08/13/19: The NFL continued to brace for sports gambling, deepening a partnership with Sportsradar

 

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Good morning. It’s Tuesday August 13, 2019 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

 

The National Football League struck a deal with Sportradar to expand their existing partnership, which will license the distribution of NFL official league data and content to more fans around the world. The renewal significantly expands upon the existing partnership, including exclusive distribution of real-time official play-by-play data and NGS data to sports betting operators in the US. and internationally where sports betting is legal and regulated.  Official licensed data will improve the speed and accuracy of NFL data and enhance protections for consumers. In addition, Sportradar will now have the right to distribute live audio-visual (AV) game feeds to sportsbooks in select international markets.
 
The NFL will also use Sportradar’s integrity services to monitor betting across all NFL games (preseason, regular season, and postseason). The NFL and its clubs will also have access to Sportradar’s integrity education workshops and products to ensure the continuation of the NFL’s high standard for integrity.
 
 
PROGRAMMING

 

The NBA unveiled its complete game schedule for the upcoming season, along with the broadcast schedules for its partners at ESPN, ABC, TNT and NBA TV. The league’s 74th regular season will tip off on Oct. 22 and conclude on April 15, 2020. In an effort to present national television games to the largest possible audience, the NBA worked closely with its teams and domestic broadcast partners to schedule earlier start times for doubleheaders this season, with 12 of TNT’s 31 doubleheaders and 22 of ESPN’s 36 doubleheaders tipping off at 7:30p/10p or 7p/9:30p.  In addition, instances of teams playing games on back-to-back days will be an all-time low for the fifth straight season and – for the third season in a rowno team is scheduled to play a stretch with four games in five days. A record 48 games will air in primetime in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with 24 games each on Saturday and Sunday. 
 
Getting into the nitty-gritty of it, ESPN and ABC will combine to carry 101 NBA regular season games, beginning with a primetime doubleheader on ESPN, which will offer 83 games, including a special Thanksgiving Eve blockbuster doubleheader and 18 games on ABC, highlighted by NBA Christmas Day and NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC. The ESPN and ABC NBA Christmas Day tradition enters its 18th year on Dec. 25, with approximately 14 consecutive hours of NBA coverage, beginning at 11a with NBA Countdown featuring a five-game slate. ABC’s telecasts will be anchored by at least five appearances each from the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, LA Clippers, Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers while ESPN sees 13 appearances each by the Lakers and Warriors, with 10 appearances each by the Clippers, Rockets, Celtics, Bucks, Pelicans and Jazz.
 
On TNT, the network serves up 67 games, with double digit appearances by the Lakers, Warriors, Clippers, Bucks, Rockets, Celtics and Trail Blazers. TNT will officially tip off the 2019-20 NBA regular season with two Opening Week doubleheaders including an Opening Night doubleheader will begin with the Pelicans making their first of seven TNT appearances against the Raptors on Oct. 22, at 8p, followed by the Lakers/Clippers at 10:30p. Additionally, NBA on TNT’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day tripleheader on Jan. 20, will be highlighted by Warriors/Trail Blazers at 10:30p and tip off with the Pelicans/Grizzlies at 5p, and Lakers/Celtics at 7:30p.
 
Finally, NBA TV delivers 107 live games during the 2019-20 regular season with double-digit appearances for the Lakers, Bucks, clippers, Rockets, 76ers, Warriors, Trail Blazers and Pelicans. The network will tip off its regular season coverage with a tripleheader on Oct. 26, when the Heat visit the Bucks at 5p, followed by the Knicks at 7:30p, wrapped up by Clippers/Suns at 10p.  Two games played outside the United States will also air on the network, the NBA Mexico City Games 2019 featuring the Spurs and the Suns on Dec. 14, at 5p and the Bucks/Hornets in the NBA Paris Game 2020 presented by beIN SPORTS on Jan. 24, at 3p.
 
NBCSN’s coverage of Sunday’s Manchester United/Chelsea match scored the best-ever Nielsen overnight rating ever for an opening weekend Premier League match on cable, hitting a .77. In addition, that score was good enough to rank second for any Premier League cable match in US TV history. It was up 33% from last year’s opening weekend match in similar time slot.
 
beIN Sports announced the addition of soccer star Hope Solo, to the network’s umbrella of talent. Hope will be co-hosting a new show, Weekend Winners alongside Jeremy St. Louis, debuting Aug. 19 at 7p. Hope Solo will also help kick-off the network’s coverage of the 2019-2020 LaLiga season with appearances on The Soccer XTRA and The Express as well as beIN Sport’s digital show, Sports Burst.
 
In other talent news, ESPN added reporter Ed Werder to serve as a Dallas-based bureau reporter for SportsCenter and studio programming, covering various sports from Dallas, including the Cowboys.
 
FOX Sports announced a 20th anniversary celebration that will also mark the premier of SmackDown on FOX on Oct. 4 at 8p at Staples Center in LA. WWE Superstars past and present will be on hand at Staples Center to celebrate the occasion including Kurt Angle, Lita, Mick Foley, Booker T, Hulk Hogan, Trish Stratus, Goldberg, Jerry Lawler, Mark Henry, Ric Flair and Sting. “SmackDown has been delivering action-packed, family-friendly programming for two decades, and we look forward to entertaining generations to come as we begin this next chapter on FOX,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman & CEO.
 
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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

 

The Original Chipwich completed a sponsorship agreement with the National Women’s Hockey League to serve as “The Official Ice Cream Sandwich of the NWHL” for the 2019-20 season. As an NWHL partner, Chipwich will sponsor select intermission activities during games and receive significant social media promotion, plus additional activations. As part of the NWHL-NWHL Players’ Association agreement, players under contract for the upcoming season receive a 50 percent split of revenue from all league-level sponsorship and media deals. Revenue from the partnership agreement with Chipwich will be split in half with NWHL players, resulting in additional income beyond their salaries for playing.
 
CAA Sports Licensing signed an agreement to serve as the exclusive worldwide licensing agency for the Harlem Globetrotters. Under terms of the agreement, CAA Sports Licensing will create partnerships with key licensees and retailers to further extend the Globetrotters brand, message, and goodwill to consumers around the world. Initial efforts will focus on product categories including video games, toys and games, sporting equipment, footwear, collectibles, and digital media, for key regions that include North America, Asia, and Europe.
 
 
DIGITAL, DATA & TECH
 
The Atlanta Falcons and Mercedes-Benz Stadium announced the launch of the newly redesigned team and stadium apps ahead of the 2019 NFL season. The two new apps have been built to provide “a more immersive experience, bringing fans closer to the team and their favorite players both on and off the field, 365 days a year.” The new Falcons app features live streaming of all preseason games, breaking news, ant access to players, coaches and team officials, daily editorial coverage, team store and future free-to-play games. The new gameday app, meanwhile, offers access to digital Ticketmaster account, easier ticket transfers, interactive stadium maps, concession and restaurant menus and more.
 
TeamWorks Media announced a content partnership between its platform La Vida Baseball and the Houston Chronicle to provide print and video content for coverage of the Houston Astros, Texas Rangers and other features of interest. The deal marks the first-ever content partnership between La Vida Baseball and a major news outlet. The Chronicle will publish selected articles in both its print and digital editions along with the inclusion of the La Vida Baseball logo and link to LaVidaBaseball.com.
 
Tunity Analytics Top 5 Out-of-Home Sports Programs for the Week of August 5
Show                                                  Network                     Date/Time      (000’s)
NFL – Cowboys vs. 49ers                 NFL Network/CBS     8/10/19 9p     1107
NFL – Jets vs. Giants                        NFL Network/NBC     8/8/19 7p       1044
NFL – Buccaneers vs. Steelers        NFL Network/NBC      8/9/19 7:30p  842
Pardon the Interruption                    ESPN                         8/5/19 5:30p   708
EPL – Norwich City vs. Liverpool     NBC Sports                 8/9/19 3p       689
Source: Tunity Analytics.  Viewing estimates are derived from Tunity mobile app usage for the week beginning August 5, 2019. OOH viewer impressions are calculated using Tunity Analytics proprietary estimation model.
 
 
ESPORTS

 

15-time NBA All-Star Kevin Garnett became the latest high-profile name to announce an investment in esports, locking in a deal with Triumph Esports through his experiential event management and production company, Big Ticket Sports. “Our relationship with Triumph Esports is a natural fit as we look to showcase and elevate shared lifestyle experiences through competition, content and live events,” Garnett said in a statement. “Our vision is to create unique experiences that impact our fans across a variety of passion points.”
 
Black Ridge Acquisition Corp. officially closed its business combination with Allied Esports International to make Allied Esports and WPT become wholly-owned subsidiaries of BRAC. As part of the transaction, Black Ridge changed its name to Allied Esports Entertainment. “Today marks the beginning of a new category in gaming – esports entertainment – that brings together the best of this burgeoning industry, including fans, streamers, professionals, entertainers and brands, to create experiences and content around the world across all communities,” said Frank Ng, incoming CEO of Allied Esports Entertainment. “This growing ecosystem, anchored by our three-pillar strategy, will allow us to serve the industry as a whole as we move forward into an exciting and promising future.”
 
 
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