Good morning. It's Tuesday, April 17, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
Tomorrow marks the 100-day countdown to the July 27 Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, and NBC Sports Group and NBCUniversal's networks will take part in a multi-platform marketing initiative to promote the Games. At 8p, all 20 NBCUniversal channels will participate in a 30-second roadblock that promotes the 100-day countdown and mark a new phase of increased Olympic promotion from the company. In addition, NBC Sports Group and the networks of NBCUniversal will be participating at the USOC's Team USA take-over of Times Square that same day.
In addition, the NBC Peacock will add the Olympic rings to its on-screen bug; Telemundo's "T" on-screen bug will also feature the Olympic rings; and more than 30 locally-driven spots will begin to air in local markets on NBC Owned Television Stations and on NBC affiliates.
On the Air
The three NHL Stanley Cup Playoff games that ran on NBC over the weekend earned an average boost of 50% in Nielsen overnight ratings compared to last year's coverage on the network. The increase includes Sunday's Flyers/Penguins game on the network, which posted the best numbers for a Conference Quarterfinal game in 11 years and the best for any NHL playoff game, excluding the Stanley Cup Final, in a decade. Overall, the three games on the channel combined for a 1.8 overnight rating, and was topped by the Flyers win which drew a 2.3, up 77% over last year's comparable game.
On a local front, MSG's average Nielsen household rating for the first two telecasts of the Rangers and Senators in the opening round of the NHL Playoffs is up 19% compared to the first two playoff game telecasts last season with a 3.33 household score
The NFL will release its schedule tonight at 7p on NFL.com and NFL Network. As part of the coverage, the channel will feature a record three-hour special 2012 Schedule Release Show Presented by Verizon featuring host Rich Eisen with analysts Marshall Faulk, Michael Irvin, Kurt Warner and Steve Mariucci.
CBS Sports announced that it will kick-off its 2012 college football schedule with Notre Dame facing Navy from Dublin, Ireland on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 9a. Verne Lundquist,Gary Danielson and reporter Tracy Wolfson will call the action live from Aviva Stadium.
IndyCar saw a rebound after the first two races of the season saw ratings dips. Sunday's race in Long Beach on NBC Sports Network drew a 0.35, according to Nielsen, up 21% over last year's race.
The NBA is hitting the Big Easy for the 2014 All-Star Game. NBA Commissioner David Stern made the announcement in New Orleans stating that the All-Star game was a reward to the city and state for its efforts to secure the Hornets' long-term future in Louisiana.
ESPN Radio inked a multi-year deal with the University of Southern California to host exclusive national broadcast rights for all home Trojans football games. The agreement marks ESPN Radio's first nationally exclusive broadcasting agreement with a college football program and marks the second such agreement in the industry, along with Notre Dame and IMG Sports. The deal also provides Spanish-language rights for ESPN Deportes Radio.
Golf Channel's Morning Drive will feature a different guest host each day this week, including Annika Sorenstam, Rickie Fowler and Graeme McDowell.
Giant's quarterback Eli Manning is on deck to host Saturday Night Live, according to TV Guide, on May 5
One week from today is the Cynopsis: Sports Business Summit, featuring the names and faces that are propelling the industry. For the full agenda and to register, visit: http://www.cynopsissportssummit.com/
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Sponsorship & Promotion
NBC Sports Group division Alli Sports locked in a four-year renewal of its partnership with Mountain Dew, and announced the 2012 schedule for the new Dew Tour, which is "reshaping the Dew Tour to showcase action sports in three large-scale, premium and 'grand-slam' style events." The tour will now consist of three premium events with expanded television programming and digital strategy across NBC, NBC Sports Network, nbcsports.com and allisports.com. The Dew Tour begins August 16 in Ocean City, MD, before hitting San Francisco on Oct. 18 and Breckenridge on December 13. More than 30 hours of live television coverage will span NBC and NBC Sports Network.
Ford Motor Company announced that it will become the first manufacturer in NASCAR history to use an all-electric car as a pace car, with the Focus Electric leading the field at the April 28 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond.
ESPN launched the first spot from its "A Champion Will Rise" campaign to promote ESPN and ABC NBA Playoff coverage yesterday. The spot featuring Kevin Durant sitting on the rafters at the Chesapeake Energy Arena imagining the day a championship banner will fly in the arena. The spot was developed with Wieden + Kennedy New York and additional spots in the campaign will be released in the coming weeks. Playoffs begin on ESPN and ABC on Saturday, April 28.
The NBA Development League will sport logos on their jerseys for the first time in the history of the league, with BBVA inking a deal for 2012 NBA Development League Playoffs and Finals. As part of its agreement as the presenting partner of the NBA D-League Playoffs and Finals, BBVA's logo will be prominently featured on NBA D-League team jerseys during the post season. In addition, a new co-branded logo will be used during all promotional and broadcast elements.
Sports video technology provider XOS Digital is partnering with Nokia to launch the official Southeastern Conference mobile application for Windows Phone. The app will offer fans free, all-access coverage of SEC sports. And includes high-definition video and audio, fast navigation, auto-updating scores and the ability to watch local SEC affiliate coverage in select markets.
The Main Event
UEFA Champions League Semifinals at 2p featuring Bayern Munich/Real Madrid on FOX Soccer.
ON THIS DAY in 1983: Nolan Ryan strikes out his 3,500th batter.
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Which NBA team owns the best regular season record of all time? The 1997-98 Chicago Bulls with a record of 72-10. Kudos: Jordan Goldberg-Disney and ESPN Media Networks/NY; Noah Coslov, CineSport/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Ranfi Rivera-WNET/NY; G. David Brown-FOX Sports Carolinas/Charlotte; Marc Wollis-NBC Sports Group/Orlando; RT Harris-WideOrbit/Detroit; James Taguchi-WTVR/Richmond; Benjamin Simonds-National Football League/Chicago; Mike Patterson-Turner Digital/Chicago; Thom Sutton-Telemundo/Chicago; Paul Tarrants-RTM Productions/Nashville; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Michael Madnick-Saban Brands/LA; Warren Weideman-Producer/LA; Lila Brown-Ella Bee Media Group/North Hollywood; Bob Ware-KPSP Local 2/Thousand Palms.
In The Know: What two teams battle annually for the Apple Cup? (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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