11/21/17: FOX Sports will carry BIG3 action live in season two

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Good morning. It’s Tuesday November 21, 2017 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

The BIG3 is getting an upgrade from FOX Sports, which announced that season two of the league will fundamental changes for the 3-on-3 basketball org. In 2018, the BIG3’s ten-week season will be broadcast live on Friday nights, with six windows on FS1 and four windows on the FOX broadcast network. Each week, the BIG3 will play four games back-to-back on Friday evenings, three of which will be broadcast live by FOX Sports and streamed concurrently on FOX Sports GO. the action tips off on June 22 at 7:30p on FS1.
 
 “Following the success of FOX Sports’ live broadcast of last season’s BIG3 championship game, we knew we wanted to expand that live access for basketball fans throughout the season,” said FOX Sports President, Production and Executive Producer John Entz. “We’re thrilled to continue to grow our partnership with the BIG3, and we look forward to another season of exciting basketball with some of the most recognized athletes in the game.”
 
 
ON THE AIR

Sports Illustrated and Time Inc. Productions are bringing the brand’s annual Sportsperson of the Year awards to cable audiences, announcing the first national telecast of the awards show on Dec. 8 at 8p on NBCSN. The event will be held for the second consecutive year at Barclays Center on Dec. 5. “When the biggest and most inspiring names in sports come together for SI’s Sportsperson of the Year, there is a uniquely emotional and electric dynamic in the room,” said Chris Stone, Editor in Chief of Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated Group. “People leave the event feeling like they’ve experienced something exceptional and rare. We made the decision to produce the show because television is uniquely positioned to capture that emotion and electricity, and NBCSN is the perfect broadcast partner for the first nationally televised SI Sportsperson of the Year award show.”
 
The Eagles/Cowboys matchup on NBC’s Sunday Night Football notched a 13.5/22 in overnight numbers (not counting digital) to rank as the best NFL primetime game since Week 1 despite the blowout. That is up 13% from last year’s equivalent game.
 
WWE revealed that the 15th annual WWE Tribute to the Troops event will be held on Dec. 5 at Naval Base San Diego with a two-hour special airing Dec. 14 at 8p on USA Network. “We are thrilled to welcome WWE for their 15th annual Tribute to the Troops celebration continuing what has become a great tradition during the holiday season,” said San Diego Naval Base Commanding Officer, Charles Womack. “The servicemen and women of San Diego could not be more excited, and look forward to participating in this inspirational event.”
 
NBC Sports presents the 2017 NHL Thanksgiving Showdown on Friday at 1p on the broadcast network, pitting the Penguins/Bruins for the first of nine games that will air on NBC during the regular season. Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick (play-by-play), Mike Milbury (analyst), and Pierre McGuire (‘Inside-the-Glass analyst) will call the game. Host Liam McHugh and Keith Jones will provide pre-game and intermission analysis on-site.
 
Speaking of Thanksgiving, CBS Sports Network lined up a PBR marathon that will run on Thursday, featuring the 2017 World Finals from Las Vegas. The action starts with the World Finals Round 1 at 9a on turkey day.
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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Churchill Downs inked a five-year partnership to make Coca-Cola the official and exclusive soft drink partner of the Kentucky Derby. The deal includes sponsorships, in-kind products, and direct promotional and marketing support of a variety of Coca-Cola products, including Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero Sugar, Coca-Cola Life, Sprite, POWERADE and Dasani. “Churchill Downs and Coca-Cola are two American icons so the partnership is an especially strong fit,” said Kristin Warfield, Vice President of Partnerships at Churchill Downs Racetrack. “The hundreds of thousands of racing fans who come from all over the world to experience Churchill Downs’ world class horseracing and the Kentucky Derby will now be able to enjoy a broad range of Coca-Cola products and experiences.”
 
Year 11 of ESPN’s V Week for Cancer Research launches on Nov. 28 across all domestic ESPN platforms, with additional programming and highlights continuing through Dec 8 to drive awareness and donations to the V Foundation for Cancer Research. V Week will begin on Giving Tuesday, while Wednesday sees a 7p 15-minute roadblock presentation of former NC State coach-turned ESPN commentator Jim Valvano’s 1993 legendary ESPYS speech will air across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN3, ESPN Deportes, SEC Network, Longhorn Network and  ESPN Radio. Vignettes and special PSAs will air throughout V Week during live events such as NBA, NFL and college football and basketball, studio programming, ESPN Radio shows and ESPN Deportes. New this year to V Week is ESPN’s collaboration with Twitch to host 24-hour live streaming marathon on the platform called “Heck of a Day” designed to inform the gaming community of the V Foundation’s mission to eradicate cancer.
 
 
DIGITAL & STREAMING

The Players’ Tribune unlocked details about its new video series #Verified, in partnership with Twitter. Episodes will consist of individual episodes featuring  A.J. Green (Bengals/NFL), Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves/NBA), Mohamed Sanu (Falcons/NFL) and T.J. Watt (Steelers/NFL) where the athletes answer questions from fans, in real time. Each stream will be accompanied by a Twitter timeline, featuring the related real-time conversation.
 
Saturday will see the Harlem Globetrotters livestream their game from Madison Square Garden on their Facebook page with the action delivered in high definition from two cameras on the floor starting at 1p. The game can be seen on the Harlem Globetrotters Facebook page, which has generated over 300 million impressions and 44 million video views over the past two years.
 
 
ESPORTS

Riot made its lineup of franchises for the League of Legends North American League Championship Series formal with the official announcement of the 10 teams selected to take part, all of which paid $10 million for a franchise fee with non-endemic franchises paying an additional $3 million. Team winning franchises will include: 100 Thieves, Clutch Gaming, Golden Guardians, OpTic Gaming, FlyQuest, TSM, Cloud9, Counter Logic Gaming, Echo Fox and Team Liquid.
 
FanDuel co-founder Nigel Eccles announced that he would be departing fantasy sports staple where he had been serving as CEO in order to launching an esports startup. He posted, “Excited but a little bit sad to be leaving @fanduel today. It has been an amazing 8 years. Really excited to see how Matt King and the team drive the company in 2018 and beyond. For me I’m building something awesome in eSports. Watch this space.”
 
Audi Denmark and Astralis inked a partnership that will extend the ties started via their three-month pilot program. The new deal will showcase Audi in a “key position” on Astralis’ new team jersey. “We are extremely pleased to be back on the chest of the Astralis jersey,” Audi Denmark digital manager Jacob Thiesen said in a statement. “The valuation of our initial partnership demonstrated some impressive numbers and effects and the cooperation with the team and RFRSH Entertainment was second to none. On this basis, we entered negotiations in the late summer, and we’re glad to announce the partnership—again.”
 
 
THE MAIN EVENT

MLS postseason action sees the Crew/Toronto FC square off on ESPN at 8p, while the Dynamo/Sounders battle at 9:30p on FS1.
 
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ON THIS DAY in 1934: The New York Yankees buy outfielder Joe DiMaggio from the San Francisco Seals for $50,000.
 
In the Know: College football’s Copper Bowl is now known by what name? (Email Chris-Sports@Cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
 
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