09/05/14: Bloomberg Sports beefs up STATS; NBC’s Today gets in the NFL action; TD Ameritrade ups the NFL to “buy”


Good morning. It’s Friday, September 5, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Big news on the big data front as STATS announced that it had acquired Bloomberg Sports and its system of data analysis, predictive modeling and integrated data systems. The deal positions STATS as a sports analytics giant, offering a complete suite of sports data products and services to multi-media, team, league, gaming and technology customers. Bloomberg Sports President Bill Squadron will remain with the company and report to STATS CEO Gary Walrath.

“On behalf of everyone here, I would like to welcome the team at Bloomberg Sports to the STATS family,” said Walrath. “Our mission is to revolutionize the way sports are viewed, understood, played, and enjoyed. The addition of BSports’ very talented team and compelling portfolio of products significantly bolsters our global strategy.”
The transaction is STATS’ first since becoming a flagship member of Vista Equity Partners’ portfolio of companies in June.


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NBC Sports is working with TODAY this NFL season for weekly “Together We Make Football” segments, designed to tell “the most compelling stories of football fans, players, teams and families across the country.” The segments will run on the morning show on Fridays during the season and feature a profile vignette produced by NFL Films and narrated by NBC Sports Group’s Josh Elliott. Elliott will also report the TODAY segments from the Sunday Night Football city every Friday in the season’s first 11 weeks, beginning today.

Meanwhile, NBCSN felt a hotter-than-usual August, reporting that its viewership grew 26% in primetime and 20% in total day compared to the same month in 2013, according to live plus same day data released by Nielsen. The network averaged 101,000 primetime viewers for the month while total day viewership spiked 20% to 71,000. The channel also saw Premier League viewership rise 11% since the 2014-15 season kicked off on August 16, with 416,000 average viewers.

The NFL tapped the services of IMG to license select media rights in parts of Asia for the next three seasons. The company already licensed TV rights on behalf of the NFL for the last five years in select markets in Europe. The package includes the full suite of games including regular season, playoffs and the Super Bowl as well as companion programming such as NFL Gameday, NFL Extra and NFL Draft and access to the NFL Films Library.

ESPN’s coverage of the WNBA Finals 2014 Presented by Boost Mobile tips off on Sunday, with the Chicago Sky/Phoenix Mercury on ABC at 3:30p. The company will then carry game two on Sept. 9 at 9p with the remaining games set for ESPN2. Announcers include Ryan Ruocco and Rebecca Lobo with Holly Rowe, in addition to Carolyn Peck providing studio analysis from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studio. Meanwhile, espnW.com will supplement ESPN’s schedule with live coverage and analysis throughout the WNBA postseason. The WNBA Playoffs conference semifinal games on ESPN2 posted a 100% markup over last season, with a 0.2 HH rating and a 31% spike in viewership (262,000 viewers vs. 200,000 viewers).

NBCSN’s NASCAR AMERICA revs up for the Chase on Sept. 8 at 4:30p, offering an expanded set of 60-minute Monday shows that will run each week through the 2014 playoffs. In addition, NBCSN will present a 60-minute NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase special on Sept. 11. 

The pairing of Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga will be served at ESPN’s coverage at US Open. The company will feature three Songs from their upcoming album of duets, Cheek to Cheek, to ESPN’s telecasts for the bumps, opens and teases.

FOX Sports laid out its plans for the new, fully electric FIA Formula E Championship series, which debuts live from Beijing on Sept. 14 at 3:30a on FOX Sports 1 with a replay at 1p. Dario Franchitti, Jack Nicholls, Nicki Shields and British actor Robert Llewellyn have the call with Llewellyn presenting a slate of technical features on the Formula E YouTube channel. As part of the new series, Formula E is launching the interactive FanBoost, where fans can give their favorite driver an extra speed boost by voting for them prior to the race. The three drivers with the most votes receive one five-second power boost, temporarily increasing their cars’ power.

Outdoor Channel announced that DISH will offer a free preview of the channel throughout September. The network can be found on channel 396. In addition, DISH and Outdoor Channel are giving away a VIP trip to Las Vegas to attend Outdoor Channel’s 15th Annual Golden Moose Awards or one of five first prize packs including a camo backpack and $50 to Bass Pro Shop.

SiriusXM and the USA TODAY Sports Media Group are partnering up to bring the MMAjunkie Radio show live to SiriusXM Sports Zone, channel 92, on Monday. The live two-hour broadcast runs weekdays at noon. MMAjunkie Radio host “Gorgeous” George Garcia, along with producer Brian “Goze” Garcia and  MMAjunkie reporters such as John Morgan and Ben Fowlkes, will continue to host the show from the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race and Sports Book in Las Vegas, Nevada.


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TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation is investing the NFL, announcing a three-year deal that makes the company an official sponsor of the league starting this season. “Every day our goal is to instill confidence into millions of American investors by breaking down barriers that stand between our clients and their financial goals,” said Denise Karkos, chief marketing officer at TD Ameritrade. “Through sponsorship of the country’s favorite sports league, we have a unique opportunity to share our message of financial empowerment through education to a large, diverse, highly engaged and passionate audience.”

PepsiCo’s Doritos is partnering with Universal Pictures for this season’s Super Bowl. The brand is asking fans to once again create a Doritos television advertisement for the chance to see their ads air at the game. Two winning ads will air with the creator of the ad that receives the most consumer votes scoring a cool $1 million as well as an opportunity to work for a full year onsite as a contractor at Universal Pictures.

World Fishing Network nabbed YETI Coolers to serve as the presenting sponsor of the 10a-1p time block on Saturdays in September and October. The block will now be dubbed Wildly Stronger Saturdays, Presented by YETI Coolers.


FOX Sports Regional Networks will utilize technology platform Burst to distribute original video content on social and digital platforms to connect with local sports fans and viewers. The deal allows the channels to create mobile video that will showcase behind-the-scenes content and insight from on-air talent and producers that will then be pushed out on FOX Sports’ digital platforms and on social media in real-time.

TuneIn and Learfield Sports revealed an extended partnership that will see TuneIn carry every play-by-play broadcast and additional college football content from 19 Learfield Sports’ university partners including Alabama, Wisconsin, Louisville, Texas A&M, and Penn State. Every college team will have its own branded 24/7 channel on TuneIn, giving fans everywhere access to teamspecific, live play-by-play, pre-game and post-game shows, live weekly coaches shows, and new and archived game replays. In addition to football content, TuneIn will carry live basketball coverage for each of the participating Learfield Sports’ school partners when the season begins in November.

Bleacher Report’s Team Stream app is heading to Xbox One for the first time. Team Stream for Xbox One was built specifically to showcase video and offer highlight videos of in-season sports and more.”With college football underway and the start of the NFL season just days away, it’s a perfect time to introduce Team Stream to Xbox One and provide sports fans a new way of accessing personalized sports content on their TVs,” said Dave Finocchio, founder and general manager, Bleacher Report.

OneUp Sports is launching NFL Connect 2014, a live second screen social gaming platform with new features that include Lineup, Trivia, XChange and Chat. The Lineup feature offers a sports bingo game powered by live events within the game. Fans will have the opportunity to compete with thousands of other fans to get four-in-a-row on their game board and collect the most points.


Colts/Broncos on Sunday at 8:30p on NBC.

ON THIS DAY in 1972: Palestinian terrorists at the Summer Games in Munich kill two Israeli athletes and hold nine others hostage.

In The Know: Which NFL player led the league in sacks last season? (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 teams have won the MLS Cup four times? Answer: DC United and LA Galaxy. Kudos: Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Michael Neuman-Scout Sports and Entertainment/NY; Tara Campbell-NBC/NY; Wayne Edwards-Back9Network/Hartford; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA; Eric Bates-Tennis Channel/Culver City.

Later — Chris
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