A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM GOLTV
Good morning. It's Tuesday, April 10, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
FOX is turning its Saturday prime time into a sports-driven programming package that will include college football, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, NFL and UFC events. In essence, the channel will now broadcast prime time sports events on 28 of 32 Saturday nights spanning April 14 through December 8. The schedule is anchored by 12 college football contests, the Big Ten Football Championship Game and eight regular-season Major League Baseball games as well as Game 4 of the World Series. In addition, the network will offer three NASCAR Sprint Cup races and three UFC events for a grand total of around 100 hours of live sports programming.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
On the Air
The final round of the Masters, in which Bubba Watson bested Louis Oosthuizen in a sudden-death playoff, delivered the event's lowest preliminary television ratings since 2004 with an 8.1 in the overnights over Easter Sunday, according to Nielsen. That figure is off pace of last year's score by 22%. Saturday's coverage on CBS received a 5.1 in the overnight markets. Full national ratings won't be available until April 12. Meanwhile, Watson will be a featured guest on Golf Channel's Morning Drive, joining Rob Lowe and Michael Jordan.
NBA TV announced that its slate of Fan Night games delivered an average of 455,000 viewers for a 13% bump year-to-year, with 362,000 household impressions, up 18%, for its 22-game schedule to rank as the most-watched Fan Night season ever. Voting to determine which games to showcase, drew a triple-digit increase over last year's voting averages with an average of186,000 votes were cast per game.
With the NHL playoffs ready to roll this week, MSG announced that it will have the New York region exclusive telecast of every New York Rangers game in the first round of the NHL Playoffs, which begin on Thursday against the Senators. Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti will call the action from the booth, while Al Trautwig hosting each game telecast and John Giannone reporting rinkside. MSG will also telecast exclusive pregame and postgame shows for each first round playoff game. Meanwhile, MSG+ will carry the exclusive regional telecast of every Devils game in the first round of the NHL Playoffs starting Friday, when the team travels to Florida to face the Panthers at 7p. Steve Cangialosi and Chico Resch will call the action from the booth for each game and the channel will telecast exclusive pregame and postgame shows for each first round playoff game.
Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, meanwhile, unveiled its coverage of the Capitals' best-of-seven series against the Bruins. The network's opening-round coverage is highlighted by up to five live games that will run exclusively on Comcast SportsNet throughout the Washington/Baltimore region. The channel will also feature extensive pregame and postgame shows and comprehensive multiplatform news, analysis and opinion throughout the series. Game one will run from Boston on Thursday at 7:30p.
As expected, the Sun Belt Conference officially welcomed Georgia State University has accepted an invitation to join the league effective July 1, 2013 and will begin conference competition for the 2013-14 academic year. The Panther athletic program was originally a founding member of the Sun Belt Conference in 1976, but left the conference in 1981.
CBS Sports Network announced its programming plans for the 2012 draft, slating a series of nine one-hour shows that began yesterday dubbed Inside College Football: Draft Special. The series is designed to "provide complete analysis of the Draft from discussion of top prospects to under-the-radar picks who will impact as rookies." Adam Zucker hosts and is joined by analysts Aaron Taylor, Brian Jones and Randy Cross, as well as CBSSports.com Columnist Bruce Feldman and CBSSports.com Draft Expert Rob Rang. The series runs on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7p on the channel.
Universal Sports Network will air live television and online coverage of the 2012 Boston Marathon on Monday April 16th, from 9:30a until 12:30p. In addition to carriage on the channel, live streaming will be available on UniversalSports.com and through BAA.org. The network will provide pre- and post-race studio coverage presented by X Endurance, with Paul Sunder hosting alongside analyst Todd Williams. In addition to the Boston Marathon, Universal Sports Network will also air the 2012 Rotterdam Marathon on Monday, April 16 at 10p and the 2012 Virgin London Marathon on Sunday, April 22 at 1p.
Comcast Hometown Network, which covers Northern and Central California, will televise 30 live minor league baseball games from the California League and the Pacific Coast League this year. The telecasts begin on Thursday at 7p when the San Jose Giants host the Bakersfield Blaze. San Jose Giants radio announcer Joe Ritzo will handle play-by-play duties for games originating from San Jose Municipal Stadium, while Fresno Grizzlies radio announcer Doug Greenwald will do play-by-play for their games.
Cynopsis Sports is proud to announce that Tony Ponturo, former president and CEO of Busch Media Group, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Cynopsis Sports Business Summit on April 24. Of course, Ponturo is now partner at Kirmser Ponturo Group LLC, where they have produced such Broadway fare as Lombardi and the new production Magic/Bird. Join us as we salute Tony at the Grand Hyatt! Register now at this site: http://www.cynopsissportssummit.com/
Sponsorship & Promotion
NASCAR announced the official launch of its newest initiative, NASCAR Unites - An American Salute. The campaign will look to encourage fans to show their red, white and blue spirit to celebrate America and support U.S. military families. The initiative begins over Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway and wraps up on Independence Day weekend in Daytona. Teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will showcase support for the program in their own individual ways, from displaying the customized logo on their cars and trucks to developing red, white and blue paint schemes. In addition, NASCAR will also unveil a 30-second patriotic-themed broadcast spot that will debut around Memorial Day weekend and air each race weekend throughout the campaign on NASCAR broadcast partners ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, FOX, SPEED and TNT.
Group Lotus will no longer sponsor F1 team Lotus, according to Autosport.com, yanking its endorsement after parent company Proton sold the group to DRB Hicom. Interestingly enough, the team will still be known as team Lotus, and they have already inked Unilever and Microsoft as sponsors.
ESPN's digital coverage of The Masters from Thursday through Sunday, which includes ESPN.com, the ESPN Mobile Web and ScoreCenter, logged an average minute audience of 44,700 people, up more than 15% compared to the previous year, according to Adobe/Omniture. The ESPN.com golf index page saw average daily unique visitors up 3%, while average total minutes per day to the section were up 17%. Additionally, the average daily unique visitors to golf content on the ESPN Mobile Web were up 25%.
On the Air
Boston Celtics/Miami Heat on ESPN at 7p.
ON THIS DAY in 1992: NHL strike ends after 10 days.
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What team did the Rockies play in their only World Series appearance? The Red Sox. Kudos: Thomas Scheuer-Optimedia/NY; Todd Hommel-ESPN NY/NY; David Stern-BARD Entertainment/NY; Scott Osborne-Univision/NY; Larry Kahn-Golf Channel/Orlando; Marc Wollis-NBC Sports Group/Orlando; Peter SP Gimber-CBSBoston.com/Boston; Garret Ohringer-Maryland Sports Marketing/MD; Pam Tierney-Actress,VoiceOver/Chicago; Matt Sautter-OpenTV/Golden; Jess Schoep-STARZ Entertainment/Englewood; Larry Hutchings-Retired/LA; Dani Beaulieu-USA TODAY Sports Media Group/LA; Steve Morrow-Eclipse TV/Mill Valley.
In The Know: Easy one. Who was known as Mr. October? (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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