09/02/15: LA steps up to the plate; The NFL books a primetime Opening Night for 50; FOX Sports bows to the gods



CYNOPSISSPORTS
09.02.15

Good morning. It’s Wednesday September 2, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Los Angeles is officially looking to give the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games the red carpet treatment after the LA City Council voted unanimously to back the city’s attempt to nab the Summer Games. With the bid supported by the USOC, Al Michaels served as the master of ceremonies for the announcement. The bid was dubbed as being environmentally sustainable with 85% of proposed venues in place or planned and five primary venue clusters all within 30 minutes of the proposed Athletes’ Village. The launch comes two weeks ahead of the Sept. 15 deadline for cities to be officially submitted to the IOC.

"We are thrilled to be partnering with Los Angeles as our U.S. bid city for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “LA has the proven experience in hosting the Games, and knows how to deliver world-class events for athletes and an extraordinary experience for fans. Coupled with the city’s culture of creativity and innovation, we are confident LA can deliver an outstanding Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024.”

ON THE AIR

The NFL formally announced that Super Bowl 50 festivities will now include a Super Bowl Opening Night Fueled by Gatorade that will take place on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016 at SAP Center in San Jose. The shift from the traditional Tuesday morning Media Day will now begin at 5p with interviews taking place from approximately 5:15 to 6:15p as well as 7 to 8p PT. Gift bags will be distributed to fans and include a radio to tune into the NFL Network coverage and listen to some of the interviews from the podium microphones. In addition, there will be musical performances and player and cheerleader appearances.

NBC and NASCAR detailed plans for the upcoming throwback celebration this weekend for the Southern 500. Sunday’s broadcast will see Ken Squier, Ned Jarrett and Dale Jarrett call the race at some point, taking over briefly for NBC’s crew of Rick Allen, Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte with features during the Countdown to Green show that include Squier’s essay on Darlington Raceway, Kyle Petty talking with Bill Elliott and Chase Elliott on the 30th anniversary of Bill Elliott’s Southern 500 win. All booth and studio talent will appear in 1970s-era clothing, which will include retro highlights, graphics and music during the telecast.

The NASL is heading to court over coming sanctioning regulations of Division 1 leagues from US Soccer claiming that rules will hand a monopoly to Major League Soccer, according to the Financial Times. The league alleges that new changes about to be rolled out by USSF will block them from filing for for Division 1 status and compete with MLS. The proposed changes state  that to in order to claim Division 1 status, a league will need a minimum of 16 clubs, a rise from the previous threshold of 12, with 75% of clubs being based in markets of at least 2 million people, up from 1 million.

FOX Sports announced that Garbage Time with Katie Nolan will return to FS1 on a new timeslot, starting Wednesday, Sept. 9 at midnight. The first episode of season two will see the show hit the road and for the first time ever with the entire episode on-location.

With more Nielsen numbers in the books, NBC Sports now reports that American Pharoah’s second-place finish at the Travers Stakes peaked with 3.4 million viewers between 5:45-6:05p. The full telecast averaged 2.0 million viewers to rank as the most-watched Travers Stakes telecast in 20 years, according to Nielsen. In addition, viewers streamed 199,000 live minutes via NBC Sports Live Extra on Saturday  up 707% from last year’s Travers.

The third outing of Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN on Saturday handed the channel with its largest boxing audience since February 1998. The telecast was seen by an average of 1,217,000 viewers and grew 30% over the average of the previous two PBC telecasts on the channel. The ESPN Deportes telecast averaged a 1.3 Hispanic HH US Rtg and 355,000 Hispanic viewers making it the highest-rated and most-watched boxing telecast to ever air on the network.

CBS Sports is touting its golf ratings so far this season, which have seen a nice uptick for the sport. So far in 2015, the company reports that between PGA Tour events and The Majors that have run on its network, Nielsen is reporting a 2.3/6 for the 21 events that have been broadcast. That marks a 21% surge over 2014 (with 22 events) and marks CBS’s highest season average to HH rtg/shr for all golf since 2009, with an average of 3.5 million tuning in, up 25% over 2.8 million in 2015.

Speaking of golf, Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf is coming back to TV, with Golf Channel running a mini-marathon of the show, which originally debuted in the 1960’s, on Thursday afternoon. The block will feature some of the game’s most iconic figures, beginning at 1:30p with Jack Nicklaus/Arnold Palmer (Pinehurst No. 2); Paul Azinger/Seve Ballesteros at 3p (St. Andrews) and Jack Nicklaus/Tom Watson (Pebble Beach) at 4:30p.

Anthem Sports & Entertainment booked another outlet for Fantasy Sports Network, and will now launch on Rogers Cable on Sept. 1. The channel will be available in free preview until October 31, 2015 and subsequently available in the Super Sports Pak, Extra Sports Pack and Sports Theme Pack, as well as on a discretionary basis on channel 499.

Disney XD announced plans to debut a slate of episodes for its “Becoming…” series, lining up stories about the likes of Alex Morgan, Chris Paul, CC Sabathia, Henrik Lundqvist and Tim Howard. The ESPN Films’ program is executive-produced by LeBron James and his SpringHill Entertainment. Episode one will run on Sunday, Sept. 13 at 7p with a look at Alex Morgan.

SiriusXM NASCAR Radio host Dave Moody has been tapped to join FOX Sports’ NASCAR Race Hub, appearing every Monday starting Sept. 7. Moody will join the show live for a segment titled “The Pulse with Dave Moody” that will be simulcast on FOX Sports 1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

CBS Sports Radio is shaking up its weekend programming slate ahead of the upcoming football season. Saturday will see CBS Sports Radio anchor Rich Ackerman host Eye on College Football from noon-8p, Eye on Fantasy Football will then air at 10p. The next day, Sunday Morning Football featuring Damon Amendolara begins at 9a starting Sept. 13, followed by a simulcast of CBSSports.com’s Fantasy Football Today at 11a. Ackerman will then host Eye on Football at noon.

Coastal Carolina University is now the latest domino in college football realignment, with the university announcing that it has accepted an invitation to join the Sun Belt Conference and will begin competing in all sports, with the exception of football, beginning with the 2016-17 season, while it’s football transitions to the FBS.


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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

FOX Sports is tackling the college football season with a new campaign that features the likes of Brian “The Boz” Bosworth, Eric Dickerson and William “Refrigerator” Perry, launching this week. With the tagline, “Honor Thy Saturday,” the spots see the athletes featured in outdoor billboards, including a wall-scape along the I-405 freeway in LA, and have their own Twitter account, @CFBGodsonFS1. Additionally, game telecasts throughout the season on FOX and FS1 feature several Big 12 and Pac-12 players answering the question, “What would you ask the Football Gods?” “These spots, combined with our Opening Drive tour which features a bus dressed in Jim Harbaugh’s khakis, represents the largest college football initiative in our history,” said Robert Gottlieb, FOX Sports Executive Vice President, Marketing.

Speaking of college football, the Collegiate Licensing Company is asking fans across the country to display their team’s colors on College Colors Day this Friday to promote “the traditions and spirit that embody the college experience.” The initiative is now over a decade old, but will now feature a College Colors Challenge, which will offer grand prize winner a chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to the College Football Playoff National Championship. “The kick-off to college football is an exciting time of year for everyone,” said Catherine Gammon, Senior Vice President of Brand Development at The Collegiate Licensing Company. “Whether you’re a freshman in your first year at a university, someone who loves celebrating their alma mater, or just an everyday fan who is excited to root on their team, College Colors Day is the perfect time to display your passion and pageantry of college sports.”

Seattle Sounders FC inked a new deal with Delta Air Lines that will keep the company as the team’s Official Airline. Delta and the Sounders celebrated the partnership renewal with more than 4,000 of the airline’s employees and their families at a pre-game rally at CenturyLink Field. With the renewal, Delta also continues to be the presenting partner of the Starting XI and, as part of the partnership, Delta will offer Sounders FC fans season-long fan promotions for home and away matches, which will include travel and tickets to games.

DIGITAL & STREAMING

CBS Sports announced plans to stream more NFL on CBS game coverage than ever this season, including two regular season games, four playoff games, and Super Bowl 50. Streaming coverage will be available on laptops, desktops and tablets at CBSSports.com and on televisions through select Connected TV devices, including Xbox One, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku players and Roku TV models. Streaming coverage begins with the national broadcast of Jets/Dolphins in London on Oct. 4 at 9:30a, which will mark the first NFL on CBS regular season game to be streamed live. Other games on deck include Panthers/Cowboys on Nov. 26 at 4:30p, marking the first time the CBS Sports broadcast of a Thanksgiving Day game will be streamed live.

Manchester United will announce a global partnership today with global IT services company, HCL Technologies that will see the two brands work together to explore and unveil a string of digital initiatives designed to “transform the experience” of the Club’s 659 million global followers. Manchester United will be the first sports team in the world to embark on this kind of a Digital Transformation program. The deal will see HCL create a state-of-the-art UnitedXperience Lab to be housed within Old Trafford Stadium where the company will be creating several unique platforms and IPs at this Lab to develop new revenue opportunities and a unified fan experience for the Club.

Tennis Channel is now available to Amazon FireTV customers who subscribe to the network via their cable, satellite or telco providers. Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick and Fire tablets are now offering TV Everywhere access to Tennis Channel’s linear feed, as well as Tennis Channel Plus, the network’s premium digital subscription service. "Amazon Fire TV and Fire tablets is helping us bring Tennis Channel’s unsurpassed tennis programming to customers through a variety of platforms, and continues our mission to give as much tennis to people as possible, on as many devices as possible," said Patrick Wilson, Senior VP of Distribution, Tennis Channel. "When you combine Tennis Channel’s linear feed with the live coverage and archived matches carried on Tennis Channel Plus, Amazon Fire TV and Fire tablet users have the ultimate tennis viewing experience, whether at home or on the go."

Vice is teaming with Knicks star Carmelo Anthony to launch video destination The Clubhouse, which will showcase sports fandom, historic moments and life outside the stadium. According to reports, The Clubhouse will include a video series hosted by athletes that include Anthony and New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.

A shaky quarterback situation for the Redskins and a local rivalry helped propel CSN Mid-Atlantic’s digital properties to a record-setting weekend. The Redskins/Ravens preseason game saw CSNmidatlantic.com, which launched Aug. 19 to replace two market-focused sites, draw more than one million unique visitors from Aug. 29-30, surpassing all combined traffic totals earned by CSNwashington.com and CSNbaltimore.com in a single weekend since their launch more than five years ago.

Raycom Sports launched a football update for ACC Trivia, which is available for free download through Apple and Google Play app stores. The platform now allows fans to challenge their knowledge of ACC Football as well as ACC Basketball, where they can track their own results, challenge and compete against friends, and share scores on social media.

THE MAIN EVENT

Nationals/Cardinals on ESPN at 8:15p.



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ON THIS DAY in 1986: Greg Maddux makes his MLB debut.

In The Know: The Triple-A Baseball National Championship Game was known by what name when its current format launched in 2006? (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 was Bear Bryant’s real first name? Answer: Paul. Kudos: Mitch Burg-Impact Communications/Israel; Pete Gautieri-A&E Networks/NY; Aymon DeMauro-Discovery Communications/NY; Keith Marder-Halstead Property/NY; David Stern-BARD Entertainment/NY; Rusty Mintz-Turner Sports/Atlanta; Kevin Patrick Smith-Comcast Media 360/Philadelphia; Joe Schreiber-3 Penny Films/Bethesda; J. Barry McMullin-WWE/Stamford; Robert Teinowitz-Live Action Media/Chicago; Derek Crownover-Dickinson Wright-Music Row/Nashville; Lucie Prann-The Richards Group/Dallas; Kristin Staskowski-SpectrumReach.com/Birmingham; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; David Hauptman/Denver; Michael Jaquet-U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association/Park City; Dave Sikula-Toovia.com/Sunnyvale; Bob Condotta-Seattle Times/Seattle; John Baghdassarian-Olympusat/LA; Jeff Mirkin-The Game Plane/Hollywood.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine
09.02.15

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