Good morning. It's Tuesday, May 8, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
Big East Conference Commissioner John Marinatto has resigned from the NCAA league, following a recent run that saw the defections of conference staples such as Syracuse, Pitt and West Virginia, as well as an influx of new blood in the likes of Temple, Houston, SMU as well as Boise St. and Navy. Joseph A. Bailey III will assume the position of interim Commissioner of the conference until a new Commissioner is selected.
"After a great deal of thought and prayer, I have decided to step down as Commissioner of the Big East Conference and formally advised our Board of Directors," stated Marinatto. "I have been associated with this league for my entire adult life and have had the tremendous honor of serving as its Commissioner since 2009. Our recent expansion efforts have stabilized the Conference for the long term, and we are likewise well positioned for our very important upcoming television negotiations. As a result, I felt this was the right time to step aside and to let someone else lead us through the next chapter of our evolution. I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish and would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank both our membership and my staff for their unwavering encouragement, support and loyalty -- especially during this past year. I am extremely confident about the future of this league that I love very much."
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM THE CITY OF HOPE NESVIG GOLF CLASSIC
On the Air
A new report states that the presidents of the Big 12 Conference have verbally agreed to a new media rights agreement with ESPN and FOX that could bring in as much as $2.6 billion to the league, according to CBSSports.com. The new deal is expected to run 13 years and deliver an average of $200 million annually to the group of schools through 2025. The report also states that schools have also extended their grant of rights to match the television deal and all but ensure that no one departs the conference in the near future. Of course, the agreement won't be made official until it is signed.
The Ivy League and the NBC Sports Group locked in a two-year renewal of their national television rights agreement that will broaden the number of football games shown on the network as well as deliver the first-ever rights for the NBC Sports Network to televise men's basketball and men's lacrosse games. The deal begins with the upcoming 2012 football season and runs through the 2014 lacrosse season, with the NBC Sports Network set to run six to ten football games, six to ten basketball games and up to four men's lacrosse games annually. Even more Ivy League games may be seen on a national basis within this agreement as the NBC Sports Network has acquired the rights to sublicense additional football and men's basketball games to a national sports network.
NBC's coverage of the 2012 Kentucky Derby drew a 7.2 overnight rating and 17 share for the two-hour telecast on Saturday, according to Nielsen. The marks a slight dip from last year's 7.4 rating but runs even in share. The race portion of the telecast earned a 9.0/20.
NBC Sports Group announced more than 70 hours of combined live tournament and wrap-around news coverage of THE PLAYERS Championship this week, marking the most coverage in the history of the tournament. Overall, Golf Channel and NBC will combine to offer 22 hours of live tournament coverage Thursday-Sunday, with limited commercial interruption from TPC Sawgrass. In addition, throughout the week, Golf Channel will air 54 hours of news and instruction programming from The PLAYERS Championship, and will include coverage of the World Golf Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, pre-tournament news conferences and wrap-around news coverage before and after tournament play. Dan Hicks hosts with analyst Johnny Miller, for Golf Channel on NBC coverage from the 18th tower and will also join Golf Channel's coverage Thursday and Friday. For the first time at the tournament, NBC will utilize "Actioncam," an overhead cable-suspended camera system that will 'fly' over the lake between 16 and 17.
NASCAR announced that the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards as well as the rest of Champion's Week will return to Las Vegas this year and remain there for the next three years, thanks to a new deal. For the fourth-consecutive season, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards will take place at Wynn Las Vegas on Friday, Nov. 30. From 1981 until 2008, NASCAR held its year-ending premier series awards show in New York City before moving to Las Vegas in 2009.
FUEL TV scored as television's fastest-growing cable network last month and for the year, according to figures released by Nielsen. The network announced that it had recorded the largest year-to-year percentage increases of total viewers in both prime time and total day in April and this year among all rated, ad-supported cable networks, with content anchored by 340 hours of UFC programming last month. Overall, the channel was 260% in Total Viewers and 450% in M18-49 compared to April numbers a year ago.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced that the Phoenix Coyotes have been sold to former San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jamison. The sale still has to be approved by the league's board of governors.
The Patriot League said that CBS Sports Network is picking up two football games from the conference next season, with Lafayette/Bucknell set for Sept. 22 at noon, while Colgate/Lehigh gets the spotlight on Nov. 10 at 12:30p.
Sponsorship & Promotion
Visa is pushing for fans around the world to "cheer" their favorite Team Visa Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls to victory at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The "global cheer" anchors the company's Olympic Games-themed integrated marketing campaign, Go World, which will mark the largest in Visa's 25 year history as a sponsor of the Olympic Games. Fans can utilize social media as well as integrations with partner websites including NBCOlympics.com, Yahoo! and Sports Illustrated for the campaign. In addition, for the first time, Visa will also feature fans in the the chance to have their cheers featured in special-edition Visa commercials celebrating the athletes.
Sirius XM Radio announced that it will launch a new expanded suite of 30 play-by-play channels dedicated to streaming the official radio broadcasts of every MLB team on the SiriusXM Internet Radio App and online at SiriusXM.com, beginning today. The 30 new channels will be branded with the respective MLB team logo and showcase that team's radio announcers throughout the season. For the first time, SiriusXM subscribers on the app and online will have access to both the home and visiting team broadcasts for every MLB game.
Yahoo! Sports locked in a deal with Alex Kline, the 17-year-old owner and operator of The Recruit Scoop, for its Rivals site that will make The Recruit Scoop, live on Rivals.com. The Recruit Scoop will offer daily updates, weekly features of the Rivals150, the top 150 recruits across the country, hosts Q&As with talent and live chats with basketball prospects from coast-to-coast. In his new role, Alex will be an Expert Publisher, focusing on the world of basketball recruiting.
The Main Event
Celtics/Hawks at 8p on TNT.
ON THIS DAY in 1984: The Soviet Union announces a boycott of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games being held in LA.
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Which NFL team was the first to be founded? The Arizona Cardinals, who were original founded in 1898 as the Morgan Athletic Club. Kudos: David Stern-BARD Entertainment/NY; David Kalan-NHL.com/NY; Chris Kiernan-MMI/Southport; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Eric Bates-Tennis Channel/Culver City; Miriam Aardahl-OMD/LA.
In The Know: In which event did Bruce Jenner win an Olympic Gold Medal? (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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