08/10/18: ESPN’s afternoon refresher

Good morning. It’s Friday August 10, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.


Sept. 11 will see ESPN serve up a new afternoon programming schedule, with a lineup that will include a live SportsCenter at noon, HIGH NOON converting to a half-hour format at 4p and the end of the line for SportsNation, which will cap its run on Aug. 24. ESPN host Cari Champion will now return to SportsCenter, co-anchoring the noon “Coast to Coast” edition from Los Angeles, along with Bristol, Conn.-based anchor David Lloyd. SportsNation’s LZ Granderson will continue to co-host a weekday radio program for ESPNLA 710 and contribute to other ESPN shows.
“SportsNationhas been a staple of our afternoon lineup for years and while we felt it was time for a change, the collection of talented, creative people and content associated with that show has been extremely impressive and groundbreaking in many ways,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN Executive Vice President, Production and Executive Editor.


Turner Sports announced that Tim Howardand Stuart Holdenhave been added as analysts for B/R Footballstudio programming for Turner’s season-long coverage of the UEFA Champions League. Pre-match, halftime and post-match studio shows will be available on B/R LiveandTNT, kicking off with the one-hourB/R Football Matchday, along withB/R Football Halftime,B/R Football Extra Time and a 30-minuteB/R Football Postmatchshow. B/R Footballwill simultaneously utilize two fully-integrated studios – in Atlanta and Los Angeles – throughout its coverage of the UEFA Champions League. Howardwill contribute to UEFA Champions League studio coverage on Wednesdays, with Holdenregularly appearing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  They will join previously announced host Kate Abdoand Steve Nash, along with additional commentators and special guests, throughout the season. Turner’s UEFA coverage will include the upcoming UEFA Super Cup – Real Madrid/Atletico Madrid –on Wednesday at 3p.
Meanwhile, Univision Deportes also begins its tenure as the official Spanish-language broadcaster of UEFA this month, highlighted by coverage of the UEFA Champions League. Beginning with the play-off round August 21-22 and 28-29, Univision Deportes will carry 137 Champions League matches live across its platforms, 97 of which will air on its linear networks and the remaining matches will be exclusively available on UnivisionDeportes.com and the Univision Deportes app. Sportscasters include Hristo Stoichkov; Ivan Zamorano; Luis Omar Tapia and Diego Balado. Recent additions to the Univision Deportes team, including Tony Cherchi, Marc Crosas and Lucía Villalon, will also contribute to coverage of UEFA events.
NBC Sports reports that its coverage of the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens from AT&T Park from July 20-22 scored viewership milestones, including what is believed to be the most-watched live rugby telecast on record. Coverage reached nearly 9 million viewers across five telecasts on NBC and NBCSN. Telecasts on NBC included coverage on July 22 that averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 1.365 million viewers, ranking as what is believed to be the most-watched live rugby telecast on record in the U.S., according to Nielsen.
Meanwhile, Sunday’s final round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open on NBC delivered 964,000 average viewers, making the final round the most-watched women’s golf telecast on any network in 2018 and most-watched final-round telecast since last year’s Ricoh Women’s British Open final round, also on NBC. Saturday’s viewership on NBC also becomes the most-watched women’s golf Saturday telecast on any network in 2018 with 740,000 average viewers. Overall, NBC Sports delivered record viewership for its coverage of the three R&A events: The 147th Open, The Senior Open presented by Rolex and the Ricoh Women’s British Open, delivering a Total Audience Delivery of 1.78 million average viewers per minute.
NBA TV will unveil the full 2018-19 NBA regular season schedule, including highly-anticipated nationally-televised appearances throughout the entire season, during the NBA TV 2018-19 Schedule Release Showtoday at 4p. Casey Sternhosts alongside analyst Dennis Scott with contributions from additional Turner Sports NBA analysts – including Shaquille O’Nealand Reggie Miller– among other personalities.
SiriusXM kicks off its coverage of the 2018-19 English Premier League soccer season today, serving up talkSPORT’s live play-by-play broadcasts of multiple EPL matches each week throughout the season. SiriusXM listeners will have access to games involving all 20 EPL clubs with matches airing on SiriusXM’s 24/7 soccer channel, SiriusXM FC.
The 6thAnnual Cynopsis Digital Awards
Awards Event to be held on Friday, November, 9 (more details to follow)
“In the ever-evolving digital media industry, there are those who rise to its challenges with innovation and imagination. This is our sixth year honoring the stand-out people, content and tech that are driving the business in exciting new directions.” – ROBBIE CAPLOE, CYNOPSIS PUBLISHER
Spotlight your team’s work in digital media.



DraftKings’ new sportsbook advertising campaign will hand the ball to NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley with the companybringing back last year’s character, Dr. AftKings, who diagnoses fans that are suffering from a range of new sports-related disorders. The cure? DraftKings Sportsbook. Barkley plays a patient who appears in two of the spots as well as “Barkley Knows Bets,” a series of digital films that helps teach U.S. sports fans about the ins and outs of betting. “At DraftKings, we believe life is more fun with skin in the game,” says Don Lane, SVP of Brand & Creative. “Our Sportsbook campaign taps into this spirit across channels, leveraging our unique voice to connect with fans who want to play along with – not just watch – the games they love.
Bud Light’s NFL team cans are back in time for kick-off. As the official beer of the NFL, the brand is introducing new designs for cans that feature a team logo, as well as a customized color stripe down the side. In total, each of Bud Light’s 28 team partners will be featured in the new designs, along with an NFL Shield edition to round out the collection. The new cans will hit shelves beginning the week of August 13 nationwide.
ESPN’s 2018 ESPYS Week benefitting the V Foundation for Cancer Research raised more than $5.5 million this year to top 2017 fundraising numbers. This includes $1.8 million that will be directed to the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund. To date, ESPYS-related fundraising efforts have totaled over $42 million.


The Professional Squash Association confirmed a partnership with Sports Data Labs that will see squash become the first professional sport to make in-game physiological data assets available for commercialization.The PSA will now receive real-time data throughout the 2018/19 PSA Tour season that will be incorporated into the sport’s official broadcasts in addition to commercial partners. In addition, players will be provided access for performance analysis and training.
Olympic Channel is establishing Olympic Outposts, presented by Bridgestone, a show that “invites viewers on a journey to discover the unique hotspots, local cultures and passion behind sports around the world.” The 12-episode series premiered yesterday and sees aach 8-10-minute episode hosted by an expert, who include Olympians, athletes and influencers, whose sport takes them on a journey to find others who share their passion.
FloSports announced a partnership with Amaury Sport Organisation to exclusively broadcast the 2018 and 2019 Vuelta a Espana on FloBikes.com. The addition gives Canadian subscribers access to two of the world’s largest and most elite cycling races in the world, including the Giro d’Italia.


IEM is officially hitting the Windy City, announcing a multi-year deal with the United Center and Wintrust Arena to make Chicago the new home of IEM starting this year. IEM will move from Oakland to Wintrust Arena, and then United Center for 2019 and 2020. As part of the yearly IEM competition together with Katowice, Sydney and Shanghai, IEM Chicago will feature the world’s best 16 teams in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive who will contend for a prize pool of $250,000 from Nov. 10-11, with group stages running Nov. 6-9. Calling the action in Chicago will be OJ Borg as stage host, Machine as deck host, reporter Stunna, analysts SPUNJ and Pimp, and casters HenryG, Sadokist, Moses and Anders.
Discord announced plans to open Discord Store, offering individual games for purchase. Currently, the offering is being rolled out as a beta test to about 50,000 Canadian players and will be expanding to more over time. In addition, the company will upgrade Nitro. The store will offer a curated game store experience as well as “First on Discord” titles
Former NASCAR executive David Higdon has a new lane to oversee, joining Riot Games in the newly created position of global head of communications, esports. Higdon previously served as VP of integrated marketing communications for NASCAR and as CCO for the LPGA.
World Electronic Sports Games announced plans to take the PAX Arena stage at PAX Aus 2018, running Oct. 26-28 Oct. in Melbourne. The tournament, organized by Alibaba Group’s AliSports, is partnering with Australian Esports League for its first foray into Australia, bringing together the best in the region to compete in Dota 2, CS:GO, Hearthstone, and StarCraft 2. Online events will begin on Sept. 1. “The growth of esports in the APAC region has been nothing short of meteoric,” said Luke Lancaster, Content Manager, PAX Aus. “This partnership with AliSport sets up PAX Arena as a truly international event, and we couldn’t be more excited.”


Round two of the PGA Championship today on TNT at 2p, with CBS joining the fray this weekend at 2p on both days.



The Esports Business Summit
October 1-3 | Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

Join hundreds of esports business leaders in Las Vegas to experience and learn firsthand the latest strategies on how to profit from the $2billion industry that is esports. Discover innovative strategies and join us on unique networking opportunities to connect with a powerful community of esports leaders and experts.


ON THIS DAY in 1980:Jack Nicklaus wins his 17th major tournament by capturing the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club
In the Know: Name four of the five teams that the Raiders have played in the Super Bowl. (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: Wayne Gretzky was co-founder of MVP.com with what two other sports legends? Answer: Michael Jordan and John Elway. Kudos: John Ferlazzo/London; Phyllis McQuillan-MSG Networks/NY; Greg Maltzman-DraftKings/NY; Chris Long-DraftKings/NY; Jim Bono-NBC Sports & Olympics/NY; Ken White-KWTV/Charlotte; Joe Schreiber-3 Penny Films/Bethesda; Willy Gibson-WTG Sports/Columbus; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Joe Lyons-ESPN/Dallas; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA
Later – Chris


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