Good morning. It's Tuesday, June 19, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
Roger Clemens has another victory under his belt. With a media frenzy in tow throughout the case, the pitcher was acquitted on all charges that he obstructed and lied to Congress by denying he used performance-enhancing drugs. "I'm very thankful," he said before adding "It's been a hard five years."
On the Air
Squaring off against the US Open on NBC, Game 3 of the 2012 NBA Finals drew a 8.8 rating. Through three games, the series now ranks as the most-watched Finals ever on ABC, averaging 16,099,000 viewers, according to Fast Nationals from Nielsen. Sunday night's Game 3 broadcast delivered 15,452,000 viewers. Overall, the series is up 7% in household rating with a 9.7 average and up 5% in viewership.
NBC's coverage of the final round of U.S. Open Golf Championship on Sunday scored a 6.6 in the overnight ratings, according to Nielsen, up 29% over last year's coverage.
FOX Sports announced that the channel will launch two one-hour preview specials dubbed UFC's Road to the Octagon, that will promote the August and December UFC on FOX events. The first will air Sunday, July 29 and feature an in-depth look at Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Brandon "The Truth" Vera, and other fighters on the August main card, which runs Saturday, Aug. 4 at 8p. The second special, which focuses on the fighters battling in the Saturday, Dec. 8 event, runs Sunday, Dec. 2 opposite local NFL on FOX singleheader coverage at 3p or 4:30p.
TNT's second NASCAR Sprint Cup outing this season posted another week of ratings growth with the Quicken Loans 400 rising 15% to a 3.1 in the overnight ratings.
NBC Sports Group is set to continue its coverage of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials with live diving, track and field, swimming and gymnastics trials beginning today and spanning the next three weeks. Overall, NBC and NBC Sports Network will carry over 45 hours of live trials coverage with 56 hours overall, including, for the first time ever, every night of the swimming trials in primetime on NBC. In the diving competition, NBC Sports Group features 14 hours of live diving trials starting tonight at midnight on NBC Sports Network and includes five hours of weekend afternoon coverage on NBC. For track and field, NBC Sports Group will showcase 12 hours of live track & field trials coverage starting Friday at 9p on NBC Sports Network with eight days of coverage; including four nights in primetime on NBC. Swimming trials will be in primetime on NBC. In all, NBC Sports Group with a total of 16.5 hours starting Monday, June 25 at 6:3p, on NBC Sports Network, immediately followed by the first of eight straight nights in primetime on NBC at 8p. For gymnastics, 8.5 hours will air beginning Thursday, June 28 at 5:30p NBC Sports Network and includes four straight days of coverage ending with the women's final in primetime on NBC on Sunday, July 1.
CBS Sports Network announced that One2One: David Stern will run tonight at 8p with Ian Eagle conducting the interview. Topics are set to include the NBA Draft lottery, one-and-done college players, the 20th Anniversary of the Dream Team and NBA players participating in the Olympics.
The New Jersey Devils could be taken over by the NHL, according to the New York Post, in spite of its appearance in the Stanley Cup Final. The report states that the money-losing franchise could be subject to the same oversight that the Phoenix Coyotes faced due to the team's financial struggles if owner Jeff Vanderbeek is unable to refinance his debt. The league denied the report to USA Today.
The next edition of Costas Tonight will feature John McEnroe, Bill Maher and Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick set to air on Wednesday at 9p on NBC Sports Network.
Gravity Collection announced a new action-extreme sports channel designed to offer hundreds of hours of action and outdoor sports programming including originally produced content, feature films and shorts including surf, snowboard, ski, skateboard, mountain bike, motocross, climbing, and more. According to the company, the GCI channel "will offer content producers an industry-leading revenue share program designed to maximize advertising income for producers. In addition, filmmakers will be privy to exclusive options aimed at maximizing reach, visibility and relevancy with consumers, including unlimited sub-channels, extensive tags and coding, and online security to prevent intellectual property theft."
Sponsorship & Promotion
Kelly Dunne has been upped to Senior Vice President, CBS Sports Marketing where she will oversee marketing efforts across CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network, including branding and on-air promotions. In the new role, Dunne will combine both divisions, while leading and growing the marketing efforts for the CBS Sports brand across multiple platforms and continue to oversee CBS Sports Network's on-air graphic look, interactive design and development and creative services.
Longhorn Network is looking inward for marketing efforts, launching+ a new brand campaign created in collaboration with students at The University of Texas College of Communication. The students worked on every aspect of the creative process and conceived the new "Watch What You Love" theme. Two of the first spots are dubbed "Little Longhorn" and "Homesick" with more set to be released in the coming weeks.
The Professional Bull Riders announced that they have inked an agreement with Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., with the brand now known as the "Official ATV and Side x Side" of the PBR. As part of the deal, Kawasaki branding and advertisements will be featured during PBR television broadcasts on four major networks, along with prominent in-arena and chute signage, as well as arena PA announcements, and JumboTron spots.
Round three matchups are set for the right to be the cover driver for NASCAR The Game: Inside Line. Eight drivers are left, pitting Dale Earnhardt Jr. vs. Danica Patrick; Tony Stewart vs. Denny Hamlin; Mark Martin vs. Kasey Kahne; and Jeff Gordon vs. Ryan Newman.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Following record TV ratings for the U.S. Open Championship on ESPN, the company reports that the average minute audience across all ESPN digital platforms for the four rounds of the U.S. Open was 53,794, up 65% versus 2011. The ESPN.com Golf section saw more than one million daily unique visitors Thursday through Sunday, up 93% over last year. ESPN Mobile web saw over five million average daily unique visitors during the span for a 44% jump.
ESPN3 is launching an espnW channel that will be dedicated exclusively to live women's sports events on Saturday, June 23, which is also the 40th anniversary of Title IX. At its launch, the sports network is slated to carry 170 hours of live women's events through July 31 via an ESPN3 player on espnW.com. Programming is set to include: basketball, volleyball, softball, tennis, golf and X Games Los Angeles.
The NBA announced that the Philippines now tops the list of countries following the league on Facebook and Twitter outside the United States and China. The country is followed on Facebook by Turkey, Indonesia, Mexico and France. On Twitter, the Philippines is followed by Indonesia, Brazil, the UK and India. In China, the NBA is the top sports league across social media with 52 million fans on the league's official accounts on Sina Weibo and Tencent QQ.
NBA TV announced that New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin is the recipient of the first-ever "Social Breakout Player of the Year" Award for his surge in popularity with fans across Twitter and Facebook this season. The award marks the only honor to be presented ahead of NBA TV's telecast of the inaugural NBA Social Media Awards airing Wednesday, June 20, at 9p.
Facebook launched an official London Olympics page yesterday that will allow fans to connect with their favorite athletes and teams ahead of the London Games. The site showcases pages dedicated to specific Olympic sports with links to the official pages of about 60 national teams and 200 athletes around the world.
The Main Event
Thunder/Heat on ABC at 9p.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
JOIN US FOR BREAKFAST
ON THIS DAY in 2000: Tiger Woods wins the US Open by a record 15 shots.
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What team holds the record for the most first round selections in the NFL draft? Yikes! Apparently, I lifted a broadly-phrased question and there were different answers depending on how you read it. The record for most picks (from a university) in one year is Miami, the most overall is USC. Kudos: Daniel Weber-Nat Geo TV/NY; Tali Mishael-Turner Broadcasting/Atlanta; Michael LaPlante-ION Media Networks/West Palm Beach; David C. Tice-GfK Media/Roseland; Jim Dittemore-I Will Race You/Kansas City.
In The Know: Who is the NBA's all-time leader in three point field goal percentage? (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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