12.11.15 Good morning. It’s Friday December 11, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
Another big player is beefing up the eSports frontline, with Electronic Arts announcing that Peter Moore will become Executive Vice President and Chief Competition Officer for Electronic Arts, spearheading the company’s new eSports-driven EA Competitive Gaming Division, designed to “enable global eSports competitions in our biggest franchises including FIFA, Madden NFL, Battlefield and more.” The group will be designed around three core pillars: Competitions, Community and Entertainment. Meanwhile, Todd Sitrin will step into in the role of Senior Vice President and GM of the CGD.
The SEC on CBS continued to deliver for the network, as CBS announced that the college football package ranked as the highest-rated slate on television for the seventh consecutive year. National coverage of the conference drew a national household rating/share of 3.4/8, according to Nielsen. Highlights included the season’s highest-rated and most-watched college football game-to-date with last Saturday’s SEC Championship as Alabama’s win scored a 7.8/17 and averaged 12.76 million viewers.
In other ratings news, Tuesday night’s Golden State Warriors win delivered 823,000 total viewers to NBA TV as the team once again propelled that channel to its (latest) most-viewed game of the season and its fourth most watched all time among regular season telecasts. The matchup ranked first all-time for the network among Men 18-34 with 273,000 total viewers as well as Men 18-49, with 428,000 total viewers. The matchup was up 131% among total viewers (823,000) and up 137% for households (635,000) over last year’s comparable telecast.
Meanwhile, NBC Sports Group is touting viewership records and milestones across all of its motorsports properties in 2015, anchored by the most-watched NASCAR season finale in a decade, and NBCSN’s most-watched IndyCar and Formula One seasons to date. The 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship on NBC and NBCSN from Homestead-Miami Speedway averaged 7.64 million viewers and posted a combined 4.42 national HH rating, marking increases of 46% (vs. 5.22 million) and 41% (vs. 3.14 HH), respectively, over last year’s race. NASCAR America also delivered its most-watched month on record in November, averaging 118,000 viewers during its 5p, up 84% over. Nov. 2014. NBCSN’s presentation of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series averaged 507,000 viewers, making it the most-watched IndyCar season on NBCSN. Formula One coverage across NBC Sports Group produced its highest viewership, highlighted by NBCSN delivering the most-watched F1 season for a single cable network in two decades with an average of 418,000 viewers, up 9% over 2014.
ARCA and FOX Sports unveiled the initial 2016 broadcast schedule for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards. A preliminary slate of 10 races will be carries on either FS1 or FS2 in 2016 starting Feb. 13 with the 53rd Lucas Oil 200 at Daytona International Speedway. Other races will be shown from Talladega Superspeedway on April 29; both Pocono Raceway events (June 3 and July 29); Michigan International Speedway on June 10; Lucas Oil Raceway July 22; Chicagoland Speedway September 15 and the season finale from Kansas Speedway Oct. will also air on FS1. The July 9 event from Iowa Speedway and the September 23 event from Kentucky Speedway will run on FS2.
Catching up in international deals, BeIN Media Group and W9 are continuing their ties with the NFL in France through 2018, with BeIN snaring three live games per week, on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays, as well as the Super Bowl and NFL RedZone. SportsPro Media reports that W9 will continue to show the Super Bowl with BeIN for the next three years.
Brazil’s Globo locked in broadcast rights to the Olympics for the country through 2032. The IOC announced that Globo won the rights on a non-exclusive basis for free television and on an exclusive basis for subscription TV, internet and mobile platforms. The deal covers the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, as well as the 2024, 2026, 2028, 2030 and 2032 Games.
Canada’s TSN reached a new, comprehensive rights agreement with ATP, securing Canadian media rights to ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and ATP World Tour 500 tennis tournaments. “We are delighted that TSN has acquired rights to ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and ATP World Tour 500 events, along with our season finale, the BARCLAYS ATP WORLD TOUR FINALS,” said Mark Webster, CEO, ATP Media. “We have no doubt that TSN will provide the passion and superb production values required to showcase the finest male tennis players competing in the world’s most exciting venues.”
Ahead of CBS’ annual Army/Navy game on Saturday at 3p, the company announced peripheral programming on CBS Sports Network with a special pregame telecast of the traditional “March On” procession starting at noon. Inside Army-Navy Tailgate will then air at 1:30p and feature interviews with General Mark Milley, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, Ray Mabus, Secretary of Navy, Robert Caslen, Jr., Lieutenant General and Admiral John Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations. Dana Jacobson and John Schriffen host and are joined by analysts Randy Cross, Christian Fauria and Houston Nutt.
SiriusXM lined up a new weekly show hosted by collegiate golf coach Frank Darby, head coach of the Manhattan College Jaspers that will debut on Dec. 16 and run Tuesdays at 8p on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. Darby will discuss methods for coaching golfers both physically and mentally, and motivating players at all levels of the game to improve and play more consistent and competitive golf.
Dallas-Fort Worth’s WFAA-TV carries the 45th Dallas Marathon, Half Marathon and Behringer Relay live on Sunda at 8a CT. Three hours of live race footage will also be streamed online at WFAA.com. Juli Henner-Benson and Todd Whitthorne host with course analyst Josh Cox.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Don’t expect and daily fantasy ads to run during the College Football Playoffs. The NY Times writes that ESPN and CFP officials agreed to block ads from the likes of FanDuel and DraftKings from telecasts of the national semifinals or the national championship game this season.
Meanwhile, ESPN is offering CFP fans school-themed tuxedos. The company is offering the New Year’s Collection for fans of Clemson University, University of Alabama, Michigan State University and University of Oklahoma for the New Year’s Eve games. The collection of tuxedos reflects the “unique attributes and personalities of the four playoff teams” and fans can now enter the sweepstakes via GenerationTux.com/ESPN.
The NHL will see country music star Dierks Bentley head a line-up of performers for the indoor and outdoor concert series at the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star festivities in Nashville from Jan. 28-31. Other artists include Big & Rich, Lee Brice, Chris Young, Kelsea Ballerini, Aaron Lewis, Eli Young Band, John Hiatt, and Tara Thompson on the Honda Stage while Charles Esten, Clare Bowen and Lennon & Maisy from the cast of ABC’s “Nashville,” Tracy Lawrence, Lonestar, Danny Gokey, MercyMe, Lewis Brice, Ryan Hurd, LOCASH, Russell Dickerson, Stephen Lee Olsen, Craig Wayne Boyd, DJ DU, and DJ Rock take the indoor stage.
The NFL ordered a run with chef Michael Mina, founder of MINA Group, to create On The Fifty A Charitable Dining Experience restaurant at RN74 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Fans can visit the eatery from Feb. 1-7 for lunch and dinner service and offer “nods to the game of football throughout the menu.” In addition, can bid NFL memorabilia and special experiential auction items starting today onNFLAuction.NFL.com/OnTheFifty.
Voting for the NBA All-Star Game is officially open with fans able to cast their ballots on social media platforms using the hashtag #NBAVote as well as via the NBA smartphone app, NBA.com, via text. In addition, NBA fans are now able to cast their daily votes directly through Google Search for the first time on their desktop, tablet and mobile devices by searching “NBA Vote All-Star” or “NBA Vote Team Name” and using respective team cards to select players.
Major League Soccer announced its bracket for the #MLSSoshies, the league’s first-ever social media awards which feature 16 players into a bracket of four groups. Voting begins Dec. 14 and also features four specialized categories: “Let Me Take a #Selfie,” “the Bigger Picture,” “Family Matters,” and “#BFFs.” Brackets can be found here.
MSG Networks announced today that “MSG GO,” its live online streaming and VOD platform for smartphones, tablets and computers, is now available to Xfinity TV subscribers who receive MSG Networks as part of their pay television subscription.
Advantage International named John Lane to lead business development for the agency. Lane previously spent six years at Major League Gaming and eight years at Major League Soccer / Soccer United Marketing, overseeing partnerships, new business development and media sales for both properties.
Steelers/Bengals on CBS at 1p on Sunday.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
ON THIS DAY in 1951: Joe DiMaggio announces his retirement from baseball.
In The Know: Joe DiMaggio spent more than two decades as a spokesman for what kitchen appliance brand? (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 two NFL teams played each other in back-to-back Super Bowls? Answer: The Cowboys and Bills squared off twice in a row. Kudos: Kyle Helm-CBS Sports/NYl Andreas Droste-NBC Sports/NY; David Weinberg-Paley Center for Media/NY; Jeff Day-NHL/NY; Rich Dubroff-CSNmidatlantic.com/Baltimore; Randy Ingram-WBTW-TV/Myrtle Beach; Tony Ferranti-MMSI/Warwick; Mike Antolini-Tiger Woods Foundation/Boston; Jason Morrow/Houston; Steve McNair-KUBE TV/Houston; Kevin Micklo-Pinnacle Advertising/Chicago; Mary Buschmann-USTA Missouri Valley/Kansas City; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Alan Berkes-Positive Coaching Alliance/El Segundo; Greg Dudsic/Venice.
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