DAZN is available. As part of the platform’s global expansion, DAZN will launch in the U.S. and Italy in 2018, with the service already live in Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Japan. The deal kicks off on Sept. 29 with the opening fight of Bellator’s first-ever Welterweight World Grand Prix.
“The exciting new partnership with DAZN is a game-changer for Bellator,” said Bellator President Scott Coker. “The investment will enable us to continue expanding our roster with free agents that make sense, so we can put on PPV-worthy fight cards that fans want to see. Plus, on DAZN’s worldwide platform, our fights will be seen live for the first time to new audiences around the globe.”  

NBC Sports Group, in partnership with The R&A, detailed coverage plans for The 147th Open, running July 19-22 at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland. Overall, NBC Sports carries 182 hours of programming including nearly 50 live hours of the network’s tournament coverage. Production highlights include the return of the “Playing Through” split-screen commercial format, Mike Tirico hosting a new special, Vantage Point, on July 17, and The Men in Blazers to debut a nightly show on NBCSN from July 18-22. In addition, David Feherty’s Theory of Fehertivity vignettes will showcase aspects of The Open and Golf Channel will premiere three new episodes of Chronicles of a Champion Golfer.
Meanwhile, NBC Sports Group also revs up for its portion of the 2018 NASCAR season with more than 18 hours of trackside coverage from Chicagoland Speedway this weekend, culminating with Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at 2:30p on NBCSN. Coverage will feature the debut of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and include 38 hours of stars, stripes and NASCAR programming including Xfinity Series racing on June 30, at 3:30p on NBCSN. Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series coverage will see lead race announcer Rick Allen call the action alongside Steve Letarte, Jeff Burton and Earnhardt Jr.
With new draft picks in place, NBA TV’s Summer League coverage is set to feature 46 live game telecasts in 15 days beginning Monday. The network’s schedule will feature a matchup of top five picks in this year’s NBA Draft when the Atlanta Hawks and Trae Young face the Memphis Grizzlies and Jaren Jackson, Jr., on July 2 at 7p as well as showcase the Sacramento Kings and No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley III facing the Los Angeles Lakers and Moritz Wagner at 11p. Event coverage will include 10 game telecasts from the Sacramento Kings’ California Classic Summer League and the 2018 Utah Jazz Summer League from July2-5 as well as 36 live game telecasts from the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2018 in Las Vegas from July 6-14. The network’s on-site commentators in Las Vegas will include analysts Isiah Thomas, Greg Anthony, Steve Smith, Stu Jackson, Derek Fisher and eight-time NBA All-Star Vince Carter, who will serve as a guest analyst for the network for the third straight year. Matt Winer, Rick Kamla, Kristen Ledlow, Casey Stern, Ros Gold-Onwude and Jared Greenberg will share play-by-play responsibilities. Dennis Scott, Ro Parrish, Ledlow, Greenberg and Gold-Onwude will serve as reporters.
WWE formally announced that it had completed landmark agreements with USA Network and Fox Sports – effective Oct. 1, 2019 – for the US distribution of WWE’s flagship programs Raw and SmackDown. As part of these five-year agreements, Monday Night Raw will continue to air on USA Network; and Fox Sports will distribute SmackDown Live each Friday on Fox broadcast network. WWE management anticipates that revenue from “key content agreements” including the new U.S. deals will grow to approximately $311 million in 2019 and $462 million in 2021.2
NFL Network locked in broadcast assignments for live coverage of the American Flag Football League’s U.S. Open of Football Tournament, making its television debut on Saturday. Giants radio voice Bob Papa will be joined in the booth by former NFL QB Dan Orlovsky and Good Morning Football’s Kay Adams on the sideline for live AFFL game action, with NFL Total Access host Cole Wright set to pick up play-by-play duties and join Orlovsky and Adams on July 14 in Indianapolis.
Elsewhere in talent news, CBS Sports added former NFL and NCAA basketball referee Gene Steratore to the broadcast team as a rules analyst for coverage of The NFL on CBS and college basketball, including the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. Steratore, who spent 15 years on the field as an NFL game official, will provide rules analysis from the CBS Broadcast Center in New York City on Sundays throughout the season and serve as a rules analyst for the network’s regular-season college basketball coverage, as well as CBS Sports and Turner Sports’ combined coverage of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.
In World Cup action, Telemundo announced that it delivered its best-ever Monday daytime this week, averaging 1.4 million viewers for its World Cup coverage, according to Nielsen. Meanwhile, Telemundo Deportes’ digital presentation maintained its record pace, reaching 8.7 million uniques, generating 81.4 million livestreams, and 1.24 billion total minutes viewed.
Speaking of which, NBCSN will simulcast in Spanish the FIFA World Cup match between England and Belgium tomorrow with live coverage beginning at 1:30p. The match, the final game in the Group Stage for each team, will be simulcast in Spanish from Telemundo.
Celebrating the Best in Online Video Content & Advertising
An annual must for all digital innovators, entries for the 6th Annual Cynopsis Model D & Digital “It List” Awards are ramping up. And with over 50 categories to choose from, teams are shining a light on new technology, fresh formats and a pioneering spirit in the digital media landscape. The awards luncheon will take place in early November in NYC.


Athlete marketing platform opendorse announced plans to allow college athletics programs to help student-athletes build their brands by sharing content on social. The tap-to-share solution makes opendorse the first athlete-driven content distribution platform in the college athletics space, according to the company. Several college athletics programs first partnered with opendorse to trial the student-athlete solution in fall 2017, including UCF, Auburn, and TCU, using the software to share highlights and images from games and events, team graphics, and additional program-focused content with their student-athletes. More than 400 student-athletes participated in the beta program, generating 16.6 million impressions, 3.2 million video views, 1.6 million engagements on posts shared on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. More than twenty college properties represented in each of the “Power Five” conferences, Conference USA, and the Horizon League are committed to, or are currently using opendorse to help their athletes and athletics staffs share content on social.
NBA partner Gatorade inked a deal to become the first primary partner for the Jr. NBA World Championship, a global youth basketball tournament for the top 13- and 14-year-old boys and girls teams from around the world. The inaugural event will take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort from Aug. 7-12. In Orlando, Gatorade will support the event’s off-court programming, including Gatorade Sports Science Institute athlete testing as well as heat safety and hydration sessions with professional athlete speakers, in addition to having a variety of products for the participants to use and signage at each regional competition as well as the global event.

Courtyard by Marriott debuted its new 12-part docuseries, “Courtyard: Unstoppable,” produced in part as a creative collaboration with the Marriott Content Studio and Whistle Sports. Content takes viewers “behind-the-scenes of the football world like never before, showcasing 12 unique individuals that are pursuing their personal and professional passions, exceeding expectations and breaking barriers within their fields.” The premiere episode, titled “Player Turned Agent,” was directed by Emmy nominated, Jessica M. Thompson and features Damarius Bilbo, whom after his NFL career, channeled his love of the sport into opening Revolution Sports Management and representing some of the best talent in the NFL.

The IOC and the Global Association of International Sports Federations will host an Esports Forum on July 21 at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne in order to “explore synergies, build joint understanding and set a platform for future engagement between the esports and gaming industries and the Olympic Movement.” Invited participants will include representatives from across the esports and gaming ecosystem: players, publishers, teams, media, sponsors and event organizers. GAISF President Patrick Baumann said: “Along with the IOC, the GAISF looks forward to welcoming the esports and gaming community to Lausanne. We understand that sport never stands still and the phenomenal growth of esports and gaming is part of its continuing evolution. The Esports Forum provides an important and extremely valuable opportunity for us to gain a deeper understanding of esports, their impact and likely future development, so that we can jointly consider the ways in which we may collaborate to the mutual benefit of all of sport in the years ahead.”
Documentary Girl Got Game premieres Wednesday, July 18 at 8p on The CW. Follows CLG Red, an all-women teams in the world of esports and the first to land a major sponsor.

ICS, the organizer of the Wacken Open Air festival, and ESL are teaming up for the festival this year, announcing plans to add esports to the festivities. Starting Aug. 1, the 1,800 square meter esports Village will open its doors, with the first tournaments kicking off alongside the festival itself, featuring the likes of PUBG, League of Legends and more.
Gaming headset and audio accessory brand Turtle Beach announced another partnership, locking in Australian esports organization Tainted Minds as their official audio partner. The new partnership will see all Tainted Minds pro gaming teams and players use Turtle Beach’s Elite Pro line of professional gaming audio equipment, as well as other Turtle Beach gear and accessories.

Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp. named Peter Einstein as Chief Operating Officer of the company. Einstein started his career at MTV, where he spent 16 years in the U.S. and Europe, including launching and running MTV Networks Europe. He then spent a decade as President of Showtime Arabia (now OSN), the Middle East’s premier satellite television platform, before setting up Einstein Media Consulting Partners (EMCP) in 2007.

Serbia/Brazil on FOX and Telemundo at 1:30p.
Presented by Cynopsis, Chief Marketer and Event Marketer
The Tempest Awards celebrate the brands, teams, leagues, players and business leaders driving the competitive gaming industry, with categories that span production, marketing, talent & technology.
Winners will be announced live on stage during the Esports Business Summit at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas Tuesday, October 2.

ON THIS DAY in 1999: Tony Hawk lands the first 900-degree jump at the sixth X Games in San Francisco.
In the Know: In the classic TV show The Bionic Woman, Jamie Sommers was a professional at what sport before her skydiving accident ended her career? (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: Which team originally drafted Kobe Bryant?  Answer: Charlotte. Kudos: John Ferlazzo/London; Will Cutrone-Weber Shandwick/NY; Eric Newman-ENEW Films/NY; Mike Polvere-Optimum Sports/NY; Ben Root, NBC Sports/NY; Thom Hering-PSP Partner Marketing/NY; Mike Wexler-Moroch/Atlanta; Jacob Newton- Turner Sports/Atlanta; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Simi Parikh-NBC Sports/Stamford; Joe Lyons-Back Nine Productions/Dallas; Kevin Micklo-Pinnacle advertising/Chicago; Travis Wacker – Good Karma Brands/Milwaukee; John Tingue-CBS/Chicago; Anne Wettig-Fox Cable Networks S&P/LA; Greg Dudsic-/Venice; Jaymz Wooden-Bottelsen American Dart Lines/Santa Maria; Tara Aviel-Access Media Services/LA
Later – Chris
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JOB OPENING: DIGITAL MEDIA PLANNER/ELLEN/NYC: Mng planning and activation of all digital media campaigns. 2 years direct experience required at agency or publisher. Resume: EDVhire@gmail.com (7/11)

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