Good morning. It's Friday, May 11, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
Time Warner Cable Sports officially unveiled its launch plans for the company's two new Southern California sports networks, which will debut on October 1, 2012. The networks will be branded Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes and are set to offer a year-round schedule of more than 120 live sports events as the new homes of the Los Angeles Lakers, LA Galaxy and Los Angeles Sparks. Beginning with the 2012-13 NBA season, game coverage will include full seasons of Lakers, Galaxy and Sparks games, as well as CIF high school regular season and playoff contests. On-air talent will include Lakers broadcasters Stu Lantz and Bill Macdonald on Time Warner Cable SportsNet with Adrian Garcia Marquez and Francisco Pinto on Time Warner Cable Deportes. Andy Adler, formerly of KNBC and WNYW, will anchor nightly studio programming as studio host while Heidi Watney, former reporter for the Boston Red Sox and NESN, will report on and interview teams, athletes and fans while on-the-scene.
On the Air
For the third year in a row, FOX Sports is broadcasting the UEFA Champions League Finals with coverage set to begin on May 19 at 2p. The game, featuring Bayern Munich & Chelsea FC facing off in Munich for the trophy. FOX Sports' Curt Menefee hosts the event, with FOX Soccer's Rob Stone hosting on-site studio coverage. Eric Wynalda joins Brad Friedel for pre-game, halftime and post-match analysis, while Martin Tyler calls the match with Gary Neville. Pregame starts at 1p. FOX Deportes is also carrying the match live in Spanish, while FOX Soccer re-airs the match at 8p, and FOX Soccer Plus doing the same at 5p on May 20. Interest in the sport continues to rise with U.S. viewership of the UEFA Champions League Final increasing seven years in a row. Over the last 10 years, the audience has increased almost 10-fold, from 264,000 viewers on ESPN in 2002 to 2.6 million on FOX in 2011.
SPEED announced broadcast plans for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 19. A three-hour edition of NASCAR RaceDay with hosts John Roberts, Kyle Petty and Larry McReynolds starts at 4p, followed by live racing at 7p with the Sprint Showdown. Then the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race revs up at 9p. Krista Voda, Jeff Hammond and McReynolds host with Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and McReynolds calling the action,
The NBC Sports Group hits the weekend with yet another Game 7 on Saturday night, as well as as the first game of the Western Conference Final on Sunday. The NHL announced the schedule for the first two games of both the Western and Eastern Conference Finals, with the Coyotes hosting the Kings on Sunday and Tuesday nights on NBC Sports Network. Meanwhile the Capitals/Rangers winner will quickly have to regroup to face the Devils starting Monday at 8p .
Jason La Canfora is departing the NFL Network to join CBS Sports as the NFL Insider for the CBS Television Network's NFL pre-game show, The NFL Today, the CBS Sports Network and CBSSports.com. He will join joins James Brown, Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason, Shannon Sharpe and Bill Cowher on the progam starting Sept. 9, and begins his role for CBSSports.com in July.
The NCAA revealed that, for the first time, all three divisions ofNCAA men's basketball will see their 2013 national champions crowned during Final Four weekend in Atlanta, with the Division II and Division III titles awarded in the same city and over the same weekend as Division I tournament. The Division II and Division III champions will be crowned on Sunday, April 7, likely at Philips Arena, with the national championship game set for April 8. The moves come as part of the organization's efforts to celebrate the 75th anniversary celebration of the championship tournament.
FUEL TV locked in its broadcast teams for the upcoming UFC on FUEL TV: The Korean Zombie vs. Dustin Poirier. The action kicks off Monday at 4p with the live UFC Weigh-in on FUEL TV, hosted by Jay Glazer, and analysis from Rashad Evans. Jon Anik hosts the weigh-ins live from The Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia and conducts fighter interviews. On Tuesday, FUEL TV begins covering the first six prelim bouts live on its website at 5:30p before the 7p UFC Prefight Show on FUEL TV hosted by Glazer. At 8p, the action begins with the six main card fights announced by Jon Anik and Kenny Florian.
ESPN is honoring Tennessee Head Coach Emeritus Pat Summitt with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at The 2012 ESPYS on July 11. Summitt announced on Aug. 23, 2011 that she had been diagnosed with early onset dementia, "Alzheimer's Type," at the age of 59.
Spike TV's Bellator Fighting Championships and TNA's IMPACT Wrestling are aligning themselves with a deal for martial arts star, "King Mo" Lawal. King Mo signed a deal to compete on both of the channel's sports properties, joining TNA this summer before resuming his mixed martial arts career next year when Bellator Fighting Championships moves to Spike TV from its current television home, MTV2.
The revived United States Football League announced that Fred Biletnikoff, the Super Bowl XI MVP and 1988 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, and James Bailey, the Executive Vice President of the NFL's Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens franchise for 21 years, have been named to the league's board of advisors. Biletnikoff will serve on the football operations branch of the USFL's advisory board, while Bailey will serve on the business operations branch.
Golf Channel will air Bill Clinton's interview on Feherty on Monday at 10p. Topics will range from the difficulty of keeping focus inside the beltway to the almost equally hard challenge of keeping your ball inside the fairway, "as Clinton talks about the formative moments of his childhood, the pressures of the presidency and his lifelong love of golf."
ESPN Films' documentary about Lori "Lolo" Jones has been slated for May 21 at 7p on ESPNU. The doc, dubbed Lolo, will explore "Jones' trying journey thus far; rising from poverty and homelessness to be catapulted into world stardom, including a spot on the USA Olympic Track and Field team and celebrity status." Lolo will premiere on May 21 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
GolTV is on deck to run the UEFA Under-17 Final on May 16 at noon and the UEFA Women's Champions League final on the 17th at noon.
WFN: World Fishing Network is being made available to Comcast's Xfinity TV customers in its Heartland Region, which includes Indiana, Arkansas, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky as part of Comcast's Sports Entertainment Package.
Sponsorship & Promotion
Danica Patrick has signed a multi-year endorsement deal to represent the Coke Zero brand where she will appear in a series of vignettes premiering during the Coke Zero 400, and be featured in marketing executions such as retail point of sale materials as well as make personal appearances on behalf of the Coke Zero brand.
IMG College inked a deal with George Washington University to market and sell corporate sponsorships on behalf of the school. The new partnership will allow IMG College to exclusively manage and market all corporate sponsorship rights for the Department of Athletics and Recreation at George Washington, which includes stadium and venue signage, in-game promotions and advertising opportunities.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
espnW.com, along with SportsCenter, will reveal numbers 30 through 26 next week as part of its Top 40 Female Athletes of the Past 40 Years countdown. The site will offer an in-depth look at Michelle Akers, Gail Devers, Chamique Holdclaw, Nancy Lieberman and Grete Waitz who ranked in those slots as part of ESPN's companywide initiative The Power of IX. The top 10 female athletes will be revealed during the 11p on weeknight SportsCenter from June 11-22.
The Main Event
The Rangers host the Capitals in Game 7 of their series at 7:30p Saturday on NBC Sports Network.
The FOX platforms offer Barclays Premier League "Survival Sunday" simultaneously across its platforms, including FX and FOX Soccer, at 10a.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
ON THIS DAY in 1977: Ted Turner manages an Atlanta Braves game.
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What is the only school to ever leave the ACC? South Carolina. Kudos: Thomas Kelley-DeBrain/NY; Phyllis Starsia-Tangible Media/NY; Jason Horowitz-Dial Global Sports/NY; Peter Topol-PJT Consulting/NY; Ken Nice-Yoh/Silver Spring; Pete Holtermann-HolterMedia/Ponte Vedra Beach; Bob Rathbun-FOX Sports South/Raycom Play-by-Play/Atlanta; Dave Lucas-NewsChannel 8/Arlington; Jim Himmel-Prudential/San Clemente.
In The Know: On what team did Greg Maddux make his final MLB appearance? (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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