11/16/17: Sports Illustrated is launching a new OTT platform on Amazon

CynopsisSports
Good morning. It’s Thursday November 16, 2017 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Time Inc. announced the launch of Sports Illustrated TV (SI TV), with the OTT channel launching today on Amazon Channels. The network debuts with a slate of 130 hours of on-demand programming, including original documentary series, weekly studio shows and acquired sports movies, documentaries and TV shows. In addition, the platform inked deals with Mike Tollin, co-chair of Mandalay Sports Media, and Jonathan Hock, for two different sports documentary projects slated for early half and latter half of 2018. Amazon Prime members in the United States can subscribe to the channel for $4.99 per month after a 7-day free trial.
 
The five original shows greenlit for SI TV around launch include: The Vault, SI: Under the Cover, and original weekly studio shows The Crossover, Planet Futbol and The Line. Acquired movies and documentaries at launch rankge from Rocky and Bad News Bears to Rollerball and North Dallas Forty.
 
 
ON THE AIR

NBC Olympics lined up play-by-play commentator Terry Gannon along with Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir to handle NBC’s primetime figure skating coverage during the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. Scott Hamilton will serve as a special contributor and analyst on Olympic Ice, a new live daily figure skating preview show on NBCSN while Liam McHugh will host Olympic Ice alongside Tanith White, who will also offer analysis on the show. Andrea Joyce will reprise her role as a figure skating and short track speed skating reporter.
 
With four of the top seven men’s college basketball teams in action, ESPN’s coverage of the 2017 State Farm Champions Classic delivered a Nielsen total live audience of 2,820,000 viewers, marking the second highest viewership ever in the seven years of the college basketball event. Viewership was up 27% from the 2016 Champions Classic and the best since 2013 with Duke/Michigan State notching 2,967,000 viewers, up 42% from 2016’s first game. Meanwhile, the College Football Playoff: Top 25 delivered a Nielsen total live audience of 3,785,000 viewers, the best viewership ever in the more than 20 Tuesday episodes of the show’s history and topped the previous best telecast by 25%.
 
NBC Sports Group is lining up multi-network coverage of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship on Sunday, announcing that NBCSN’s Hot Pass telecast will compliment NBC’s primary broadcast of the event. NBCSN content will offer simultaneous live coverage dedicated to each of the Championship 4 drivers, as well as Dale Earnhardt Jr. NBC Sports Group motorsports announcer Leigh Diffey will call the race on NBCSN, alongside Dale Jarrett. 
 
FOX Sports Films is set to deliver Magnify, a new feature-length documentary series that will use “sports as a lens for examining important cultural stories.” The opening edition will be 89 Blocks, running Nov. 26 on the broadcast network and executive produced by Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated with LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s Uninterrupted that looks at the story of the East St. Louis High School Flyers football team.
 
NBC Sports Group’s Premier League Live studio team of host Rebecca Lowe and analysts Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe are heading to Manhattan to broadcasting live from its “Premier League Mornings Fan Festival” at South Street Seaport on Nov. 25, beginning at 9:30a. NBC Sports Group is bringing “Premier League Mornings” to life by transporting the authentic Premier League experience across the pond, and the Premier League Live team will broadcast from the event throughout the day. The fan festival will include supporters of many clubs, a turf pitch, match-viewing areas, a special glimpse at the Premier League trophy before it is handed off to this season’s champions, Chelsea youth coaches and the club’s mascot, and more.
 
On the local front, WFAN Sports Radio 101.9 FM and Sports Radio 66 AM, unveiled a new line-up for the New Year, announcing that Gregg Giannotti, currently co-host of Gio & Jones on CBS Sports Radio, has been named co-host of the newly renamed WFAN Morning Show, Boomer & Gio. Later in the day, SportsRadio 94WIPs Chris Carlin, former New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott and CBS Sports Radio and Sports Illustrated’s Maggie Gray host a the new afternoon program, The Afternoon Drive with Carlin, Bart and Maggie. The Fan’s Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts will now host a fourth hour. The new shows and programming updates take effect on Jan. 2.
 
Tuesday’s Celtics/Nets game ranked as the highest-rated and most-viewed Nets telecast on the YES Network in three years, averaging a 1.30 household rating and 133,000 Total Viewers, the most since 2014.
 
WWE reports that WrestleMania 33 generated $181.5 million in economic impact for the Orlando region this past April, according to a study conducted by the Enigma Research Corporation. This marks a new record for WrestleMania’s economic impact and the sixth consecutive year that WrestleMania generated more than $100 million in economic impact for its host region. $24.8 million was spent on hotels and accommodations within Orlando.
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THE [CYNOPSIS TV AWARDS] DEADLINE IS TOMORROW at 11:59 PM (EST)
 
The awards program encompasses every aspect of the industry, including linear TV, digital content, marketing, and more, with more than 60 categories to choose from, including: Best Reality Series, Best Writing, Best Casting, Best Host/Judge, Network Diversity, Best Broadcast Network, Best TV Group, Best Team of the Year, Best Marketing Campaign, Best OTT Service, Best Social Media Campaign, Best use of Companion Video, Best Production Company and more !
 

SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Turner Sports ranked number one position among sports media companies on social media in October, according to Shareablee’s Top 10 US Sports Media Index for October 2017. Actions across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for Turner in October totaled 269.9 million, while its pages also garnered 6.6 million shares, 290.7 million video views and 182.7 million video actions. ESPN ranked second across all social platforms, generating 192.1 million actions, 6.2 million shares, 219.3 million video views and 63.8 million video actions. Rounding out the top five were Whistle Sports, CBS Sports and FOX Sports.
 
Lone Star Sports and Entertainment and ESPN Events found a new title sponsor for the Texas Bowl, locking in a deal with Academy Sports + Outdoors. The 2017 Academy Sports + Outdoor Texas Bowl will take place on Dev. 27 at 8p CT.
 
NASCAR announced that the partnership between Team Penske and Fitzgerald Glider Kits will deepen next season with Fitzgerald to become the primary sponsor on the championship-winning No. 22 Ford Mustang for the majority of next season’s NASCAR XFINITY Series races. Fitzgerald will also serve as the primary sponsor for the team’s No. 12 Ford Fusion driven by Ryan Blaney in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol in August of 2018.
 
 
DIGITAL & STREAMING

ESPN is bringing in fantasy basketball writer Dr. Andre Snellings to expand the company’s fantasy basketball coverage across all ESPN platforms. He will start at ESPN on Monday following a full-time, 16-year career as a neural engineer, during which he was also a senior writer and analyst for Rotowire and a contributor to several fantasy sports outlets, including TYTSports, Nylon Calculus, Fansided, and Summit Hoops.
 
Danny Kanell and Raja Bell are teaming up for the new podcast Off the Bench with Kanell & Bell, with CBS Sports Digital debuting on Nov.  20. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 6-year NFL pro Kanell and 12-year NBA vet Bell will discuss the top stories in the sports world from their unique perspectives.
 
 
ESPORTS

In this week’s edition of Cynopsis Esports & Gaming
  • Rockets/Cavaliers play name game
  • Team Totality talks teams and tech
  • IEM Oakland’s talent pool
  • Paladins prepares to joust on Facebook
  • Drone Racing League taps esports naturals
  • ESL’s Rewards zone
  • Breaking down The Game Awards
 
THE MAIN EVENT

Titans/Steelers on TNF on NBC and NFL Network at 8p.

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AI can customize viewing experiences in a way that makes pay TV more valuable to consumers; it can help you reach potential consumers with increasingly precise ad targeting, and it can help you reach content consumers on A.I. driven platforms, such as smart speakers. We think it’s high time the industry starts really utilizing this new tool. That’s why we’re hosting the Wednesday, December 6 webinar, Using Artificial Intelligence to Capture & Captivate Audiences.

 

ON THIS DAY in 2014: Kevin Harvick wins the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
 
In the Know: What is the name of the team coached by Tony D’Amato in the movie Any Given Sunday? (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: Richard Petty is most famous for racing in what car number?  Answer: 43. Kudos: Bruce Jackson-Disney and ESPN Media Networks/NY; Denis Barry-CBS/NY; Luke Tarby-A+E Networks/NY; Eric Wright-DS Simon Media/NY; Douglas Yorke-Dover International Speedway/Dover; Michael Evranian-Richmond Raceway/Richmond; Willy Gibson-WTG Consulting/Columbus; Tom Wetzel-MMSI/Warwick; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Andy Nelson-Heartland Industries/Richland; Christy Benson-Outdoor Sportsman Group/Denver; Jack Simmons-United States Army Reserve/LA; Anne Wettig-Fox Cable Networks S&P/LA; John Sutton-Charter Digital Media/LA; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc./Santa Monica
Later – Chris
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