08/08/14: NFL Now enters the game; Wish granted to college power conferences; Zynga looks to be a sports player via NFL, Woods


Good morning. It’s Friday, August 8, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

The NFL’s newest creation is officially off and running. The league launched its personalized on-demand video platform NFL Now yesterday, available via Android, iOS and Windows on mobile, as well as on Amazon Kindle Fire tablets, Fire TV, Xbox and Roku, among other outlets. The basic version of NFL Now is free, with fans able to pay $1.99 a month for the NFL Now Plus premium service that offers more and fresher game highlights as well as access to that archival vault of NFL Films. At launch, presenting sponsors include Gillette, McDonald’s, Nationwide and Verizon. Video stats for the service now stand at 6,300 minutes per week of original content; 4,800 minutes per week of club video in-season, 21,126 minutes of historical team highlights and 1,806 minutes of Super Bowl highlights from ’67 to ’09.


Thursday saw the NCAA Division I board of directors vote 16-2 to grant more autonomy to the power conferences and allow them to determine their own rules regarding cost-of-attendance stipends, insurance benefits, recruiting regulations, staff sizes, etc. The AP writes that the top 64 schools from the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12 as well as Notre Dame are able to submit their own legislation by Oct. 1 and have it enacted at the January 2015 NCAA convention in DC. The board’s endorsement now must pass through a 60-day comment period. “These changes will allow us to continue to prioritize how to better address the needs of our institutions, athletic programs and, most importantly, our student-athletes,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford in a statement.

A New York court temporarily blocked Major League Baseball from moving forward with a ruling that favored the Nationals in the club’s fee dispute with MASN. The judgement blocked the club and the league from taking action to end the channel’s license to telecast Nationals’ games. MASN pursued the injunction after an MLB arbitration panel decided that the network owed the Nationals more money for broadcast rights and argued that the move defies the current fee arrangement with the Nationals that was part of the team’s agreement when it moves to DC. The court is scheduled to hold a hearing on a permanent injunction later this month.

ESPN and SiriusXM officially announced their deal for ESPN to produce The Stephen A. Smith Show for SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio, channel 85.  The two-hour daily program will debut on satellite radio Tuesday, Sept. 2 at 1p and be produced and broadcast from ESPN Audio’s headquarters in Bristol.

The countdown is on to the Cynopsis Sports Business Summit from Aug. 19-20! Get your tickets now before it once again sells out! Another can’t miss session will be out annual state of sports panel, moderated by Sporting News Media CEO Juan Delgado, which will tackle the headlines and issues facing the industry today. Panelists include HBO Sports President Ken Hershman, Turner Sports President Lenny Daniels, NBA Deputy Commissioner and COO Mark Tatum and Gary Stevenson, President and Managing Director of MLS Business Ventures. For more info and to register, click here.

NBCSN slated a special live tripleheader during Fight Night on Saturday at 8p. The main event features undefeated Ukrainian sensation Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov/Derric Rossy in ten rounds of heavyweight action. Other bouts will see Robert Berridge/Vasily Lepikhin and Joseph Parker/Keith Thompson. Kenny Rice has the play-by-play with analyst B.J. Flores and reporter Chris Mannix. Afterward, at 10p, the channel brings back World Series of Fighting, highlighted by Luis “Baboon” Palomino/Lewis Gonzalez. Play-by-play announcer Mike Corey will be joined by mixed martial artists and analysts Bas Rutten and Joey Varner.

Speaking of fights, Boxeo Telemundo Ford finishes its 2014 summer season tonight with Edgar “Nene” Ortega/Daniel Rosario for the WBO Latino Welterweight title. Rene Giraldo and Jessi Losada provide the blow-by-blow and commentary.

A four-decade tradition is slated to end in two years. The PGA Championship will move its 2016 event away from August for the first time in more than four decades, relinquishing the month to accommodate the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The PGA of America announced that the 2016 PGA Championship will now end on July 31 in order to give players time to prepare for the Summer Games, which open on Aug. 5 of that year.


Cynopsis Sports Women of Action
AUG. 19 | New York Athletic Club | 1-6:30 PM

A sampling of the featured panels:
FOX Sports Women’s FIFA World Cup Q&A
Making the Pitch: Successfully Marketing to Women
State of Play: Driving Women’s Sports to New Highs
On Air, and On the Line

View the complete list of speakers & register:
Thank you to our sponsors – FOX SPORTS 1 & WICT


ESPN and Walt Disney World Resort are set to host a Fantasy Football Convention at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando from August 22-23. The weekend will feature a live telecast of ESPN’s Fantasy Football Now on the 23rd at 10a ESPN2, as well as a question-and-answer session with ESPN commentators sponsored by Champion and a fantasy football draft where fans can interact with and seek advice from the network’s experts. Other events include ESPN: The Tailgate sponsored by Johnsonville Brats, Disney chefs competing in the ESPN Chili Bowl, and a training table breakfast with Disney characters.

The National Guard is wrapping up sponsorship of NASCAR and INDYCAR drivers, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Graham Rahal respectively. The deals are set to expire at the end of the season, according to multiple reports, although Earnhardt’s team Hendrick Motorsports said in a statement it has a contract through 2015. The National Guard reports that it spent $32 million on its NASCAR sponsorship and $12 million on its IndyCar sponsorship this year.


Zynga is getting in the sports game, announcing that that company has entered the Sports gaming category and is developing mobile games in both Football and Golf, under a new franchise brand called  Zynga Sports 365. To support the brands, Zynga announced two multi-year licensing partnerships  one with the NFL and another with NFL Players Inc. that will allow the company to use real NFL teams and athletes, including their names and likeness. The new mobile Football game  called NFL Showdown  went live yesterday in geo-lock and will be going live to players globally before the NFL season begins. In addition, Zynga locked in a multi-year, multi-platform partnership with Tiger Woods to create mobile games set for 2015.

ESPN Digital & Print Media signed Amy DuBois Barnett as Executive Editor of Jason Whitlock’s upcoming site that will provide coverage, commentary and insight about sports and culture directed towards an African-American audience. There, she will oversee editorial operations for the site. Most recently, Barnett was Editor-in-Chief of Ebony.


The PGA Championship runs throughout the weekend on TNT (today at 8a) and CBS (starting tomorrow at 2p).


Cynopsis Media Presents…
Cynopsis Sports Business Summit

August 20th  | New York Athletic Club
Thank you to our sponsor – FOX SPORTS 1

Hear speakers from: Bloomberg Sports, CBS Sports, CSE, Electronic Arts, Fanatics, FOX Sports, Group M, HBO Sports, IMG College, MLS Business Ventures, NBA, NBC Sports Group, Neulion, NFL Media, NHL, Omnigon, SiriusXM, Sporting News Media, Troika and more.

ON THIS DAY in 1988: The Cubs host their first night game in the history of Wrigley Field.

In The Know: The movie Major League saw this sports personality famously proclaim a wild pitch as “Juuuuuust a bit outside." Who was he? (Email Chris-Sports@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Which MLB team did Ted Williams manage? Answer: Washington Senators/Texas Rangers. Kudos: Jon Latzer-CBS Digital Media/NY; Carl Schellenberger-VCA/NY; Phyllis McQuillan-MSG Media/NY; Marc Nightingale-Lake 5 Media/NY; David Koonin-CSE/Atlanta; Dave Goren-National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association & Hall of Fame (NSSA)/Salisbury; Randy Ingram-WBTW-TV/Myrtle Beach;  Tim McGhee-MSP Sports/Summit; Andy Pittman-Texas A&M University/College Station; Lyons-Back Nine Productions, Inc./Dallas; Bob Ramsey-Weigel Broadcasting/Chicago; Bill Robertson-WCHA/Minneapolis; David Hauptman/Denver; Matt Sautter-OpenTV/Golden; Rick Pike-InterMedia Advertising/Woodland Hills; Julia Sen-Crown Media Family Networks/LA; Doug Kelly-S.F. Bowl Game Association/South San Francisco; Brian Sullivan-KHQ-TV/Spokane.




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