11.05.14 Good morning. It’s Wednesday, November 5, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
It’s the end of an era for NBCUniversal’s Hispanic cable network mun2, as the channel will be rebranded as NBC Universo on Feb. 1, 2015, which happens to be the same day the channel carries the Spanish-language telecast of Super Bowl XLIX in the US. The network will also introduce a “bold logo that features NBC’s iconic peacock, a widely recognized media brand.”
In addition to carrying the NFL and BPL, the channel will expand its sports offerings “as it plans to capture highly anticipated international-level sports for today’s Latinos.” Partnering with NBC Sports Group and Telemundo, NBC Universo will cover four FIFA World Cup events in 2015: Men’s FIFA U-20 World Cup, from May 30 to June 20; FIFA Women’s World Cup from June 6 to July 5; Men’s FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup from July 9-19; and FIFA U-17 World Cup played in Chile from October 17 to November 8. NBC UNIVERSO also will exclusively showcase The Rio 2016 Olympic Games, The NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series and WWE programming such as WWE Raw and WWE Smackdown in Spanish.
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The Chase packed a punch in Texas last weekend, with ESPN reporting that the NASCAR Sprint Cup race saw year-to-year gains. The race bucked recent ratings trends and handed the channel with a 2.8 U.S. rating and an average of 4.75 million viewers. There are now two races left in the Chase (and to ESPN’s deal): Sunday’s race in Phoenix and the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Amid a bevy of withdrawals, Beijing has reportedly emerged as the front runner to host the 2022 Winter Olympics according to the AP. If selected, the city will become the first to host both the summer and winter games. The host city will be selected in July at an IOC assembly in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The report states that on Friday the Beijing bid committee launched a Facebook page and Twitter feed and an animation of a “planned high-speed rail line that will connect venues in the city with those in the mountains in just 50 minutes.”
FOX Sports revealed plans to showcase a Pac-12/Big 12 doubleheader on Saturday, Nov. 15, lining up Washington/Arizona at 3:30p and Texas/Oklahoma State at 7:30p on the broadcast channel. Coverage begins at 3p with FOX College Football Pregame. FOX Sports 1 will offer fans TCU and Kansas at 3p and North Texas/UTEP at 10p.
On the tennis front, ESPN2 and ESPN3 will showcase Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer battling to become the year-end No. 1-ranked player at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals starting Nov. 9 with ESPN2 launching coverage on Nov. 13. John and Patrick McEnroe Brothers have the call on ESPN2 with Darren Cahill contributing from the sideline.
Around the dial, Tennis Channel slated coverage of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals starting Nov. 9 with more than 120 total hours of match coverage, including over 50 live hours, of the best-eight singles players and doubles teams of the 2014 season. The first tournament telecast airs at 7a on Sunday. Tennis Channel’s on-air team will feature Hall of Famer Tracy Austin, Brett Haber and former players Jimmy Arias and Justin Gimelstob.
CBS Radio and the Texas Rangers entered into a multi-year agreement for the team’s radio play-by-play broadcasts to air exclusively on Dallas-Fort Worth’s 105.3 The FAN beginning with the 2015 season. The deal includes coverage of regular and post-season games broadcast on 105.3 The FAN (KRLD-FM) as well as select spring training games. In addition, the Rangers Radio Network will provide Rangers baseball coverage to a number of stations throughout Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.
The International Premier Tennis League announced plans to offer live viewing via TV and on-line pay-per-view in the United States by Integrated Sports Media starting Nov. 28 and running through the conclusion of the season on December 13. All 24 matches of the highly anticipated inaugural season will be available on both cable and satellite PPV.
The NBA is partnering up with Sony Computer Entertainment America, which will become the first-ever partner of NBA Cares Hoops for Troops, a year-round initiative led by the league, its teams and players to support members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. The program launched yesterday with the annual NBA Cares Hoops for Troops Week-and will run throughout the 2014-15 NBA season. The deal will see the two organization play host to eight Hoops for Troops service projects throughout the season at military bases around the country. PlayStation will also serve as presenting partner of the #HowDoYouServe Pledge Tracker, a multimedia initiative encouraging NBA fans to pledge to give back, serve their community, share their efforts and inspire others to do the same.
Digital consulting firm Omnigon announced plans to expand its geographic footprint by opening an office in Los Angeles as well as the acquisition of Touch Instinct, a mobile development company based in St. Petersburg, Russia, which will allow the company to centralize all of its mobile development in one location.
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The top five most mentioned NFL players on Twitter during Week 9 of play:
1. Tom Brady
2. Peyton Manning
3. Mark Sanchez (@Mark_Sanchez)
4. Tony Romo
5. Ben Roethlisberger (@_BigBen7)
The top five most Tweeted games during and around live telecasts by number of Tweets, as measured by Nielsen Social:
1. @Broncos vs. @Patriots (CBS)
2. @Ravens vs. @Steelers (NBC)
3. @AZCardinals vs @dallascowboys (FOX)
4. @Eagles vs. @HoustonTexans (FOX)
5. @Colts vs. @Giants (ESPN)
X Games and Major League Gaming are teaming up for X Games Aspen 2015 with a three-day "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive" invitational eSports tournament that will run from Jan. 23-25. This will extend the two brands’ partnership that began at X Games Austin 2014 with the "Call of Duty: Ghosts" tournament in June. "We took a big step in creating a broader experience for our fans in Austin, with the new gaming event, the music festival and other interactive activities and content on site, and now we’re working to extend that to Aspen," said Tim Reed, senior director of X Games content strategy.
NBC Sports Digital created new broadcast-quality graphic overlays designed to offer an improved streaming experience for Premier League matches on NBC Sports Live Extra. According to the company, the new functionality and visualizations include real-time player and match statistics; navigable Play-by-Play text synchronized with the video stream; fantasy news from RotoWorld; and live tables that provide real-time league standings.
FC Barcelona is coupling with TuneIn, the world’s largest audio network, via an official licensing agreement that makes TuneIn the global radio provider of FC Barcelona. The company will now carry FC Barcelona’s Digital Barca audio feed, which allows listeners around the world free access to all home and away matches. TuneIn will also stream every home match played in contention for the UEFA cup live.
Mobile sports platform OneUp Sports named Richard Peddie as Strategic Advisor To The CEO. Peddie will become a member of the OneUp Sports Board of Directors and part of the company’s Senior Management Team. Most recently, Peddie served as President and CEO of Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment for 14 years.
Clippers/Warriors on ESPN at 10:30p.
ON THIS DAY in 1994: George Foreman, age 45, becomes the oldest heavyweight champion after besting Michael Moorer in the 10th round.
In The Know:What number did the Spurs retire in honor of David Robinson? (Email Chris-Sports@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: In which sport could you use a “Baltimore crab” to pick up the ball? Answer: Lacrosse. Kudos: Chris Long-Flocasts.com/NY; Karen Van Vleet-Insight Strategy Group/NY; David Stern-BARD Entertainment/NY; Tina Ofori-Discovery Communications/NY; Bob Eisenstaedt-Granite Springs Productions/Tampa; Mike Antolini-Tiger Woods Foundation/Boston; Chris Faulds-Bell Media Digital/Toronto; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Rato; David F Baer-120 Sports/Chicago; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA; Neal Stevens-Stevens & Associates/Beverly Hills.
Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for
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