07.29.15 Good morning. It’s Wednesday July 29, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
The PGA TOUR lined up plans to launch its new OTT service PGA TOUR Live this week from the Quicken Tours National. The subscription service, which was announced in April and developed in partnership with MLBAM, will offer fans access to exclusive live coverage of two different marquee morning groups during Thursday (starting at 7:30a) and Friday tournament rounds, which have previously never been available live. Overall, the platform will hit seven tournaments through the remainder of the 2014-15 PGA TOUR season and, moving forward, more than 30 PGA TOUR events per season. Its initial coverage will feature Rickie Fowler paired with Ben Crane and James Hahn, as well as K.J. Choi, Danny Lee and John Senden. Friday’s groupings will include Tiger Woods, Bill Haas and Nick Watney as well as Justin Rose, Jimmy Walker and David Lingmerth. Following the conclusion of the featured groups, PGA TOUR Live will shift its live broadcast coverage to the Featured Holes at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club and offer more than 11 hours of live coverage to fans each day.
CBS Sports Network locked in a deal to give World Surf League more exposure, and is slating more than 40 hours of coverage on its channel. Programming runs through January and includes 20 two-hour episodes featuring coverage of the Semifinals and Finals from each Championship Tour event, as well as a special presentation of the U.S. Open of Surfing this weekend. Joe Turpel and Martin Potter will call the action with Ronnie Blakey, Ross Williams and Peter Mel rounding out the announce team.
Around the dial, FOX Sports reached a 10-year deal with Westminster Kennel Club to bring the famed Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show to FOX Sports 1 and Nat Geo WILD beginning in 2017. The deal also sees FOX Sports 1 remain the home to the Masters Agility Championship at Westminster, with encores on Nat Geo WILD.
With NASCAR now in tow, NBC Sports Group announced that NBCSN nabbed its best July total day and primetime viewership numbers in channel history. The network saw an average of 218,000 total day with 368,000 in primetime, according to Nielsen. “We are pleased to finish off a great month highlighted by an excellent start with our NASCAR partners, as well as compelling IndyCar and Tour de France racing,” said NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus. “NBCSN’s most-watched telecast ever and best July ever are just the start of things to come as the NASCAR competition heats up for the rest of the summer and into the postseason Chase.”
Univision Deportes had its own hot July, announcing new ratings records to rank as the No. 2 sports network in primetime during the month. UDN averaged 454,000 Total Viewers during the period for a new network record. “The growth of UDN in just three years is a testament to the power of soccer among fanáticos in the U.S.,” said Juan Carlos Rodriguez, president of Univision Deportes. “In this short time, our network has been able to beat major sports competitors regardless of language and has continuously delivered blockbuster ratings for major live sporting events like the recent Gold Cup tournament.”
Golf Channel will see Matt Adams join the family, signing him on to contribute to multiple network on-air programs and digital platforms. He will continue to serve as host of SiriusXM’s Fairways of Life radio show. In his new role, Adams will contribute to shows such as Golf Central and Morning Drive, and on Golf Central’s “Live From” programming. Fairways of Life also will transition its show production to originate from Golf Channel’s World Headquarters in Orlando.
MP & Silva acquired media rights for La Liga in Scandinavia and Finland, as well as Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, and Japan. The deal makes MP & Silva the exclusive distributor across media platforms including television rights across cable, satellite and terrestrial, internet TV, IPTV and mobile. “MP & Silva is very proud of its fruitful and long lasting partnership with La Liga,” said Marco Auletta, CEO of MP & Silva. “It is a fantastic league that features some of the highest quality and most attractive football in the world and we’re looking forward to broadening its fan base into new territories.”
Speaking of which, ESPN International announced a multimedia rights agreement to broadcast Spain’s La Liga and the Liga Adelante in Spanish-speaking South America. The agreement includes exclusive rights to five La Liga BBVA and at least five Liga Adelante matches per week through 2020, and gives ESPN the right to air 190 La Liga BBVA matches and over eighty hours of highlights, magazine and other support programming each season, as well as 231 Liga Adelante matches per season.
Bounce TV unveiled its lineup of talent for the debut of Premier Boxing Champions The Next Round on Sunday at 9p. Fred Hickman hosts, with Fran Charles calling blow-by-blow beside analyst Austin “No Doubt” Trout. “Fred and Fran combine for more than 50 years of major sports event coverage and Austin will help put viewers in the ring with his current and fresh perspective. We are thrilled to assemble such an impressive and talented team of announcers for our Premier Boxing Champions debut,” commented Ryan Glover, President of Bounce TV.
UEFA President Michel Platini will run for the FIFA presidency, according to the AP, with plans to announce his intentions this week. Sources said that Platini has been encouraged to run by most leaders of FIFA’s continental confederations.
Pac-12 Networks announced its faces for the upcoming college football season for live game and studio shows. Notable assignments will see Lincoln Kennedy and Nigel Burton contribute to Pac-12 Final Score and the revamped Inside Pac-12 Football. They will join Ronnie Lott, Curtis Conway, Matt Leinart, Yogi Roth, Nick Aliotti, Glenn Parker, Anthony Herron, Jeremy Bloom and Jake Plummer to round out the Networks’ analyst lineup. Live game telecasts will be voiced by the likes of Ted Robinson, Kevin Calabro, Roxy Bernstein and JB Long.
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CBS is set to make history for Super Bowl 50, and will, for the first time, live stream every single national ad on Feb. 7. Variety writes that details of the decision have been simmering at media-buying agencies, noting that the network will not “let people opt out” of live-streaming.
The PGA TOUR and LECOM Health locked in a deal that makes LECOM the title sponsor of a new Web.com Tour event at Peek’n Peak Resort in western New York. The four-year deal launches in 2016 and will be carried by Golf Channel.
Buffalo Wild Wings unveiled a new social and digital campaign ahead of football season that allows fans to create custom team logos and generate team names for fantasy football leagues and teams. Fans can now share their fantasy football team names with Buffalo Wild Wings on Twitter and Facebook using #FootballFrenzy and each day through August 30, the company will create one custom, NFL-style logo inspired by the owner’s team name.
ESPN Digital Media saw 72.4 million unique visitors in the US and topped the sports category for the 16th straight month, comScore. ESPN.com snatched 50.8 million total unique visitors in the third month since launch, while 37.2 million people visited the site via smartphones and tablets. Meanwhile, the FIFA Women’s World Cup helped espnW score its second-largest monthly unique visitor total ever with 7.8 million, trailing only the high set in April 2015.
DraftKings named United Entertainment Group as its communications agency of record. UEG will now handle a broad communications remit for DraftKings, including strategic communications planning, media relations, partnership amplification and issues management.
Tonight’s 2015 AT&T MLS All-Star Game will give viewers a new perspective, with SkyCam unveiling a new Wildcat Aerial Camera System, dubbed by the company as “the world’s most advanced and flexible aerial camera system.” The 4-axis system features the capability of moving at speeds topping 25 miles per hour and, following the game, will roll-out to sporting events throughout the year, including the 2016 Super Bowl, NBC’s Sunday Night Football; the 2015 National Hockey League (NHL) Winter Classic; and ESPN, CBS, FOX and NBC’s College Football games. “Thanks to our relationship with MLS and FOX, fans across the country will now be able to enjoy SkyCam when they tune in to the MLS All-Star Game,” said Endre Buxton, President and CEO, SkyCam. “They will be the first to see the unparalleled footage of the action on the pitch delivered via our new Wildcat system. We’re taking our trailblazing platform to a new level, following a multimillion dollar investment, which has further expanded our fleet and upgraded our aerial camera capabilities.”
Fluendo released LongoMatch PRO version 1.1, an upgrade of the cross-platform software tool that performs real-time analysis on sports video feeds. The technology lets users tag plays, review portions of a live game in slow motion and create post-match analysis, all adaptable to a variety of video formats and multiple sports. With LongoMatch PRO 1.1, users can now use up to eight videos and multiple angles on the same project to improve technique, tactics and sports strategy.
Fanatics named Karen Ruby as Senior Vice President of Human Resources where she will oversee all human resources programs for the company, including recruiting and retention, career development, performance management as well as compensation and benefits. Ruby joins the company from Amazon, where she was most recently a Director of Human Resources for its digital device organization.
2015 AT&T MLS All-Star Game on FOX Sports 1 at 9p.
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ON THIS DAY in 1986: Sparky Anderson becomes the first baseball manager to win 600 games in both the National and American Leagues.
In The Know:Which city owns the trademark for “Surf City, USA”? (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: The NBA’s Kings moved to Sacramento from what city? Answer: Kansas City. Kudos: Bruce Jackson-Disney and ESPN Media Networks/NY; Mario Prosperino-AP Images/NY; Jay Goldstein-AdMore/NY; Keith Marder-Halstead Property/NY; Larry Kahn-Golf Channel/Orlando; Michael G Hawkins-Francis Marion University/Florence; Peter Lasser-Lasser Productions/Atlanta; Randy Ingram-WBTW-TV/Myrtle Beach; David F Baer-120 Sports/Chicago; Steve McNair-KUBE TV/Houston; Gretchen Brady-KDAF/Dallas; Bill Robertson-WCHA/Edina; Scott Sarra-Universal Sports Network/Centennial; Dan Hanson/Vail; David Hauptman/Denver; Brienne Chance-G/O Digital/Phoenix; John Baghdassarian-Olympusat/LA; Jack Simmons-Fox Sports/LA; Dani Beaulieu-FanServ/LA; Rich Greene-FOX/LA.
Later — Chris
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