12/14/18: Turner Sports mapped our its plans for ONE Championship

CynopsisSports
Good morning. It’s Friday December 14, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Turner Sports made its MMA move official, unveiling a three-year deal that will bring coverage of ONE Championship to the US. Deal points will see B/R Live – Turner’s live sports streaming service – serve as the primary destination for ONE Championship live events each year, beginning with the One Championship event on Jan. 19, with 24 overall events slated in 2019. B/R Live will also distribute shoulder programming surrounding the live event experience. Additionally, Turner’s TNT will televise at least 12 one-hour, taped re-airs featuring ONE Championship events per year.
 
“ONE Championship is one of the most popular mixed martial arts organizations in the world, with a high concentration of passionate, millennial fans that make it a perfect fit for B/R Live and TNT,” said Lenny Daniels, President, Turner Sports.  “We will leverage every opportunity within our portfolio to partner with ONE Championship and help further expand its footprint in the U.S.”
 
“We are thrilled to partner with Turner Sports, a truly iconic industry leader of premium sports content, to bring authentic, world-class martial arts action to American fans,” said Chatri Sityodtong, Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship. “As the Home of Martial Arts, ONE Championship has a simple formula of values, heroes, and stories that has resonated deeply across the globe. We look forward to showcasing the greatest martial artists in the world.”
 
 
PROGRAMMING

ESPN is adding two late-night shows to its programming line-up that will both debut on Jan. 28 – Now or Never (ESPN2)/Ahora o Nunca (ESPN Deportes). According to the announcement, both shows will be dedicated to covering the intersection of sports and pop culture for young, multicultural sports fans. Airing Monday-Friday, the two 30-minute shows will be produced from ESPN studios at LA and run at 2a. Now or Never will be co-hosted by Steve Covino, Rich Davis, and Janelle Marie Rodriguez. Ahora o Nunca will be co-hosted by ESPN Deportes’ Mauricio Pedroza, Herculez Gomez and Rodriguez.
 
Discovery Inc. continues to shore up its roster of golf rights, inking a deal to bring over 40 European Tour events over the next four years — as well as the next two Ryder Cups — on GolfTV, the streaming platform that will launch next month. “Welcoming the European Tour and The Ryder Cup into the GOLFTV world is a significant step in our journey to becoming a premier global destination for golf entertainment,” said Alex Kaplan, President and General Manager, Discovery Golf. “To offer fans the chance to watch some of the biggest tournaments of the year week in and week out, featuring the world’s greatest players and their national heroes, is the perfect foundation of must-have content that fans can’t live without.”
 
FOX Sports announced the premiere of its new studio show Inside PBC Boxing on FOX this Saturday at 3p, hosted by Kate Abdo, along with analysts WBC Welterweight Champion Shawn Porter and former three-division world champion Abner Mares. The show also features FOX Sports boxing insider Mike Coppinger, who will add breaking news and special reports. The FOX broadcast network and FOX Deportes will feature 10 marquee fight nights in prime time each year, while FS1 and FOX Deportes will telecast 12 fight nights annually.
 
Road To The NHL Winter Classic is set to return on Dec. 21 with the docuseries showcasing the Bruins and Blackhawks as they prepare to meet outdoors at Notre Dame Stadium in the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1. The series will debut on NBCSN at 11:30p with a three week run. The series will be produced by Ross Greenburg Productions in association with NHL Original Productions.
 
Speaking of the Winter Classic, the NHL announced that Weezer will headline the entertainment for the 2019 event at Notre Dame Stadium. A portion of the first intermission presented by Ticketmaster featuring Weezer will be televised. Additional performers will be announced in the coming weeks.
 
CBS Sports Network lined up four college basketball features next week celebrating the “great coaches and moments in the sport.” Programming includes two episodes of NCAA Men of March, the first focusing on Mike Brey on Dec. 17 at 7:30p and the second – running Dec. 22 at 9p – spotlighting Porter Moser and Loyola (Chicago)’s historic 2017 Final Four run. The network’s  Four Sides of the Story airs at 7p, while Hoops Confidential will air a “Hoyas In Jamaica” episode o Dec. 19 at 9p.
 
WWE announced that the season 2 finale of Mixed Match Challenge will take place during the first match of the WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs PPV event on Sunday at 7p, streaming around the world on both WWE Network and Facebook. The full series is available in the U.S. on Facebook Watch and streams live on Facebook Watch in Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Indonesia, Mexico, Philippines, Spain, Thailand and Vietnam.
 
ESPN Radio host Dan Le Batard will bring his opinions to podcasting with the launch of South Beach Sessions.  A preview episode will trop on Dec. 18 and will be followed with the start of a weekly schedule Tuesday, Jan. 8.  SBS will feature a one-on-one interview each week and is the first original podcast from the newly created Le Batard and Friends Podcast Network, with the first guest being Jemele Hill.  
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
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March 6, 2019 | SVA Theatre | New York City
 
Screen the winning videos chosen by our expert panel of jurors, and enjoy thought-provoking and idea-rich panel discussions with producers, directors, marketers, and more. Panels will address topics including: Finding the right platforms for premium short form video and what advertisers ant from short-form.
 

SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Citi inked a partnership agreement with the International Paralympic Committee to become an international partner through 2020 as well as support National Paralympic Committees across 18 countries as they prepare for upcoming World and regional Championships, as well as the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. NPCs include: Australia, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Costa Rica, Great Britain, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, and the UAE.
 
Dignity Health partnered with AEG to pick up naming rights to the home of the LA Galaxy as of the New Year. The venue will be renamed Dignity Health Sports Park with Dignity Health serving as the official health care partner of the LA Galaxy and will also work directly with the LA Galaxy Foundation, the charitable arm of the LA Galaxy.
 
 
DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

The NFL and Youku, Alibaba Group’s video entertainment platform, are entering a digital partnership in China to bring football programming to Chinese fans.  The partnership will feature weekly programming on Youku’s sports channel, including game highlights and behind-the-scenes stories from NFL games such as the Super Bowl, NFL Kickoff, Thanksgiving, and the NFL International series. Additionally, documentary content from NFL Films around NFL calendar events such as the NFL Draft will also be made available.
 
The United Soccer League signed a deal with Tickets.com to become the official ticketing provider of the USL Championship and USL League One. As part of the multiyear agreement, Tickets.com, a subsidiary of Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM), becomes the league’s first ever national ticketing partner.
 
 
ESPORTS

Long-time partners Intel and ESL are strengthening their bonds, announcing a $100 million extension that will be invested by the companies to shape the future landscape of esports via “innovative technology, tournaments, and events, marking the biggest brand and technology esports partnership in history.” In addition to kicking off Season 14 of the Intel Extreme Masters, the longest running pro esports circuit in the world, the New Year will see the partnership encompass support of ESL’s premier live esports circuits, including ESL One powered by Intel and the CS:GO Pro League, in addition to the $1,000,000 Intel Grand Slam. The investment will also introduce esports to new regions of the globe, including the hosting and introduction of large scale esports events in certain countries within the APAC region.
 
Immortals founder Noah Whinston is shifting gears, moving from CEO to Executive Chairman of the esports organization. Ari Segal will now take over as Immortals CEO. “Excited for the opportunity to elevate [Ari Segal] and give him more autonomy in his running of the Immortals organization,” Whinston posted on Twitter. “If it was anyone else, this decision might have been harder for me, but Ari has been the best CEO in esports long before his title reflected it.”
 
Nielsen released an “in-depth, first of its kind” research study that dives into esports fan attitudes and behaviors in the US. Insights include:
  • Twitch esports fans are well-seasoned with nearly 60% following esports for four or more years. In contrast, among the broader U.S. esports audience, only 1 in 5 have been following this long, with 23% new to esports within the past year.
  • 50% of Twitch esports fans have a paid TV subscription service; less than 40% claim to view television on a weekly basis.
  • 90% of Twitch esports fans can recall at least one non-gaming related sponsor within esports.
  • Esports fans are more likely to spend time engaging with esports over traditional sports – Twitch fans significantly so, with 70% dedicating more time to esports than traditional.
  • Over 60% of Twitch esports fans engage with gaming personalities on a daily basis, and nearly one in three viewed at least five hours of live Fortnite video content on Twitch in the past year.
The North American Leag ue of Legends Championship series, aka the NA LCS, is rebranding ahead of the 2019 season, which kicks off next month. Riot announced via Twitter that the NA LCS will now simply be known as the LCS, following the recent proclamation that the EU LCS would be rebranded to the LEC.
 
ELEAGUE, in partnership with Psyonix, will showcase the top moments and plays from its recent professional tournament for Rocket League tonight at 11p on TBS. The three-episode series will include behind-the-scenes player interviews, as well as highlights from the semifinal and Grand Final rounds of the recent ELEAGUE Cup: Rocket League 2018, in which eight top-ranked teams competed for a $150,000 purse.
 
 
INDUSTRY/ROSTER MOVES

NFL Network’s Colleen Wolfe is changing agencies, signing with ICM Partners. The current host of Thursday Night Football and Good Morning Football Weekend on the network has also hosted programs such as NFL Power Rankings and Around The NFL.
 
Amber Howard joined Abrams Artists Agency as an agent, bolstering the Agency’s Alternative Programming, Digital Media, Licensing and Branding Division. She will take on the agency’s talent and branding deals within the company’s emergence into esports and gaming.
 
Mike Crawford has been named the new Chief Executive Officer for Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village, the $889 million mixed-use project underway around the campus of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.
 
 
THE MAIN EVENT

Patriots/Steelers on Sunday on CBS at 4:25p.
 
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