Good morning. It’s Friday, February 7, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
The IOC announced an extension of its Worldwide TOP Partnership with Panasonic. The brand will continue to serve as a Worldwide Olympic Partner within the exclusive audiovisual product category and has served as a Worldwide Olympic Partner since 1985. The new deal runs through 2024 and will include the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games in South Korea as well as the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.
“This is a clear demonstration of Panasonic’s continuing belief in the Olympic values and the company’s global commitment to the Olympic Movement,” said IOC President Thomas Bach of the agreement.
TNT laid out plans for next week’s coverage of 2014 NBA All-Star from New Orleans from Feb. 13-16, offering over 24 hours of live coverage throughout the weekend and culminating with the 63rd annual NBA All-Star Game presented by Kia on Sunday, Feb. 16, at 8p. Coverage tips off with the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, Feb. 14, at 9p, followed by the signature State Farm All-Star Saturday Night events on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 8p. Highlights this year include the most All-Star participants mic’d for sound in the event’s history and a special broadcast appearance by star Kobe Bryant. In addition, the network announce plans to place a “steady cam” operator on the court for the first time as well as the use of freeD – free dimensional video – technology at select moments during the telecast.
Around the dial, NBA TV, along with NBA.com and NBA Mobile will combine to showcase more than 140 hours of All-Star programming including live reports from New Orleans during Thursday’s NBA GameTime on Feb. 13 at 6p. Coverage will include access to All-Star practices, interviews with players and coaches, and highlights, news and information from each of the weekend’s signature events. Additionally, NBA TV will televise special editions of NBA Inside Stuff and The Starters from New Orleans. Programming culminates with a special original programming block on Monday, Feb. 17, including an exclusive one-on-one interview with LeBron James – conducted by NBA TV’s Steve Smith – airing at 9p.
NFL Media saw record scores for its Super Bowl coverage. NFL Network delivered 175,000 viewers in Total Day and 226,000 viewers in Primetime for a rise of 20% and 31%, respectively, compared to last year. That makes it the network’s most-watched Super Bowl week ever. In addition, Super Bowl Live averaged 141,000 viewers and spikes 60% over last year’s average audience. On the digital front, visits to NFL Digital Media properties increased 24% over last year, bolstered by a 149% increase in visits to NFL Mobile.
FOX announced that Super Bowl Week handed FOX Sports 1 with several new audience highs in various categories. Thursday night’s FOX Fight Night: Golden Boy Promotions boxing event drew 365,000 viewers for the channel, more than doubling its previous average. Saturday’s Monster Energy Supercross averaged 439,000 viewers, making it the most-watched Supercross event on FOX Sports 1 since launch. Georgetown’s win over Michigan State on Saturday continues the trend and handed the channel with an average of 539,000 viewers, making it the most-watched college basketball game to date on FOX Sports 1. The post-Super Bowl FOX Sports Live averaged 282,000 viewers from 10:15p-12a, setting a new Sunday night record and more than quadrupling its launch-to-date Sunday night average. Finally, during Super Bowl Week, the channel reports that it drew 1.7 million viewers who had not yet sampled it, the largest number of new viewers added since the week of 11/25/13.
Tonight’s coverage of the Opening Ceremony on NBC will include an interview with President Barack Obama by NBC Olympics primetime and late night host Bob Costas. The interview took place yesterday by satellite and discussed a variety of topics surrounding the Sochi Winter Games. Coverage begins at 7:30p.
ESPN unveiled its 2014 college baseball schedule with more than 200 exclusive regular-season and conference championship games on deck across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3 and ESPNEWS. That easily tops the previous best of 151 matchups set last season. In addition, ESPN platforms will also offer the NCAA Division I College Baseball Championship, including the selection of the 64-team field, at the conclusion of the conference tournaments. The schedule will see an ESPN network will present at least one game every Friday, Saturday and Sunday for 14 straight weeks from Friday, Feb. 21, to Sunday, May 25 while ESPNU’s Thursday Night SEC Baseball Game of the Week will return March 27 with games on eight consecutive weeks beginning with Missouri at Auburn at 7:30p.
FOX Sports 1 announced a three-and-a-half-hour block of primetime NASCAR programming on Feb. 14, right after the network’s live on-track coverage of the opening day of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at Daytona International Speedway. Programming is set to include FOX SPORTS 1-on-1: Jimmie Johnson at 7:30p, The Day: Daytona Primetime at 8p, Return of the 3 at 9p and an encore presentation of The Day: Remembering Dale Earnhardt at 10p.
ESPN2 will televise a pair of A11FL games this year as the new spring professional football league makes its debut. As part of a new rights agreement with the league, ESPN’s video player will also be available on the A11FL website. Games are set to run Saturday, May 17 at 7:30p and Thursday, June 5 at 7p.
FOX tapped the services of Greg Wolf, Richard Migliore, Andy Serling, Simon Bray and Alyssa Ali to handle microphone duties for The Jockey Club Tour on FOX racing series. The series begins Sunday, February 9, with the Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park. Wolf will serve as the host while Bray and Serling will handle analyst/handicapper duties. Ali will serve as the team’s reporter and Migliore will be an analyst.
Tennis Channel offers live coverage of the U.S. Fed Cup team’s first-round competition against Italy this weekend, with two singles matches on Saturday, and two singles matches and the doubles match Sunday. Brett Haber and Rennae Stubbs will handle play-by-play and analysis.
Fight Network announced a deal with MGM Films to carry films and documentaries on the network. In addition to Fight Network’s Friday Movie Night featuring films from the 20th Century FOX library, Fight Network will premiere a Sunday Movie Night showcasing MGM’s film catalogue at 9p starting this weekend with “a.k.a. Cassius Clay,” the documentary story of former heavyweight champion and iconic figure Muhammad Ali. Other movies will include The Terminator, Platoon and Robocop.
RIP to MLB Hall of Famer and long-time Mets broadcaster Ralph Kiner. Kiner died yesterday at the age of 91 and, in addition to his remarkable playing career, Kiner joined the team as a broadcaster in 1962 and served as a guest analyst through last season.
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International Speedway Corporation locked in a multi-year partnership with Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc. that will make Toyota the first Founding Partner at Daytona International Speedway as part of its $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. Beginning in 2015, the 11-year deal will provide Toyota with naming rights for one of five fan injectors and a presence in the new “World Center of Racing” zone. Additionally, Toyota will serve as an official partner of “The Great American Race,” the DAYTONA 500, and will receive official pace car rights in 2015.
This year’s NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway will ring familiar with Duck Dynasty’s Duck Commander brand locked in as the title sponsor of the April Sprint Cup race. Of course, the company is featured in A&E’s hit Duck Dynasty.
In other NASCAR news, officials from the U.S. Department of Energy, NASCAR and Sprint Corp. announced their participation in the Department’s Workplace Charging Challenge – a collaborative effort to increase the number of U.S. employers offering workplace charging. As part of the announcement, NASCAR unveiled five Eaton Level 2 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at its Charlotte location, bringing the total number of EV charging stations to 20 across NASCAR facilities.
The Professional Bull Riders has new sponsor for Iron Cowboy V, taking place March 1 in Texas, with Dr. Pepper signing on for the naming rights to the event. Dr Pepper Iron Cowboy V will feature 24 of the BFTS’s elite bull riders competing head-to-head in a bracket-style competition for a total purse of $150,000.
Campus Insiders is giving its site an overhaul. The new site will look to offer a network TV-like experience 24 hours a day, seven days a week with live streaming and video on demand content centered on the top college conferences and programs. New offerings will include “an enhanced user experience, social media integration and improve site functionality.” Other content will include a scrolling news ticker, interviews and commentary as well as more than 1,700 live games, news reports, scores, studio shows and other original and featured content. The platform also entered a multi-year partnership with Cadillac that will include Cadillac-branded content and integrations throughout its daily college sports programming. Additionally, Cadillac will serve as the presenting sponsor for the twice-weekly “Seth Davis Show.”
ESPNcricinfo is bringing in television journalist Gaurav Kalra, who will serve as Senior Editor for the emerging video editorial and content development group. Kalra joins ESPN from CNN-IBN, and will look to work with ESPNcricinfo’s in-house digital video production teams and editorial team to continue to grow and develop the brand’s use of high-quality video in their journalism and storytelling.
Comcast SportsNet Northwest announced that Jeff Ingalls will serve as Senior Executive Producer. Ingalls’ role will include managing all live event, studio and remote productions, including games as well as live and taped programs; creative development and innovation; optimizing the 24-hour on-air look of CSNNW; cultivating partnerships; and leading the network’s staff of producers, editors, technical personnel and on-air talent.
Opening Ceremonies tonight on NBC with coverage beginning at 7:30p.
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One-Day Immersion In Ratings Analysis, Web/Social Analytics + Multi-platform Buying
February 11, 2014 | Yale Club NYC | Early Bird Ends – Jan. 27
Peter Katsingris, VP, Industry Insights, Nielsen
Thomas Ziangas, SVP, Research, AMC Networks
Audrey Siegel, President & Co-Founder, TargetCast tcm
Ron Geraci, EVP, Research & Planning, Nickelodeon Group
Click Here for Agenda & Pricing.
ON THIS DAY in 1998: The 18th Winter Olympic games open at Nagano, Japan.
In The Know: Let’s go easy. What NASCAR driver was known as The Intimidator? (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: With what team did Curt Schilling make his major league debut? Answer: The Baltimore Orioles. Kudos: Michael A. Neuman-Scout Sports and Entertainment/NY; Michael Dittelman-SportsOnEarth.com/NY; Michael Brown-PGA TOUR/NY; Daniel Weber-MLB Network/NY; David Schaefer-Golf Channel/Orlando; Rich Dubroff-CSNBaltimore.com/Baltimore; Mike Doyle-Spot On Media Consultants, LLC/Madison; Anthony Antonelli-Rogers Media/Toronto; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc./Santa Monica; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA.
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