12.03.15 Good morning. It’s Thursday December 3, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
Good news for Kenny Mayne fans. Mayne has signed a new multi-year deal to stay with ESPN in the role he’s done best over the years: anchoring SportsCenter.
Mayne will continue as a guest anchor on the 1 a.m. ET edition of SportsCenter from Los Angeles hosted by Neil Evertt and Stan Verett.
As part of his new contract, he’ll also be a featured contributor to Scott Van Pelt’s midnight ET SportsCenter from Bristol, Conn.
“For 20 years, Kenny Mayne has placed his own indelible, if somewhat askew, stamp on SportsCenter,” said Rob King, ESPN’s SVP/SportsCenter and News. “We are truly delighted that he’ll continue entertaining fans, both from the SportsCenter set and from all corners of the sporting world.”
Mayne returned to SportsCenter in 2013 after hosting Kenny Mayne’s Wider World of Spots and ESPN.com’s Mayne Street. He first joined ESPN in May 1994 as an anchor for ESPN2.
Mayne’s one of the few genuinely funny personalities on ESPN. His parody video with the stars of HBO’s The Sopranos was one of his finest moments. He’s worth his weight in gold during ESPN’s annual upfront presentation in New York, where he annually charms the tight-fisted media buyers of Madison Avenue out of their ad dollars.
A feisty Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones declared, “This is not a damn debate, guys,” when asked about the career longevity of injured 35-year old QB Tony Romo on 105.3 The Fan radio station in Dallas. “I think we’ve got outstanding quarterbacking ahead of us for the next four or five years,” Jones said. “That’s not a downer. Will we be looking to develop and get talent behind Romo? Absolutely.”
Penn State head coach James Franklin will join Fox as a guest analyst for the network’s broadcast of the Big Ten Football Championship between No. 4 Iowa and No. 5 Michigan State Saturday night (7 p.m. ET). The Nittany Lions coach will join host Rob Stone and analysts Matt Leinart and Dave Wannstedt. Fox’s lead college football announcer Gus Johnson will call the Big Ten title game with analyst Joel Klatt and sideline reporter Molly McGrath at 8 p.m. ET.
The NFL flexed its TV on two Week 14 games. The league flexed the New England Patriots at Houston Texans game to NBC’s Sunday Night Football (8:30 p.m.ET). The Seattle Seahawks at Baltimore Ravens game, meanwhile, was shifted to 1 p.m. on Fox. The Pittsburgh Steelers will take on the Indianapolis Colts on NBC’s Sunday Night Football (8:30 p.m. ET).
Fox posted big TV numbers Saturday night as its telecast of Stanford’s thrilling 38-36 win over Notre Dame went right down to the wire. The game drew a 4.7 overnight rating. That was the network’s highest overnight ever for a regular season college football game and its best since drawing a 4.0 overnight for Oregon-Michigan State last season.
With the NBA’s reigning MVP Stephen Curry the King of the NBA, Friday night’s Golden State Warriors at Phoenix Suns ranked as NBATV’s most-viewed game of the season. The telecast averaged 648,000 total viewers, up 79% from last year’s comparable Los Angeles Clippers at Houston Rockets.
SiriusXM Radio will broadcast live from the Baseball Winter Meetings from Dec. 6-10. Two of SiriusXM’s channels, Mad Dog Sports Radio and MLB Network Radio, will broadcast live from the meetings in Nashville. Commentators will include Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, former MLB GM’s Jim Bowden, Steve Phillips and Jim Duquette plus ex-players such as Cliff Floyd and Todd Hollandsworth.
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Houston Rockets star James Harden starred in his first big adidas TV commercial since signing a $200 million deal with the athletic giant. Called “Creators Never Follow,” the spot shows Harden following the beat of his own drum from the streets to the practice floor to the NBA court. Says Harden in the spot: “Be who you are. Do what you feel. Always. Because those who mind don’t matter. And those who matter? They don’t mind at all.”
The Air Force Reserve will title sponsor the Celebration Bowl. The renamed Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl will feature the traditions of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Said Col. Christopher Nick, the Air Force Reserve’s Recruiting Service commander, said: “We feel that spotlighting the top teams from the Historically Black Colleges and Universities aligns well with the Air Force Reserve’s commitment to diversity.”
Saint Joseph’s University Athletics has hired Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment’s Collegiate Services Division to manage the athletic’s department’s multimedia and sponsorship rights starting with the 2015-2016 season.
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association has named Jacuzzi brand the official hot tub of the U.S. Ski Team. Under the deal, Jacuzzi Hot Tubs will be installed at the USSA’s Center of Excellence training facility in Park City, UT.
WWE and Junk Food Clothing Co. are launching a new line of WWE T-shirts for the holiday season. Junk Food also has T-shirt licensing deals with the NFL and Marvel.
The Top 5 most-searched for athletes on Yahoo in 2015 were all females. Yahoo released its list of most-search for athletes, sports moments and teams for 2015. The Top 5 most searched athletes were: 1) Ronda Rousey 2) Lindsey Vonn 3) Maria Sharapova 4) Danica Patrick and 5) Caroline Wozniacki. Tiger Woods finished No. 6. The Top 5 most-searched for sports moments were: 1) Mayweather vs Pacquiao 2) The U.S.Women’s Soccer Team winning the Women’s World Cup 3) The NFL’s Deflategate 4) American Pharoah’s Triple Crown and 5) Super Bowl XLIX. The Top 5 most-searched teams were: 1) Dallas Cowboys 2) Chicago Cubs 3) Green Bay Packers 4) New England Patriots and 5) Seattle Seahawks.
Miami Dolphins majority owner Stephen Ross will speak at the 2016 Sports PR Summit on May 17. This year’s event will be held at ex-New York Yankees superstar’s Derek Jeter’s Player’s Tribune offices.
Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is in talks with Bruce Ratner’s Forest City Enterprises to take “sole ownership” of the NBA’s Nets franchise and Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. According to Bloomberg News, Prokhorov has reached an agreement to gain "sole ownership" of the Nets and Barclays. Prokhorov currently owns about 80% of the Nets and nearly half of Barclays.
TNT NBA Doubleheader: Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat at 7 p.m. ET followed by San Antonio Spurs at Memphis Grizzlies (9:30 p.m. ET)
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ON THIS DAY in 1997: Golden State Warriors terminate Latrell Sprewell’s four-year, $32 million contract after he chokes, punches and threatens to kill P.J. Carlesimo.
In The Know: Who won the NHL’s first Frank J. Selke Trophy for best defensive forward during the 1977/78 season? (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: Bears defensive lineman Henry Waechter scored the game’s final points by sacking Patriots QB Steve Grogan in the end zone for a safety. Kudos: Judie HenningerValentine Productions/Santa Monica; Lance PhegleyTexas Runner and Triathlete Magazine/Houston; David WestbergSAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Unio/Burbank; Tom MooreKalt Productions/LA; Jason BristOutdoor Sportsman Group/Chicago; Kevin CollinsUniveral McCann/NY; Synda KollmanCharter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Robert TeinowitzLive Action Media/Chicago; Chris FauldsBell Media Digital/Toronto; Andy Pittman/College Station.
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