12/01/17: Who is playing host in PyeongChang?; SEC gets SiriusXM; ELEAGUE gets a Boost

Good morning. It’s Friday December 1, 2017 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
The spotlight will be on Rebecca Lowe, Liam McHugh, Carolyn Manno, Ahmed Fareed , and Fred Roggin as hosts for NBC Olympics coverage of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games from PyeongChang. The group has been locked in to join Mike Tirico, who was named NBC’s primetime Olympics host earlier this year. Lowe will serve as the host of NBC’s daytime coverage with McHugh taking on primetime and late night on NBCSN. Manno will handle late night and morning hosting duties on NBCSN.
The Southeastern Conference and SiriusXM locked in a deal to launch SiriusXM SEC Radio, a new and exclusive 24/7 audio channel dedicated to SEC sports that will debut early next year, setting up shop on channel 374. The new channel’s programming lineup will include exclusive new shows as well as simulcasts of SEC Network programming, and will give listeners access to weekly college coaches shows, press conferences, classic SEC game broadcasts, coverage of SEC Media Days, as well as curated, SEC-specific highlights. “College sports have always been an important part of SiriusXM’s lineup, and the launch of a dedicated SEC channel breaks new ground and brings our college sports programming to another level,” said Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM’s President and Chief Content Officer.
Today’s coverage of the World Cup Draw will see ESPN feature seven straight hours of live programming on ESPN Deportes beginning at 9a with a three-hour ESPN Rusia during the Draw. English-language coverage will include live SportsCenter segments on the World Cup Draw, and a one-hour, post-Draw ESPN FC special on ESPN2 at noon. ESPN’s World Cup Draw commentator team will include Craig Burley, Herculez Gomez, Mario Kempes, Ricardo Pelaez and Jared Borgetti.
Around the dial, beIN SPORTS will air special programming for the Draw, featuring beIN SPORTS’ analysts and commentators, including Ray Hudson, Carmen Boquín, Kay Murray, Miguel Serrano, Carlos “Pescadito” Ruiz and Pablo Marino. Coverage begins on beIN SPORTS en Espanol, with special editions of The XTRA at 10a.
In ratings news, ESPN reports that Black Friday saw ABC carry the two most-viewed games of the day across all networks, with double-digital viewership growth over last year. The South Florida/UCF matchup drummed up a total live audience of 4,700,000 viewers, which followed Miami’s upset at Pitt. a game that had total live audience of 4,663,000 viewers. In addition to being the two most-viewed games of the day, ABC was up 12% and 49%, respectively, from last year’s same Black Friday windows.
Speaking of college football, ESPN will exclusively reveal the College Football Playoff selection committee’s final rankings on Sunday as part of 14 hours of television coverage on college football’s Selection Day. ESPN Radio will broadcast 11 hours of coverage. The College Football Playoff Selection Show Presented by AT&T begins at noon with the College Football Playoff Semifinal matchups announced at approximately 12:30p, hosted by Rece Davis with Chris Fowler, Paul Finebaum, Joey Galloway, Kirk Herbstreit, Greg McElroy, Booger McFarland, Jesse Palmer, and David Pollack among others to join the show.
Univision brings back Premios Univision Deportes this month , lining up Julian Gil, Ninel Conde and Miguel “El Piojo” Herrera, as hosts. Broadcast will begin with a special red-carpet arrivals event at 7p, followed by the main event at 8p on Dec. 17.
Speaking of awards, Sports Illustrated announced that Colin Kaepernick will receive the 2017 Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award at SI’s Sportsperson of the Year Award Show on Dec. 5 at Barclays Center. The ceremony will be televised nationally on NBCSN at 8p on Dec. 8 and on Univision Deportes Network at 8p on Dec. 9.
NBC Sports lined up Road to the NHL Winter Classic Presented by Honda, a docuseries that will run on NBCSN and brings viewers behind the scenes as the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers prepare for the 2018 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1. The four-week, 30-minute limited series will premiere on Dec. 13, immediately following the Bruins/Red Wings on Wednesday Night Rivalry.
This weekend will see the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship, airing live on ESPNU. Semifinal play begins today at 5p with Stanford/South Carolina followed by Duke/UCLA at 7:30p with the Championship on Sunday at noon. Julie Foudy and Jenn Hildreth will call the action for all three games.
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The South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa signed on as sponsor of the new September Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which starts next year. The multi-year agreement will make the South Point hotel-casino the title sponsor of the South Point 400 with the 267-lap race running Sept. 16 and marking the first race in the 2018 Cup playoffs.
The NFL and a group of players signed an agreement in principle late Wednesday night to partner on a plan to address social justice issues considered important to African-American communities, according to ESPN. The deal calls for the league to contribute $89 million over seven years to projects dealing with criminal justice reform, law enforcement/community relations and education.
Visa reports that – based on trends the brand observed in past FIFA World Cup tournaments – close to 5 million people will travel to Russia next summer. This includes an additional 300,000 – 500,000 international visitors during the months of June and July 2018 courtesy of the FIFA World Cup on top of a baseline average of 4.3 million total international visitors to Russia during the same time period over the past four years. Based on historical data 3 from the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, Visa also anticipates Russia can expect to see an increase in per traveler spending. On average, visitors attending the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil spent 31% percent more per card than regular tourists in Brazil.
The Los Angeles Dodgers inked a long-term extension with hospitality partner Levy to continue building the fan experience at Dodger Stadium that will continue to tap Levy’s team of culinary, technology, analytics, and design experts, who are recognized in the industry for their work creating guest experiences. “Working with Levy over the past 17 years, we’ve built on our legacy and firmly established Dodger Stadium as one of the finest fan experience venues in all of professional sports,” said Stan Kasten, Dodger President & CEO. “Levy’s unique experience elevating the country’s iconic venues and events makes them an ideal partner as we look to the future and raise the bar together in providing our fans with the finest experience and choices at Dodger Stadium.”
Global sports provider Eleven Sports inked a deal with live streaming pioneer YouNow that will see YouNow’s new, blockchain-powered Rize app showcase live content from Eleven Sports in the US. YouNow will launch Rize in January 2018. The revolutionary many-to-many video technology will enable viewers to actively engage with one another and the competition itself in real time while consuming Eleven Sports’ array of sports content.
ELEAGUE inked Boost Mobile to a deal that will see the mobile carrier serve as the Official Wireless Partner of ELEAGUE. Activations will span ELEAGUE’s linear television, digital and social platforms, as well as on-site at ELEAGUE competitions. Boost Mobile will leverage ELEAGUE’s expertise in creating “award-winning custom brand integrations within their programming and content. “Some elements of the partnership include sponsorship integration on the ELEAGUE caster desk and within ELEAGUE’s AdTracker, which facilitates uninterrupted game coverage, as well as promotion across ELEAGUE’s platforms ELEAGUE’s social media channels, and on TBS). Twitch and YouTube are ELEAGUE’s digital distribution partners for live event coverage and on-demand content.
Meanwhile, HyperX unlocked its first NBA 2K team sponsorship, signing on to become the official gaming headset partner of the future Dallas NBA 2K League team as well as the Dallas Mavericks. HyperX will participate with the Dallas Mavericks at NBA home games with in-arena activities including digital signage, giveaways and concourse activities. “We see the NBA 2K league as a great way to provide entertainment value and partnering with HyperX is a valuable part of our plan to build a competitive NBA 2K League team,” said Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and the Dallas NBA 2K league team. “HyperX brings an abundance of experience in the gaming community and will be a valuable partner both on and off the court during esports tournaments and events.”
ESP Gaming formally announced its launch as a production company for esports and competitive gaming content creation, anchored by a team that brings over 20 years of live event sports production experience, including productions of events like the X-Games, Olympics, NFL and World Series of Poker. The lineup of productions for its partners CJ Network/Com2uS and Amazon Appstore, includes the Summoners War World Arena Championship: World Finals and the Champions of Fire tournament. In addition to its production capabilities, ESP Gaming is also offering ESP Labs as an investment arm for securing esports investments in games, platforms and products.
Topgolf Entertainment Group hired Troy Warfield of British Airways to the position of President where he will oversee international expansion and Topracer Range. Warfield replaces former Topgolf International President Neil Allen, who is stepping into a new role as strategic adviser.
Georgia/Auburn on CBS on Saturday at 4p.
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ON THIS DAY in 1964: The Houston Colt .45s change their name to the Astros.
In the Know: Who is the all-time scoring leader for the Phoenix Suns? (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: Which NFL team was the last to have a winless season? Answer: The Detroit Lions. Kudos: Aymon DeMauro-Discovery Communications/NY; Bruce Jackson-Disney and ESPN Media Networks/NY; Mike Coyne-Big East/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Willy Gibson-WTG Consulting/Columbus; Joseph A. Vogl-Saginaw Valley State/Saginaw; Larry Kahn-Golf Channel/Orlando; Peter Lasser-Lasser Productions/Atlanta; Travis Wacker-Good Karma Brands/Milwaukee; John Kukla-KDFW/KDFI/Dallas-Fort Worth; Tom Doherty-Starcom Media/Chicago; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner and Triathlete magazine/Houston; David Hauptman/Denver; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Greg Finch-Spectrum Reach/LA; Don Surath-KPIX-TV/KBCW-TV/San Francisco

Later – Chris

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