07/08/14: DIRECTV lives its Fantasy; FOX beefs up tech for 2014 MLB All-Star Game; NASCAR owners rev up Race Team Alliance



CYNOPSISSPORTS
07.08.14

Good morning. It’s Tuesday, July 08, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

DIRECTV is broadening its NFL horizons, adding a new channel to its NFL Sunday Ticket Max subscribers. The platform, dubbed DIRECTV Fantasy Zone, will air on DIRECTV channel 704, beside Red Zone Channel and be dedicated entirely to fantasy football with timely game-to-game fantasy analysis and statistics powered by NFL.com Fantasy along with multiple, revolving on-screen tickers offering real-time stats, highlights, projections and key player updates.” NBC Sports and Rotoworld.com analyst Kay Adams hosts with Dhani Jones offering fantasy football commentary and analysis throughout the full slate of Sunday afternoon NFL games as well as fantasy football expert John Hansen and Dr. Mark Adickes, M.D.

ON THE AIR

FOX Sports unveiled plans for this year’s MLB All-Star Game, and will be bringing “an all-star roster of high-tech gear,” which marks the “most sophisticated” ever deployed for the Mid-Summer Classic. FOX Sports’ 85th All-Star Game effort is set for Tuesday, July 15 with pregame coverage beginning at 4:30p. New this year will be SideTrax from Hawkeye Technology, which graphically presents the pitched baseball as it travels through the strike zone from a side perspective and also offers a view of the ball as it sails through a virtual 3D strike zone that appears suspended over home plate. Other tech enhancements include the Diamond Cam, the N-Cam, FOX Super Zoom 4K Cameras, and FOX Home Run Tracker. Cameras include two Phantom Cameras, two X-Mo Cameras and one Super-Mo Camera.

On MLB Network, the channel will celebrate the All-Star Game with live and new original programming throughout All-Star Week, anchored by live coverage from Target Field in Minneapolis. Programming highlights include All-Star media day on Monday, July 14 at 1p as well as four hours of shows live from batting practice for the Gillette Home Run Derby at Target Field. On Tuesday, MLB Network offers All-Star Red Carpet Show at 3p and other series leading up to and immediately following the game. MLB Network carries the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game for the first time on Sunday, July 13 at 5p with Matt Vasgersian, Sean Casey, Heidi Watney and MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo on the call. In addition, the 27th annual Triple-A All-Star Game will be shown live on MLB Network for the fifth time on Wednesday, July 16 at 7p.
 
In addition, MLB Network announced that Q2 2014 marked the channel’s most-watched quarter ever, with 206,000 average viewers in primetime and 105,000 average viewers for total day, per Nielsen. That marks upticks of 12% and 27% over Q2 2013, placing MLB Network’s total day growth tied for the most among cable sports networks.

Golf Channel and NBC tee off on a bevy of golf with the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open this week on both Golf Channel and NBC starting Thursday at 5:30a on Golf Channel. In addition, the networks will be offering the John Deere Classic on Golf Channel as well as the U.S. Senior Open on NBC. Next week, Golf Channel reports from the 143rd Open Championship with Live from Royal Liverpool and Morning Drive, beginning Monday, July 14. NBCSN jumps on Friday, July 18 with the American Century Championship which continues during the weekend on NBC.

Nine of NASCAR’s biggest teams are forming the Race Team Alliance, a business association designed to help boost revenues and budget efficiency for Sprint Cup outfits. The RTA is comprised of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske. The organization "creates for the first time a single entity to engage with stakeholders on creative ways to market and experience the power of the sport’s teams and drivers,” according to the release. “As part of its focus, the RTA also plans to explore innovative ways to harness the combined purchasing power and scale of the teams’ operations to drive efficiencies in costs."

The IOC has formalized the three remaining cities vying for the 2022 Winter Games, according to the AP. After several cities opted to withdraw bids for political or financial reasons, Almaty, Kazakhstan; Beijing, and Oslo are now finalists for the event. The cities must submit their detailed bid files to the IOC by next January. The host city will then be selected by the full IOC membership in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on July 31, 2015.

Do not miss this year’s 2014 Women of Action, set to take place on Aug. 19 at New York Athletic Club. A killer lineup of speakers are confirmed, including Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman, WNBA President Laurel Richie, USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny, CBS Sports’ Tracy Wolfson and Dana Jacobson, WWE’s Stephanie McMahon, ESPN’s Sara Walsh, CNN/Turner Sports’ Rachel Nichols AVP Commissioner Donald Sun and so much more! In addition, the event will feature special sessions with ESPN CFO Christine Driessen, Twitter’s Laura Froelich, Soccer United Marketing President Kathy Carter and Susan G. Komen founder Nancy Brinker. Spend an afternoon with these leaders and join us for a cocktail reception after the event!

Multi-channel network The Orchard partnered with Red Bull to distribute upcoming sports films on global digital and cable platforms. The new titles include: ski film Days of My Youth to debut in fall 2014, motorcycle doc On Any Sunday, The Next Chapter set for fall 2014 and mountain biking adventure Rad Company out this month. The Orchard and Red Bull originally teamed up in 2012 to digitally distribute the movie The Art of Flight.

EPIX announced plans to premier To Russia with Love on Oct. 22 at 8p. The documentary examines two generations of Olympic LGBT athletes and includes the experiences of the likes of Billie Jean King and Greg Louganis as well as the next generation of LGBT athletes who participated in the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. The film follows these athletes from the ice to the slopes as they bear the brunt of constant media questioning about Russia’s anti-gay laws. “As gay athletes’ fight for equality continues to gain momentum, EPIX is proud to provide a platform for this important global conversation,” said EPIX President and CEO Mark Greenberg.

Sportsman Channel renewed Amazing America with Sarah Palin for a second season after its initial run of 12 episodes. Season two will return in the first quarter of 2015.


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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Manchester United and Nike unveiled the team’s Chevy-sponsored kits on Monday, featuring the car company’s logo displayed on the chests. The brand invited Manchester United fans to help celebrate Chevrolet’s debut on the club’s new home shirt via a unique digital experience at www.ChevroletFC.com. The new shirt kicks-off Chevrolet’s seven-year agreement as Manchester United’s shirt sponsor through a $600 million deal.

ROSTER MOVES

WWE announced that executive Laureen Ong has been elected to its Board of Directors. Ong recently spent three years as President of the Travel Channel, where she was responsible for building brand strategy, developing programming and creating new business opportunities for the network.

AdLarge Media promoted Tom Fleming to Vice President, Midwest Sales and Sports Sales, where he will be responsible for the AdLarge repertoire of live, play-by-play NFL and NCAA football offerings, Yahoo Sports Radio, and all Midwest sales, including the Detroit office.

THE MAIN EVENT

Brazil/Germany on ESPN/Univision at 10a.


A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE


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ON THIS DAY in 1990: Germany beats Argentina to take the World Cup.

In The Know: What wrestler was known as the 8th Wonder of the World? (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: What famed Nintendo game featured a boxer named Little Mac fighting his way to take on Iron Mike? Answer: Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!. Kudos: Matthew Luisi-NBCU Digital Ad Sales/NY; Nicholas V. Quinn-Initiative Media – MC Media/NY; Bobby Coyle-Clear Channel Media + Entertainment/NY; Scott L. Pinker-Sony Pictures Television/NY; Mike Antolini-Tiger Woods Foundation/Boston; Chris Faulds-Bell Media Digital/Toronto; Mike Wexler-Moroch/Atlanta; Patrick Costello-ESPN/Bristol; Kevin Van Housen-Comcast Spotlight/Indianapolis; Matt Sautter-OpenTV/Golden; Curtis Nettles-CBS TV Stations/LA; Jack Simmons-Fox Sports/LA; Jim Bernard-FOX Sports/LA; Adam Deverell-Cox Reps/LA.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for
Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine
07.08.14

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