08/09/18: NBA’s opening shots

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Western & Southern Open (Cincinnati): August 13 – August 19
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CynopsisSports
Good morning. It’s Thursday August 9, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

 

The NBA unveiled its national television schedule for the opening week of the 2018-19 regular season in addition to the lineup of five Christmas Day games on ESPN networks and three Martin Luther King Jr. Day games on TNT. The season will tip off on Oct. 16. The complete game schedule and broadcast schedules for TNT, ESPN, ABC, NBA TV and ESPN Radio will be announced on Friday.
 
The first six days of the 2018-19 season (Oct. 16-21) will feature 15 different teams playing 11 national television games across TNT, ESPN and NBA TV as part of Kia NBA Tip-Off 2018. TNT and ESPN will each present two doubleheaders during the season’s first four days, starting with TNT’s doubleheader featuring the 76ers/Boston Celtics at 8p and Thunder/Warriors at 10:30p. ESPN will open its NBA coverage with a doubleheader on Oct. 17, beginning with Pelicans/Rockets at 8p, and then Mavericks/Suns at 10:30p.
 
Christmas Day sees five games running on ESPN and ABC, starting at noon with Bucks/Knicks on ESPN, Thunder/Rockets on ABC at 3p, 76ers/Celtics on ABC at 5:30p, a simulcast of Lakers/Warriors at 8p and ESPN wrapping up with Trail Blazers/Jazz at 10:30p. 
 
TNT will present a tripleheader on Martin Luther King Jr. Day with coverage tipping off with the Pelicans/Grizzlies at 5:30p, Rockets/76ers at 8p and Warriors/Lakers at 10:30p.
 
 
ON THE AIR

 

The NCAA is implementing new rules that will alter the college basketball landscape, changed that include “elite” high school and college players now able to be represented by an agent, although players must “terminate agreement when students athlete enrolls or returns to college” with those players identified by USA Basketball. If a player is not selected in the NBA Draft, they have the option to return to school. In addition, the number of official visits will grow to up to 15 official visits beginning on Aug. 1 of their junior year. They can visit the same school twice officially, but not in the same calendar year. According to the NCAA, the rules changes will “provide college basketball players more freedom and flexibility to decide their future as well as minimize the leverage of outside influences on  high school recruits and college athletes.

The Professional Fighters League closed $28 million Series B equity investment from a slate of sports, entertainment, and business entities with names that include Kevin Hart, Mark Burnett, Tony Robbins  and Ted Leonsis all participating in the round. Additional investors in this PFL Series B round include: Elysian Park Ventures; SWaN Ventures; Debra Cafaro, Chairman/CEO, Ventas Inc. and Minority Owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL); Mark Leschly, Managing Partner, Iconica Ventures; and Brandon Beck, co-founder of Riot Games and co-creator of League of Legends.

 
TNT is lining up the first-ever State Farm Showdown hosted by Aaron Rodgers & Chris Paul, running tomorrow at 8p on the network. The show will be televised on TNT immediately following the network’s live coverage of the 100th PGA Championshipfrom St. Louis. The NFL vs. NBA charity golf tournament features golf commentary from Ernie Johnson and Ian Baker-Finchalong with comedian James DavisandAmanda Balionisas course reporters
 
Telemundo Deportes hits the Premier League this week, detailing production plans as for its exclusive Spanish-language coverage. Coverage begins tomorrow at 3p with Manchester United/Leicester City live on Universo. The Telemundo Deportes soccer expert team returns to provide play-by-play commentary led by Andres Cantor, Sammy Sadovnik, Copán Álvarez, Carlos Hermosilloand Manuel Sol. The commentators will also contribute to the pre and post analysis alongsideMiguel Gurwitz.
 
NHL Network today marks the 30th anniversary of Wayne Gretzky’s trade from Edmonton to Los Angeles. To mark the occasion, NHL Network will air new and archival programming, memorable games, NHL Network Originals: Picture Perfect – 1992-93,as well as a dedicated NHL Tonight Special: Gretzky Trade 30th Anniversary. Beginning at 8a, the channel opens with Ultimate Gretzky(2003), a documentary that takes a look into the life that made Gretzky the greatest hockey player of all-time, including memories, life lessons, and the people that impacted his life on and off the ice. NHL Network’s Jamison Coyle, E.J. Hradek and Bill Lindsay will round out the day with a special edition of NHL Tonight at 7p.
 
MLB on TBS weekly game coverage will present a full national telecast of the Mariners/Astros on Sunday at 2p. Don Orsillo and Dennis Eckersley will provide commentary for the telecast. The Blue Jays/Yankees meet on Aug. 19 at 1p. Play-by-play announcer Brian Anderson will be joined by analyst Ron Darling to call the game, which will not be available locally in the New York market.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
A peek at what’s in store…
The Cynopsis Imagination Awards
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SEPT 25 | 8:15AM – 10:30AM | The Yale Club, NYC


In addition to our talented finalists, Cynopsis is thrilled to honor two industry veterans that deserve to be recognized for their work, and let’s face it – imagination. Terri Minsky, the visionary behind the hit Disney Channel series Andi Mack and Lizzie McGuire, and Fred Seibert, esteemed children’s content creator and founder of Frederator Networks/Chief Creative Officer of WOW! Unlimited Media. Don’t miss it!

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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Scotch whisky Chivas teamed up with Manchester United in a three-year global partnership. The alliance will see Chivas and Manchester United join forces to “celebrate their collective belief that blended is better – in life, football and Scotch.” “Blending has been in our DNA ever since James and John Chivas pioneered the art in 19th century Scotland” said Jean-Christophe Coutures, Chairman and CEO at Chivas Brothers. “Partnering with Manchester United was therefore a natural fit; we both firmly believe that great things can be achieved when we come together – from balancing the perfect blend of malt and grain whiskies that go into our Scotch, to using the perfect combination of players’ skills on the pitch to create a winning team. We look forward to using our spirit to help showcase the spirit of the Club and its fans all around the world.”
 
Yesterday’s transformation of ESPN2 into ESPN8 “The Ocho,” saw KFC’s presenting sponsorship dish out a slate of off-beat vignettes that aligned with the day’s programming. Overall, eight vignettes ran throughout a 24-hour period on the channel with spots created by ESPN’s in-house creative agency, ESPN CreativeWorks, and featured scripted commentary and analysis from SportsCenteranchors John Buccigross and Kenny Mayne as they highlighted a variety of sports events where athletes compete with KFC buckets on their heads. Athletes featured in the vignettes include two-time PBA champion bowler Brad Angelo, eight-time NCAA All-American and 10-time Ivy League champion cross country and track runner Donn Cabral, 30-year veteran bocce player Keith Dorman, professional skateboarder Isiah Hilt, competitive power lifter and CrossFit competitor Nicole Rinaldi, and Super Lightweight professional boxer Josue “The Prodigy” Vargas.
 
 
DIGITAL & STREAMING

 

Player Tokens, in partnership with the Major League Baseball Players Association, unveiled a brand-new crypto-collectible service featuring 73 All-Stars and players from all 30 Major League baseball teams. At launch, there are three types of token packs available for purchase, each consisting of five to six Player Tokens priced between $5.99-$8.49. Every Player Token possesses a unique ID that can be tied back to the blockchain, proving the authenticity of every asset.
 
 
ESPORTS

 

In this week’s edition of Cynopsis Esports  
  • PUBG seeks a Fixer
  • Newzoo’s crystal ball for 2021
  • Skillz plays $100,000 solitaire
  • 2018 VR League’s end game
  • State of Mixer
  • Virtus.pro’s new look
  • The sports/esports crossover
  • 7 Rules for PR success
 

ROSTER MOVES

 

Tom Knapp has been named to the newly created position of Executive Vice President, Partnerships & Programming for NBC Sports Group’s Golf Division, where he will report to Mike McCarley, President, Golf, NBC Sports Group. Knapp will oversee a consolidated programming department, which will continue to be led by Phil Piazza, Senior Vice President of Programming, and generate holistic linear and digital programming strategies for North America and across Golf Channel’s global footprint.
 
DraftKings hired Tom Goedde as Chief Marketing Officer, and Andy Yang as Chief Product Officer ahead of its Sportsbook launch. As CPO, Yang will be responsible for the long-term vision, strategic direction and successful execution of DraftKings’ product portfolio roadmaps. He most recently served as CEO of San Francisco-based Upsight. Goedde is taking over for Janet Holian and is a 25-year veteran of the sports and gaming industries, where he has led franchises like EA Sports’ Madden NFL, Humongous Entertainment’s Backyard Sports and Wizards of the Coast’s Harry Potter.
 
 
THE MAIN EVENT

 

The PGA Championship opens play on TNT at 2p.
 
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE

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ON THIS DAY in 1988: The Oilers trade Wayne Gretzky to the Kings.
 
In the Know: Wayne Gretzky was co-founder of MVP.com with what two other sports legends? (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: Other than the US, which country has won the most Davis Cup championships? Answer: Australia. Kudos: Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Aymon DeMauro-ADM Media & Marketing/NY; Rich Boland-Oath/NY; Ken White-KWTV/Charlotte; Matt Sautter-WideOrbit/Harrisburg; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Wayne “World B.” Otto-Pro-Am Sports /Boone; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Joe Lyons-ESPN/Dallas; Kohn Ward-Tennis Media/Chicago; David Hauptman/Denver; Larry Hutchings/Nipomo; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank
 
Later – Chris

 

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