Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Tuesday, January 7, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Broadcasters emerged once again as the real victors of Wild Card Weekend. After NBC broke records on Saturday, FOX and CBS are now reporting their own victories for Sunday’s contests. Overall, the four Wild Card games averaged 34.7 million viewers over the weekend, marking the most-watched Wild Card Weekend on record. Sunday’s 49ers/Packers game on FOX delivered 47.1 million viewers to score as the most-watched telecast since Super Bowl XLVII and the most-watched Wild Card game on record. The game drew a 25.8/41 household rating/share, and up 20% in rating and 24% in audience over last year’s match-up.

CBS’s coverage of the Chargers and Bengals nabbed an average overnight household rating/share of 20.3/38, to rank as the highest rating in 19 years for an early Sunday AFC Wild Card game in the metered markets, according to Nielsen.  The game is also up 3% from last year’s 19.7/39. An average of 30.9 million people tuned in for the game.


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Based on Nielsen’s Fast National scores, ESPN’s coverage of the Discover Orange Bowl on January 3 continued its upward swing for BCS games as the contest averaged 11,400,000 viewers and a 6.7 US household Nielsen rating. Overall, the matchup now ranks the most-viewed Discover Orange Bowl since 2008, with an 8% boost in viewers and 10% swing in rating over the 2013 game. ESPN’s four Bowl Championship Series telecasts of 2014 are averaging 14,344,000 viewers and an 8.2 US HH rating, up 15% and 12% respectively over 2013.

Time for tennis, as ESPN readies for its 30th Australian Open with over 100 live hours on TV and 500 live hours from seven courts on ESPN3. Most matchups will be carried on ESPN2 with the men’s semifinals and both finals being carried on ESPN on Jan 25 and 26. ESPN Interactive TV, carried on DIRECTV and ESPN3, will again present the Australian Open in a six-screen “mix channel” format. Action starts Sunday, Jan. 12 at 7p on ESPN2.

Meanwhile, Tennis Channel is reeling in Jim Courier for the Australian Open as the Hall of Famer takes the microphone for the network’s two-week coverage, beginning Monday, Jan. 13. He will appear in a series of special segments from the tournament grounds in Melbourne. In all, Tennis Channel will dedicate more than 180 hours to this year’s Australian Open, with 30 hours of live match play, another 60 hours of encore replays, more than 80 hours of Australian Open Today and nine hours of daily highlights.
Golf Channel named broadcaster Lisa Cornwell as the new anchor for the network’s signature news show Golf Central. Cornwell most recently hosted a college football show titled “SEC Press Pass,” a syndicated show she founded in 2011.

Speaking of which, Golf Channel posted the most watched year in the 19-year history of the network in 2013 with a 14% year-over-year spike in total day average viewership, according to Nielsen. That marks the third year in a row that the network has hit the milestone, marking a 54% increase in total-day average viewership in the span since Golf Channel joined the NBC Sports Group. Overall, Golf Channel averaged 108,000 viewers per minute in total day for the year, placing it fifth among sports networks. In addition, GolfChannel.com unique users were up 32% over 2012, along with page views (45%) and video starts (25%).

CBS Sports Network is offering a special all-access audio college basketball telecast tomorrow for its carriage of the Villanova/Seton Hall matchup. The channel will air an enhanced audio experience that will see 30 microphones at court level providing viewers a courtside seat with access and sound from coaches, players and referees. Andrew Catalon and analyst Steve Lappas will hit the broadcast booth, along with reporter Susannah Collins, who will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the unique production of the game.

Join us on Jan. 30 for our Breakfast of Champions event in NY for a New Year’s lesson on branding 2014. Speakers are set to include Anheuser-Busch’s Blaise D’Sylva, NFL Players Inc. President Keith Gordon, NFL athletes Pierre Garcon and Keith Rivers, Golf Channel’s Frank Nobilo and Leverage Agency/ESPN’s Jay Williams. Click here to register.

MLB Network will carry the results of the 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot tomorrow at 2p, as well as simulcast it on MLB.com. The announcement will be showcased as part of a three-hour live show beginning at noon and anchored by MLB Network’s Greg Amsinger, Brian Kenny and Heidi Watney, and including the first interviews with any electees immediately following the announcement.

SiriusXM signed 2002 PGA Champion Rich Beem to host a new weekly show on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. Beem made his debut yesterday and will host every Monday from 1-3p, taking calls from listeners around the country and recapping the weekend’s golf.

Hall of Fame broadcaster Jerry Coleman passed away at the age of 89. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that he had complications from head injuries sustained during a fall in December. Coleman was honored in 2005 by the National Baseball Hall of Fame with the Ford C. Frick Award for his broadcasting contributions.


Entry Deadline: Jan. 17, 2014

Here are the NEW categories added to this year’s awards:
Best B2B Program, Integrated Campaign, On-air Technological Innovation, On-air Technological Innovation in a Sponsorship, Partnership with an Athlete, Proprietary Asset, Retail Activation, Sales Professional & Best Sports Blog.

Learn about the awards program & how to enter.


During halftime of ESPN’s coverage of the 2014 VIZIO BCS National Championship last night, viewers saw their first tease for next year’s College Football Playoff via a 15-second promo, which you can watch here.

NAPA’s break from NASCAR didn’t last very long. After announcing that it was departing Michael Waltrip Racing because of the race manipulation allegations at the end of last season, the auto parts company will now come back to the fold and sponsor Chase Elliott full-time in the Nationwide Series in 2014. Elliott will drive the No. 9 for JR Motorsports.

Jeremy Lin is bolting, this time leaving Nike for the pastures at adidas. Lin now joins the adidas basketball roster, which features the likes of Dwight Howard and a players such as Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, John Wall of the Washington Wizards and Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Time is running out! Submissions are being accepted now for the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards to show the world your best work. Click here to enter.


Farewell to the MLB 2K franchise. Publisher Take-Two Interactive is dropping the title, according to multiple reports. Take-Two published the MLB 2K series under the 2K Sports label with the most recent release coming last March with Major League Baseball 2K13.

The United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) and ESPN3 inked an agreement to deliver the 2014 US National Cricket Championships exclusively on the multi-screen sports network. The US National Cricket Championships will be carried live from the Worlds Sports Park in Indianapolis beginning August 21, 2014 and wrapping up with both finals on Sunday, August 24.


The North American Sports Group, owner of Hoop It Up 3×3 Grassroots Basketball Festivals, named Kevin Bovet as its Director of Development where he will work to continue Hoop It Up’s partnership with USA Basketball as well as FIBA.  Bovet will also work to expand the reach of Hoop It Up and 3×3 basketball globally. Bovet joins Hoop It Up after working with FIBA since 2007.


Ohio State/Michigan State on ESPN at 9p.


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ON THIS DAY in 2004: ESPN Deportes is launched as a Spanish-language television destination for ESPN’s sports fans in the U.S.

In The Know: What Super Bowl-winning quarterback was married to Kathy Bates in the movie Failure to Launch?(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: The Atlanta Braves retired #29 in honor of what athlete? Answer: John Smoltz. Kudos: Seth Goldberg-Syracuse University/London; Marc Wollis-NBC Sports Group/NY; Greg Schoen-NCC Media/NY; Michael Dittelman-SportsOnEarth.com/NY; JR Podvesker-Comcast Spotlight/NY; Tom Wetzel-MMSI/Warwick; Randy Ingram-WBTW-TV/Myrtle Beach; Lee B. Estroff-Bexel/Atlanta; Lewis Cosby/Knoxville; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA.


Learn the path to sports greatness at the…

Jan. 30, 2014|8-10:30AM | New York Athletic Club (NYAC)

This one-of-a-kind, networking breakfast will cover topics such as:
Brand engagement, how the NFL trains its athletes for the business world and how they market themselves, how athletes are finding business opportunities off the field, Eye-catching Super Bowl commercials & more!


Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for
Cynopsis | Sports

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