11/29/17: NBC Olympics calls time on delays; ESPN’s NBA Golden glow; Cirtrus Bowl hooks a sponsor

CynopsisSports
Good morning. It’s Wednesday November 29, 2017 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
Primetime will see the end of tape delay during NBCUniversal’s coverage of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games from PyeongChang as the company announced that – with more than 2,400 hours of coverage slated for the event – all primetime coverage will run live across all time zones for the first time ever. Programming begins in primetime on Feb. 8, at 8p – one night before Opening Ceremony coverage– and continues until the Closing Ceremony on Feb. 25. 
 
Platform assignments will include: NBC (176 hours), NBCSN (369), CNBC (46), USA Network (40.5) and NBCOlympics.com/NBC Sports app (1,800+) with NBC’s schedule divided into three dayparts – daytime, primetime and primetime plus – for a total of 176 hours over 18 days – with daytime coverage launching at 3p on Feb. 10, highlighted by speed skating, ski jumping, cross country, biathlon, and luge. NBC will also serve as the exclusive home of alpine skiing during the PyeongChang Olympics with 11 of 18 nights of primetime featuring live alpine skiing, while figure skating will be prominently featured during NBC’s primetime coverage, airing on 12 of 18 nights.
 
“There will be more live hours of Winter Olympics coverage in PyeongChang than ever before, and for the first time at a Winter Games, NBC will broadcast live across all time zones to the entire country, creating a unique national collective experience for this event – and we will be everywhere – from broadcast and cable television, to digital streaming and social media.” said Jim Bell, President, NBC Olympics Production and Programming. “The Games will once again provide a positive example of the world coming together in spirited competition and offering a message of unity, peace, and hope.”
 
 
ON THE AIR
ESPN reports that the NBA on ESPN is averaging 1,920,000 viewers through 19 games to start the 2017-18 season, marking a 24% rise increase over the same period in 2016 (1,557,000 viewers). Last week’s Warriors/Thunder matchup on Nov. 22 averaged 3,282,000 viewers to rank as the most-viewed regular-season game on the network since Christmas 2016 and up 196% versus the comparable game last year. “There is so much excitement surrounding the NBA and our viewership on ESPN is a reflection of that,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN Executive Vice President, Programming and Scheduling. “With a full slate of Christmas Day games next month and the start of our NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC schedule in January, it’s a great time to be an NBA fan.”
 
NBCSN celebrates the 2017 NASCAR Season with complete coverage of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Awards on Thursday at 9p. A special two-hour edition of NASCAR America will open the evening at 7p with on-site red carpet coverage from the Wynn Las Vegas. NASCAR on NBC’s Krista Voda and Rutledge Wood (host Thursday evening’s award ceremony honoring Martin Truex Jr. Coverage will include a special tribute to Dale Earnhardt Jr.. Carolyn Manno (@carolynmanno) will anchor Thursday’s red-carpet edition of NASCAR America, joined on set by Kyle Petty and Parker Kligerman.
 
FOX Sports announced that Dan Hellie will make his FS1 blow-by-blow announcer debut beside Daniel Cormier for The Ultimate Fighter: A New World Champion Finale from Las Vegas on Dec. 1. Heidi Androl adds reports and interviews fighters onsite while Victor Davila and Marlon Vera have the call for FOX Deportes.
 
The NFL unveiled scheduling changes for Week 14 of the season on Dec. 10, announcing that the Cowboys/Giants game will shift from 4:25p to 1p on FOX, while the Seahawks/Jaguars game moves to 4:25p on the network.
 
The FIA Formula E Championship is revving up for the 2017-18 season, opening with a doubleheader this weekend from Hong Kong’s 1.5-mile, 10-turn Central Harbourfront Circuit live on FS1. This season will see 14 events across five continents, with the U.S. being the only country to have hosted ePrixs in three separate cities — Miami, Long Beach and New York. Ralph Sheheen returns as the host of FOX Formula E coverage, with the race broadcast team of Bob Varsha, Jack Nicholls, analyst and four-time IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti and reporter Nicki Shields. In addition, production will see Formula E add to its Host Broadcast camera arsenal for race coverage, continuing the use of virtual reality (VR) as a tool for analysis and committing to the ongoing development of augmented reality (AR) graphics.
 
RIP to Walter “Bud” Moore Jr., who won NASCAR championships as both car owner and crew chief, and died at the age of 92. “Many choose the word ‘hero’ when describing athletes who accomplish otherworldly sporting feats. Oftentimes, it’s an exaggeration. But when detailing the life of the great Bud Moore, it’s a description that fits perfectly,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France.
 
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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION
Outdoors and sporting goods store Overton’s signed on to serve as the Citrus Bowl’s new title sponsor. The game will now be known as the Citrus Bowl presented by Overton’s, according to Florida Citrus Sports with the game set to be played at Camping World Stadium on New Year’s Day on ABC. “We couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity to partner with Overton’s,” said Steve Hogan, CEO of Florida Citrus Sports. “Our stadium and our organization have thrived since joining forces with Camping World in April 2016, and in Overton’s we’ve found a teammate that’s a perfect fit and one that is sure to make a splash in a community with a history so deeply rooted in the water.”
 
Credit One Bank is expanding ties with Kyle Larson’s No. 42 team as part of its overall growth and brand strategy. The company also recently announced its sponsorship of the newest NHL expansion team, the Vegas Golden Knights, and the upcoming grand opening of its new Las Vegas corporate headquarters. The deal will see the band expand the relationship by serving as the primary sponsor for the 2018 season.
 
 
DIGITAL & STREAMING
ESPN reports that ESPN Fantasy numbers continue to rise, reporting that the total number of unique fans has nearly doubled over the last four years, with more than half of that growth occurring in the last 12 months. On NFL Sundays, ESPN Fantasy accounts for more than half (53%) of all minutes consumed across ESPN Digital platforms. In addition, in the last year, all 15 of ESPN Fantasy’s games enjoyed significant increases in number of players, with 14 of the 15 setting all-time records.
 
 
ESPORTS
ELEAGUE detailed plans for The ELEAGUE Cup: Rocket League, with the first live matches slated to launch on Dec. 1 at 2p on Twitch. TBS will also televise a three-part The ELEAGUE Cup: Rocket League feature series beginning Dec. 1, at 10p. Coverage of each match will be hosted by Richard Lewis with game commentary and studio analysis from Caleb “WavePunk” Simmons, Michael “Achieves” Williams, Kevin “FindableCarpet” Brown, Adam “Lawler” Thorntonand Alex “Goldenboy” Mendez. In addition, the debut show will include sit-down conversations with superstar players and take audiences on location with legendary player Cameron “Kronovi” Bills of G2 Esports.
 
DreamHack Masters announced plans to head to Stockholm and Ericsson Globe for 2018. Through a partnership with City of Stockholm and Stockholm Live, the capital of Sweden will be a host city of DreamHack Masters going forward with DreamHack Masters Stockholm 2018 slated to take place September 1-2, with a group stage to be held prior to the main event between August 29 – 31. “We are tremendously excited to head to Stockholm with DreamHack Masters,” said Marcus Lindmark, CEO & President of DreamHack AB, “Stockholm is the home of the DreamHack headquarters and Stockholm Live has some of the best facilities available globally, so we are going to have everything at our fingertips to produce the best esport event and experience possible, for both viewers onsite and online..”
 
 
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ON THIS DAY in 1890: The first Army/Navy game is played at West Point.
 
In the Know: With the Giants announcing that Eli Manning wouldn’t start this weekend’s game against the Raiders, who will become the leading active QB in consecutive starts? (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: The movie The Cutting Edge is about which Olympic sport? Answer: Figure Skating. Kudos: Traci Liner-Endeavor/NY; Lori Paterson-Spectrum Reach/NY; Jackie Mahon- Freelance/NY; Bruce Jackson-Disney and ESPN Media Networks/NY; Mary Beck-NHL Network/MLB Network/Secaucus; Matt Marini-MLB network/NJ; Kristin Andros-WFSB-TV Ch.3 & WFSB.com/Rocky Hill; Kim Barrett-PGA TOUR/Ponte Vedra Beach; Heidi Mallin-Lucas Oil /Indianapolis; Matt Fumagalli-Levy/Chicago; John Kukla-KDFW/KDFI/Dallas-Fort Worth; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner and Triathlete magazine/Houston; Alicia Smits-Potawatomi Hotel & Casino/Milwaukee; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Peter Steckelman-Tennis Channel/Santa Monica; Anne C. Wettig-Fox Cable Networks/LA; Mindi Sue Black-black & blue star/Santa Monica; Maria Shuckahosee-audible/San Francisco
 

Later – Chris

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