12/07/17: The CFL Selection Show scored big in audiences

CynopsisSports
Good morning. It’s Thursday December 7, 2017 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

ESPN’s coverage of the College Football Playoff Selection Show ranked as the most-viewed four-hour CFP selection show ever, as the network exclusively unveiled the College Football Playoff lineup as well as the New Year’s Six. Audiences averaged 1,630,000 viewers, up 23% from the same time slot last year. Overall, the six shows which unveiled CFP rankings averaged 1,492,000 viewers, up 22% from the same six shows last year.
 
 
ON THE AIR

Speaking of ESPN and college football, the network locked in broadcast assignments for postseason play, including the semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual featuring Georgia/Oklahoma and the Allstate Sugar Bowl featuring Alabama/Clemson on New Year’s Day. Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit call the Rose Bowl Game and the CFP National Championship game with Tom Rinaldi will once again joining the duo, reporting from the sidelines. Maria Taylor will also report from the sidelines as she makes her CFP debut. Rinaldi will report on Oklahoma while Taylor will be embedded with Georgia. Joe Tessitore and Todd Blackledge will call the Allstate Sugar Bowl, with Holly Rowe reporting from the sidelines.
 
In ratings news, NBA TV reports that it continues to deliver its most-watched live game telecasts since 2011, averaging 371,000 viewers through 29 games, for a markup of 34% over last year’s comparable coverage. Meanwhile, network postgame shows are delivering a 29% viewership rise, with pregame telecasts up 21%this season.
 
FOX NFL SUNDAY treks away from Studio A on the FOX lot this weekend to hit Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, featuring the America’s Game of the Week matchup between the Eagles/Rams. The pregame show kicks off its on-site special broadcasting from the Olympic Cauldron at the Coliseum at noon with co-hosts Terry Bradshaw and Curt Menefee, analysts Howie Long, Jimmy Johnson, Michael Strahan and NFL insider Jay Glazer. The OT, FOX Sports’ NFL postgame show, closes the day’s action on-site at the Coliseum.
 
The International Surfing Association booked plans to hit Tahara, Japan and Buzios, Brazil as the host cities of two of its flagship events, the 2018 ISA World Surfing Games and the 2018 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship, respectively. The 2018 ISA World Surfing Games will run in Tahara tentatively between September 15-22. The the WSUPPC will descend upon the idyllic east coast city of Buzios tentatively between November 23 – December 1.
 
CBS Sports Network will air 10 consecutive nights of live coverage of The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo starting tonight from the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas with programming running 10p-1a. In addition, fans will be able to catch the action on ProRodeoTV.com, where a live stream will be available for international subscribers.
 
The Long Beach City Council unanimously approved a new agreement with the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach that will allow the company to continue running the annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach through 2023. The new agreement will take effect starting with the April 13-15 race.
 
SiriusXM takes on the Baseball Winter Meetings starting Sunday, offering listeners nationwide the latest news and analysis on free agents, trades and other ‘Hot Stove’ topics from Major League Baseball. MLB Network Radio and Mad Dog Sports Radio will broadcast live from the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, FL, where club owners, front office executives, managers and many others from the major and minor leagues will be gathered to discuss offseason baseball business.
 
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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

ESPN launched an interactive fan experience “to celebrate college football fandom,” creating the College Football Playoff Locker Room that will travel to three cities and give fans an opportunity to get in on the college football action and win prizes, including a chance to go to one of the College Football Playoff semifinal games. That experience will first hit LA tomorrow at Westfield Century City, with stops in Chicago (Water Tower Place) starting Dec. 15 and NY (The Oculus ) on Dec. 22. Fans will be encouraged to snap their best “game face” on an interactive photo booth, complete with college football themed-filters and stickers, to personalize their look. Fans who visit the Locker and take a photo will be rewarded with a small prize instantly on site and will be entered for the grand prize.
 
Morgan Stanley inked a new partnership with major champion and Olympic gold medalist Justin Rose. Rose will serve as a brand ambassador for Morgan Stanley’s partnership with the PGA TOUR. “I can’t think of a better ambassador for the Morgan Stanley brand than Justin,” said Mandell Crawley, Head of Private Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley. “We share a commitment with Justin to giving back to our communities and to giving children a healthy start to life and are excited to have him on our team.”
 
Geico (presenting partner) and Gilead (founding partner)are locked in to return as sponsors for the second annual Never Forget Tribute Classic on Saturday at Prudential Center. Geico will have digital signage domination in-arena, including courtside and on-court, as well as on TV. Gilead will have digital integration in-arena and in broadcast. The NCAA men’s doubleheader will see new media partners, with FOX broadcasting the first game featuring Seton Hall/VCU at 3p and ESPN2 covering the second featuring Florida/Cincinnati at 6p.
 
The United Soccer Leagues are partnering with soccer manufacturer Select, which will become the official match ball provider to all USL properties beginning in the 2018 season. “This new agreement between the USL and Select will continue to raise the profile of both organizations and create synergies to drive the growth of professional soccer forward in the region,” said USL Chief Executive Officer Alec Papadakis. “We are thrilled to work with a partner that wants to build and grow with the USL, and believes in our vision for the future of soccer in this country. In addition, for our continued success, it’s important that we are aligned with an authentic football brand for our fans and our clubs. This is a great quality ball, and premier brand in the sport.”
 
 
DIGITAL & STREAMING

The new American Flag Football League opened registration today for the inaugural 2018 US Open of Football, described as a single-elimination 7-on-7 flag football tournament featuring 1,024 teams and four Pro Teams commencing in March 2018. The tournament wraps up with a winner-take-all $1,000,000 Final in July between the champion of the “Pros’ Bracket” and best of the 1,024 in “America’s Bracket.”  To register, teams must have a roster of between seven and twelve players. Whether players have already formed a team or are looking to be placed on a team, they will have the opportunity to play and can register here.
 
 
ESPORTS

In this week’s edition of Cynopsis Esports & Gaming
  • The Game Awards locks in cast
  • IEM Oakland rockets
  • NCAA recruits Intersport for esports play
  • ESL reformats
  • Overwatch League’s nitty gritty
  • Mega Man’s big year
 
ROSTER MOVES

Roger Goodell locked in a five-year contract extension to remain the commissioner of the NFL, according to a letter obtained by ESPN, which report that the new deal would be worth $200 million over the life of the contract if owners approve all the bonuses and all the incentives are met.
 
 
THE MAIN EVENT

Saints/Falcons on NBC & NFL Network at 8p.

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ON THIS DAY in 1963: CBS debuts instant replay during the Army/Navy game.
 
In the Know: In the Simpsons, what is the name of the mascot for the Capital City Capitals? (Note, it is NOT Dancing Homer.) (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 country won the most total medals in the previous Winter Olympics in 2014? Answer: Originally it was Russia, but due to doping punishments, it is now the US. Kudos:  Marc Goldstein- Marc Goldstein Media Solutions/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Ken White-KWTV/Charlotte; Jonny Codalata-CSM Sport & Entertainment/Zionsville; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Deerfield Beach; Meagan Perez-NBC Sports Group/Stamford; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Gretchen Brady-KTVT/KTXA/Dallas; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Jim Himmel-TCB Media/San Clemente

Later – Chris
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