08/27/14: NASCAR slates FOX, NBC 2015 schedules; CBS Sports unveils roster for We Need to Talk; Popeyes heads to the Bahamas


Good morning. It’s Wednesday, August 27, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

NASCAR released its national series schedules for the 2015 season, which will see new deals with FOX and NBC kick in. Changes in the new slate include new dates for Darlington Raceway, Bristol Motor Speedway and Daytona International Speedway. Following the 57th running of the Daytona 500 Feb. 22 on FOX, Atlanta Motor Speedway will now host the season’s second race weekend (March 1), while Darlington returns to its traditional Labor Day weekend date (Sept. 6).

FOX Sports will showcase the first eight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point races on FOX, while six run on FOX Sports 1 for the first time. The season kicks off from Daytona Speedweeks with the Sprint Unlimited, Daytona 500 Pole Qualifying and 57th running of the Daytona 500 all on the broadcast network. The broadcast network’s slate includes point events at Atlanta, Las Vegas, Phoenix, California, Martinsville, Texas, Bristol, Talladega and Charlotte. FOX Sports 1 offers fans races that the Budweiser Duel, Richmond, Kansas, NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, Dover, Pocono, Michigan, and Sonoma. Meanwhile, coverage of the 2015 NASCAR Nationwide Series will see races from Phoenix, Talladega, Charlotte, and Dover on the broadcast channel while FOX Sports 1 will deliver 10. The channel also broadcasts 22 2015 NASCAR Camping World Series races, with one (Talladega) on FOX.

Meanwhile, NBC Sports enters the fray with 39 combined Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series races across NBC and NBCSN starting July 4 weekend from Daytona and running through the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 22, on NBC. NBC’s coverage of the Sprint Cup Series begins July 5th in primetime, while Nationwide Series coverage revs up July 4. All in, NBC Sports Group will carry exclusive coverage of the final 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (7 on NBC, 13 on NBCSN) and 19 Nationwide Series races of the season.


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CBS Sports opened the books on plans for its all-female weekly, hour-long sports show, entitled We Need to Talk. The series will kick off on Sept. 30 at 10p on CBS Sports Network. The high-profile lineup of talent includes Lesley Visser, Amy Trask, Tracy Wolfson, Dana Jacobson and Allie LaForce. In addition, other members include Andrea Kremer, Laila Ali, Lisa Leslie, Dara Torres, Swin Cash, Summer Sanders and Katrina Adams, while CBS This Morning co-hosts Norah O’Donnell and Gayle Kingý will appear as guests. Each week the series will feature a rotating group of female panelists from within the CBS Corporation and beyond, discussing topics and the latest news from across the sports landscape.

ESPN kicks off the 2014 college football season with a national schedule that includes 55 games in six days as part of the seventh annual DICK’s Sporting Goods Kickoff Week starting today and running through Monday, Sept. 1. Highlights include: SEC Network launching its live game coverage with a doubleheader Thursday pitting Texas A&M/South Carolina at 6p and Temple/Vanderbilt at 9:15p; a Saturday night doubleheader on Aug. 30 with Clemson/Georgia at 5:30p and Wisconsin/LSU at 9p on ESPN; ABC’s coverage of Florida State/Oklahoma State at 8p and West Virginia/Alabama at 3:40p on Saturday and ESPN’s Labor Day prime-time telecast on Sept. 1 with Miami (Fla.)/Louisville.

Around the dial, NBC Sports Group launches its 24th season broadcasting Notre Dame football on Saturday at 3p with Countdown To Kickoff, followed by Rice/Notre Dame at 3:30p. Dan Hicks returns for play-by-play with analyst Mike Mayock and sideline reporter Kathryn Tappen.

Verizon FiOS signed on to carry the SEC Network, likely airing it prior to Aug. 28 on Channels 75 and 575. The network will be available on those channels to all FiOS TV customers in Florida and Texas who receive ESPN in their FiOS TV package and to FiOS Extreme and Ultimate customers on Channel 75 in all other markets at launch. With the addition of Verizon FiOS, the SEC Network will be in more than 62 million households nationwide.

ESPN announced plans to carry every game of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain across its platforms starting Aug. 20. ESPN and ESPN2 will televise 13 games, including every USA Basketball Men’s National Team game, as well as the Semifinals, Finals and select Quarterfinal games. Fran Fraschilla will provide analysis for all games on ESPN and ESPN2, while Kevin Connors and Marc Kestecher will rotate on play-by-play assignments.
A new cast of 12 are locked in for Golf Channel’s 22nd season of Big Break. Big Break Myrtle Beach will feature six men and six women competing for a grand prize of more than $100,000 in cash and prizes, including an exemption to either the 2015 Valspar Championship on the PGA TOUR or the 2015 Portland Classic on the LPGA Tour. The new season premieres Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 9p.

The Charlotte Touchdown Club, in conjunction with the Football Writers Association of America will see its 2014 Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet broadcast nationally December 12th on CBS Sports Network. The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is presented annually to the nation’s top NCAA defensive football player with NFL on CBS analyst Steve Beuerlein serving as Master of Ceremonies for this year’s festivities.

SiriusXM offers a total of 56 live games for the opening week of the 2014 college football season through September 1. This year’s SiriusXM College Sports Nation team will feature Tim Brown, Eddie George, Gino Torretta, Gene Chizik, Greg McElroy, Gary Barnett, Dan Hawkins, Rick Neuheisel, Houston Nutt and Phil Savage; as well as Tim Brando, Jack Arute, Mark Packer, Bill King, Chris Childers and Taylor Zarzour.

MSG Networks is tapping Shannon Hogan for Islanders telecasts on MSG+ as host and reporter. Hogan has spent the past four years with Fox Sports Detroit covering the Red Wings, Tigers, and Pistons, along with college hockey and other sporting events in the area.


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The Bahamas Bowl has a sponsor, with Popeyes entering a deal as title sponsor of the postseason college season. The game is slated to debut on Dec. 24 in Nassau. The Popeyes Bahamas Bowl will feature teams from the MAC and Conference USA. In addition, Detroit’s bowl game, once known as the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, will now be known as the Quick Lane Bowl. The game takes place on December 26 will feature teams from the ACC and Big Ten.

SendtoNews has sold 50% of its available NFL digital ad inventory in Canada. Last summer the company nabbed exclusive Canadian rights for all digital NFL highlights, interviews and other related fan interest video content. "We’re very pleased by the response to our NFL ad offering. Advertisers recognize that premium video content like the NFL highlights, with huge consumer reach, comes at a price that is worth the premium," said SendtoNews CEO Greg Bobolo.

PrimeSport announced a new partnership with the San Francisco Bowl as the Official Ticket Exchange and Travel Provider for the game. The 2014 San Francisco Bowl will be held on December 30th and mark the first year for the game in the new Levi’s Stadium.


CBS Interactive Advanced Media launched College Sports Live, which will serve as a completely redesigned all-access subscription product for more than 100 partner schools featuring live streaming and on-demand audio and video coverage. The platform now replaces ULive and individual school All Access products, and is customized for each school and sport. In addition, CBS Interactive Advanced Media will launch new Gameday LIVE apps on iOS and Android for a number of its University partners, offering daily event-centric content for each sport and providing fans with a second-screen experience featuring live streaming video from College Sports Live, scores, schedules, rosters, and more.

USA TODAY Sports opened the doors to its new SEC-centric site Spanning The SEC yesterday, looking to deliver coverage of the conference that showcases Gannett’s local and national writers and reporters for all 14 SEC teams. The site will incorporate original coverage from markets throughout the conference  utilizing its local partner media brands in each region from local television affiliates to daily newspapers and blogs. In addition, Spanning The SEC will also feature two weekly SEC-centric digital video shows, as well as video content from Neulion, a partner of USA TODAY Sports.
IMG locked in a new partnership with TuneIn, the world’s largest audio network, to carry every broadcast for more than 60 IMG College teams. Each IMG team receives its own branded 24/7 channel on TuneIn, with international access to team-specific live play-by-play, pre-game and post-game shows, live weekly coaches shows, and in-season game replays.

Campus Insiders announced four new original programs set to premiere on the network this school year. Series will include The Feed with Shae Peppler (debuting Sept. 2), #Brashtag (Sept. 3), Campus Insiders Saturday Blitz (Aug. 30) and Campus Classics (Sept. 1) on the Campus Insiders’ schedule. The new programs will join The Seth Davis Show and The Download with Bonnie Bernstein, which are entering their second seasons on Campus Insiders.

The ACC Digital Network lined up its fall programming, including the return of football Analyst, Clinton Portis. The ACCDN fall lineup will see the return of popular segments such as Ram Power Plays, CP’s Top 3, Are You Serious?, and the addition of a video feature to accompany the Weekly ACC Power Poll, Jeff Fischel’s Power Poll, beginning September 2. In addition, every Wednesday will see ACC Soccer Weekly. 


Sponsorship and brand experience agency Advantage International announced the hiring today of Adam Cooper as Director  Creative Strategy in its LA office and Polly Akers as Account Director in its Norwalk.



Yankees/Tigers on ESPN at 7p.

ON THIS DAY in 1982: Rickey Henderson steals his 119th base of the season, breaking Lou Brock’s record for stolen bases.

In The Know: This former Oklahoma State player still holds the NCAA FBS record for the highest average rushing yards per game in a season. Who is 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 former NFL QB took part in the film Cannonball Run? (I’ll double your options and make it either the original or the sequel.) Answer: Terry Bradshaw (first movie), Joe Theismann (second). Kudos: Cindy O’Connor-HRP-Cox Reps/NY; Marc Nightingale-Lake 5 Media/NY; Michael Klein-Getty Images/NY; Matt Sampson-Viacom/NY; Chris Mccloskey-NBC Sports Group/Stamford; Keith Allo-Golf Channel/NBC Sports/Orlando; Tony Ferranti-MMSI/Warwick; Rick Wiener-Harmelin Media/Philadelphia; Andy Pittman-Texas A&M University/College Station; Joe Lyons-Back Nine Productions, Inc./Dallas; Brad Brown-B2 Consulting, LLC/St Louis; Kevin Wicker-Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network/Mission; Charles Kundrat-The Band Inc./Denver; Matt Sautter-OpenTV/Golden; Mary Downey-Mary Downey Casting/Burbank; Michael Shudak-DGWB/Santa Ana; Warren Weideman-Producer/LA; Jack Simmons-Fox Sports/LA.

Later — Chris
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