09/30/15: Facebook goes live for King James; Yahoo tries on Blazers; DraftKings picks up NFL Players


Good morning. It’s Wednesday September 30, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Facebook is lining up its first-ever simulcast of a live sports program, partnering with NBA Digital for NBA Real Training Camp with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to run on Thursday from 11a-1p. The special edition of the show will be carried live on the NBA TV Facebook page, along with NBA TV and NBA.com. Vince Cellini hosts from Cleveland with NBA TV analyst and former Cavaliers head coach Mike Fratello.
“We have a long history with Facebook and are excited to team up with them for another first of its kind initiative, as we bring the excitement of Real Training Camp with Head Coach David Blatt, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to an even broader audience,” said Albert “Scooter” Vertino, general manager of NBA Digital and SVP of programming, Turner Sports. “Our goal is always to provide the most compelling content for our fans any way they choose to consume it and this initiative will expand the visibility of this quality daytime programming.”


Two media measurement heavyweights are merging with the news that comScore and Rentrak are bringing their collective assets under one roof. The merger will look to offer “an improved ability to deliver what our clients and the media industry have long been asking for  a comprehensive cross-platform measurement currency that accounts for all the ways in which content is consumed, whether that viewing happens on live or time-shifted TV, video on demand, desktop, mobile, over-the-top devices, or in the movie theater,” according to the release.

The Packers’ victory on Monday Night Football on ESPN once again pushed the channel to win the night among all networks in households, viewers and all key male and adult demos, according to Nielsen. The contest averaged an 8.3 US household rating and 13,514,000 viewers. In Kansas City, the game delivered a 10.6 rating on ESPN and a 19.4 on KMBC-ABC, for a combined 30.0 rating in the market. In Milwaukee, the game delivered a 13.1 rating on ESPN and a 34.5 on WISN-ABC, for a combined 47.6 rating in the market.

With national Nielsen data in the books, NBC Sports reports that its Sunday Night Football franchise is averaging 25.6 million viewers for the best results since 1994. Viewership is up 10% over last year at this time with the program averaging a 14.9/26 national household rating and a 9.5 rating in the Adult 18-49 demographic, up 10% and 7%, respectively. Through four games, the 2015 NFL season has delivered 91 million live minutes and 1.3 million unique users on NBC Sports Live Extra, up 55% and 16%, respectively, over 2014.

SBD reports that FS1 is pulling the plug on America’s Pregame. John Ourand writes that the show, which debuted in 2014, will now be replaced with a series featuring the “Best-Of” new recruit Colin Cowherd.

Showtime Sports announced plans for its coverage of the IBF Welterweight World Championship battle between undefeated defending champion Kell Brook and contender Diego Chaves on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 5:45p. The presentation of the Sky Sports telecast will feature Brian Custer, Al Bernstein and Paulie Malignaggi before and after the world championship showdown with an encore presentation of the bout will air on Showtime later that evening at 9p.

In other boxing news, HBO debuts a new edition of Face Off with Max Kellerman: Golovkin/Lemieux on Oct. 10 at 11:20p, ahead of the Oct. 17 PPV world middleweight championship unification contest between title-holders Gennady Golovkin and David Lemieux. The episode marks the first-ever appearance for both Golovkin and Lemieux and the fighters will be joined on the set by their trainers.

Pac-12 Networks made the call on its week six football television schedule, set for Oct. 10. At 3p, the channels will carry Washington State/Oregon, followed by Colorado/Arizona State at 7p. The Pac-12 Football Pregame Show, Presented by 76 begins the slate at 2p PT with host Anthony Herron joined by analysts Curtis Conway, Nick Aliotti and Jeremy Bloom.


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Falken Tires and Major League Baseball locked in a multi-year integrated marketing deal that makes the brand the Official Tire of Major League Baseball. Beginning in the 2016 MLB season, Falken and MLB will team up to offer multiple promotional opportunities including virtual signage behind home plate and branded in-game enhancements for nationally broadcasted games, including the All-Star Game, Postseason, and the World Series. Falken Tires will also participate in fan giveaways, in-game promotions and have access to MLB marks and logos for broadcast, print and digital use during these events. In addition, Falken Tires will have global marketing rights for the 2015 MLB Postseason.

Millennials are indeed paying attention, according to Viacom’s Attention study released today in an interactive exhibition that will run at the company’s New York headquarters from September 29-October 8. The experience includes biometric research on how different television show genres impact attention; a multitasking test, which neuroscientists say only 2.5% of the population can do effectively, and more. The goal, of course, is to frame a new conversation to help marketers create more engaging experiences for their audiences. Taco Bell VP Media & Brand Partnerships Juliet Corsinita gave the presentation a big thumbs up. “We are always interested in deeper levels of connection,” she told Cynopsis. Top of mind for TB these days? “Big events. Live sports are of interest and anything with music. Plus gaming, which is new for us. People want to be part of the athleticism of sports, and gaming allows you to become personally invested.”


The NHL locked in a new multi-year deal with Sportradar to serve as the new sports data services provider for the league, offering real-time game data beginning with the new season. Sportradar will offer play-by-play and game statistics via the leagie’s Hockey Information Tracking System to media and technology companies around the world.

NFL Films is turning to NBC Sports’ pillars Michael Davies and Roger Bennett aka Men in Blazers, to launch a new digital video series that is now running on Yahoo. Men in Blazers: Tackle Football  Countdown to London will see around 30 episodes before Yahoo’s NFL game in London and will also see additional distribution across NFL Media digital channels, as well as NFL Network. The series will behind the scenes and in-depth with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills as the two franchises prepare to kick off from London’s Wembley Stadium which will be streamed live to a global audience on Yahoo sites and apps.

WWE ranked as the most-viewed YouTube channel worldwide in August, reeling in over 456 million views according to analytics firm OpenSlate and industry site Tubefilter. Anchored by SummerSlam, WWE surpassed children’s music channel Little Baby Barn to take the top spot.


Daytona International Speedway began installation of two new, larger video display boards in the infield that will each measure 40 feet tall by 80 feet wide and accompany the two existing infield video screens. Collectively, the screens will provide 8,470 square feet of viewing for fans in the new motorsports stadium. In addition, fans in the Sprint FANZONE will now experience a new screen measuring 20 feet tall by 40 feet wide. “We’re constantly looking at new offerings for our devoted fan base," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. “The video boards and Sprint FANZONE upgrades, combined with the amenities related to our $400 million DAYTONA Rising project, will ensure that our fans have the best experience in motorsports.”

LiveU is partnering with the Indianapolis Colts in a move that will see the team utilize the company’s LU500 backpack transmission unit to cover exciting events such as press conferences, player arrivals, and interviews. In addition to the LU500, the Colts utilize LiveU’s LU-Smart smartphone application to allow reporters or staff to use their iPhones, iPads, and Android devices for live streaming.


The NFL Players Association, via NFLPI, struck a deal with DraftKings in a move to allow some of the NFL’s top-rated players to participate in the company’s marketing efforts this season. The licensing agreement will hand DraftKings the right to employ active NFL players for in-product and promotional campaigns across broadcast, print, social media, digital and mobile properties, as well as via experiential, memorabilia and content activations. “The NFL season is one of the important times of the year for DraftKings and the DFS industry, so to be able to feature NFL players as part of our marketing efforts adds a level of excitement and connectivity to the game that is a huge win for us and our community,” said DraftKings VP of Business Development Jeremy Elbaum. “The NFLPA represents some of the most celebrated athletes in the world and we’re looking forward to collaborating with them throughout the season.”

Whistle Sports is digging deeper into the eSports space, announcing partnerships that now include AirJapes, Dirty Mike, Calfreezy and AJ3Fifa to bring an additional 5.3 million followers under the umbrella while growing out Whistle Sports’ reach on the media platform Twitch in a strategy to focus on videogames like FIFA that directly connect with on-field sports as well. The company currently boasts a social reach of over 100 million fans and followers. "The creators and their fans are real competitors. They’re some of the best in the world at their games and drive every day to get even better – which certainly helps drive up views and engagement. They also tend to be huge fans of the sports and the playerswho play them in pro leagues and in front of crowds loud enough to shake stadiums. We are a great bridge between those worlds," said Whistle Sports Executive Vice President Brian Selander.

The Football Bowl Association released its latest installment of its Seven on Seven series of Q&As, this time featuring an interview with ESPN’s Nick Dawson. Click here for the piece.


Dodgers/Giants on ESPN at 7p.


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That’s why CYNOPSIS MEDIA – in partnership with WHISTLE SPORTS is offering our latest FREE webinar:
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ON THIS DAY in 1939: The first televised college football game takes place, pitting Fordham/Waynesburg.

In The Know: What club was the last to lose the World Series twice in a row? (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: In what movie did Mary Lou Retton portray a back-flipping Tiny Tim? Answer: Scrooged. Kudos: Ed Jones/NY; Joseph Tafuri-Haversack Consulting/NY; Mike Donato-ABC/NY; Rick Diamond-Evolution/NY; Christian Matthews-Washington Redskins/DC; Brianne Maciejowski-Miles/Sarasota; Chris Conrad-Golf Channel/Orlando; Mark Bryant-Big South Conference/(Charlotte; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; John Kukla-KDFW-KDFI/Dallas; Dory Petsrillo-HRP/Dallas; Bill Goodfriend-Spectrum Reach/St. Louis; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Mike Petrocelli-Friend MTS/LA; Jordan Cohen-Southport Marketing/LA

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

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