10/27/17: Big Ten Network locked in a deal with FloSports for streaming

CynopsisSports
Good morning. It’s Friday October 27, 2017 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

FloSports hooked another whale to its roster, locking in a deal with Big Ten Network for a four-year agreement which includes the distribution rights to more than 1,000 non-televised Big Ten Conference events. The events were previously exclusive to BTN Plus and range from basketball to ice hockey, will now be available through FloSports’ sport-specific subscription channels such as FloWrestling, FloTrack and FloVolleyball. BTN Plus will remain available within BTN2Go with no change for current subscribers.
 
“BTN continuously explores opportunities to distribute Big Ten content across emerging third-party platforms,” said Michael Calderon, Senior Vice President, Programming and Digital Media at BTN. “FloSports has cultivated a passionate and widespread audience and we are looking forward generating a significant increase in exposure for the more than 1,000 Big Ten events that had previously only been available in BTN Plus.”
 
 
ON THE AIR

A doozy of a Game 2 of the World Series on FOX Sports drummed up 16,019,000 viewers across FOX (which reeled in 15.4 million of ‘em), FOX Deportes (383,000) and FOX Sports GO (154,015), according to Nielsen. That marks a dip of 11% compared to game two last year, but is up 13% over the same game in 2015 and 20% in 2014 to rank as the second most-watched Game 2 since 2009.
 
NBC Sports Group announced plans to deliver nearly 200 hours of linear and digital coverage of FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup programming across NBC, NBCSN and Olympic Channel, along with NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, OlympicChannel.com, and the Olympic Channel app. Coverage begins on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app on Saturday at 4a with the first run of the women’s giant slalom, followed by women’s giant slalom second run at 6:30a. Steve Schlanger (play-by-play) and former World Cup ski racer Steve Porino (analyst) will call the action.
 
In deal news, Univision Deportes officially secured broadcast rights to all 18 of Liga MX’s soccer teams in competition through 2017/18, including clubs America, Atlas, Cruz Azul, Guadalajara, León, Monterrey, Morelia, Necaxa, Pachuca, Puebla, Queretaro, Santos Laguna, Tijuana, Toluca, UANL, UNAM, Veracruz and Lobos BUAP. The distribution deal includes live broadcast on Univision Deportes’ television and radio platforms in major markets across the US as well as digital platforms nationwide.
 
Up north, CBC Sports and Curling Canada locked in a deal that will more coverage of five National Championship events made available through CBC Sports digital platforms in each of the next five seasons, beginning this winter and including the Canadian Mixed Curling Championship; the Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Championship; the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship, among others. “CBC Sports is proud to be working with Curling Canada and excited to bring coverage of these national championship events available to Canadians as has never been done before,” said Greg Stremlaw, executive director, CBC Sports and general manager, Olympics.
 
In college news, BTN lined up extensive coverage of the 2017 Big Ten fall championships and tournaments, with contests set to include live broadcasts and streams of the Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Soccer Tournaments, the Big Ten Field Hockey Tournament and the Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships. The action begins with the BTN’s women’s soccer tournament on Sunday, Oct. 29, with quarterfinal action at 2p and continues with  the Big Ten Cross Country Championships, hosted by Indiana, at 8:30p on Oct. 30.  
 
Golf Channel dedicates more than 30 hours of on-site news, instruction and tournament coverage to the East Lake Cup presented by Hewlett Packard Enterprise starting Monday with the collegiate match play championship featuring eight semifinalists from the 2017 NCAA Division I men’s and women’s golf championships. Live tournament coverage of the East Lake Cup will air on Golf Channel from 3-6p from Monday-Wednesday and will replay in primetime. Lanny Wadkins serves as lead analyst with Bob Papa as play-by-play host. Curt Byrum and Steve Burkowski will serve as hole announcers, with Notah Begay, Billy Ray Brown and Kay Cockerill reporting from the course.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
**CALL FOR ENTRIES**
 
The Cynopsis Social Good Awards honors civic-minded professionals who find a way to utilize the media industry as a tool for social good. With a panel of judges who’ll benchmark excellence in the TV and entertainment industry. This is an incredible opportunity to shine a light on your team’s social good initiative, raising awareness and inspiring action! ( check out our 2017 winners, here).
 
 

SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Full Sail University formally announced the opening of the Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting, an initiative that will kick off with the early 2018 launch of new undergraduate bachelor degree programs at the university, available on campus and online. The curricula of the programs have been designed with the primary focus of preparing the next generation of sportscasting talent by embracing storytelling and modern-day content creation techniques; aspects that Patrick identified as critical requirements for optimizing graduate employment opportunities. Students will learn from Patrick, as well as the likes of Steve Cohen – SVP of Sports Programming at SiriusXM; Ed Goren – President, Goren Media Group, sports journalist Jay Harris, Bill Simmons, Sage Steele and more.
 
The United Soccer Leagues entered into a national partnership with The Promotions Dept. in a multi-year agreement. This partnership will allow USL clubs to develop high-quality, team-branded promotional products to elevate their brands, create stadium atmosphere and recognize and reward fans. “The Promotions Dept. brings a wealth of expertise and innovation in engaging sports fans in meaningful ways,” said USL President Jake Edwards. “Our clubs are constantly looking for ways to enhance the fan experience and promotional items play a major role in those efforts. The Promotions Dept. has a long history in soccer. They understand our sport and our fans, and our teams will benefit from that experience.”
 
 
DIGITAL & STREAMING

Bellator is debuting a new mobile app “tailored to be fan-focused and content-driven.” For the first time, Bellator fans will be able to watch live main card fights within the app, through television provider authentication in addition to preliminary cards which will be available worldwide and will stream live. The next-gen app also features the history of the promotion and its athletes.
 
Whistle Sports announced the continuation of its content series, Bad Joke Telling, featuring NASCAR driver and running on Whistle Sports’ Instagram and Facebook pages. The three-part series features Playoff drivers going head-to-head in a battle to make each other laugh with bad jokes with names that include Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, and Denny Hamlin. “This new edition of our massively successful series takes the biggest names in NASCAR and features them in a winning Whistle Sports content format,” said Jeff Urban, co-founder and President, Whistle Sports. “The humor may be corny, but the excitement and engagement the videos drive is no joke.” 
 
The Washington Wizards announced that Wizards Radio 24/7, presented by WGL Energy, is now available on the Washington Wizards app and TuneIn radio. The platform will allow fans to hear the latest news on the team and features on the games along with exclusive interviews with players and coaches as well as discussions and debates with other programming that will include Off the Bench Podcasts, Daily Wizards Flash Briefing, Daily Wizards Shoot Around Report, Wizards Classic Games. In addition, the team has partnered with the NBA to launch an Alexa Skill allowing fans to ask Alexa Skill specific Wizards questions and keep up with schedules, scores, stats, standings, and news.
 
 
ESPORTS

Riot Games laid out plans for the 2018 College League of Legends season, with the season beginning Jan. 15 and wrapping up with the League of Legends College Championship running June 7-10 at the NA LCS Arena in Los Angeles. Overall, there will be six rounds of regular season matches and the top teams will advance to the playoffs. Changes this season include: a move to the more competitive Swiss format, which matches teams with the same or a similar record against each other on a weekly basis; four regional conference champions will earn automatic bids into the college championship; and addotional conference champions and all conference runner-ups will meet in the Play-In event.
 
Evo 2018 booked another return trip to Las Vegas, this time running Aug. 3-5 from the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, slightly later that its normal July tentpole. This year’s event saw nearly five million total viewers watch Evo’s Street Fighter finals.
 
Twitter and ESL are partnering up to offer fans the chance to vote for the MVP of ESL One Hamburg via a Direct Message experience. Fans can enter the experience via the ESL One Hamburg DM Card or by hitting ‘Message’ on the @ESLDotA2 profile page. Once fans have selected their MVP, the DM experience will allow fans to Tweet their vote, follow their favorite teams or players, or direct them to the live stream of ESL One Hamburg on Twitter.
 
Vainglory opened pre-registration for its upcoming 5v5 mode, which was built from the ground up by former competitive players and designers from leading PC MOBAs, will offer “the definitive 5v5 MOBA experience on mobile.” “When we started Super Evil Megacorp, we set out to challenge the notion that mobile-first gamers were somehow inferior to gamers on other platforms,” said Super Evil Megacorp CEO Kristian Segerstrale. “We believed that every phone was a portable next-gen console, and that every mobile player deserved games just as core, strategic and performant as players on PC. Over the past three years, millions of players across the globe rallied to our cause, embracing real-time multiplayer gaming on touchscreens, shifting the market in our direction.
 
 
ROSTER MOVES

The Los Angeles Chapter of Women in Sports and Events announced today that Janet Evans (Olympian & LA2028 Organizing Committee), Valorie Kondos Field (Head Coach, UCLA Women’s Gymnastics), and Christine Simmons (President & Chief Operations Officer, Los Angeles Sparks) have been selected as the recipients of the 2017 WISE Los Angeles Women of Inspiration Award. The ceremony will be held at the eighth annual gala on Nov. 8 at TAO Los Angeles.
 
Amy Palmer has joined Hollywood-based BRKLY as the design and content studio’s new Executive Producer, where she will oversee business development, as well as client and project management initiatives. She joins BRKLY from entertainment branding and marketing agency Troika.
 
 
THE MAIN EVENT

Dodgers/Astros on FOX tonight at 8p.

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
DEADLINE DAY
Cynopsis Short Form Video Festival: Entries due by 11:59pm tonight!
 
The deadline for the  Cynopsis Short Form Video Festival is tonight and you don’t want to miss out. With a range of categories to choose from and a judging panel of the best in the industry, this is the perfect opportunity to shine light on your team’s content. Finalists will be notified in mid-November and the winning videos will be screened at our festival this March in NYC.
 
The online submission process is quick and easy – Get Started Here
 
If you have any questions about your submissions, contact Cathy Pearson at 203.899.8470
 

ON THIS DAY in 2002: The Cowboys’ Emmitt Smith breaks the NFL career rushing record held by Walter Payton of the Chicago Bears.
 
In the Know: Who was the only woman to reign as WWE’s Intercontinental Champion? (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: What franchise was the first MLB expansion team (post-1960) to win the World Series? Answer: The Mets. Kudos: Aymon DeMauro-Discovery/NY; Carl W. Schellenberger-VCA/NY; Art Salisch-Hearst Television/Ny; Brian Traynor-Endeavor/NY; Michael Goodman-Radio One/Atlanta; Rick Rosenfelt-New York Red Bulls/Harrison; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Deerfield Beach; Randy Ingram-WISH/WNDY-TV/Indianapolis; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Rick Pike-InterMedia Advertising/Woodland Hills; Larry Hutchings/Nipomo; Jack Simmons-US Army Reserve/LA; Bob Ramsey/Palm Springs

Later – Chris
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