10/12/18: CBS warms up college hoops plans; ESPN cements women’s basketball slate; SI’s new crime beat

CynopsisSports
Good morning. It’s Friday October 12, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

 

 
CBS Sports detailed plans for the 2018-19 college basketball season with a schedule that showcases all of the 2018 Final Four teams as well as 12 total automatic bids to the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Tournaments. Programming begins Dec. 8 with Michigan/Florida at noon. Men’s Tournament bids awarded on CBS, including the Big Ten Championship game, which moves back to the last day of the season, on Selection Sunday, March 17. Meanwhile, CBS Sports Network will carry air three men’s conference championship games and five women’s conference championship games. Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery and reporter Tracy Wolfson return as CBS Sports’ lead college basketball broadcast team.
 
Of course, CBS also will broadcast the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship once again, this year carrying the NCAA Final Four National Semifinals on April 6as well as the National Championship game on April 8.
 
 
ON THE AIR

 

Meanwhile, ESPN unveiled its own lineup for women’s college basketball this season, with more than 135 matchups across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SEC Network and Longhorn Network, with an additional 1,500 games on ESPN3, SEC Network +, ACC Network Extra, and ESPN+. ESPN will showcase up to 12 matchups, beginning with Maryland/South Carolina on Nov. 18, at 5:30p. ESPN2 serves as home for Big Mondaymatchups; will air nearly 40 games during the regular season. ESPNU offers air a total of 16 matchups.
 
TBS locked in details for 2018 American League Championship Series presented by the Google Assistant with the Astros/Red Sox squaring off as Game 1 begins on Saturday at 8p. Brian Anderson (play-by-play) will be joined by MLB on TBS analyst Ron Darling and reporter Lauren Shehadi to call the ALCS. The MLB Postseason Pre-Game Show on TBS presented by The Chrysler Pacifica will begin the network’s ALCS coverage at 7:30p featuring Pedro Martinez, Gary Sheffield and Jimmy Rollins joining host Casey Stern for their third postseason together. The studio team will also offer postgame analysis on The Postseason Show on TBS.
 
EPIX serves up the finale of The Contender live from the “Forum in Los Angeles on Nov. 9 at 10p. The two-hour special episode sees the final fight crown the new 160-pound middleweight champion of The Contender and awarded a $250,000 prize during the live finale. The two finalists will be revealed in the series’ last pre-taped episode, airing Nov. 2 at 9p.
 
Bellator MMA is teaming up with the USO to deliver a special live event free for the troops, along with their friends and families, on Dec. 14. Emanating from the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, the show will be headlined by a title fight and air on Paramount Network at 10p with a simulcast on CMT. The event will also stream LIVE on DAZN, while preliminary bouts will stream on Bellator.com and globally on the Bellator Mobile App.
 
Curling Night in America returns for a fifth consecutive season this fall on NBCSN tonight at 8p when Team USA faces Italy in the men’s division. Jason Knapp handled play-by-play with Pete Fenson as analyst and Tanith White as reporter.
 
NBCSN also announced the debut of Proving Grounds, a new reality series featuring a fast-paced immersion into auto racing and testing, on Oct. 21 at 7:30p, immediately following Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series coverage from Kansas Speedway. The first season features five episodes that test a variety of cars from American muscle and European exotics, to everyday pickup trucks and minivans, on a custom built track in Southern California. The series is hosted by Parker Kligerman and automotive journalist Sam Smith, and features Sports Car Champion driver Leh Keen.
 
IMPACT Wrestling, a subsidiary of Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp., engaged Kings Highway Media, LLC to assist and expand IMPACT Wrestling’s video and content distribution across all platforms, traditional and digital, worldwide. “Kings Highway Media is delighted to have been chosen to assist IMPACT Wrestling with the expansion of their global footprint,” said Kings Highway Media Managing Partner Andrew Whitaker. “The 2017 acquisition by Anthem and the new creative, management and branding of the now ascendant IMPACT Wrestling makes this the right time to deliver IMPACT Wrestling’s live pay-per-view events, 52 weeks of original programming and immense content creation capabilities to more audiences and fans worldwide.”
 
The Las Vegas Lights are closing out the season by making history, courtesy of a partnership with Vegas Stats & Information Network to produce “an over-the-air broadcast of professional sports never before seen.” Saturday’s match against the Sacramento Republic FC will see myLVTV carry a 2-hour “Bet-Cast,” featuring sports wagering experts calling the action live from the VSiN studios at South Point Hotel & Casino. Meanwhile, live odds on U.S. and European soccer matches will stream simultaneously on-screen, via a ticker and sidebar. The program will also live pre-match and halftime shows from the VSiN studios.
 
SiriusXM announced that former open-wheel racing star Danny Sullivan, winner of the 1985 Indy 500 and 1988 CART Series champion, will host a new weekly show that will air nationwide on the Dan Patrick Radio channel on channel 211. The Real Spin with Danny Sullivan and Bill Armourwill debut on Oct. 15 and run Monday’s at 6p. The pair will cover the world of motorsports – including Formula 1, IndyCar, IMSA, Moto GP and more – and share their insights and discuss the trending topics from on and off the track.
 
In other radio news, Westwood One announced that play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan will be paired with his daughter, Olivia Harlan Dekker, as part of a three-person team for the network’s broadcast of Monday night’s game between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers, marking the first father-daughter broadcasting team in league history. They will join Kurt Warner will be in the booth, with Dekker as the sideline reporter.
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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

 

Australian online bookmaker PointsBet announced plans to enter the US market, with 24/7 wagering available on various events. To introduce the company into the market, the brand signed NBA legend and Hall-of-Famer Allen Iverson to serve as ambassador to introduce PointsBet and Points Betting to American bettors. Iverson will be featured prominently at launch across all marketing channels, starting with a series of ad spots where “The Answer” answers all of the marketing questions for PointsBet.
 
Victory Square Technologies Inc. announced that one of its portfolio companies, FansUnite has been named a World Poker Tour “Official Partner.” The World Poker Tour is now marking its first foray into the blockchain space through a multi-pronged partnership that will see FansUnite integrated into a multitude of WPT’s offerings including: international TV distribution, cross-promotion, and live event activations at WPT events throughout Europe and Asia.
 
Global sporting goods brand STX and USA Hockey announced an extension to their partnership that keeps STX as an official sponsor and equipment supplier of USA Hockey. As part of the extension, STX will serve as an official equipment supplier of the USA Hockey National Team Development Program and also provide equipment to various USA Hockey programs.
 
 
DIGITAL & STREAMING

 

Sports Illustrated, in partnership with podcasting company Cadence13, is launching its first narrative podcast, “Steve McNair: Fall of a Titan.” The nine-part true crime series will be narrated by Sports Illustrated NFL writer Tim Rohan, who investigated this case for 15 months, and will debut on Oct. 17 on all major podcast platforms. The podcast examines the July 4, 2009 death of 13-year NFL quarterback Steve McNair, who was found slain in his Nashville condo having been shot four times.
 
WWE announced that NXT UK, a new weekly episodic series featuring top male and female competitors from the UK, will stream on WWE Network on Wednesdays beginning Oct. 17 at 3p.The one-hour episodes will feature the biggest names from NXT UK.
 
 
ESPORTS

 

ELEAGUE’s next presentation will come courtesy of a partnership with Riot Games, and feature League of Legends in a one-hour TBS special that will run on Oct. 19 at 11p on TBS. ELEAGUE’s Esports 101: League of Legends will provide a “lighthearted, accessible introduction to League of Legends– the fast-paced, team-based strategy battle game with millions of players worldwide and one of the most watched esports with 14 professional leagues” and be co-hosted by League of Legendsexperts Bil “Jump” Carter and Kelsie “KayPea” Pelling.
 
Manchester City has announced a partnership with esports organization Epsilon to compete in the Gfinity Elite Series, Season 4. The deal sees Manchester City eSports join Epsilon’s slot in the Elite Series to compete in the FIFA 19 category. Manchester City’s and Epsilon’s professional esports players will make up half of the team with the remaining players chosen through the Elite Draft. Season 4 kicks off on the weekend of Oct. 26, with 10 teams competing in the eight-week tournament for a spot in the grand final, to be played in December.
 
MLG co-founder Mike Sepso is joining Overwatch League franchise New York Excelsior as a Strategic Partner for NYXL ownership group Sterling.VC. Sepso will be charged with running the commercial of growth of the franchise through sponsorship and media rights deals.
 
Riot Games announced the eight teams who will comprise the upcoming Latin American League, launching in 2019 based in Santiago, Chile. Squads will include the All Knights, Furious Gaming, Infinity Esports, Isurus Gaming, Kaos Latin Gamers, Pixel Esports Club, Predators Esports and Rainbow7.
 
 
ROSTER MOVES

 

MGM Resorts International named George Kliavkoff as President of Entertainment and Sports. Kliavkoff will drive MGM Resorts’ entertainment and sports operations and develop and maintain partnerships within the industry. In his new role, Kliavkoff is responsible for the operations, finance, strategy, booking, marketing, sponsorships and ticketing for MGM Resorts’ more than 30 theaters, showrooms and arenas, including T-Mobile Arena (home of the NHL Vegas Golden Knights), MGM Grand Garden, Mandalay Bay Events Center, the Mandalay Bay Beach, Park Theater, the Theater at MGM National Harbor and the MassMutual Center at MGM Springfield.
 
Atlanta Dream co-owners Mary Brock and Kelly Loeffler announced that Chris Sienko’s role has been expanded to Team President and General Manager, effective immediately.
 
 
THE MAIN EVENT

 

Dodgers/Brewers begin NLCS play tonight at 8p on FS1.

 

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ON THIS DAY in 1979: Magic Johnson makes his debut for the Lakers.
 
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