09/02/14: OneTwoSee CEO Chris Reynolds talks convergence; College football boosts ABC; Kevin Durant goes swoosh



CYNOPSISSPORTS
09.02.14

Good morning. It’s Tuesday, September 2, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Boasting clients that include the likes of Fox Sports, NBC Sports, Bloomberg Sports, Canada’s Rogers and TSN as well as LG Electronics, Philadelphia-based fan engagement technology company OneTwoSee has quickly turned heads with its multiscreen application platform, which takes a slate of raw data surrounding sports broadcasts and translates it across multiple platforms. Data ranges from real-time game stats, analytics, predictive content, polls and social media trends.

Cynopsis Sports spoke with OneTwoSee co-founder and CEO Chris Reynolds about the convergence of data and viewing, how audiences have evolved and what lies ahead.

On launching: We founded the business about four years ago. At the time, we wondered if there was a batter way to deliver an interactive television experience through sports through connected devices. So delivering solutions in those ecosystems was challenging. We began exploring what types of sports we wanted to build structure around and started working with a friend of ours up in Boston to create a prototype. We didn’t do any market research, which was silly, but ended up building something around Major League Baseball. We demoed it on our own and generated enough success there that we approached Comcast on a regional level. It worked out they liked what we were doing and incorporated that into the product. Things worked out well for both of us and it turned into a larger agreement that included other sports. That helped us develop a reputation as a company that was reliable and we started to grow our business.

On clients: Currently, we support companies like FOX Sports with Major League Baseball product, the NBA, the NCAA as well as an NHL experience. We are working with TSN up in Canada with the CFL as well as hockey. We are also working with Rogers right now on MLB. We’ve put together a deal with Bloomberg Sports and LG. We are going to be doing some other things this fall that will be announced shortly around football. What makes us unique is that it is one thing to build a silo app around baseball, I don’t want to call that trivial, because it is not because more organizations could do that. What is difficult is to build a baseball app that is consistent across all screens. How do you do that across multiple sports and how do you do that across on technology platform? That’s really what we do. We now have product for professional football, baseball, basketball, the NHL, CFL, and we will be bringing soccer in before the end of the year. We don’t attempt to swim against the current. We match the look at feel to our partner’s requirements to work with the partner’s brand.

On the evolution of audience viewing habits: When my partner and I started talking about this business and its potential partners, it was almost like we were speaking a different language. That’s changed. Multi-screen experiences that run in conjunction with a live broadcast are now a must-have for not only media rights holders, but anyone who has a digital audience around professional sports. Audiences have become conditioned to utilizing applications and that’s one of the primary reasons we’ve focused on sports. Folks were already texting each other around games. They were on social networks talking about games and socializing their views. They were online looking at fantasy stats around players. So we figured it made a lot of sense to try to combine all these different aspects into one interface. What I’m really excited about is the convergence of the second screen and primary screen experience. We’ve been waiting for the technology to catch up on the set-tops and smart TV platforms where you could leverage that second screen experience into the primary screen.

On the evolution of product: We’ve always taken the position that we are always going to build a web-based product. Everything we were going to do would be in HTML5 for a number of different reasons. Primary, that allows us to optimize our experiences. When we first started talking to folks about our products, most of them were just very interested in native applications. I’m not in any way saying that native applications aren’t valuable, they are. But the flexibility of HTML5 allows us the types of experiences we want to deliver.


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ON THE AIR

ABC kicked off the college football season on a high, drawing a 4.1 overnight rating for the 3:30p game on Saturday. That marks its highest score for an opening Saturday in that slot on record. The combined overnights for the network’s 3:30p & 8p games tallied the channel’s second highest for Opening Sat ever and the highest since 2006. The company also announced that College GameDay will originate from Eugene on Saturday, Sept. 6 for Michigan St./Oregon.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has backed the NFL’s TV blackout rule, according to ProFootballTalk. In a letter dated Aug. 26, he wrote “The current broadcast rules promote full stadiums, which provide jobs and incomes for the working people we are proud to represent, and they promote free over-the-air television, on which many working people rely. We have seen all other sports migrate away from the free over-the-air model and are concerned that eliminating the [FCC’s] Sports Blackout Rule may make the NFL leave free over-the-air television as well.”

With one more race until the overhauled Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins and two more spots on the line, ABC will carry the last regular season race of the season on Saturday. ABC’s race coverage begins with NASCAR Countdown presented by 5-Hour Energy at 7p with the green flag slated for 7:43p. ESPN2 will air NASCAR Sprint Cup practice at 1p on Friday, and qualifying later that day at 5:30p.

Canada’s Rogers Communications revealed its 45-person on-air team for Sportsnet’s NHL coverage in the network’s first season with exclusive Canadian national television rights. Analysts coming aboard include the likes of Glenn Healy, Kelly Hrudey, Craig Simpson, P.J. Stock and Gary Galley. Mike Johnson and Darren Pang also join as analysts, while Leah Hextall comes aboard from NESN in Boston as a reporter.

Shaquille O’Neal and Pete Rose will visit Animal Planet’s Tanked this season, with new episodes starting Sept. 19. Other celebs will include Mario Lopez, actor Wilmer Valderrama and Long Island Medium’s Theresa Caputo. Shaq takes part in the premiere episode, looking to incorporate two of his nicknames  Superman and Diesel  in a saltwater tank for his Florida mansion’s entertainment room. The tank is to be built into a semi-truck and must be bulletproof.


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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Nike locked in a new deal with Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, according to multiple reports, who signed one of the largest shoe contracts in history. According to the Wall street Journal, the deal could be worth $350 million over 20 years. Durant was wooed by Under Armour over the summer.

A big announcement is slated to take place tomorrow from NASCAR, which is expected to announce its newest partner to take over title responsibilities for the Nationwide Series. The new national series entitlement partnership is expected to involve Comcast’s Xfinity starting in the 2015 season with the announcement taking place at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte.

Nissan and ESPN are back The Nissan Heisman House back for the college football season. The marketing campaign is part of Nissan’s ongoing support of the Heisman Trust’s year-round community support and charitable efforts. Currently in its fourth year, this year’s Nissan Heisman House campaign stars 11 Heisman Trophy winners in humorous vignettes and stunts, an interactive website and a Heisman House Tour that will travel to college campuses throughout the season.

DIGITAL & TECHNOLOGY

The ACC Digital Network launched a new campaign, “Guest Reporter Search,” to “find a special reporter to join its coverage team on site at the ACC Football Championship Game in Charlotte on Dec. 6. The ACCDN and theACC.com will hunt for college students and alumni to join host Jeff Fischel on the field through the Guest Reporter opportunity. To enter, interested fans simply need to submit a 1:00 minute video or a 500 word article covering a unique ACC Sports storyline and complete the entry form at theACC.com.

THE MAIN EVENT

Red Sox/Yankees on NESN and YES Network at 7p.



ON THIS DAY in 1978: Reggie Jackson becomes the 19th player to hit 20+ HR in 11 straight years.

In The Know: Who is the only player to score three touchdowns in a Super Bowl game twice? (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: The Simpsons’ Drederick Tatum is a spoof of what athlete? Answer: Mike Tyson. Kudos: Tina Ofori-Discovery Communications/NY; Brad Stern-Bellavia Blatt/NY; Carlos Leon-CBS/NY; Matthew Bleiberg-The Topps Company/NY; James Stuart-NBC Sports Group/Stamford; Tim McGhee-MSP Sports/Summit; Melissa Pattillo-Turner Sports/Atlanta; Matt Laramee-MMSI/Warwick; Steve Johnson-Intersport/Chicago; Michael Jaquet-U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association/Park City; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc./Santa Monica; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA; Adam Deverell-Cox Reps/LA.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for
Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine
09.02.14

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