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Good morning. It's Tuesday, June 12, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
The NBC Sports Group is making a play for radio. The organization announced a deal with Dial Global to create the NBC Sports Radio Network, which will launch in September. Content is set to include hourly sports news updates, daily features as well as full-length shows with both national and regional content. Content will also be streamed on NBCSports.com, DialGlobalSports.com, affiliate stations' websites as well as other streaming services. Dial Global will serve as the exclusive ad and affiliate sales representative to the network. Specific programming and commentator details will be announced at a later date.
On the Air
NASCAR's return to TNT paid early dividends, with the channel's coverage of the Pocono 400 nabbing a 3.2 overnight rating for a 7% lift over the overnight ratings of both 2011 and 2010, according to Nielsen.
ESPN's coverage of the Euro 2012 first round contest between Spain and Italy drew a 1.7 overnight rating. That score is better than any first-round game from the last tournament, which was unable to break a 0.9.
NBA TV announced coverage plans for The Finals, with more than 40 hours of coverage set for the channel with Matt Winer anchoring NBA TV's 13th season of Finals coverage. On the digital front, the NBA GameTime app will offer fans access to video highlights, scores, complete player statistics, and schedules throughout The Finals. NBA.com will include live streaming press conferences, game breakdowns, video highlights, stats and game stories.
The Big East has hired Russell Reynolds Associates for the conference's search for a new commissioner, according to ESPN. The Big East reportedly hopes to have a new commissioner by Sept. 1, when the league starts its 60-day negotiation window with ESPN on a new media rights deal. The league is also suing one-time potential member TCU for $5 million, claiming that the school "materially breached" an obligation to pay the conference for breaking the conference.
ESPN is bringing in retired NBA referee Steve Javie to join the network during the NBA Finals as a rules analyst. Javie will take part in ESPN's studio programming, mainly SportsCenter, as well as offer insights during pregame and postgame shows throughout The NBA Finals. Javie officiated in the league for 25 years before retiring before the 2011-12 season.
Meanwhile, communications technology billionaire Robert Pera has agreed to buy the Memphis Grizzlies, according to multiple reports, for around $350 million.
UFC on FX 3 drew just over a million viewers, according to Nielsen, off from the 1.35 million viewers the first two events averaged on the channel.
The U.S. National Team will play its second World Cup Qualifier today, when they face Guatemala in Guatemala City. The match will be shown live on both satellite and cable pay-per-view, as well as on-line PPV on Ustream.tv at 10:00p. The match will be available via iN Demand, DIRECTV, DISH Network and Avail-TVN with Joe Tolleson and Shaka Hislop calling the action.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Sponsorship & Promotion
Under Armour and the NBA launched their five-city court refurbishment initiative yesterday, making its first stop at Madison Square Recreation Center in Baltimore, Md. The court will be dedicated with the help of Muggsy Bogues. This court refurbishment program is being completed in partnership with NBA FIT, with other cities set to include Charlotte, Philadelphia, Houston, and Newark.
NBC Sports Digital has hired Carolina Panthers beat writer Darin Gantt to be a featured writer for ProFootballTalk on NBCSports.com. Gantt will work with PFT founder Mike Florio.
Digital sports specialists PERFORM, research agency KantarSport and TV Sports Markets released the second annual survey into global sports media consumption, which covered ten key markets around the world. The study found a significant increase across all markets in the average amount of time per week that sports fans spent consuming sports and highlights the growing importance of digital where in 8 out of 10 markets, online is now the second most popular way to follow sports, ahead of print. The study found that in the US, around three quarters of the population, or 170 million people, claim to follow at least one sport and spends 8 hours per week consuming their sports of choice.
ESPN Deportes and SuperBoleteria.com are partnering to connect with sports fans for the UEFA European Football Championship. The efforts are part of the digital alliance between the two brands that integrate the SuperBoleteria branding, links and promotions across ESPNDeportes.com. The two companies are introducing live Twitter EURO Fiestas and Overtime with ESPN Deportes during select EURO matches, featuring 30-minute video chats with ESPN Deportes talent.
The Main Event
Game one of the NBA Finals featuring Heat/Thunder on ABC at 9p.
ON THIS DAY in 1981: MLB players start a strike that lasts 50 days.
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What NBA team has the longest run without an appearance in the Finals? The Clippers. Kudos: Sarah Galvin-Centsables/NY; Greg Conner-Outdoor Channel/NY; Peter Gimber-CBSBoston.com/Boston; Marc Wollis-NBC Sports Group/Orlando; Jeff Miller-Meredith Corporation/Atlanta; Marci Polzin-Clear Talent Group/Studio City.
In The Know: What is the only nation to have won a Gold Medal at every Summer Olympic Games? (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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