12/16/14: Sunday Night Football surges; Yahoo Sports Radio gets active; PBR riding with CarbonTV


Good morning. It’s Tuesday, December 16, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

NBC’s Sunday Night Football roared to its best numbers since Week 1, with the Cowboys’ win delivering a 14.9/24. That is up 37% from last year’s Week 15 matchup. Top markets on the local front included: Dallas at a 39.2/56; Philadelphia 33.3/49; San Antonio 27.3/42; Austin 20.8/37; and Norfolk 20.5/32.


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The NFL on CBS saw its Week 15 regional coverage on Sunday notched the highest-rated NFL singleheader game for the network this season in metered markets, according to Nielsen. Games, anchored by the likes of Miami/New England and Denver/San Diego, drew an average overnight household rating/share of 12.3/24, up 14% from last year’s average overnight household numbers.

Speaking of which, CBS Sports and NFL Network revealed broadcast teams for the Week 16 Thursday Night Football doubleheader airing on Saturday on the two networks. Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon and reporter Stacey Dales will call Philadelphia/Washington on NFL Network with kickoff at 4:30p.  Meanwhile, Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts and reporter Jenny Dell will handle San Diego/San Francisco on CBS and NFL Network at 8:25p. Pregame coverage begins at 2p on NFL Network.

SportsCenter anchors Hannah Storm and John Anderson are on deck to host this year’s Tournament of Roses parade on ABC on Jan 1 at 11a. They will join John Naber for the festivities.

In other ratings news, MLB Network continued to score with its coverage of the Winter Meetings and subsequent trades. Amid news of 12 trades involving 36 players from Dec8-11, the network earned its most-watched ever for the event, averaging 127,000 viewers in primetime, per Nielsen. This figure is up 38% than the prime time average in 2013.

NBA TV’s The Association: Los Angeles Clippers is slated to debut on Wednesday at 6p. The episode features head coach Doc Rivers and stars Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, among others, and serves as the second installment in a season-long series featuring behind-the-scenes access to a variety of NBA teams.

Italy is making a run for 2024, announcing that Rome will make a bid to host the Summer Games, according to the AP. Italy hosted the 1960 Olympics, with the new entry potentially holding several events outside the capital, including “sailing in Sardinia and preliminary basketball and volleyball rounds scattered in cities up and down the peninsula,” according to the report.



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Yahoo Sports Radio is teaming with All Sports United, a platform for athletes, sports personalities, businesses and individuals to engage in philanthropic endeavors, for a new a media partnership. Yahoo Sports Radio will serve as the title media partner in the organization’s effort to increase participation across the sports universe and to encourage fans to join their favorite athletes and celebrities in the charge. The partnership includes promotional support and listener engagement to raise funds during the inaugural Gaming to Give charity tournament, which kicks-off online during the first week of January and wraps up January 29 in Scottsdale.

Atlanta Motor Speedway as a pair of new title sponsors for its NASCAR event in the Folds of Honor/Quiktrip 500. Folds of Honor is a non-profit that offers educational scholarships and assistance to the families of U.S. military men and women who have been killed or disabled while serving our country, and will team with convenience store chain QuikTrip for the March 1, 2015 Cup race.

The New Jersey Devils is toasting with Casillero del Diablo, the Chilean wine brand, in a new alliance. The beverage will now be designated the “Official Wine of the New Jersey Devils” and feature its Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, in Prudential Center premium clubs, bars, lounges and suites during the season. The partnership will also be extended through the summer for select Prudential Center concerts and special events.


The Professional Bull Riders partnered with digital content company Carbon Media Group in a move that makes CarbonTV.com the official home of PBR digital video content starting in the new year. Content includes PBR LIVE, the PBR’s event streaming, companion content and archival content channel. A total of 100 PBR events, consisting of non-televised Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) performances, BlueDEF Velocity Tour (BDVT) events, the BlueDEF Velocity Finals and extensive coverage around the Built Ford Tough World Finals, will be broadcast live on CarbonTV.com starting with the 2015 BFTS season kickoff event in Baltimore, Maryland, on Jan. 2-3.

MSNBC is broadening its ties to sports via a new portal of streaming-video programming dubbed Shift by MSNBC. The network will offer programming that includes the series Left Field which will examine sports issues. Other programs will tackle topics such as immigration.


A big congratulations to Kristen Hudak, who was named Director of Public Relations for the Baltimore Orioles. Hudak has been at ESPN for the past three years, as a Senior Publicist and will now oversee the public relations department, including corporate communications, media relations, online communications, photography, and publications for the team.


Warriors/Grizzlies on ESPN at 8p.

ON THIS DAY in 1972 – Miami Dolphins become 1st undefeated NFL team (14-0-0).

In The Know: Which NBA team drafted Dirk Nowitzki? (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: Since 1910, every US president has thrown at least one ceremonial first pitch, except for one. Who was he? Answer: Jimmy Carter. Kudos: Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; David Stern-BARD Entertainment/NY; Lewis Blaustein-Lewis Brand Solutions, Inc./NY; Michael O. Brown-Lagardere Unlimited/NY; Rich Dubroff-CSNBaltimore.com/Baltimore; Scott Fairhurst-Bright House Media Strategies/Orlando; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Donald R. Soucy-A. Bartlett Giamatti Little League Leadership Training Center/Bristol; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc/Santa Monica; Greg Dudsic/Venice Beach; Brian Robin-Brener Zwikel & Associates. Inc./Reseda; Alex Petrilli, Jr.-TiVo/San Jose.

Later — Chris
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