Good morning. It's Wednesday, June 27, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
The BCS Presidential Oversight Committee officially passed a plan for a four-team college football playoff set to begin with the 2014 season. The new format will feature the semifinals will be rotated from among six bowl games over the life of the contract, while the championship game will be assigned via a bidding process. Teams will be decided via a selection committee that will rank the schools. Semifinal contests will be held on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1; while the championship game will be played on the first Monday that is a minimum of six days after the last semifinal. The first playoff game will be held on Dec. 31, 2014.
On the Air
NBC Sports Group inked an extension with The Amaury Sport Organisation for a 10-year multi-platform extension for includes exclusive U.S. television, digital and mobile rights for the Tour de France through 2023. Officially, the renewal begins in 2014, and makes the NBC Sports Group the home of the Tour de France with live coverage of every stage, including live coverage on NBC each year. In addition, the NBC Sports Group will continue coverage of other ASO properties, such as the Dakar Rally and the Paris Marathon, as well as spring classic cycling events including Paris Nice, Criterium International, Criterium du Dauphine, Paris Roubaix, Fleche Wallonne, Liege Bastogne Liege and the Paris Tours. NBC Sports Group will surround this year's race with 295 total hours of coverage.
Sunday's UEFA EURO 2012 quarterfinal match between Italy and England officially scored an average of 2.968 million viewers for ESPN, according to Nielsen, to rank ahead of any UEFA European Football Championship match in 2012 or 2008, with the exception of the 2008 final on ABC. Overall the four quarterfinals averaged 1.918 million viewers for a boost of 31% over the same games in 2008. Through 28 matches overall, ESPN's live English-language presentation is averaging 1,144,000 viewers -- up 63% compared to 2008.
The Madison Square Garden Company, City of Inglewood and Faithful Central Bible Church announced that The Madison Square Garden Company has acquired the famed Forum for a purchase price of $23.5 million. The acquisition will be followed by a comprehensive renovation of the historic venue, which is slated to start later this year. Of course, the Forum is famed as the former home of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kings until 1999.
Michael Phelps helped boost NBC's coverage of the Olympics swimming trials on Monday, drawing 6.95 million viewers for a 4.4 rating and 7 share.
E! announced its lineup of programming surrounding the 2012 Olympic Summer Games, utilizing E! News anchor Giuliana Rancic as well as talent such as Bruce Jenner beginning Monday, July 23. Other names are set to include Catt Sadler, Ross Mathews, and Robbie Laughlin. As part of the programming, E! News will produce a daily webcast, LIVE from E!, that will run on E! Online and provide viewers with the scoop on everything happening in pop-culture, news and entertainment. The webcast will feature interviews with athletes, reporters and attending celebrities
ESPNU will showcase 24 of the country's top high school boys' basketball players in game action and a dunking competition on ESPNU on August 24 and 25 at 7p as part of the Under Armour Elite 24.
MLB Network lined up its July slate of games, which will include a Fourth of July doubleheader and every first-place club from Sunday, July 1 through Tuesday, July 31. The channel kicks off the Independence Day doubleheader with the San Francisco Giants visiting the Washington Nationals at 11:00a, with the game followed by a Yankees/Rays matchup at 3p. The first MLB Network Showcase game of the month will feature Bob Costas and John Smoltz calling the action between the Yankees and Boston Red Sox from Fenway Park on Friday, July 6 at 7p.
Sportsman Channel announced the launch of Sportsman HD in certain Charter Communications market areas in the Missouri service area, with additional launches slated for Charter's Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota and New England markets this summer.
Wimbledon is mulling a calendar change that will start the famed tournament three weeks after the French Open instead of two, according to the AP, in order to give players more time between the two Grand Slam events. The earliest the change could take place is 2014.
Join your colleagues in NYC on August 9 for the Sports Media Awards Breakfast! View finalists & register to attend: http://ow.ly/bObiI.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Sponsorship & Promotion
USA Basketball announced a new partnership with 24 Hour Fitness that makes the fitness club industry leader an Official Partner of the USA Basketball Men's and Women's National Teams and marking the second time that brand has partnered with USA Basketball. To celebrate the new partnership, the company will host a tip-off event in London during the 2012 Summer Games with Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball Chairman and Mike Krzyzewski, USA Basketball Men's National Team Head Coach. The deal will allow 24 Hour Fitness, the ability to promote the partnership in 24 Hour Fitness clubs and through USA Basketball games, media and special events.
The PGA TOUR and Turner Sports, who together co-produced PGATOUR.com, as well as all of the PGA TOUR digital products since 2006, announced a parting of ways with the TOUR set to oversee all aspects of its digital business starting January 2013 including operations, content, product development, marketing and advertising sales. The two sides affirmed that the separation was mutual and was the result of evolving digital strategies. For sales beginning in 2013, each party will sell its own golf properties. Turner Sports will continue to manage operations and oversee ad sales for PGA.com in partnership with the PGA of America, and continue to exclusively sell the Golf section of Yahoo! Sports in partnership with Yahoo!
Media discovery company Shazam announced that the organization is working with NBC's Olympics coverage to offer a social TV interactive experience to viewers of the 2012 London Games from July 27 -- August 12. The deal will allow U.S. viewers watching the action on any of the NBCU channels to use the Shazam App on their mobile device to unlock extras that include unique content on athletes, up-to-the-minute information on results, and the medal count. Additionally, they can participate in viewer polls and share on social media via Twitter and Facebook.
The Main Event
EURO 2012: Portugal/Spain on ESPN at 2:30p.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
ON THIS DAY in 1984: The Supreme Court ends NCAA control over college football telecasts.
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Who was the only top pick of the NBA draft to come out of Syracuse? Derrick Coleman (Carmelo wasn't the top pick, he was picked third). Kudos: Josh Lappin-MLB Network/NY; David Coletti-ESPN/NY; Steve Tedder -Digital Gameday/NY; Allison Wright-Viacom Media Network/Detroit; Doug Jacobs-Integrated Sports Media/Hoboken; Rob Thompson-Armada Group Live/Saratoga Springs; Phil Olshanski-The Weather Channel/Atlanta; Carol Teichman-Comcast Spotlight/Bloomfield; Paul Tarrants-RTM Productions/Nashville; Ron Salcedo-Zimmerman/Nashville; Tommy Buhr-Turner Sports/Chicago; Matt Sautter-OpenTV/Golden; Guy Cacciarelli-MSG Media/Santa Monica; Paul Gygli-NBCUniversal Television Distribution/Universal City; David Levin- KTVU FOX 2/Oakland.
In The Know: Who holds the record for most Ladies' Singles Titles at Wimbledon? (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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