11/11/15: Ken Fuchs pads the Stats; FOX Sports’s b-ball roster; Rousey scopes out her entrance


Good morning. It’s Wednesday November 11, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Longtime Yahoo pillar Ken Fuchs is moving to Stats LLC to serve as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer, replacing Gary Walrath. Since Vista acquired Stats in mid-2014, it has made five strategic acquisitions including BSports, The Sports Network, TVTI, Automated Insights and Prozone. As a global Vice President at Yahoo, Fuchs served in various product and media leadership roles including oversight of Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Entertainment and strategic partnerships.

“For 34 years STATS has been a pioneer in sports technology, data and content. As technology and innovation continue to transform the experience of sports fans around the world at an ever increasing pace I am thrilled to join the STATS team and build upon STATS’ legacy of leadership as we enter this next chapter,” said Fuchs.


FOX Sports unveiled its lineup of game and studio broadcasters for the 2015-16 college basketball season, led by the one-two punch of Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery, who return for their third season as FOX Sports’ lead game announcers. Joining coverage this year will be former UCLA and St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin, leading studio analysis and calling select games beginning Nov. 13. Rob Stone returns as FOX Sports’ lead college basketball studio host, joined by analysts Lavin, Jim Jackson and Donny Marshall at the desk while Kevin Burkhardt, Mike Hill, Ryan Field and Greg Wolf also serve as hosts for select college basketball studio programming throughout the season. Other names in the mix include game broadcasters Joe Davis, Tim Brando, Justin Kutcher, Brian Anderson and Kevin Kugler along with Don Orsillo. Meanwhile, Stephen Bardo, Nick Bahe, Jim Spanarkel, Tarik Turner, Ron Thompson and Dickey Simpkins will return as analysts. Aaron Goldsmith and analysts Sean Elliott and Casey Jacobsen return to lead FS1’s Pac-12 coverage.

Wrapping up the weekend’s ratings, with Nielsen data in the books, CBS Sports saw its coverage of LSU/Alabama on Saturday rank as the highest-rated and most-watched college football game to date for the 2015 season, earning an average national rating/share of 6.4/12 and 11.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen. That is up 21% in household rating and 22% in viewers over last year’s overtime contest.

NBC Sports is reporting that, after nine weeks of Sunday Night Football, the company is seeing an average primetime rating of 8.6 in the Adult 18-49 demo, based on official live + same day national data released by Nielsen, and topping all programs for the evening. SNF’s 8.6 rating in A18-49 is the second-best rating in the demo through Week 9 in the 10-season history of Sunday Night Football on NBC, trailing an 8.7 in 2011 and up 8% over the same point last season. Meanwhile, Football Night in America is now averaging 9.7 million viewers  the best start in the show’s 10-season history and up 23% from last year at this point.

NASCAR unveiled its 2016 schedule for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, which will see 21 tracks hosting 23 events in the US and Canada. In addition, agreements have also been reached with the tracks to host the Camping World Truck Series through 2020. Highlights include Iowa Speedway hosting its first NASCAR national series companion weekend, while the Dover International Speedway event moves two weekends earlier in the schedule to May 13; Texas Motor Speedway moves one week later to June 10; the Gateway Motorsports Park event moves two weekends later in the schedule to June 25 and the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park event returns to the Sunday of Labor Day (U.S.) weekend, on Sept. 4.

Golf Channel honors veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces today with themed programming celebrating Veterans Day. Programming includes a Morning Drive feature on Vietnam Veteran and PGA TOUR winner Ed Dougherty, who talks about his tour of duty in Vietnam. Josh Peyton, Veteran Golfers Association President and retired Army Captain will join Morning Drive to discuss the Veteran Golfers Association and the VGA National Championship. Golf Central, meanwhile, will carry highlights and interviews from the Warrior Open, an annual tournament that honors U.S. service members, which took place Sept. 29-30 in Dallas.

Get your PR on track at the Cynopsis Sports Engagement Summit on Dec. 2 in NY. Hear from industry leaders about how the role in public and media relations has changed and discover best practices to stay ahead of the curve in engaging press and fans alike. Speakers include YES Network’s Eric Handler, Sports Illustrated’s Scott Novak, CSE’s Heather Sautter, UEG’s Erin Weinberg and the Atlanta United’s Elena Cizmaric. Click here to get your tickets now!

Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir are taking their talents from the Olympics, Super Bowl, and Kentucky Derby to take on the National Dog Show. The pair will serve as reporters and digital contributors for the NBC Thanksgiving broadcast on Nov. 26 with coverage running from noon-2p.


CYNOPSIS is accepting entries for the Social Good Awards

We know the Cynopsis community is a vibrant group of engaged professionals who work hard, committed to evolving the media industry to be first and best at serving the consumer. But this is not all you and your organization are dedicated to. You’re also a collection of civic-minded citizens who want to give back to the public through their profession.



North Carolina State will continue its run with adidas, announcing an extension that will run through June 2022. The move reportedly guarantees the university at least $6.45 million per year in retail product and financial considerations. “We are always looking for great partners that bring value to our brand,” said adidas Group North American President Mark King. “We want to work with programs like NC State that are forward-thinking and challenge the status quo, bringing a new level of excitement to college athletics.”

The LA Kings locked in a deal with CleanWell to become the Official Hand Sanitizer of the team and Presenting Sponsor of the LA Kings Ice Crew. The multi-year agreement, brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, will see CleanWell will have branding presence on LA Kings Ice Crew uniforms and other collateral as well as on the equipment they use to clean and maintain the ice during LA Kings home games at STAPLES Center. CleanWell will have product integration at other AEG Facilities venues including KeyArena (Seattle, WA), Citizens Business Bank Arena (Ontario, CA), StubHub Center (Carson, CA), Rabobank Arena (Bakersfield, CA) and Valley View Casino Center (San Diego, CA).


As the world prepares for Ronda Rousey’s next fight this weekend, UFC announced a partnership with MetroPCS to spotlight the MM champion. The company will use Periscope to offer fans an opportunity to “watch what it feels like as Ronda leaves to walk into the Octagon” with users receiving a live, over-the-shoulder view as she leaves her locker room, gets checked by ring side officials, and steps directly into the Octagon. The promotion will also offer additional exclusive Periscope broadcasts of Rousey on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of this week.

The International Olympic Committee is teaming with Sportradar on a Memorandum of Understanding that will see the two organizations trade information that they are privy to around sports betting and the integrity of sports competitions. Both organizations will share information on competitions and explore opportunities for “joint activities and mutual contributions that will improve their respective know-hows as well as spread their expertise further afield.”



EA Sports is lining up UFC 2 for a spring 2016 release on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The first trailer for the game was released yesterday with features that include Ultimate Team and a new "Knockout Physics System."


ONE World Sports named John Vilade as Executive Vice President, Advertising Sales for the network. He joins ONE World Sports from CBS, where Vilade served as Vice President, National Digital Ad Sales for CBS Local Digital Media. 

Gary Cavalli, Executive Director of the Foster Farms Bowl, announced today that he will retire after this year’s bowl game. Cavalli, 66, is one of the game’s three co-founders and the lone Executive Director in its 14-year history. “I’ve been very lucky to be involved in college and pro sports for most of my life,” Cavalli said. “I started out as a wet-behind-the-ears sports information director at Stanford, helped launch a women’s pro basketball league, and have run a post-season bowl game for the last 14 years. It’s been a good ride.”


Clippers/Mavericks on ESPN at 8p.



Join Cynopsis Sports at this year’s Engagement Summit, an event that will bring together some of the most accomplished executives in the world of sports, spanning marketing, technology, public relations, eSports, and social media. As an attendee, you will gain exclusive insight into the techniques, strategies and tactics that have been successful for brands, leagues and networks as they motivate, activate and aggregate their fans.

Register today!.

ON THIS DAY in 1946: The New York Knicks played their first game at Madison Square Garden.

In The Know: Which college basketball player was a member of two different teams that played in the NCAA men’s championship game? (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: Which MLB ballpark did Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones visit in Field of Dreams? Answer: Fenway. Kudos: Mitch Burg-Impact Communications/Israel; Joel Maxwell/NY; Lewis Blaustein-Lewis Brand Solutions/NY; Jon Latzer-CBS Digital Media/NY; Keith Marder-Halstead Property/NY; G. David Brown-FOX Sports/Charlotte; Richard Sanders-Visit Panama City Beach/Panama City Beach; Michael G. Hawkins-Francis Marion University/Florence; Erik Covitz-Worldwide Ticketcraft/Boynton Beach; Pam Tierney-LilyBarks Productions/Chicago; Derrick Stasica-THV11/Little Rock; Dory Petsrillo-HRP/Dallas; Will Allmendinger-Clear Channel Outdoor/Chicago; Matt Sautter-Imagine Communications/Denver; Rick Pike-InterMedia Advertising/Woodland Hills; Richard Levine-Media General/El Segundo; Adam Deverell-Cox Rep.s/LA; Paul Gygli-NBCUniversal Television Distribution/Universal City.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

Roberta Caploe: Associate Publisher @robertacaploe
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