11/14/14: FOX Sports locks in college basketball roster; Skittles makes a play for the Super Bowl; Last Day to Enter the Leaderboard



Tennessee vs. #15 VCU and #18 Michigan State vs. Navy
Quicken Loans Veterans Classic at the U.S. Naval Academy
Coverage begins tonight 6:30 ET

The 24-hour home of CBS Sports



Good morning. It’s Friday, November 14, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

FOX Sports unveiled its lineup, announcing its roster of college basketball announcers for the new season. Fans will see Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery return for their second season as the company’s lead game announcers, while Tim Brando joins for his first season calling FOX Sports college basketball. Meanwhile, Kevin Burkhardt and Joe Davis will also debut courtside for FOX Sports this season, along with Justin Kutcher, Aaron Goldsmith, Dick Stockton, Kevin Kugler, Eric Collins, Cory Provus and Brian Anderson while Jim Jackson, Donny Marshall, Tarik Turner, Jim Spanarkel, Stephen Bardo, Ron Thompson, Bob Wenzel, Vin Parise and Sean Elliott are back as game analysts. Studio duties will see Rob Stone return as host of FOX Sports’ and FOX Sports 1’s college hoops studio coverage, sharing duties with Burkhardt, Don Bell and Greg Wolf. 


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Meanwhile, NBC Sports Group signed veteran college basketball head coach Ben Howland to join NBCSN’s coverage of the 2014-15 college basketball season as an analyst. His first assignment comes November 28 when Rutgers faces Vanderbilt in the Barclays Center Classic at 7:30o on the channel. 

On the women’s side of the sport, ESPN’s own lineup will now include Sue Bird, who will call games on ESPN2, ESPNU and Longhorn Network this season.  Dave O’Brien and Doris Burke will reunite for marquee games throughout the season, including the UConn/Stanford Tip-Off Marathon Presented by Dish on Dec. 17. Host Kevin Negandhi will join analysts Kara Lawson and Rebecca Lobo for a slate of top regular-season games from Bristol. Carolyn Peck and Pam Ward will be pulling double-duty this season, calling games across all ESPN networks, with the majority on ESPN2 and SEC Network.

In ratings news, the NFL announced that the league’s telecasts took the top three spots among all television programs last week, led by FOX’s national telecast anchored by the Giants/Seahawks with 22.7 million average viewers. The was followed by the Bears/Packers matchup on NBC’s SNF with 18.1 million and CBS’ single window with an average of 17.4 million viewers.

UniMas’ carriage of the Mexico/Netherlands friendly on Wednesday delivered an average of 1.2 million viewers to rank as the most-viewed weekday daytime friendly on Univision Networks since August 11, 2010. In addition, the contest saw an average of 765,000 Adults 18-49.

Last day to enter your company into the Cynopsis Sports Social Media Leaderboard! Brands, leagues, teams, channels, local, national… all are welcome and encouraged! Registration closes on Friday. Enter now by clicking here.

HBO Sports and executive producers Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey offer four new editions of State of Play starting Nov. 18 at 10p. The first show, Happiness, that includes a 35-minute documentary that explores the lives of NFL stars quarterback Brett Favre, running back Tiki Barber and wide receiver Wayne Chrebet, as they transition from leading the lives of American superstars to those of civilians.

CBS Sports Network tips off its most extensive college basketball schedule ever today with the inaugural Veterans Classic at the Naval Academy at 6:30p with a doubleheader pitting Tennessee/VCU at 6:30p and Michigan State/’Navy at 9p. Carter Blackburn calls the action for both games, along with analysts Steve Lappas and Turner Sports’ Reggie Miller, with Jamie Erdahl reporting.


WEBINAR: What You Need to Know Now about Digital Media
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
| 1:30PM to 3:00PM


Sara Moscowitz, SVP, Brand & Strategic Marketing, SYFY
Melissa Romig,
VP, Group Director, Havas Media
Marco Parente,
Sr. Dir., Digital Ratings Product Leadership, Nielsen

Moderator: Jessica Reese, Associate Editor, Cynopsis Digital


Skittles has eyes for the Super Bowl and has booked a commercial in the game for the first time, according to Ad Age. The report writes that Skittles will also include a “variety of activities from The Rainbow around Super Bowl Sunday.” Of course, Seattle Seahawks star Marshawn Lynch’s passion for the product delivered attention to the brand last year and later struck a deal with the brand that included limited-edition "Seattle Mix" packs featuring the Seahawks blue-and-green colors.


The New England Patriots became the first NFL team to break the one million follower mark on Twitter. The team announced that fans can help celebrate and would receive a custom digital Patriots jersey with as a thank you from Rob Gronkowski.


For the first time, the NBA All-Star Ballot will feature all NBA players, according to the league. Fans will continue to select two guards and three frontcourt players when choosing the starters for the 2015 NBA All-Star Game. Updating the official ballot on NBA.com to include all NBA players will complement the options afforded by the NBA’s all-digital voting program, which also includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SMS, NBA Game Time and NBA Game Time from Sprint applications, as well as Sina Weibo and Tencent Microblog in China.

NBC Sports saw its Yahoo Sports-NBC Sports digital alliance score 67.4 million uniques and 4.2 billion minutes of consumption in October, up 17% and 5%, respectively, versus the same month in 2013. Both metrics ranked as second-best among all sports digital sites for the month.


Yikes! Tough one with college basketball starting and Mississippi State/Alabama on deck but make sure to watch as NASCAR crowns a champion on Sunday at 3p on ESPN.

ON THIS DAY in 1970: Marshall’s football team involved in devastating plane crash.

In The Know: What school has the most combined men’s and women’s Final Four appearances in college basketball? (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: The 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta featured a computer-generated mascot. What was its name? Answer: Izzy (aka Whatizit). Kudos: Marc Wollis-NBC Sports Group/NY; Paul Abramson-Playmakers Media/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; David Kalan-NHL.com/NY; Jonathan Norman-Bespoke Sports & Entertainment/Charlotte; Jeff Miller-Atlanta CW/Atlanta; James Stuart-NBC Sports Group/Stamford; Mike May-PHIT America/Wellington; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA; Anne C. Wettig-Fox Cable Networks/LA; Neal Stevens-Stevens & Associates/Beverly Hills.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for
Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

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