11.19.14 Good morning. It’s Wednesday, November 19, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
The LPGA unveiled its 2015 schedule that will feature 33 official events, a total prize money increase of more than $4 million and a record number of hours in television coverage. Overall, players will compete for a total of $61.6 million in prize money next season and will be featured in 410+ hours of television coverage, besting last year’s record of 380 hours. During Tuesday’s press conference, the organization also was announced that All Nippon Airways (ANA) will become the new title partner of the first major of the LPGA season. The newly-named ANA Inspiration will be held March 30-April 5 and will continue to be played at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California through 2019.
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ON THE AIR
Bellator 131 proved a big hit for Spike TV, with the card delivering record ratings for the MMA promotion. The main event between Tito Ortiz/Stephan Bonnar drew 1.8 million viewers, making it the most-watched and highestrated MMA fight on cable in 2014, according to the network. Overall, the card averaged 1,241,299 viewers, a record for Bellator MMA on Spike TV.
Univision Deportes revealed the 25 categories and nominees for the inaugural Premios Univision Deportes (Univision Sports Awards). The two-hour presentation has nominated a total of 65 sports figures for their accomplishments on and off the field across multiple sports, including soccer, basketball, baseball, boxing, auto racing and more. Nominees include Landon Donovan, Miguel Herrera, Albert Pujols and James Rodríguez. Categories and special recognition awards include: Best Soccer Game of the Year; best players in the MLS, Liga MX, and Baseball as well as honors for Sport Achievement of the Year, Humanitarian Work Award, World Champion Award and Hispanic Sports Hall of Fame. Premios Univision Deportes will air on UniMas on Dec. 18 at 9p with a simulcast on UDN.
FOX Sports is expanding its golf game with the additions of Steve Flesch, Juli Inkster, Shane O’Donoghue and Corey Pavin to its inaugural coverage of USGA championships beginning in 2015. The quartet joins host Joe Buck, analyst Greg Norman, lead studio and on-course analyst Brad Faxon, rules analyst David Fay and reporter/host Holly Sonders who were announced earlier this year. Flesch is lined up to serve as a hole announcer for the majority of FOX Sports’ USGA championships telecasts. Inkster becomes an analyst for the U.S. Women’s Open, in addition to offering on-course insight for the U.S. Open, U.S. Senior Open and select amateur championships. O’Donoghue hosts FOX Sports’ USGA telecasts and amateur coverage, while Pavin serves as event and studio analyst for the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay.
Big changes could be on the way for the IOC. The organization announced a strategic roadmap for the future of the Games, with changes that could include an overhaul of the bidding process that could see bids from multiple cities and countries as well as a reduction in the cost of bidding. Other key changes could allow for more than 28 sports and the launch of an Olympic TV Channel.
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum told the publication GMA News that Showtime and HBO are in talks on a co-promoted card that could finally see Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather square off. The article stated that CBS Corp. President and CEO Leslie Moonves is brokering the deal.
ESPN’s Monday Night Football matchup between the Steelers and Titans pushed ESPN to a win across all broadcast and cable networks among all key male and adult demos for the evening. According to Nielsen, the game averaged an 8.1 household rating and 12,766,000 viewers. In Pittsburgh, the game delivered a 12.8 rating on ESPN and a 25.5 on WTAE-ABC, for a combined 38.3 rating in the market. In Nashville, the game delivered a 9.5 rating on ESPN and a 17.0 on WKRN-ABC, for a combined 26.5 rating in the market.
Back to the LPGA, Golf Channel is set to offer news and tournament coverage of the CME Group Tour Championship, the season-ending event on the 2014 LPGA Tour, Thursday-Sunday, Nov. 20-23 with 10 hours of live tournament coverage. Terry Gannon and Judy Rankin will anchor Golf Channel’s coverage of the CME Group Tour Championship.
ESPN Films announced its new 30 for 30 film entitled I Hate Christian Laettner, set for March 15 at 9p. The special is directed by Rory Karpf after Bracketology on ESPN and “explores why the polarizing basketball player wasand still isso disliked.”
SiriusXM continues to beef up its roster, announcing that Sir Nick Faldo will host a new show on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. Nick Faldo Radio will debut this January and air monthly throughout the year.
Opening Day with Tom Brokaw runs tonight at 11p on NBCSN. The one hour special chronicles Opening Day of South Dakota’s legendary pheasant hunting season, and features Brokaw returning to his home state of South Dakota to take viewers through the hunting fields and introduce them to the people that highlight every third Saturday in October.
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Digital Caddies entered a new agreement with Golf Channel to begin begin advertising two of Golf Channel’s lifestyle brands, GolfNow and Golf Advisor. “Digital Caddies offers an opportunity for us to share our GolfNow and Golf Advisor brands with avid golfers during their round,” said Jeff Foster, Senior VP of Golf Channel and GolfNow’s New Media Group. “The interactive display will help us better connect golfers to the game, ultimately with the goal of helping more golfers play more golf.”
The top five most mentioned NFL players on Twitter during Week 11 of play (from Thursday 11/13 through Monday 11/17):
The top five most Tweeted games during and around live telecasts by number of Tweets, according to Nielsen Social (@NielsenSocial):
Jesse Washington, Danielle Cadet and Ryan Cortes are the latest named set to join the editorial team for Jason Whitlock’s soon-to-launch site, according to ESPN. The site will look to offer in-depth coverage, commentary and insight on sports, race and culture directed towards the African-American audience. Jesse Washington, a veteran writer and editor, joins the project as a senior writer, based on the East Coast. Danielle Cadet, a former writer/editor for “The Huffington Post Black Voices,” will be a senior editor for the site, based in Los Angeles, Calif. Ryan Cortes will be based in Los Angeles as a staff writer.
Matt Borland has been named Vice President of Technology for Haas F1 Team and Stewart-Haas Racing. In this role, Borland will serve as a liaison between the two organizations Haas F1 Team in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship and Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Spurs/Cavaliers on ESPN at 7p.
ON THIS DAY in 1991: Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken wins his second AL MVP.
In The Know:Which NBA player was known as Big Country? (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.)
Yesterday’s Question: Which NCAA program features three mules as its mascots? Answer: Army. Kudos: Wayne "World B." Otto-Pro-Am Sports/Boone; Andy Pittman-Texas A&M University/College Station; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG•AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc/Santa Monica
Later — Chris
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