10/31/17: Extra innings helped FOX lay claim to 19.6 million viewers

Good morning. It’s Tuesday October 31, 2017 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

A 10-inning World Series thriller on Sunday night saw the Astros win deliver more than 19.6 million viewers on average across FOX (18,940,000), FOX Deportes (496,000) and FOX Sports GO (172,000). According to fast national figures released by Nielsen, Game 5 ranks as the second-best World Series Game 5 since 2003, down from last year’s Indians/Cubs matchup which nabbed 23,641,000, but up 10% over 2015 (17,206,000), and up 50% over 2014 (12,630,000). Through five games, the 2017 World Series on FOX is averaging 16,397,000 viewers, the second best start to the Series since 2009, behind last year’s historic Cubs run (19,288,000).

Meanwhile, the World Series behemoth proved rough on NBC’s Sunday Night Football offering as the Steelers/Lions matchup posted a 9.4/15 in overnight numbers (excludes Boston, Hartford and Providence), down from last year. Top markets for Steelers-Lions on NBC: Pittsburgh 38.5/55; Detroit 26.7/41; New Orleans 14.5/20; Buffalo 13.6/21; and Baltimore 13.4/21 
WWE will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of Monday Night Raw from Barclays Center and Manhattan Center On Jan 22 and running live on USA Network at 8p. WWE Superstars from both Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live will be at Barclays Center, while the event at Manhattan Center, the site of the first episode of Raw, will feature both WWE Superstars competing, and special appearances by Undertaker, Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash, amongst others. “We look forward to celebrating this unmatched milestone with our fans around the world, but 25 years only marks the beginning of WWE surprising, delighting and entertaining generations to come,” said WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon.
The College Football Playoff selection committee’s first weekly in-season rankings will be revealed tonight on ESPN at 7p. The one-hour College Football Playoff: Top 25 will then continue on each Tuesday night in November and then conclude with the CFP selection committee’s final rankings, the College Football Playoff matchups and the New Year’s Six field all announced on Dec. 3. Rece Davis hosts the weekly special, with analysts Paul Finebaum, Joey Galloway, Kirk Herbstreit, Booger McFarland, Jesse Palmer and David Pollack all appearing throughout the next month.
Meanwhile, ESPN’s NFL Live will present its annual Midseason Awards special today at 1:30p. The 90-minute show is hosted by Trey Wingo with analysts Ryan Clark and Louis Riddick and will celebrate the top players, teams, coaches and moments from the first eight weeks of the 2017 NFL season. Categories include: Defensive Player of the Year; Offensive Player of the Year (Non-QB); Coach of the Year; Most Surprising Team; and Best Celebration.
Paramount Network announced a partnership with Time Inc. Productions for a multi-project deal for unique and immersive non-scripted series, which are currently in pilot production linked to both Sports Illustrated and Entertainment Weekly. On the sports side, from SI and Jerry Bruckheimer TV will be Sports Illustrated: True Crime (working title) that investigates the “complicated truths and realities of athletes involved in criminal activity and misdeeds” and is based on SI’s multiplatform “SI True Crime” franchise.
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NBCU spoke with reporters to discuss the company’s upcoming one-two punch of Super Bowl LII and the Winter Olympics. Execs stated that the company projects to reel in over $1.2 billion in ad revenue from both programs. Company EVP Dan Lovinger stated that ad sales are “brisk” for both with Super Bowl spots now running “north of $5 million” and likely to bring in $350 million from in-game advertising in addition to pregame and postgame ad revenue. Meanwhile, Lovinger said he expects ad revenue for the Pyeongchang Olympics to best 2014 numbers, hitting the mid-$800 million range.
Speaking of the Winter Games, Kellogg’s announced its continued sponsorship of Team USA and introduced the 2018 Team Kellogg’s roster of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls joining its lineup of athletes. The 2018 roster includes figure skater Nathan Chen, snowboarder Kelly Clark, ice hockey player Meghan Duggan and Paralympic snowboarder Mike Schultz. “We’re thrilled to welcome this group of accomplished athletes to Team Kellogg’s,” said Sam Minardi, director, brand marketing, Kellogg Company. “As they share their personal motivations while training for the PyeongChang Games, we hope Americans are inspired to focus on their own everyday inspirations as they work toward achieving their potential.”

The World Series saw Mastercard and MLB team up to deliver a special Stand Up To Cancer message through augmented reality. Through an AR experience, Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa thanked fans for helping Mastercard raise $4MM for SU2C over the summer and announced that Mastercard would be making an additional $100K donation to help the fight against cancer. Correa then encouraged fans to stand up and raise their placards together for someone who has been affected by cancer during the “I Stand Up For” placard moment at the bottom of the fifth inning.

The European League of Legends Championship Series will shift to a franchise model in 2019, echoing its North American counterpart. Riot will start taking applications for permanent partnership from existing ownership and interested outside parties next year, with both the number of available spots and the buy-in price still not determined. The European League Championship Series will remain in Berlin and will move to a single-game, double-round-robin format starting in the new year. Relegation and promotion from and to the league has been removed from the 2018 midseason with the European Challenger Series set to be canceled.
Speaking of franchises, Blizzard unveiled branding details for the New York franchise of Overwatch League. The team, owned by Sterling VC, will be known as the New York Excelsior and is inspired by the “everyday heroism of New York. “The team nickname will be NYXL and sport a flag logo representing different people, cultures, and ideas coming together.

Troika named Tony Kadillak as Business Development Director. He will be responsible for developing new business and supporting the strategic growth of the company as well as working with clients to cultivate business solutions. Most recently, Kadillak was Director of Business Development at entertainment branding agency, Loyalkaspar, where he developed key relationships with brands, including NFL Network, USA, Syfy, and E!.


Astros/Dodgers Game 6 on FOX at 8p.
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).

ON THIS DAY in 2009: The first-ever use of replay in a World Series game sees umpires determine that the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez hit a HR that struck a television camera stationed near the right field fence of Citizens Banks Park.
In the Know: The SEC announced that Arkansas/LSU will take place on Nov. 11 at 11a on ESPN. According to tradition, the winner of the game receives what prize? (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 is the name of the trophy now presented to the winner of the MLS Cup?  Answer: The Philip F. Anschutz Trophy. (Most popular answer: The MLS Cup.) Kudos: Nate Hammond-JCC/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Rick Rosenfelt-New York Red Bulls/Harrison; James J. Pepe-Hop Hill Brewing Co./Bethlehem; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Robert Teinowitz-Live Action Media/Chicago; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc/Santa Monica

Later – Chris
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