10/13/15: NBC Sports gets an earlier tee time; Weekend Ratings Roundup; NFL Tunes In



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Good morning. It’s Tuesday October 13, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

NBC Sports is getting an early tee time, locking in rights to The Open Championship a year early through a deal with ESPN. The agreement will now see the company begin their long-term deal with the tournament launch coverage on July 14-17 next year. The deal came following negotiations that included “various industry considerations” with ESPN and includes coverage of The Senior Open Championship and RICOH Women’s British Open. With the agreement, The Open will now begin a 12-week stretch of golf events for NBC Sports Group, including golf’s return to the Olympic Games along with the PGA TOUR’s FedEx Cup Playoffs with programming that runs through Oct. 2. Meanwhile, Golf Channel will now see its live tournament programming hours continue to swell, slating 2006 in 2016, nearly double the amount the network had before it joined the NBC Sports umbrella.

“First and foremost, we want to congratulate ESPN for their company’s successful stewardship of The Open for the last several decades, and we thank them for allowing us to start our partnership with The R&A one year early,” said Mark Lazarus, Chairman of NBC Sports Group. “2016 promises to be exciting for all of golf, as The Open kicks off a historic stretch, including the Rio Olympics, the PGA TOUR FedExCup Playoffs and Ryder Cup on Golf Channel and NBC.”


CBS reports that its NFL national doubleheader on Sunday, which included the Patriots/Cowboys and Broncos/Raiders, ranked as the highest- rated NFL game in Week 5 with an average overnight metered market household rating/share of 16.4/32. That marks a 24% spike over last year’s 13.2/25 and ranks as CBS’s highest-rated NFL broadcast this season in the metered markets.

Facing a one-two punch of the Walking Dead and the MLB Postseason, NBC saw this week’s edition of Sunday Night Football hit a season low, notching a 13.1/22 in Nielsen overnight numbers. Still, that marked the franchise’s best score for an NFL primetime game vs. MLB Div. Series since 1997. The 13.1/22 for the Giants victory was up over last year’s Week 5 game, continuing its trend of year-to-year upticks so far this season. Top markets:  1. Sacramento 24.2/41; 2. SF 22.6/41; 3. Las Vegas 20.7/34; 4. WP Beach 16.9/27; 5. NY 16.8/27.

Univision Deportes’ USA/Mexico 2015 Confederation Cup clash Saturday night averaged 5.1 million Total Viewers 2+ and 2.7 million Adults 18-49. Univision ranked as the highest rated broadcast station regardless of language during the USA/Mexico match in total viewers in Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, Phoenix and Sacramento.

The Big Ten Network scored its highest viewership in its history on Saturday, with four of the top-18 football teams in the country playing on the channel. For the day (12p-12a), BTN earned a 2.04 HH rating in the network’s 12 metered markets, besting its previous high mark by 30%. BTN’s games were the highest rated across all cable networks in Baltimore, Chicago, Columbus, Cleveland, Dayton, Detroit and Washington, D.C. and second in Indianapolis, Milwaukee, New York and Philadelphia. Topping the list was the noon matchup between Maryland/Ohio State, handing the channel with an average a 2.6 HH rating. BTN also reports a record day across its digital and social media platforms, with all three games registering among the top-10 most viewed events on BTN2Go.
Editor’s Note: Please join the Cynopsis team and your industry peers for the half-day Programmatic TV Summit on Nov. 5. Register now.

Wrapping up the ratings news, PBR scored 2.3 million people tuning in to watch the PBR’s Built Ford Tough Series Cooper Tires Take the Money and Ride event on CBS on Oct. 4. The telecast drew a 1.61 household score to mark the most-watched PBR event on the network in more than four years. CBS Sports Network will next broadcast the PBR’s Built Ford Tough World Finals live from Las Vegas from Oct. 21-24 at 9p and on Oct. 25 at 4p.

NFL Media named Cole Wright as the new host of NFL Network’s NFL HQ. He had previously been host of NFL Now and will be joined by talent that includes analysts Terrell Davis, LaVar Arrington, and Daniel Jeremiah, among others. 

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WSOF is looking to showcase 12 live events in 2016, according to ESPN, with lineups that will include multiple one-night tournaments. The MMA promotion will host its first one-night tournament on Nov. 20 with WSOF CEO Carlos Silva telling ESPN.com that the format could become an integral piece of WSOF content moving forward.

CBS RADIO’s 97.1 The Ticket locked in a long-term sports and entertainment alliance with the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings that includes play-by-play rights to both teams, as well as marketing and promotional activities across the company’s portfolio of local stations in Detroit. “We’ve enjoyed a tremendous relationship with CBS RADIO as the broadcast home for the Red Wings for the last 14 seasons,” said Tom Wilson, President and CEO of Olympia Entertainment.




If you haven’t done so already,


IEG Research reports that the NBA scored $739 million in sponsorship revenue last season, marking an 8.9% spike over the previous year. According to the study, Anheuser-Busch was the most active sponsor of the sport, while that insurance sector was the most dominant. The NBA’s sponsorship tally was helped by the addition of four new partners this season; Harman, Kaiser Permanente, PepsiCo and Under Armour while other major sponsors included Adidas, State Farm insurance company, Gatorade, Coca-Cola and MillerCoors.

Bacardi rum is unveiling a new campaign that will include a 30-second TV spot, experiential House Party campaign as well as a digital, mobile and partnership strategy “designed to connect with millennials on their terms, in their world, in their way.” This marks the first campaign launch since the brand overhauled its advertising and marketing business four months ago with the first spot, entitled The Truck, debuted last night on outlets such as ESPN’s SportsCenter. The campaign will then launch a slate of brand activations that includes the Bacardi Untameable House Party, kicking off on Halloween in Philadelphia and then hitting DC, Atlanta and Miami.

LA Galaxy fans attending Sunday’s Fan Appreciation Night will be able to take part in Alaska Airlines’ expanded half-off flight voucher giveaway. The airline is expanding its initial half-off flight promotion to incorporate a longer booking and travel window, with travel open to anywhere Alaska Airlines flies from both LAX and Santa Ana’s John Wayne Airports. The first 12,000 fans to enter StubHub Center will receive the vouchers.


The NFL locked in a deal with TuneIn, the world’s largest audio network, that will bring live play-by-play coverage of all NFL games to Premium subscribers. The partnership gives the platform access to audio feeds for every single league game, including preseason as well as the Super Bowl. Listeners can access play-by-play feeds for all 32 NFL teams, including both the home and away feeds, national radio broadcasts, and Spanish language broadcasts (where available). Other programming will include the NFL on TuneIn Channel and a live look-in show. “Partnering with TuneIn offers us the ability to reach our fans on a fast-growing digital platform and provide them the NFL audio content they crave,” said Hans Schroeder, Senior Vice President, Media Strategy, Business Development & Sales for the NFL. “Whether you live overseas, across the country or just a few states away, our fans can get NFL audio, whether it’s games or additional programming, across their digital devices.”


Despite recent controversies, daily fantasy sports sites DraftKings and FanDuel saw their biggest Sunday of the NFL season over the weekend, according to SuperLobby.com. Entries hit season highs at both sites for the slate of games, with DraftKings reeling in 4.14 million entries, up from 3.75 million last week, while FanDuel generated 3.38 million entries, up from 3.18 million a week ago.

After announcing its entry into the eSports space, GMR is unveiling its inaugural eSports Brand Summit on Oct. 20 in NY, co-hosted by sparks & honey, with speakers that include executives from Twitch, ESL, VICE Media and Turner. “We’re bringing the brightest minds in eSports together to shed light on the opportunities, challenges and insights driving the space today,” said Matt Hill, SVP of Global Sports and Entertainment at GMR. “For brands that want to reach an engaged, growing and digitally-savvy audience, it’s going to be an invaluable event.”


Dodgers/Mets on TBS at 8p.



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ON THIS DAY in 1998: The NBA canceled the first two weeks of the season after negotiations between owners and players broke down.

In The Know: What is the official name of the theme from “Rocky”? (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: The last time the Mets won the World Series in 1986, this song by Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Elton John and Stevie Wonder topped the charts for the year. What was the name of the single? Answer: That’s What Friends are For. Kudos: Tim DeLaney-Showtime Networks/NY; Phyllis McQuillan-MSG Media/NY; Chris Long-FloSports/NY; Karen Van Vleet- Insight Strategy Group/NY; Ronny Zeigler/North Brunswick; James Taguchi-WTVR/Richmond; Mike Doyle-Spot On Media Consultants/Madison; Keith Allo-Golf Channel/NBC Sports/Orlando; Steve McNair-KUBE TV/Houston; Jack Hodgson-Oklahoma State University/Stillwater; John Kukla-KDFW-KDFI/Chicago; Matt Sautter-Imagine Communications/Denver; Rick Pike-InterMedia Advertising/Woodland Hills; Jack Simmons-Fox Sports/LA; Peter Steckelman-The Tennis Channel/Santa Monica; Damon Parry-NCC Media/LA.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

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