07/11/19: NBCU’s Sky Sports confirmed a new deal to keep The Open

 

CynopsisSports
Good morning. It’s Thursday July 11, 2019 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
 

NBCUniversal’s Sky Sports extended its deal in the UK to carry The Open through 2024. Sky Sports has held the UK rights to the Open since 2016 with the deal also covering the Women’s British Open and the Senior Open, as well as the R&A’s amateur events including the Amateur and Women’s Amateur champions, the Walker Cup and Curtis Cup. Sky currently has the rights to all four men’s majors. The 148th Open takes place from July 18-21.
 
“The Open is one of the world’s great sporting events and is watched by many millions of viewers around the globe,” said R&A Chief Executive Martin Slumbers. “Our partnership with Sky has helped us deliver BAFTA-winning coverage of The Open and present the drama and excitement of the championship from the opening shot to the closing putt in a dynamic and entertaining way. We look forward to working with them to continue to improve and elevate the coverage of The Open in the years to come.”
 
 
PROGRAMMING

FOX’s coverage of the MLB All-Star Game delivered a 6.2/12 metered market rating, according to Nielsen, to continue the league’s streak of being the top-rated All-Star event but still down 5% from the past two years. Top markets were led by Cleveland’s 17.630, followed by Kansas City and Minneapolis. Meanwhile, Tunity Analytics reports that the game also averaged 2 million out-of-home viewers, with the audience skewing 53% A25-54 and 74% male.
 
MLB Network’s exclusive prime time telecast of the 2019 SiriusXM Futures Game on Sunday, drew the event’s highest audience in 7 years and its most-watched telecast ever on MLB Network, with an average of 289,000 viewers. The audience grew 55% from last year’s viewership and 13% from MLB Network’s previous viewership high for the game in 2015.
 
Meanwhile, Wimbledon’s ratings are up over 2018 through the first seven days with viewership up 29% to an average of 799,000 viewers, according to Nielsen. In addition, ESPN2’s first day of coverage on Monday, July 8 – on the air alongside ESPN in “CrossCourt Coverage” – averaged 275,000 viewers, up 51% from last year.
 
Rounding out our ratings news, NBC Sports’ coverage of the 106th Tour de France on NBCSN delivered the most-watched start to the event since 2016, averaging 290,000 viewers – up 23% over last year through Stage 4. Viewership for each stage has increased over last year – marking the first time since 2010 that each of the first four stages of the Tour de France has shown an increase over the prior year.
 
A Dwyane Wade documentary from Imagine Documentaries, directed by Bob Metelus of Metelus Studios, is now slated to air on ESPN in 2020. The film, yet to be named, chronicles Wade’s NBA career and life off the court as he goes through his final year in the league, “reflecting back on the personal and professional challenges, victories and set-backs throughout his unwavering journey.” The documentary was shot over the last ten years with Wade, his family, and others, and the filmmakers utilized hundreds of hours of never-before-seen home movies, video diaries and all-access verité footage.
 
The award-winning ESPN “My Wish” Series is coming back for its 14th go-around on Saturday with stars from the NFL, NHL, Major League Baseball and the WWE participating in addition to sports trick shot artists Dude Perfect. Since 2006, the series has partnered with Make-A-Wish® to fulfill 68 sports-themed wishes for children with critical illnesses. Chris Connelly continues to host with the series presented by Dove Men+Care. In addition, a one-hour My Wish special will air Aug. 11, at 2p on ABC and will include all of the 2019 “My Wish” Series wishes.
 
Pilgrim Media Group and the World Surf League’s (WSL) newly established studio arm, WSL Studios, a partnering on a co-development deal to produce a slate of surf-centric sport and lifestyle content across all formats and platforms. Pilgrim, a Lionsgate Company, and WSL Studios have two major undertakings in the pipeline already, including a feature documentary and a nonscripted competition format in partnership h the UFC’s Dana White.
 
FOX Sports announced that WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Anthony Dirrell will joins Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and host Chris Myers to call FS1 PBC FIGHT NIGHT on Saturday. In addition, Jordan Hardy reports and interviews fighters, while Ray Flores is the ring announcer.Marcos Villegas works as unofficial scorer.
 
David Beckham launching his own content studio, according to Variety, titled Studio 99.  The company will develop documentaries, TV shows and other formats, and also will undertake commercial work as a creative agency for brand partners. According to the story, Studio 99 already features a slate of documentary projects in development, including some that will feature Beckham.
 
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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

With college football hitting its 150th season this fall, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame highlighted celebrations taking place in the coming months to pay homage to the occasion on both a local and national level. In addition, major broadcast networks that cover college football have all pledged to support the Anniversary through use of the CFB150 logo and recognition of the Anniversary on-air and in some cases through the creation of special programming, including ACC Network, Big Ten Network, CBS, ESPN, FOX, NBC, Pac-12 Networks, SEC Network and Stadium. “The NFF has been in the vanguard of promoting the game for the past 73 years,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “And we wanted to take a leadership role in celebrating the 150th anniversary, including providing the office space for CFB150 at our corporate headquarters; staging events at the Hall in Atlanta; and incorporating the milestone into all of our key messaging whenever possible. It’s a great opportunity for us to reflect on all of the amazing opportunities college football creates for the young people and the countless regions across the country who are enriched by having programs in their communities.”
 
Bleacher Report is embracing the NBA Summer League with the return of B/R Jump-Off, an immersive fan experience to held at Brooklyn Bowl in Las Vegas on Saturday. This year’s event will include a collection of Bleacher Report exclusive experiences, Instagram-able photo ops, B/R Kicks giveaways, a half-court basketball court featuring a 3v3 influencer tournament, and dunk contests. B/R Jump-Off will also feature the debut of the House of Highlights Arcade, live studio programming with special guests, and more.
 
 
DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

Digital membership program GOLFPASS is revving up for The Open and will host exclusive live streaming of all four rounds of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open where Rory McIlroy will be part of a featured player group, including Rickie Fowler and Scotsman Robert MacIntyre, during the first two rounds of live streaming. The newest installment of the Rory & Carson Podcast on GOLFPASS, will see McIlroy and Carson Daly preview The Open. Meanwhile, GOLFPASS Originals leading up to The Open include: McIlroy’s Toughest Tracks:  My Memories, My Roots:  Rory McIlroy, “Yesterday & Today” and Toughest Tracks: Royal Portrush.
 
 
ESPORTS

Mark your calendars! Sept 10-12 will see the return of the Esports Business Summit, the industry’s biggest esports business event, with days of networking, outings, play, awards and a bevy of C-level executives and global brands sharing their insights into opportunities in competitive gaming. Click here for more information and get your tickets now!
 
In this week’s edition of Cynopsis Esports
  • Immortals Gaming Club renews AMP partnership
  • ELEAGUE discovers Truth in Gears 5
  • FIFA eWorld Cup makes a return trip
  • Breaking down the Auto Battler meta
  • Big names buy in as Twitch Sells Out
  • June’s top streamers
  • Duffy’s new role 
 
INDUSTRY/ROSTER MOVES

The Drone Racing League announced the hire of Bryce Townsend as its first-ever Chief Partnerships Officer in its Growth and Revenue Team. Townsend will focus on building on the blue chip brands and partnerships the league has generated in its first three seasons, including Allianz, Swatch, Lockheed Martin, BMW, the U.S. Air Force and more. Bryce joins DRL from GroupM/WPP where he spent 11 years.

 
Digital combat sports platform FITE named Kim Hurwitz as Chief Marketing Officer. In her new role, Hurwitz will lead all marketing and branding for FITE. Most recently, she held the role of Chief Marketing Officer at Karate Combat.
 
 
THE MAIN EVENT

ESPN’s Wimbledon coverage sees the Ladies’ Semifinals at 8a, including Serena Williams vs. Barbora Strycova.
 


ON THIS DAY in 1900: Charlotte Cooper becomes the first individual female Olympic champion in any sport.
 
In the Know: Referencing the date above, which sport did Charlotte Cooper play to win Olympic gold? (Email cpursell@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your company and city).
 
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Which NASCAR driver was known as The Onion?  Answer: Todd Bodine. Kudos: Michael Ritz-Northwestern Mutual/NY; Rick Kloiber-USA Shuffleboard/NY; Brittany Wynne-World Golf Hall of Fame & First Tee/St. Augustine; Ken White-KWTV/Charlotte; Spencer Amos-University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill/Chapel Hill; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo

Later — Chris

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