08/30/18: The NBA, MLB, and PGA TOUR unified in support of Sen Schumer’s gambling regulatory proposal

CynopsisSports
Good morning. It’s Thursday August 30, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

The NBA, MLB and PGA TOUR delivered a united voice of support for Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer’s suggestions for a federal framework for sports betting. ESPN published Schumer’s memo, which proposes that all sports books only use official league data to determine outcomes and that the leagues themselves should be involved in determining what bets would be accepted. In addition, Schumer proposed that leagues would have beef up monitoring, and that people under 21 should not be able to make wagers. 
 
As legalized sports betting spreads across the states, there is a need for consistent, nationwide integrity standards to safeguard the sports millions of fans love,” the leagues said in a statement. “We strongly support the legislative framework outlined by Senator Schumer and we encourage Congress to adopt it.”
 
 
ON THE AIR

NBC Sports’ plans for next month’s Ryder Cup will include 220 total hours of themed programming for the tournament leading up to the biennial competition, which takes place Sept. 28-30 at Le Golf National outside of Paris. Complementing live coverage of the competition, Golf Central Live From the Ryder Cup will begin on Sept. 25 and continue through the duration of the week. NBC Sports Group will dedicate nearly 30 hours to showcasing live action of the Ryder Cup. Over the next two weeks, Golf Channel will air the live announcements of the captains revealing their respective picks as they fill out their rosters. United States captain Jim Furyk will make his first three picks on Sept. 4 at 5p and will make his final pick on Sept. 10 at 9a. European captain Thomas Bjorn will announce his four picks on Wednesday, Sept. 5 at 10a.
 
beIN SPORTS reacted to news that AT&T/DIRECTV/DIRECTV NOW decided to drop beIN SPORTS from their channel lineup. “Despite beIN SPORTS USA’s offer to extend its contract with AT&T / DIRECTV / DIRECTV NOW, they chose to abruptly cease negotiations and drop the beIN SPORTS channels from their lineup. beIN SPORTS remains committed 24-7 to re-establishing access to our service in an effort to move our channels to lower priced packages that ultimately save viewers money,” said Antonio Briceno, beIN SPORTS’ Deputy Managing Director for the U.S. and Canada. 
 
In ratings news, CBS Sports is reporting that the network saw its 2018 PGA TOUR viewership reach its highest levels since 2015. Through 21 PGA TOUR events this year, viewership average 2.46 million viewers, up 12% over last year.
 
Meanwhile, the WNBA Semifinals on ESPN2 saw games average a combined 0.3 metered market number through two games, up 14% over 2017 numbers, while viewership grew 23% over last year, hitting 276,000. The 2018 WNBA Semifinals continue with a Game 3 doubleheader tomorrow on ESPNEWS.
 
USA Basketball announced plans to collaborate with the NBA, National Basketball Players Association and the NCAA in the expansion of its Men’s Junior National Team program to include additional training camps and year-round player development programming, with focuses on health and wellness and life skills. Through the expansion, USA Basketball’s Junior National Team will build on its existing basketball development program to provide on- and off-court player development opportunities for more than 80 top US high school players.
 
Don’t miss the biggest esports business event of the year from Oct. 1-3. Get your tickets to the Esports Business Summit now, with five tracks of programming: teams/competition; media/content; sponsorship/activation; venues and investment. Plus: The Tempest Awards, killer field trips and deep-dive workshops. Today’s panel spotlight – Uncovering the Value in Esports featuring Nicole Pike, Managing Director, Esports at Nielsen and showcasing the trends emerging in esports sponsorships and activations in addition to featuring the best practices throughout the global esports landscape. Click here for tickets.
 
Univision Deportes unveiled plans to deliver every match of the first-ever UEFA Nations League competition offering live Spanish-language coverage of all 142 matches from the inaugural UEFA Nations League, with more than 30 matches airing on linear networks Univision Deportes Network, UniMas and Univision. UEFA Nations League action kicks off September 6 with a battle between France and Germany, on UniMas and UDN. The UEFA Nations League Final on June 9, 2019, will air on the flagship Univision network, with simulcast coverage on UDN. Coverage of the UEFA Nations League Semifinals on June 6 and the Third Place match on June 9 will be available on UniMás and UDN.
 
NBC Sports Group showcases NASCAR’s throwback weekend and the penultimate race of the regular season, with more than 17 hours of trackside coverage from Darlington Raceway starting Saturday at 3:30p on NBC. Tapping into Darlington Raceway’s celebration of seven decades of NASCAR, NBCSN’s race telecast on Sunday will feature the voices of three of the most famous families in the sport, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett.
 
Showtime’s Inside the NFL returns on Sept. 4 at 9p with Phil Simms, Boomer Esiason and Ray Lewis joining host James Brown. In addition, 16-year NFL veteran Steve Smith Sr. will join the cast as a contributing analyst periodically throughout the season, debuting on the season premiere. New episodes of the show will premiere on the channelevery Tuesday throughout the NFL season.
 
SiriusXM will offer subscribers its most extensive play-by-play schedule to date for college football’s opening week, offering 80 live games from Aug. 30-Sept. 3. The opening week schedule on SiriusXM features every team from the Associated Press Top 25 poll, and is highlighted by three early season Top 25 matchups: #6 Washington vs. #9 Auburn (September 1, 3:30p), #8 Miami vs. #25 LSU (September 2, 7:30p) and #20 Virginia Tech at #19 Florida State (September 3, 8p). 
 
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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Philips Arena in Atlanta is being renamed after State Farm locked in a deal to snag naming rights to the venue, now called State Farm Arena. The venue is expected to reopen in October as the Hawks celebrate their 50th year in Atlanta. Reports state that the price tag for the arena name change hovered around $200 million.
 
This year’s College Colors Day is slated to take place on Aug. 31, when more than 195 million college fans nationwide to unleash their colors by wearing gear to support their favorite school. The annual holiday, created by IMG College Licensing (IMGCL), sees fans rep their college colors and share photos and video on social media using the hashtag #CollegeColorsDay. Fans can also visit www.CollegeColorsDay.com for 30% cash back on new collegiate merchandise and can also use the website to enter for the chance to win a variety of prizes.
 
Meanwhile, ESPN kicked off Everything Matters, the inaugural spot in a fan-first campaign that is part of the ongoing “Who’s In?” effort. Schools represented in the initial kickoff spot include: Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, Michigan, Penn State, Ohio State, USC, Texas, Washington. Notre Dame, Clemson, Texas A&M, UCF and Miami. The campaign will run across ESPN and ABC platforms during the college football season, with new spots in rotation as the season progresses.
 
Sept. 9 sees Buffalo Wild Wings unveil a new partnership with DraftKings for a custom game that will be exclusively available in all Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants this 2018 football season in addition to a new advertising campaign, titled “Escape to Football”. Blazin’ Fantasy Football will be available on mobile through the Blazin’ Rewards App, and made exclusively available to guests at Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants, offering multiple chances to win prizes such as free wings for a year, Buffalo Wild Wings Gift Cards, Blazin’ Reward Points, and more. There will be a total of 600 weekly winners.
 
The U.S. golf industry is launching the #inviteHER campaign for current golfers to encourage the women in their lives to start playing. Powered by the LPGA Women’s Network and WE ARE GOLF’s Women’s Task Force, golfers – men and women alike – are encouraged to bring friends, colleagues and family to join them on the course through online resources and social media assets. “The appetite for golf is at a historic level with a latent demand of 38 million Americans,” says Steve Mona, CEO of World Golf Foundation, administrator of WE ARE GOLF. “Last year, 35 percent of the game’s 2.6 million new players were female and we are confident #inviteHER is a huge step in the right direction to continue increasing this number while making the game more inclusive.”

Monumental Sports & Entertainment reached a multi-year extension with Lexus, which includes retaining the full naming rights of the suite level at Capital One Arena, home of the 2018 Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards, and the Lexus Parking Garage. In addition, Lexus will remain an official vehicle of Capital One Arena.
 
 
DIGITAL & STREAMING

FanDuel Group and global publishing platform Minute Media announced the launch of The Duel, a fan-generated digital platform focused on fantasy sports and sports betting news and information. The partnership will, according to the announcement, “blend together authentic, fan-fueled editorial content alongside expert-led video and audio programming for the growing segment of fantasy sports and betting fanatics” and serve as a hub for the most popular fantasy sports, betting, and sports entertainment content across NFL, NBA, MLB, NCAAF, NCAAB, and PGA. The platform will also feature expert audio and video content from popular FanDuel personalities including JJ Zachariason, Jim Sannes, and Brandon Gdula.
 
Facebook Watch is going global, announcing that the platform will now be available everywhere. The company reports that every month, more than 50 million people in the US come to watch videos for at least a minute in Watch — and total time spent watching videos in Watch has increased by 14X since the start of 2018. In addition, the company is launching its Ad Breaks product in more countries around the world, starting with the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.
 
 
ESPORTS

In this week’s edition of Cynopsis Esports
  • Stadium makes esports pact with ESP Gaming
  • ESL Pro League locks in season eight CS:GO plans
  • Golden Guardians get Fathead treatment
  • Toyota’s Thailand maneuver
  • Riot makes a vow
  • LoL’s LA Lane
 
THE MAIN EVENT

Primetime at the US Open on ESPN2 at 7p.
 
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Save the date for the 6th Annual Cynopsis Digital Model D & It List Awards. Join in on the action as digital’s best and brightest honor those who have excelled in digital content, marketing, advertising and social media.
 
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ON THIS DAY in 1905: Ty Cobb of the Tigers makes his major league debut.
 
In the Know: Who is the last college football coach to win a national title in his first season (FBS level)? (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: Three teams from “Power 5” schools have never recorded a 10-win season in college football. Name two. Answer: Vanderbilt, Indiana and Iowa State. Kudos: Joe Isabella-WCBS-TV/NY; Tom Wetzel-MMSI/Warwick; Mike May-PHIT America/Wellington; Kevin McIntyre-Amayse Inc./Boston; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA
 
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