Good morning. It's Tuesday, March 20, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
FOX Sports Networks is playing to Hispanic sports fans in LA, launching a new effort to produce over 100 games in Spanish this year that feature the Angels, Dodgers, and Clippers. Productions will include Spanish-language play-by-play, graphics, player interviews, and more with all video providers in the LA market having the opportunity to offer these games to their customers. Next year, the total number of Spanish-language telecasts will top 150 and continue to grow in subsequent seasons. FSN's Spanish-language effort will be game focused and will serve to complement FOX Sports West and Prime Ticket, as well Fox Deportes, the 24-hour, 7-day-a-week Spanish-language sports network.
On the Air
Broadcast pairings are locked in for the Sweet 16, with Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery handling the East region, Jim Nantz/Clark Kellogg take on the South region, Marv Albert/Steve Kerr are on deck for the Midwest, and Kevin Harlan/Len Elmore/Reggie Miller will call the West. Games begin just after 7p on Thursday and Friday with all action airing on either CBS or TBS.
The owners of the New York Mets got off the hook for a cool $162 million in the high-profile case to repay victims from the Bernie Madoff investment scheme. The agreement was announced Monday just as a civil trial was getting ready to begin in Manhattan that would have determined if the team's owners would have to repay as much as $386 million. Executives maintain that the team's finances are secure.
The SEC is already in discussions with its broadcast partners CBS and ESPN to rejigger its TV contracts now that two new teams have entered the picture. Conference Commissioner Michael Slive told the Memphis Commercial Appeal that "we have started discussions with both our television partners. We feel adding Texas A&M and Missouri has strengthened us in lots of ways, but it certainly strengthened us in television." Slive also said that he is working with the companies to find enough broadcast windows for every SEC member. In addition, the conference promoted Greg Sankey to Executive Associate Commissioner and COO of the league where he will oversee day-to-day operations.
CBS Sports Network is adding three more telecasts featuring The Professional Bull Riders to its slate of Built Ford Tough Series events. The schedule adds additional telecasts to multiple-day events that will now provide PBR fans with early-round coverage. The new telecasts will be in addition to the more than 55 hours of live-event programming already set to air on the channel. New slots include: Uncasville, Conn. (Saturday, April 28); Billings, Mont. (Saturday, May 5); and Pueblo, Colo. (Saturday, May 19). Each of the telecasts is scheduled to air from 10p to midnight.
Sportsman Channel is officially a Nielsen rated network, as part of the network's strategy to bolster its advertisers. The company reports that Sportsman has been monitoring Nielsen's demonstration data for over a year, and, due to "promising" trends in all key metrics, will begin to report the data externally effective March 26.
World Boxing Hall of Famer Freddie Roach is set to join HDNet's Inside MMA panel on Monday where he will give his take on who he thinks is the best boxer in MMA today and whether MMA has surpassed boxing as the sport of this generation. Kenny Rice and Bas Rutten will also talk with Freddie about the long-term health effects of the sport on its athletes.
With a look to capitalize on Jeremy Lin's international popularity, Canadian broadcaster Omni Television is bringing in former Chinese national basketball team player and basketball commentator Weiping Zhang to handle microphone duties for the channel's first-ever NBA game broadcast in Mandarin on Friday night when Lin and the Knicks play the Raptors.
Mark Your Calendars! On Tuesday April 24 in New York, the leaders in sports media will convene for the Cynopsis Sports Business Summit. Will you be joining us? Register now at this site: http://www.cynopsissportssummit.com/
Sponsorship & Promotion
NBC Sports Group named Brian Nyemchek as Vice President, NBC Sports Vertical where the an 18-year television ad sales veteran will co-manage the sports properties that air primarily on NBC and the NBC Sports Network (with the exception of golf and the Olympics). He reports directly to Seth Winter, EVP, Sales & Sales Marketing, NBC Sports Group. As part of the promotion, Nyemchek and fellow VP Jay Marsac will oversee the NBC Sports Group's sales efforts for the NFL, NHL, Triple Crown horse racing, Notre Dame Football, French Open, Tour de France, MLS, IZOD IndyCar Series, and other properties.
Boeing signed on to sponsor of MLB and the Seattle Mariners for this year's season opening series in Tokyo, Japan which will take place against the A's on March 28 and 29. Throughout the partnership, Boeing will work with the league and team to host a children's baseball clinic in Ishinomaki, one of the cities most impacted by last year's earthquake and tsunami with around 100 children expected to participate in the event.
ESPN.com's Men's Tournament Challenge is down to zero perfect brackets heading into the Sweet 16 and tallies show that only three brackets correctly picked every Sweet Sixteen team out of more than 6.45 million entries. Looking back at the weekend's upsets, 0.38% of brackets picked Lehigh, Norfolk State and Ohio correctly.
NBC Publishing is partnering with Golf Channel to release of a new eBook edition of Arnold Palmer: A Personal Journey. The launch of this eBook coincides with the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and includes new features such as exclusive photos from Palmer's personal archives, a foreword by Golf Channel's Commentator Rich Lerner, and a new afterword by Hauser.
The New Jersey Devils are teaming with Doodle.ly to give fans the chance to to design a Doodle that will go on 17,000 "Red Alert Playoff Rally Towels" for the opening night of the Playoffs. The winning design will also win a free pair of Devils Season Tickets for the 2012-13 season.
The Main Event
NHL Pacific Division leaders Phoenix/Dallas square off on NBC Sports Network at 8:30p.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
ON THIS DAY 1990: The Lakers retire Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's #33.
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: In 1991, Syracuse became the first two seed to lose to a 15 seed. Who beat them? Richmond. Kudos: Greg Schoen-NCC Media/NY; Matt Denerstein-Mindshare/NY; Rich Dubroff-Csnbaltimore.com/Baltimore; Dana Beiter-NBC Sports Network/Philadelphia; Ronald D. Chong-Warner Bros TV/Hollywood; Chris Loprete-ABC/Hollywood; Richard Murphy-Avail-TVN/LA; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA.
In The Know: What NBA player was known as "The Worm"? (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.)
Later -- Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports
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