09/18/14: The NBA plugs in to the JBL brand; New season of TUF packs a punch; Reelz needs its TMZ


Good morning. It’s Thursday, September 18, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

The NBA locked in its first-ever marketing teammate in the headphone, speaker, and audio categories, inking a deal with Harman International to become the official partner in those areas. The deal spans not only the NBA, but also the WNBA, NBA Development League and USA Basketball. The agreement also marks Harman’s first partnership with a professional sports league, focusing on the company’s JBL brand. The deal will offer fans enhanced audio experiences both in the arena and at home. In addition, Harman products will also be featured at NBA events worldwide and integrated into league operations and the company will produce NBA-branded audio products for fans around the world.


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FOX Sports’ new season of The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion will be Crowned was a hit with audiences, with the opening episode ranking as the most-watched fall season premiere ever for the franchise. The premiere was also the most-watched for the series on any network since 2009, reaching 2.54 million viewers, including the live premiere and encores, according to Nielsen. The season-opening two-hour special debuted on FOX Sports 1 on Sept. 10 with 536,000 viewers. The 2.54 million total viewers for the 2014 fall premiere grew 67% over the 2013 fall premiere of TUF season 18.

Reelz Channel is getting into the sports game, announcing a deal with TMZ to produce a weekday series around the TMZ Sports brand for primetime. TMZ Hollywood Sports will run weekdays starting Sept. 29 on the channel and focus on athletes’ love lives, cars, and homes in addition to legal and social mishaps.

WWE announced a five-year partnership with FOX Sports Latin America that will make WWE programming available in 56 million homes on various FOX Sports and FOX Premium platforms across Latin America, including Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Venezuela. The partnership will deliver over 480 hours of original content per year. Beginning Oct. 6, FOX Sports will feature a live broadcast of Monday Night Raw with other series such as SmackDown, Main Event, NXT and WWE Vintage Collection featured on a weekly basis on FOX Sports, FOX Sports 2 and the regional digital platform, FOX Play.

NBCSN debuts its new series, The Men in Blazers Show on Monday at 10p. Featuring soccer personalities Michael Davies and Roger Bennett is set at the Men in Blazers “studio” in SoHo in New York City and runs during the Premier League season, with an encore at midnight.

Bristow Global Media is producing a new docu-series about the lives of hockey wives that will run on Canada’s W Network. The series is expected to debut in Feb. 2015 and “follows the wives and girlfriends of some of professional hockey’s most celebrated and up-and-coming players over the course of an NHL season.” Confirmed for the series are Nicole Brown, wife of Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown and Noureen DeWulf wife of Vancouver Canucks goalie Ryan Miller. “Having spent last season shooting with NHL families all over North America and in Sochi, we discovered so many fascinating and powerful woman with compelling stories of their own. We’re excited to tell a deeper, more layered story against the always dramatic backdrop of our national sport,” said Julie Bristow, President & CEO Bristow Global Media.

World Fishing Network is hitting the tropics, striking a deal with Hawaiian Telcom for TV customers on Oahu. World Fishing Network will launch as part of Hawaiian Telcom’s Advantage Plus package.

SiriusXM is giving LPGA star Natalie Gulbis and instructor Debbie Doniger wa new monthly show that will run monthly on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. The pair will make their debut on Wednesday, Sept. 24 at 2p, and entitled The Golfer Girls with Natalie Gulbis and Debbie Doniger. The series focuses women’s golf, amongst other topics, and invite celebrities on the show to discuss the game and will segue into topics ranging from fashion to music and entertainment.


The NHL has opted not to place sponsors on jerseys, according to TSN, despite the lure of “at least $120 million.” The report states that, during a recent meeting of NHL team presidents in New York, league officials estimated that placing corporate sponsors on jerseys would generate around $4 million per team, but "Gary (Bettman) and owners like the money, but they don’t want to be first out of the box with this in North America," a source told TSN. "They’ll wait for the NBA or baseball to do it and then be second or third."

Joe Gibbs Racing struck a partnership with tool and security provider Stanley and power tool provider DeWalt starting with the 2015 season as primary sponsors for drivers Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth, respectively. Stanley will assume the role for 12 races next season for Edwards’ No. 19 Toyota, with DeWalt on board for six races with Kenseth.

Nike suspended its deal with Adrian Peterson following charges of domestic abuse. The brand has now removed his jerseys from Nike.com and yanked Peterson merchandise from its stores in the Twin Cities area.


The Mountain West Network powered by Campus Insiders slated a football doubleheader for Saturday, showcasing Florida Atlantic/Wyoming at 4p and Southern Utah/Fresno State at 10p. Both games will be exclusively produced by Campus Insiders and available on CampusInsiders.com and TheMW.com. Long-time Fresno State head coach Pat Hill will return to the school to serve as analyst on the broadcast, joining play-by-play man Ari Wolfe.

Sports video highlights syndicator SendtoNews saw a 29% rise in Canadian market share last month, according to comScore’s August 2014 Video Metrix report. The company hit the number one position in total sports video views (27,105,546) and reached the number two position in total unique viewers (871,748), according to the report.


Auburn/Kansas State on ESPN at 7:30p.

ON THIS DAY in 1996: Roger Clemens ties his own MLB record with 20 strikeouts.

In The Know: Who is the only player from BYU to win the Heisman Trophy? (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: What was the name of Chicago’s USFL franchise? Answer: Chicago Blitz (Chicago Fire was the most popular answer, but I believe that was the World Football League.) Kudos: Dave Ridpath-Ohio University/Bayreuth; Eric Weinstein-iStreamPlanet/NY; Ivette Herrera-Univision Radio/NY; Tom Dempsey-The Midas Exchange/NY; Chris Simon-CBS Network Sales/NY; Gordon Beck-Beck Communications/Northeast Harbor; Tim Overmyer-20th TV/Atlanta; Richard Sanders-Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau/Panama City Beach; Doug Wollenburg-SCAD Savannah/Savannah; Will Allmendinger-Zoom Media/Chicago; Steve Johnson-Intersport/Chicago; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA; Anne C. Wettig-Fox Cable Networks/LA.

Later — Chris
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