Good morning. It’s Thursday, February 13, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
A big night for NBC Olympics on Tuesday, as national headlines surrounding Bob Costas, Erin Hamlin and Shaun White drove 23.7 million viewers to the network in primetime. That score is up 17% from a live Vancouver Olympics and 29% from Torino. Coverage scored a 13.7/22, according to Nielsen. Through five days, NBC is averaging a 14.4/23 on the network, up 13% from Torino, and virtually matching Vancouver (14.5/24). In addition, the channel’s midnight Late Night show averaged 5.8 million viewers on Tuesday up 45% and 21% respectively from the 2010 Vancouver Games and 2006 Torino Olympics on the opening Tuesday.
Meanwhile, NBCSN kept its record-setting viewership streak alive, pulling a network-best 1.1 million viewers for its portion of Olympics coverage from 6a-3p on Tuesday. That breaks the all-time high weekday mark set just a day earlier for Monday’s coverage.
ESPN has a new face, adding Darren Haynes to its roster starting Monday, Feb. 24, where he will serve as a studio anchor and appear on various shows across several ESPN platforms. Haynes previously served as sports anchor/reporter for Al Jazeera-America in New York where he anchored the evening and morning sportscasts, reported and provided exclusive interviews, and maintained a social media presence.
NBA All-Star 2014 is once again taking the festivities into international waters. The league reports that the event will reach fans live in 215 countries and territories in 47 languages across multiple platforms. Highlights include: more than 110 media members from Asia onsite and over 20 European partners televising All-Star action.
NBC Sports locked in a partnership to carry the TORC: The Off-Road Championship. The multi-year deal will see the company offer broadcasts of all racing events as well as behind-the-scenes episodes from TORC teams and drivers. The season begins April 5-6 from Primm, Nev.
Seattle fans better enjoy football, because there won’t be any expansion back in the city anytime soon. NBA commissioner Adam Silver told ESPN that the league is not ready to add an expansion team anytime soon. “Seattle is a wonderful market. It would be very additive to the league to have a team there,” Silver said in the interview. “But we’re not planning on expanding right now, so it’s not a function of price.”
CBS Sports and Golf Channel tee up for the Northern Trust Open this week as players vie for match play positioning. Golf Channel opens play with Brian Hammons handling play-by-play and Curt Byrum as analyst with coverage on Thursday and Friday from 5-8p and Sat. and Sunday from 1-2:30p. CBS’ portion spans Sat. and Sunday from 3-6p with the third and final rounds. Jim Nantz anchors with Sir Nick Faldo as lead analyst.
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Subway has its newest Famous Fan, announcing the addition of the NBA’s Russell Westbrook to the family. Westbrook joins the likes of Michael Phelps, Robert Griffin III, Mike Trout, Carl Edwards and Brazillian superstar Pele.
Turner Sports and DC Entertainment released comic book tie-in The Justice League Goes Inside the NBA: All Star Edition. The comic blends TNT’s Inside the NBA studio team and The Justice League from DC Comics. The 12-page, limited-edition comic book will be distributed free to fans at NBA All-Star Jam Session in New Orleans during NBA All-Star and is now available digitally via nba.com beginning Wednesday, Feb. 12.
The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame announced its second induction class, which will include former heavyweight champions George Foreman and Evander Holyfield as well as four-division champion Roberto Duran. The annual induction dinner and ceremony will take place this summer in Las Vegas at a site to be determined. In the media category famed television announcer Col. Bob Sheridan, who has called nearly 10,000 bouts and close to 1,000 world title fights, and writer Kevin Iole were inducted.
BTN opened registration for the annual BTN Big 10K. The nationally televised 10K and 5K races return to Soldier Field on Saturday, July 26. Special Olympics Chicago serves as the race’s charity partner for the second straight year. The event will be followed by a Tailgate party, which will include music, football-themed games and activities, such as corn hole, field goal kicking and the 50-yard dash, as well as appearances by BTN talent and former Big Ten athletes.
NBC Sports announced that nearly 30 million people visited NBC Olympics’ digital platforms through Tuesday, marking a 54% rise from the Vancouver Olympics. Nearly 600,000 viewers live streamed Shaun White’s performance yesterday, ranking as NBC Olympics’ second-largest Olympics live stream. In a call with reporters, executives noted that digital growth boosted NBC’s total audience measurement index places it at 160 million consumer media exposures for Sochi so far, up 11% over Vancouver.
American Express and the NBA lined up digital programming for Off the Court for NBA All-Star 2014 this week. Content will take basketball fans inside NBA All-Star Media Day with multiple camera views as well as present the first-ever American Express “Off the Court” Rookie Roundtable. The live streams will allow fans to submit their own questions to players via Twitter. The American Express “Off the Court” Rookie Roundtable opens on February 13 at 6:30p and is hosted by Rick Fox.
NASCAR named Tom Bryant, a 20-year U.S. Army veteran, Director, Touring and Weekly Communications for the organization. Bryant is a recently retired Lt. Colonel, and most recently served as director of public relations for the U.S. Special Operations Command in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Silver Chalice, a digital video content for sports and media rights holders, announced that Linda Leludis was appointed Senior Director, Audience Development, while Christi Bassos has joined as Director, Strategic Partnerships. Leludis will be responsible for expanding the audience size, engagement and reach of the Silver Chalice digital video networks. Bassos is charged with identifying, negotiating and managing distribution partnerships, including working with conference partners to maximize their live and VOD audience throughout multiple digital platforms.
US freestyle skier Nick Goepper competes for the first-ever Olympic Ski Slopestyle Gold Medal Final on NBC at 8p.
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ON THIS DAY in 1990: Larry Bird ends his NBA free throw streak of 71 games.
In The Know: Before Derek Jeter was drafted by the Yankees, he was set to play for what University?(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: What MMA athlete starred in the movie version of The A-Team? Answer: Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson. Kudos: Jordan Goldberg-Disney and ESPN Media Networks/NY; Mike Lee-BPN/NY; Conner O’Rourke-NBC Sports/NY; Zach Linder-WWE/NY; Doug Jacobs-Integrated Sports Media/Hoboken; Chris Faulds-Bell Media Digital/Toronto; Jeff Crehan-Media Storm LLC/Norwalk; Matthew Laramee-MMSI/Warwick; Jerehmy White-BusyBuddy Books/Glen Rock; Guy Cacciarelli-MSG Media/Santa Monica; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA; Adam Deverell-Cox Reps/LA.
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