10/14/15: Doubleheader is a heater for TBS; CONCACAF Cup kicks up auds for FS1; Northwestern Mutual smells the Roses


Good morning. It’s Wednesday October 14, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

The MLB Postseason continues to be generous to TBS, which is reporting that telecasts are now averaging 5.3 million total viewers through Monday, which ties 2007 as the network’s most-viewed coverage ever through the third day of the Division Series. Matchups are up 36% among total viewers over last year and spiked 44% among Adults 18-49. The corresponding 3.2 U.S. HH rating this year is up 33%, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals. Monday’s NLDS Game 3 doubleheader on the network averaged five million total viewers and a 3.0 U.S. HH rating, for rises of of 32% and 30% respectively over last year’s comparable telecasts.


A last-second win for the Steelers on MNF pushed ESPN to win the night among networks in households, viewers and key demos, averaging a 7.7 score with 12.182 million viewers, according to Nielsen. In Pittsburgh, the game drew an 11.3 rating on ESPN and a 24.6 on WTAE-ABC, for a combined 35.9 rating in the market. In San Diego, the game delivered an 8.4 rating on ESPN and a 25.5 on KFMB-CBS, for a combined 33.9 rating in the market.

Tonight will see FS1 and Fox Deportes throw a pair of Game 5 aces with the Rangers/Blue Jays at 4p and Astros/Royals at 8p. Kenny Albert, Tom Verducci, Harold Reynolds and Ken Rosenthal have microphone duties out of Toronto while Matt Vasgersian, John Smoltz, AJ Pierzynski and Jon Paul Morosi work the game from Kansas City.

Mexico’s win over the US at the CONCACAF Cup, now ranks as the most-watched men’s soccer match ever on FS1. The contest delivered 1,561,000 viewers to the channel, according to Nielsen figures. Immediately following the battle, FOX Sports Live earned an average of 394,000 viewers, a triple-digit percent increase over the show’s 2014 October average in that same window.
Speaking of soccer, FOX Sports also announced deeper ties with Bundesliga, adding eight live games from the German league on the FOX broadcast network on Saturdays in 2016 from Jan. 30 to the season’s final day on May 14. “In order to maximize exposure for the league, its stars and quality of play, we’ve worked with our stations and affiliates to identify as many broadcast opportunities as possible, and we’re really excited to offer eight live Bundesliga matches in the second half of the season," said David Nathanson, FOX Sports Head of Business Operations.  "We see the league having tremendous growth potential in the U.S., and we’re committed to that goal long-term.”

Rentrak’s sports division entered into an agreement with Raycom Sports that will see Raycom tap Rentrak’s television measurement for its college football and college basketball viewership. The new deal will give the distributor insights into the performance of its sports programming in over 120 markets.

NBC Sports unveiled plans for Notre Dame Hockey this season, as NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra will combine to deliver 16 total games, with 10 on NBCSN and an additional six games streamed live. The action begins when the Fighting Irish host Minnesota-Duluth on Oct. 24 at 6:30p on the channel. In addition to NBC Sports Group’s coverage of Notre Dame Hockey home games this season, NBCSN will serve up live coverage of the 2015 Hockey East Tournament Final and Semi Finals.

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NASCAR is scoring some key distribution deals, teaming with IMG to lock in agreements in China, India and Spain, according to Sportcal. The sport will be carried in China for the first time via LeTV sports, while India’s Sony Six nabbed rights in that country and Canal Plus picked them up in Spain. Renewals were also signed in the Middle East and North Africa (Abu Dhabi Media), Germany (Motorvision), the UK (Premier Sports) and across Asia (Fox Sports Asia). “Our overall strategy is to deepen the relationship with NASCAR with each partner in each country and that can come in a variety of ways,” Hillary Mandel, IMG’s SVP, head of media North America, told the outlet. “There is so much product, not to mention additional promotional platform.”

The Olympic Channel is staffing up for a launch next year, with executives telling attendees at SPORTEL that the platform is in “aggressive hiring mode at the moment” and is targeting around 100 full-time staff members, according to Around the Rings. Mark Parkman, General Manager of Olympic Channel Services, noted that the operation is expected to be up to around the 50 employees by the end of the year, and would be looking to produce about 250 hours of original programming/content over its first year in operation. IOC worldwide sponsors are reportedly going to be offered first preference over certain advertising opportunities for the network.

Golf Channel is lining up to carry the inaugural Diamond Resorts Invitational celebrity golf tournament which will be held at the Golden Bear Golf Club in Orlando from Jan. 14-16, 2016. Participating will be the likes of Jerry Rice, Reggie Jackson, Roger Clemens and Larry the Cable Guy, and will offer a $500,000 purse with a $100,000 first prize. Golf Channel will carry three days of live coverage. “We plan to make this celebrity golf tournament a world-class event,” said Michael Flaskey, EVP, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Diamond Resorts International. “The event’s celebrity appeal, philanthropy efforts, community involvement, entertainment and hospitality allows Diamond Resorts to showcase what we do best.”


Here they are! The Finalists for the Model D Awards: Honoring the Best in Online Video, Talent & Advertising

Click to see who made the cut. Then come join us on November 13th at the Marriott Essex House for this luncheon celebration!


The Tournament of Roses locked in a “first-of-its-kind deal” with Northwestern Mutual that in a sponsorship agreement that will include presenting sponsorship of the Rose Bowl Game and official sponsorship of the Rose Parade presented by Honda. The agreement will see Northwestern Mutual expand its annual presenting sponsorship of annual postseason game, along with the Youth Football Clinic, and the Tournament of Roses, to also include the 2016 Rose Bowl Game VIP Tailgate and the 2015 Rose Bowl Game Hall of Fame. "The Tournament of Roses is excited to extend our partnership with Northwestern Mutual," said Mike Matthiessen, 2016 Tournament of Roses President. "When Northwestern Mutual came on board last year as the presenting sponsor of the Rose Bowl Game, we realized that our two organizations share similar ideals and we started looking for opportunities to build the relationship. The Tournament of Roses welcomes the opportunity to enhance the strength and tradition of our iconic events with such a great organization."

Editor’s Note: Please join the Cynopsis team and your industry peers for the half-day Programmatic TV Summit on Nov. 5. Register now.


Comcast is teaming up with more than thirty broadcasters to bring more short form video to its X1 platform. Sports content will include deals with the likes of ESPN, FOX Sports, Velocity and BTN, joining other providers such as: A&E, ABC News, AMC, American Heroes, Animal Planet, BBC America, CNBC, Cooking Channel, Destination America, Discovery, Discovery Life, DIY, E!, Esquire Network, Food Network, Fox Business, Fox News, FYI, HGTV, History, IFC, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime, LMN, MSNBC, Music Choice, NBC, NBC News, OWN, Science Channel, Sundance TV, TLC, Travel Channel and WE TV.

After calling out Greg Hardy and the Dallas Cowboys, Episode 5 of FOX Sports’ Garbage Time with Katie Nolan on Oct. 7 generated a record for digital viewership. Clips from the show were viewed nearly 1.2 million times across YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, FOXSports.com, FOX Sports GO and the Garbage Time podcast.


Rangers/Blue Jays at 4p and Astros/Royals at 8p on FS1.


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Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What is the official name of the theme from “Rocky”? Answer: Gonna Fly Now. Kudos: Keith Marder-Halstead Property/NY; Rick Resnick-Univision Sports/NY; Deborah Kapetanakis-Universal McCann/NY; Gabe Alfaya-XL Worldwide/NY; Daniel Overleese-Golf Channel/Orlando; Brianne Maciejowski-Miles/Sarasota; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Ronny Zeigler/North Brunswick; Robert Teinowitz-Live Action Media/Chicago; Jeremy Bowman-ESPN/Chicago; Will Allmendinger-Clear Channel Outdoor/Chicago; Betsy Ockerlund-Spectrum/Chicago; Matt Sautter-Imagine Communications/Denver; Harry S Vested Jr-GCSN/Denver; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Joey Olson/Manhattan Beach; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Alan Perris/Beverly Hills.

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