08.07.15 Good morning. It’s Friday August 7, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
USA Network continues to muscle up its sports programming, with NBC Sports announcing that the cable channel will carry a weekly Premier League match through the upcoming season. Games begin on Saturday and the schedule will see USA Network step into the action with Watford/Everton at 10a. Overall, the channel will carry 40+ weekend Premier League games throughout the season with most running during the multi-match Saturday 10a window.
“Bringing Premier League soccer to USA is a key part of our overall strategy to add more live programming to the network,” said Chris McCumber, President of USA Network. “This is a great opportunity to help expand the platform for the top league in the world’s most popular sport.”
FOX NFL Sunday goes where no pregame sports show has gone before and will broadcast from the Emmy Awards red carpet on Sept. 20 at noon. Later that day, of course, the Awards telecast will be on the network at 8p. “The Emmys are one of the most prestigious and anticipated television events of the year,” said John Entz, President of Production, FOX Sports. “There’s no doubt that we can kick off the excitement and pageantry by having FOX NFL SUNDAY live on the red carpet all day. We plan on speaking to many of the talented stars on the carpet who happen to be huge football fans.”
ESPN tackled its college football announce teams for the 2015 season, highlighted by new pairings for ESPN’s Thursday and Friday night games. New assignments will see Joe Tessitore shift into the Thursday night play-by-play slot alongside Jesse Palmer and David Pollack with sideline reporter Kaylee Hartung. In addition, second-year analyst Mack Brown will now join Dave Flemming and Allison Williams for the Friday night game while retaining his Saturday ABC studio role. In addition, Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit team with reporter Heather Cox to call ABC’s Saturday Night Football presented by Wells Fargo as will Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe for ESPN College Football Primetime presented by Hampton Hotels. Both teams will call a College Football Playoff National Semifinal on New Year’s Eve with Fowler, Herbstreit and Cox then calling the championship game on January 11, 2016.
On the college basketball front, ESPN announced plans for the NIT Season Tip-Off, which will shift to Barclays Center this year. Operated by ESPN Events, the preseason tournament will feature Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Stanford and Villanova leading up to the semifinals on Thursday, Nov. 26 and the title game on Friday, Nov. 27 with the action carried on ESPN2 and ESPNU. The action tops off on Nov. 13 with Green Bay/Stanford.
NBCSN reports that Sunday handed the channel with its second-highest non-Olympic day in channel history, anchored by NASCAR Spring Cup action and the Verizon IndyCar Series. Total day viewership averaged over 1 million viewers per minute for the second straight week with the NASCAR race averaging 4.3 million viewers and a 2.6 HH rating. The network then saw its most-watched IndyCar telecast to date with its same-day replay of the Mid-Ohio race, which averaged 666,000 viewers. This marks the first time since NBC Sports Group acquired IndyCar cable exclusivity in 2008 that four consecutive IndyCar race presentations on the network topped the 500,000 viewer mark.
CBS Sports reports that the Final Round of the Quicken Loans National continued the channel’s upward ratings trends for the sport, scoring a 2.1/5 and up 31% over the same tournament a year ago. This season has seen golf coverage rise 29% in rating on the network over 2014 numbers and the highest season to date average rating at this point in the season for all golf telecasts since 2012.
ONE World Sports is launching ONE World Sports Originals, a new unit designed to develop content “to augment the network’s growing catalogue of live sports programming from around the world.” First out of the gate will be documentary A Bridge to Cuba: Celebrating Cuba v Cosmos, examining the New York Cosmos soccer team’s historic June trip to Cuba, is the unit’s first original production.
MLB Network offers a special afternoon game telecast that incorporates a roundtable discussion about advanced metrics. Astros at Giants presented by MLB Now runs Aug. 12 at 3:30p and will see MLB Now host Brian Kenny lead a panel featuring Kevin Millar, Jim Duquette and Rob Neyer as they analyze the entire game live from MLB Network’s Studio 21. The contest will transition from the studio throughout the local game telecast, balancing pitch-by-pitch info with group discussion, in-game interviews, leaderboard information from MLB.com’s Statcast tracking technology and MLB Network’s defensive alignment graphic, Shift Trax.
Golf Channel and the Long Drivers of America announced that live coverage of the 2015 World Long Drive Championship which marks its 40th anniversary will expand to two nights, with the network running the semifinals on Tuesday, Oct. 20 and the championship finals on Wednesday, Oct. 21, both in primetime. This year’s event takes place at WinStar World Casino and Resort, located north of Dallas in Thackerville, Okla.
NBA TV goes behind the scenes with NBA Real Training Camp: USA Basketball Presented by Jeep on Aug. 11 at 3p. Matt Winer hosts the two-and-a-half hour special from Las Vegas with NBA TV analysts Steve Smith and Stu Jackson. The show will feature mic’d players and coaches, as well as exclusive interviews with players, coaches, including National Team managing director Jerry Colangelo, USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski, and other executives.
FOX Sports and Cogeco Cable Canada, the second largest cable operator in Ontario and Quebec, locked in a deal that will see the launch of FOX Sports Racing to the distributor’s channel lineup. FOX Sports Racing now is accessible on preview status to all of Cogeco’s English language subscribers for one month, before moving to its position on Cogeco’s Sports Life tier. “We continue to invest in and strengthen FOX Sports Racing in Canada, an effort not possible without our valued distribution partners,” said David Nathanson, Head of Business Operations for FOX Sports. “The Cogeco launch continues a string of summer successes and ongoing momentum for the network.”
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CBS is breaking barriers and will hit the $5 million sweet spot for a 30-second ad during its broadcast of Super Bowl 50. CEO Leslie Moonves noted the high mark on Wednesday during the company’s earnings call. If that holds, it would mark an 11% rise over NBC’s carriage of the Super Bowl this year, which reeled in a record $4.5 million for the spot.
NBC Sports has teamed up with UberEATS, Uber’s mobile, on-demand food delivery service, to kick off of the 2015-16 Premier League season. Beginning at 7:45a on Saturday, fans in New York City can order a free and authentic English breakfast directly to their doors via the Uber app, consisting of eggs, sausages, loin bacon, black pudding, portobello mushroom, baked beans, roasted tomato, and fried bread. This marks the second year that NBC Sports and Uber have partnered to celebrate the Premier League, as they teamed up last year to send branded mini-countrymens around the city.
McDonald’s has now joined fellow World Cup sponsors Coca-Cola and Visa in a call for FIFA to launch an independent reform commission due to its corruption scandals, according to Reuters. Campaigning group New FIFA Now published an email from a McDonald’s spokesperson on Thursday that states that the brand supported the move. "In regards to an independent reform commission, we do believe this is an important step in the greater reform that has to happen within FIFA," a McDonald’s exec wrote in the email published on the group’s website and a copy of which was made available to Reuters. "An independent commission would bring an appropriate level of credibility, transparency, and neutrality to the role, and ultimately provide sponsors and fans across the globe with the confidence that the reform effort is both meaningful and a step in the right direction."
The University of Memphis locked in a partnership with IMG Learfield Ticket Solutions. IMGLTS will look to “channel the excitement surrounding the defending American Athletic Conference champions’ success by growing support for Memphis’ athletic programs beginning this fall.”
Meanwhile, IMG announced a multi-year rights representation deal with Princeton University. “IMG will build upon our already strong sponsorship program by continuing to identify premier sponsors who align with the Princeton brand and who understand our unique tradition of academic and athletic excellence,” said Princeton’s Director of Athletics, Mollie Marcoux.
Rotoworld.com reports its best July ever with 3.9 million unique users for the site, rising 7% over numbers in July 2014. In addition, Rotoworld’s Fantasy News App delivered 138,000 unique users (up 19%), 7.9 million visits (up 39%), and 21.5 million page views (up 42%) in July.
PHIT America is looking to tackle the ‘Inactivity Pandemic’ by hosting a free webinar on August 13 at 2p. The event will examine what is causing the ‘Inactivity Pandemic,’ the ramifications, what PHIT America is doing to reverse these trends, and more. You can sign up here.
The Jacksonville Jaguars and FanDuel are teaming up to launch “FanDuelVille at EverBank Field.” The collaboration will see a re-branding the north end zone deck at EverBank Field that will allow all fans at EverBank Field access to the space, which can comfortably hold 3,000 fans at once, with the ability to watch the live game experience from any area in FanDuelVille on the world’s largest videoboards. Fans will then have access to free daily fantasy football games and experiences, live fantasy football statistics and scoring updates as well as multiple bars with signature cocktails, a live DJ and emcee, and more.
PlayOn! Sports promoted sales executives Christopher Young and Owen Shull. Young has been named Senior Vice President of Sales for the NFHS Network, where he will be responsible for working with national brands and partners. Shull was promoted to Senior Vice President & General Manager, PlayOn! Sports Properties, where he will oversee sales, operations, TV distribution, and state marketing agreements for the division.
Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony on Saturday at 7p on NFL Network and ESPN.
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ON THIS DAY in 2007: Barry Bonds breaks Hank Aaron’s record with his 756th HR.
In The Know:David Beckham left what club (hint: not Manchester United) to join the LA Galaxy? (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: What league featured the Los Angeles Express, Houston Gamblers and Washington Federals as franchises? Answer: The USFL. Kudos: Ralph Sorrentino-Viacom/NY; Phyllis McQuillan-MSG Media/NY; Rick Rosenfelt-ESPN New York 98.7 FM/NY; Michael A. Neuman-Scout Sports and Entertainment/NY; Ken Nice-Yoh/Silver Spring; Chris Faulds-Bell Media Digital/Toronto; Mike May-PHIT America/Wellington; Mike Doyle-Spot On Media Consultants, LLC/Madison; Lucie Prann-The Richards Group/Dallas; Joe Lyons-Back Nine Productions, Inc./Dallas; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Doug McMonagle-Red River Broadcast/Minneapolis; Scott Sarra-Universal Sports Network/Denver; Michael Jaquet-U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association/Park City; Brienne Chance-G/O Digital/Phoenix; Jack Neumann-University of Calgary Dinos 5th Quarter/Calgary; Robert Carroll-Evolution Media/Burbank; Bob Condotta-Seattle Times/Seattle; John Baghdassarian-Olympusat/LA; Brian Sullivan-KHQ-TV/Spokane.
Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for
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