10/17/18: Miller sets final round; ESPN maps college press; Bulls & Rockets add cabbage patch

CynopsisSports
Good morning. It’s Wednesday October 17, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
 
 
NBC Sports’ lead golf analyst Johnny Miller is stepping away from the microphone after nearly 30 years on the job and will make his final call from the 18th tower call at the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open, from Jan. 31-Feb. 3. Miller was named lead analyst of NBC Sports’ golf broadcast team in 1990 and quickly made his mark as the game’s most candid commentator, calling some of golf’s most memorable shots for the past three decades and has included 29 PLAYERS Championships, 20 US Opens, 14 Ryder Cups and more. Golfweek reports that Miller will be replaced by FOX Sports’ lead analyst Paul Azinger.

“When NBC Sports approached me 30 years ago about a move to TV, I never could have imagined how it would lead to so many lasting relationships and countless memories made alongside a team of talented friends, both in front of and behind the camera,” Miller said. “I’m forever grateful to my family for their support during this fulfilling chapter of my life. As I say farewell to the 18th tower, I look forward to spending more time alongside my wife Linda, our children, and our 24 grandchildren. Soon it will officially be Miller time.” 

“Johnny Miller is the best golf analyst ever and he will be missed by millions of fans. Early in his career, he made a commitment to serve the fans by telling it like it is and for three decades he’s served those fans incredibly well,” said Mike McCarley, president, Golf, NBC Sports. “Whether they agree or disagree with Johnny, everyone wants to hear what he has to say. His unfiltered approach has not only been refreshing, but it’s what makes him great. He is a part of the fabric of NBC Sports, and as one of the most influential voices in golf, he will forever have a home here.”
 
 
ON THE AIR
 
ESPN laid out the roadmap to its college basketball season, which will feature more than 850 matchups across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, SEC Network and Longhorn Network. The action begins with The State Farm Champions Classicon Nov. 6, while College GameDay covered by State Farm opens its 15th season beginning Jan. 19. The day-to-day lineup will include Big Monday starting Jan. 14 and will showcase in-conference play of the ACC and Big 12 on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU; MEAC and SWAC matchups will also be featured on ESPNU.Super Tuesday presented by Boost Mobile sees conference play of the ACC, American, Big Ten, Big 12, Mountain West and SEC starting Jan. 8. Wednesdays offer ACC, American, Atlantic 10, Big 12, Mountain West, Pac-12 and SEC games on ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPNEWS. Thursdays feature selections from the American, ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 on ESPN and ESPN2; tripleheader on ESPNU includes American, Big Ten, Big West, Ohio Valley, Pac-12, Northeast, West Coast, and a number of Big South wildcard games. Friday will see ESPN2 showcase Atlantic 10 and Sun Belt teams; Horizon, Ivy League, MAAC and Mid-American matchups on ESPNU.Saturday Showcase presented by 5-Hour ENERGY across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPNEWS with weekly netflex selections while Saturday Primetime will air on ESPN. Finally Sundays deliver the weekly ESPNU ACC Sunday Night Basketball series while ESPN2 and ESPNU carry air games from the American, Missouri Valley and Pac-12.
 
Speaking of ESPN, Monday Night Football saw the Packers win over the draw an 8.4 overnight Nielsen rating, based on the metered markets. That marks a rise of 38% over last year’s game and delivered MNF’s best year-over-year increase of the season. The matchup averaged 12 million viewers across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, according to Nielsen, up 40%.
 
FOX Sports unveiled a major investment in its Charlotte studio, upgrading the facility with a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose virtual studio set. The 60’ x 60’ facility allows for instant 3D analysis of racetracks, cars, race shops and more, with the ability to create unique and changeable spaces within the high-tech studio environment in a matter of hours. The new set debuts in February 2019 as home to NASCAR Race Hub, NASCAR RaceDayand other NASCAR programming. Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, the technology behind the video game Fortnite, powers graphic elements for the new studio.
 
/DRIVE, NBC Sports’ motorsports show for car-enthusiasts, returns for a fifth season on Sunday at 8p on NBCSN, immediately following the debut of NBC Sports Groups’ new motorsports program Proving Grounds. Chris Harris, Mike SpinelliAlex Roy, and newcomers Kristen Lee and Zack Klapman host with new episodes running Sunday nights on NBCSN.
 
SiriusXM’s coverage of the new NBA season serves up live play-by-play of every game from Opening Night through The Finals, as well as daily in-depth talk and analysis on SiriusXM NBA Radio. Former players, coaches and executives on the channel include Greg Anthony, Antonio Daniels, Amin Elhassan, David Griffin, Brendan Haywood, Eddie Johnson, Tim Legler, Rick Mahorn and Brian Scalabrine. They are joined on air by hosts Howard Beck, Mark Boyle, Gerald Brown, Tom Byrne, Tina Cervasio, Noah Coslov, Howie Cowart, Brian Custer, Brian Geltzeiler, Jason Goff, Jared Greenberg, Zach Harper, Jonathan Hood, Frank Isola, Jason Jackson, Rick Kamla, Mitch Lawrence, Joel Meyers, Mark Morgan, Jeff Rickard, Chris Spatola and Justin Termine.
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IT’S DEADLINE DAY
The 2nd Annual Cynopsis Short Form Video Festival
 
The Cynopsis Short Form Video Festival is searching for the most cutting-edge creatives from individuals and teams worldwide, including: production companies/studios, producers, networks, composers, lyricists, animators, video game developers/producers, website developers, mobile & app developers/producers, marketing companies, PR firms and more. Click here to check out our sizzle and be sure to submit before 11:59PM ET on 10/17!
 
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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

 

Two NBA teams locked in deals for jersey patch sponsors. The Chicago Bulls and Zenni Optical unveiled a five-year partnership that makes the online eyewear company the team’s first-ever jersey patch sponsor and the Official Eyewear Partner of the Bulls. The deal includes various marketing elements, community initiatives, digital assets, and in-arena signage and activations. The patch will debut on tomorrow when the team visits the Philadelphia 76ers for their season opener.
 
Meanwhile, the Houston Rockets locked in a multi-year partnership with ROKiT Phones that makes the company the team’s first jersey partner. The ROKiT logo will be featured on all Rockets jerseys in addition to ROKiT partnering with the team on various community outreach efforts throughout the season.
 
Canadian interactive sports media company Homestand Sports tied up a new strategic partnership with LaLiga to host a series of live interactive LaLiga themed Footy Talks events in key markets across Canada. These series of events will kick off with a special watch party in Toronto for El Clásico on Oct. 28. All Footy Talks – LaLiga events will feature engaging sports panels with top Canadian media following the latest in LaLiga news analysis.
 
 
DIGITAL & STREAMING

 

NBA Digital and NextVR, the Official live VR partner of the NBA, today announced the 2018-19 schedule for fans to experience NBA League Pass in virtual reality. This season, NextVR is expanding its distribution of live NBA League Pass VR experiences to include Oculus Venues. Additionally, NextVR will continue to feature weekly immersive stereoscopic 3D games, along with 2D streaming of all League Pass games in NextVR Screening Room and other on-demand content in the NextVR League Pass channel of the NextVR app.The live VR schedule tips off during the NBA League Pass Free Preview with two games featuring the Golden State Warriors on Oct. 21 and 22.  
 
NBC Sports Regional Networks launched MyTeams by NBC Sports, described as a first-of-its-kind, team-focused mobile app that provides fans customized, all-in-one access to complete coverage of their favorite teams highlighted by live-game streaming of their local teams. MyTeams aggregates all multi-media content focused on the 25 NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB teams covered by NBC Sports Regional Networks. MyTeams’ innovative design features individual feeds for each team. Fans select their favorite team or teams, with no limit, in order of preference, to create a customized content offering that matches their passions, priorities and interests.
 
NESN and Playmaker Media relaunched an updated version of NESNgo, the network’s in-market live streaming platform. Playmaker will provide end-to-end technology for live streaming of all NESN programming in the network’s home territory including all Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox games.
 
FloSports announced an expanded agreement with Program 15 to provide live and on-demand coverage of the New Balance Baseball Future Stars Series Nationals exclusively onFloLive.tv. The updated agreement adds roughly 240 baseball games to the live event schedule. The New Balance Baseball Future Stars Series Nationals powered by Program 15 will take place at the National Training Center in Cypress, Texas, July 10-28, 2019.
 
Twitter detailed its content and conversation plans for NBA fans this season with features that include emojis, real-time highlight clips, behind-the-scenes live content and the “My Moment, My City” Turner Sports partnership.
 
X Games fans in the United States will be able to watch 16.5 hours of live competition coverage from the inaugural X Games Sydney beginning Thursday on the X Games Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages. Additionally, four hours of event recap coverage will air on ABC as part of the World of X Games series, beginning Oct. 28.
 
 
ESPORTS

 

Fortnite opened the doors to boosting its grassroots talent, with the introduction of in-game tournaments to the Epic Game hit. The initiative enables players to join open, multihour competitions with the first set of tournaments designed for single players, while duo tournaments run Oct. 23-25 and squads can participate from Oct. 19-Nov. 30. Beginning later this year, all eligible players will have the opportunity to qualify for the 2019 Fortnite World Cup directly through a ‘Showdown Royale’ event hosted using the in-game tournament system.
 
Tournament organizer Power League Gaming are launching a CS:GO Grand Slam taking place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates form Dec. 12-16th. Sixteen teams will square off for a $100,000 prize purse, with qualifiers spanning Oct. 26-Nov. 17 around the world.
 
 
ROSTER MOVES

 

Four days after accepting a job as USA Gymnastics’ interim CEO and president, former Congresswoman Mary Bono will depart following sharp criticism from a number of high-profile gymnasts, including Olympic gold-medal winners Simone Biles and Aly Raisman. Raisman called out Bono’s association with law firm Faegre Baker Daniels, which advised USA Gymnastics during the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal. While Biles pointed to Bono’s response to Nike’s advertising campaign featuring NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
 
LA 2028 and U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Properties announced that Kathy Carter will lead the commercial joint venture between LA 2028 and the U.S. Olympic Committee. In her role as the joint venture’s Chief Executive Officer and LA 2028’s Chief Revenue Officer, Carter will drive efforts to achieve more than $5 billion in revenue including domestic sponsorship, consumer product, hospitality and ticket sales.
 
 
THE MAIN EVENT

 

Brewers/Dodgers at 5p on FS1, while Red Sox/Astros hit TBS at 80.
 
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The Latest Strategies for Maximizing & Monetizing Mobile Engagement

Tuesday, October 20th | 1:30-3:00PM ET

 

It’s crucial to keep pace in a whiplash-inducing landscape in which fast load speed and easy interface are just the beginning. On October 30th, our speakers from Oath, Group Nine Media and Vox Media will explore the solutions now available to content creators, buyers, and sellers to make the most of mobile.

 

View Panel                           Learn More                           Register your team

 
In the Know: Name the two athletes who have won the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Award three times in a row. (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: Who is the all-time points leader for the Sacramento Kings? Answer: Oscar Robertson. Kudos: Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Joe Lyons-ESPN/Dallas; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner and Triathlete magazine/Houston; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank
 
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