Good morning. It’s Wednesday, February 12, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
NBC Sports is getting into the NASCAR game early, announcing the launch of NASCAR America, a new 30-minute daily show dedicated to speed and stock car racing. The series will debut on NBCSN at 5p on Monday, February 24 with news, highlights and access to stars. Rick Allen and Leigh Diffey host with Marty Snider and Kelly Stavast reporting. Of course, the company’s exclusive rights to the final 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, final 19 NASCAR Nationwide Series events, select NASCAR Regional & Touring Series events and other live content begins in 2015.
NBCSN continues to medal at the Olympics, averaging 1.0 million viewers for Monday’s live coverage (6a-3p) of the Games. That is up 84% from the network’s opening Monday of the 2012 London Olympics, according to live plus same day official national data from Nielsen Company. Overall, NBCSN is averaging 1.6 million viewers for all Olympics coverage through three days, marking a 60% boost over its first three days of 2012 London Games.
On the broadcast channel, NBC averaged 22.4 million primetime viewers and a 12.8/20 on Monday to hold even with Torino (12.8/19) and down 10% from the live Vancouver coverage (14.2/22). The network’s midnight Late Night show reeled in 6 million viewers to rank as the most-watched Winter Olympics opening Monday late night show since the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. Meanwhile, CNBC set an all-time record for its Monday 5-8p time period averaging 1.2 million viewers for the US/Norway men’s curling match.
Meanwhile, an Olympic record was broken yesterday, and not just by Shaun White. Bob Costas opted to take the night off due to his eye infection as Matt Lauer stepped in to replace him on NBC’s primetime coverage of the Games. It marked the first time since 1988 that Costas had not anchored a primetime Olympics broadcast for the network.
NHL Network announced that it will carry a new half-hour live program during the Winter Games chronicling the men’s Olympic ice hockey tournament. Spanning Feb. 12 through Feb. 23 at 3p, NHL Tonight: 2014 Sochi Edition presented by McDonald’s will offer fans interviews, game analysis, news and highlights. Kathryn Tappen hosts.
ESPN hits the spring with a slate of seven MLB Spring Training telecasts. Starting Mar. 17, games will the Red Sox and Cardinals. The schedule also includes multiple appearances by the Red Sox, Cardinals, New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers and Washington Nationals. Sunday Night Baseball’s Dan Shulman, John Kruk and Buster Olney will call two Spring Training games between the Red Sox and Yankees on Tuesday, Mar. 18, and Thursday, Mar. 20, at 1p and 7p respectively. The company’s Baseball Tonight Goodyear Express Tour will begin its journey through sites in Arizona and Florida on Monday, Feb. 17, when Ravech and Olney visiting the Red Sox camp in Fort Myers, Fla.
Meanwhile, ESPN announced that Eduardo Perez is heading back to the network, signing on to serve primarily as a Baseball Tonight studio analyst. He will also make appearances on Beisbol Esta Noche on ESPN Deportes. In addition to studio analysis, Perez will contribute to select game telecasts, beginning with ESPN’s Spring Training coverage. Perez was previously a Baseball Tonight analyst at ESPN from 2006 through 2010.
FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes offer up UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Mousasi on Saturday at 10:30p. The card is headlined by a five-round middleweight matchup between former UFC light heavyweight champion and current No. 4-ranked middleweight Lyoto Machida and former StrikeforceChampion Gegard Mousasi. Jon Anik and Kenny Florian call the matchups while host Mike Hill, with analysts Dominick Cruz and Brian Stann opening the show from the FOX Sports 1 studios in LA.
The NCAA announced that football attendance topped the 50 million mark for the first time in 2013. The NCAA’s seasonal attendance report said that the NCAA’s 657 football schools drew 50,291,275 fans at home games, neutral-site games and postseason contests last season to break the mark of 49,699,419 set in 2011. SEC attendance averaged 75,674 per game to lead all conferences, followed be the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and ACC. Michigan’s average of 111,592 fans at seven home contests led the nation for its 16th consecutive attendance title.
SNY laid out early plans for the New York Mets, revealing its slate of spring training coverage with 14 live spring training games. The channel debuts its coverage of the 2014 New York Mets on Friday, February 28that 1:10p against the Nationals.
Meanwhile, Comcast SportsNet revealed that Jamie Moyer and Matt Stairs will serve as analysts alongside play-by-play voice Tom McCarthy and in-game reporter Gregg Murphy this season. Moyer and Stairs will share broadcast duties as the NBCUniversal family of networks offer 161 of 162 Phillies regular season games.
MLS club Philadelphia Union announced that broadcast partners 6abc, Comcast SportsNet and the Comcast Network will again showcase 2014 Union games that are not shown nationally. WPVI-TV/6abc is set for three of the team’s 34 total matches this season, while Comcast SportsNet and The Comcast Network will air 25 matches. JP Dellacamera returns for his fifth season as the Union’s play by play man and will be joined this season by Peter Pappas.
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Sports Illustrated confirmed that the company is welcoming Barbie to its Swimsuit issue next week. Mattel is sponsoring the edition with ads featuring the famed doll posing with the tagline “Unapologetic.” The swimsuit issue reaches newsstands on Feb. 18.
AdvoCare signed on as the new title sponsor of the Texas Bowl. Owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television the college football post-season game will now be known as the AdvoCare Texas Bowl via a three-year deal through the 2016.
X2 Performance is partnering with six-time IRONMAN World Champion Dave Scott. As part of the partnership, Scott will offer exclusive content, including training tips, nutrition/fueling plans and long term and short term strategies to athletes and fans.
CBC announced that 9% of its 28 million Olympic viewers tuned in to watch on a digital platform. The CBC Olympic Games app that was launched on January 30 has now surpassed over 1 million downloads while nearly 1.4 million hours of Live and On-demand video have been streamed from the CBC Olympics website.
FOXSports.com picked up Erik Malinowski, where he will produce content, long-form written pieces, and other contributions across the site. Malinowski joins FOXSports.com from BuzzFeed, where he served as senior sports writer.
ESPN announced that WatchESPN is now available on Windows 8. Users who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of an affiliated video subscription will be able to access ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, ESPN Deportes and ESPNEWS through WatchESPN on Windows 8 devices.
Golf Channel named Kory Kozak as coordinating producer of features and Mark Summer as senior director of Golf Central. Both will report to Adam Hertzog, vice president of news and studio productions for Golf Channel. Kozak and Summer join Matt Hegarty, senior director of news special events, along with Jeff Neubarth, coordinating producer of Morning Drive to fill out Hertzog’s senior news production team.
Back9Network announced that Stephen Higgins will join the network as Vice President of Advertising Sales and Marketing. Higgins previously served as the National Director of Digital Sales at American Media Inc., overseeing both MEN’SFITNESS.com and Muscle&Fitness.com.
NBC will showcase Julia Mancuso and Shani David looking to make Olympic records at 8p.
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ON THIS DAY in 2000: Famed NFL coach Tom Landry dies.
In The Know: What MMA athlete starred in the movie version of The A-Team?(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: Julia Mancuso just became the third-ever US athlete to medal in three straight Winter Olympic Games. Name one of the other two. Answer: Bonnie Blair and Apolo Anton Ohno. Kudos: Michael Jaquet-US Ski and Snowboard Assoc./Sochi; Phyllis McQuillan-MSG Media/NY; Paul Abramson-TOURGOLF/NY; David Stern-BARD Entertainment/NY; Tom Turner-Active International/NY; Mike Antolini-Tiger Woods Foundation/Boston; Scott Jenkins-TMS/Queensbury; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA: Anne Wettig-Fox Sports 1/LA; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc./Santa Monica.
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