12/15/14: CBS Sports Network doubles down on poker night; Mayweather eyeballs May 2 for megafight ; National Guard campaign gets a flat


Good morning. It’s Monday, December 15, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

CBS Sports Network is doubling down on Poker Night in America, renewing the franchise for an additional two seasons, according to the show’s site. Season two will launch on Jan. 5 on the channel and will run every week on Mondays at 10p. In addition, title sponsor 888poker renewed for an additional two seasons as well. Season two will see the launch of new graphics as well as “a more traditional format in showing the players and their hole cards.”


CYNOPSIS SPORTS is proud to launch our 4th annual…

Cynopsis Sports Media Awards
Recognizing the best in show both in front of and behind the cameras. For the first time, the sports industry will have an event that takes the talented work of producers, hosts, sponsors and executives alike, saluting the initiatives that drove audiences and turned sports viewers into fans.

For more information and to enter online, visit the Awards web page:


Floyd Mayweather Jr. is targeting May 2 as a potential date for the long-awaited matchup with Manny Pacquiao. Experts state that any PPV would gross at least $250 million, with Mayweather’s purse likely topping the $100 million mark.

ESPN launched year 35 of PBA coverage with the 2014-15 schedule offering seven consecutive events from the PBA World Series of Bowling VI as well as the return of the PBA League. Coverage includes the USBC Masters on Feb. 8; the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions on Feb. 15; and the sixth annual CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational charity event on Feb. 1. Mike Jakubowski again serves as ESPN’s PBA play-by-play voice, teaming with Randy Pedersen.

Canada’ TSN reports that Boston will host the NHL Winter Classic in 2016, making the second time that the Bruins would have hosted an outdoor game. It remains unknown whether the potential matchup would be played at Fenway Park or at Gillette Stadium.

CBS’ coverage of the annual Army/Navy game delivered its best marks in 15 years. The contest generated an overnight metered market score of 4.5/10, up 7% from a year ago.

The Premier League is hitting the broadcast market with a new incentive. Sportsmail reported Friday that the league will schedule Friday night games for the first time, adding more opportunities to networks beginning with the 2016/17 season. The new window was added in the bidding documents for the 2016-19 television package that was opened to British broadcasters on Friday.

UniMas’ coverage of the Liga MX Apertura 2014 final between America and Tigres saw an average of 2.2 million viewers tuning in on Thursday, including 1.4 million Adults 18-49. That marks the most-viewed club soccer match on any network in 2014 since the World Cup.

Both the Rams and Raiders are mulling a move to LA for the 2015 season, according to a CBSSports.com report. NFL exec Eric Grubman, who manages the LA initiative for the league, acknowledged that there were multiple teams looking to move to Los Angeles as soon as next season.

HBO Sports debuts a documentary about world champion boxer Johnny Tapia tomorrow at 11p. The program, Tapia, uses first-person narration and archival footage to “explore the achievements, personal demons and ultimate redemption of the popular fighter, who died in 2012 at age 45.”

The Chicago Cubs locked in a deal for 25 games for the 2015 season, entering an agreement with WLS-TV/ABC 7. The five-year deal launches in April and include daytime, primetime and weekend contests.


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The National Guard is getting its tires slashed with Congress cutting funding for the organization’s motor sport sponsorships, according to USA Today. According to the report, lawmakers cut the Guard’s advertising budget by $13.8 million, which happens to be the same amount the service had requested to sponsor race cars. "Aggressive recruiting is key to maintaining the strength of our military, but Congress has a responsibility to ensure that every taxpayer dollar spent produces measurable results, especially in an environment of diminishing recruiting budgets," Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said in a statement.

ESPN debuted two new promos ahead of the College Football Playoff, with the first, dubbed Playoff Ride, celebrating the final four teams vying for the title. The second, entitled Party Spread, visualizes the first-ever 36-hour New Year’s football holiday.The spots are part of ESPN’s integrated Who’s In campaign, which launched in August.


Tomorrow, espnW names the 25 people who made the greatest impact for women in sports this past year with the inaugural Impact 25, and capped by The espnW Woman of the Year. espnW surveyed a panel of sports experts and luminaries and divided the standout individuals into two categories, Athletes and Influencers, with 12 in each group and one Woman of the Year. “espnW is committed to chronicling stories of excellence and achievement by women in sports, whether it be through our college Player of the Week accolades or in the powerful storytelling we do in our espnW Originals films,” said Alison Overholt, editor-in-chief, espnW. “This year, particularly, was a transformative and historic year of achievements by women in sports, both on and off the field. The Impact 25 gives us the opportunity to honor and highlight those who are truly making an impact.”


The United States Olympic Committee hired Christopher McCleary as the organization’s general counsel. McCleary joins the USOC from Visa Inc., where he served as the senior vice president and senior associate general counsel of global brand and client management.


Lightning/Penguins on NBCSN at 7p.

ON THIS DAY in 1982: Bill Parcells becomes the 12th head coach of NY Giants.

In The Know: Since 1910, every US president has thrown at least one ceremonial first pitch, except for one. Who was he? (Email Chris-Sports@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Other than the Dolphins, what other NFL team once boasted Don Shula as head coach? Answer: Baltimore Colts. Kudos: Mitch Burg-Impact Communications/Israel; Dave Ridpath-Ohio University/Germany; Jay Goldstein-Admore/NY; Michael Neuman-Scout Sports and Entertainment/NY; Andrew Feingold-Nielsen/NY; Lon Samuelson-Hospital for Special Surgery/NY; Chris Mccloskey-NBC Sports Group/Stamford; Dan Higgins-Golf Channel/Orlando; Chris Faulds-Bell Media Digital/Toronto; Juan Delgado-Telemundo/Hialeah; Andy Pittman-Texas A&M University/College Station; Michael Bell-NCC Media/Dallas; Chuck Gordon-WVTM-TV/Birmingham; Kevin Micklo-Pinnacle Marketing/Chicago; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Bob Chasse-Professional Bull Riders/Pueblo; David Hauptman/Denver; Matt Sautter-Imagine Communications/Denver; Larry Hutchings/Nipomo; Alan Perris/Beverly Hills; Brian Sullivan-KHQ-TV/Spokane; Robb Rothfarb-AdMore/Temecula; Jim Himmel-TCB Media/San Clemente.

Later — Chris
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