Good morning. It's Wednesday, June 13, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
ESPN reports that the 2012 NBA Playoffs generated record ratings and viewership for the platform, led by the Eastern Conference Finals, which delivered the network's highest-rated, most-viewed NBA series ever, according to Nielsen. The games averaged a 6.2 household rating, matching the highest-rated Conference Finals ever on cable, and were up 44% compared to ESPN's coverage of the Western Conference Finals (4.3) last year. The series averaged 10,144,000 viewers, up 46% from 2011 and up 43% in household impressions from 2011 (4,987,000). The NBA Playoffs on ESPN also delivered double-digit boosts in key demos, including 35% in M18-34 (5.0 vs. 3.7); 31% in M18-49 (4.6 vs. 3.5); 29% in M25-54 (4.5 vs. 3.5); 35% in P18-34 (3.5 vs. 2.6); 28% in P18-49 (3.2 vs. 2.5); 24% in P25-54 (3.1 vs. 2.5). Online, NBA content on ESPN.com and ESPN Mobile properties during the playoffs logged an average minute audience of 71,000, up 22% compared to the previous year.
On the Air
Ratings for the NHL playoffs this season saw growth early, followed by dips for the Final, then took yet another swing upward as the series-clinching Game 6 drew a 4.0 in the overnights with a 7 share, according to Nielsen. With LA anchoring viewership, the matchup was up 3% over last year's Boston/Vancouver Game 6 and marked a 35% spike above the overnight score from Game 5. In LA, the contest drew a 13.6/25 to rank as the highest-rated hockey game in the record books for the market.
With the NBA Finals underway, the league announced that the series will boast unprecedented global coverage, reaching fans live in 215 countries and territories in 47 languages on their televisions, computers, mobile phones and tablets with a record 278 million fans around the world following The Finals on social media. For the first time, viewers located in China will have access to "Star Cam" presented by Lenovo on CCTV and its website CNTV.cn beginning with game 3
With final numbers in, NBC and Nielsen report that viewership for the Belmont Stakes on NBC soared, despite I'll Have Another's exit from contention, to best last year's numbers by 12%, and 2010 by 62%. Between the three Triple Crown races, the average viewership is up 2% from last year's numbers and the best for a non-Triple Crown year since 2005.
More data. ESPN's coverage of UEFA EURO 2012 is scoring triple-digit viewership increases vs. the last event in 2008. Through six matches, ESPN's English-language presentation of the games is averaging 1,007,000 households and 1.328,000 viewers, for gains of 198% and 214%, respectively, compared to the first six games from 2008. Over on ESPN Deportes, the first three days of action averaged a 3.2 Hispanic household coverage rating, for a jump of 66%.
The additions of Stony Brook and Kent St. make for a potentially spicy College World Series this year. ESPN's coverage is set to take on all 17 possible College World Series games for the 10th straight year. Action starts Friday, June 15 starting at 5p, and will wrap up with the best-of-three College World Series Finals Sunday, June 24 through Tuesday, June 26. Telecasts are set to include Kyle Peterson as an in-booth analyst, and programming will include the use of K-Zone and X-Mo.
David Duval is going to swap golf clubs for microphones and make his debut as a television analyst on ESPN's coverage of the 112th U.S. Open this week at Olympic Club in San Francisco. Duval will work with ESPN's Trey Wingo, host of the feature group coverage, with co-analyst Bill Kratzert and on-course reporter Mark Donaldson.
The NHL announced more presenters for the 2012 NHL Awards with the additions of actors Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family), Ray Liotta (All Things Fall Apart, Killing Them Softly, Goodfellas), Adam Pally (Happy Endings) and performer Cheryl Burke (Dancing with the Stars). The 2012 NHL Awards will take place at the Encore Theater at the Wynn Las Vegas on Wednesday, June 20 and will be broadcast live at 7p on NBC Sports Network and online at cbcsports.ca in Canada. CBC-TV will carry the complete two-hour celebration nationally starting at 8:00p. Previously announced presenters include actors Kevin Connolly, Colin Hanks, Joshua Jackson, Cory Monteith, Matthew Perry, Vince Vaughn and Michael Vartan.
Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia nabbed a 2012 National Edward R. Murrow Award for Video Sports Reporting (Television Large Market) by the Radio Television Digital News Association, for "Remembering Richie," the story of a Philadelphia-area native who lost his life on September 11, 2001.
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Sponsorship & Promotion
Oakley announced that the company extended an agreement to serve as the official eyewear of Team USA through 2020. As part of the deal, athletes spanning more than 15 disciplines will sport Oakley eyewear for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games, as well as Sochi 2014, Rio de Janeiro 2016, Pyeongchang 2018, and the 2020 games.
Sportsman Channel announced that the network is prepping for its largest marketing promotion ever with its newly created Made in America Q3 premiere week campaign. The campaign highlights the network's premier experts and hosts, as well as outdoor opportunities for the more than 82 million American sportsmen and women. The campaign will start on June 25. Chevrolet's Silverado, the official truck of the outdoors and partner of the Sportsman Channel, will be the presenting sponsor of the Made in America premiere week.
CBSSports.com announced it is holding the first ever developer challenge targeting the fantasy sports industry. The CBSSports.com Fantasy Football Developer Challenge will "encourage any companies or individuals in the fantasy sports industry as well as the developer community at large to create apps to be used by millions of fantasy football players around the world." $75,000 is up for grabs for three winning apps with the following distribution with categories that include: Draft, Roster Management, Results (live scoring, schedule, standings), Content, Administration, and Communications/Social.
MLB.com announced the debut of The 140 Club, a curated news service for baseball fans looking to see what the world is saying about baseball and what baseball is saying about the world via the social networking service. The first edition of The 140 Club selects the most talked about topics of the day and curates a live stream of the best tweets from around the world. Recent examples include the no-hitters by Johan Santana and the Seattle Mariners, the Interleague Play series sweeps by the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals, the College World Series and the Bradley-Pacquiao fight.
BTN is hosting its second-annual Social Media Summit today at the Sutton Place Hotel in Chicago, with around 50 people attending from Big Ten universities, the B1G Conference, and BTN. The summit will include topics such as Harnessing Fan Power to Sell the Experience, How the Blackhawks do Social, Success Stories from Campus and SocialSports and Emergency Management with speakers that include social media expert Kathleen Hessert, owner of Sports Media Challenge; Adam Kempenaar, director, new media and creative services for the Blackhawks; and Pat Coyle of Coyle Media, among others.
The Main Event
Yankees/Braves on ESPN at 7p.
ON THIS DAY in 1947: The first night game at Fenway Park is played.
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What is the only nation to have won a Gold Medal at every Summer Olympic Games? Great Britain. Kudos: Jordan Goldberg-Disney and ESPN Media Networks/NY; Noah Coslov-CineSport/NY; Patrick McOwen-Comcast Spotlight/North Wales; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; George Finkel-MegaSport Productions/Myrtle Beach; Matt Sautter-OpenTV/Golden; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA.
In The Know: What MLB team has a mascot named Ace? (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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