Good morning. It's Wednesday, August 8, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
Maybe I'm just hungry but the Olympics are kind of like pizza, where even an off night is pretty terrific. NBC scored 26.6 million average viewers and a 15.8/25 Household Rating on Monday night, down from the network's 33.1 million average through 11 nights this year, but still besting Beijing's coverage in viewers and running even in rating.
Meanwhile, Monday's Olympic coverage delivered NBC Sports Network with its most-watched total day ever yesterday thanks to wins by Team USA men's basketball and women's soccer. The channel averaged 956,000 viewers and scored an average 0.63 household rating according to Nielsen. For Olympic coverage only, which ran from 4a-8p, the channel averaged 1.21 million viewers. The Team USA victory over Argentina was watched by 3.33 million viewers and drew a 2.14 rating, while the women's soccer game was watched by 2.92 million viewers for a 1.84 score.
On the Air
Facing hefty competition from the Olympics, Saturday's UFC on FOX event managed show viewership growth. The two-hour special averaged a 1.4/3 household rating/share, according to Nielsen with 2.44 million viewers. That is up over the previous UFC event on FOX, which garnered 2.42 million viewers and down slightly in rating (1.5) from the May broadcast. Among Men 18-34, Saturday's bouts posted a 19% spike over May's card.
Sister channel FUEL TV felt the halo affect from FOX's UFC programming, to score the network's most-watched UFC Prelims so far. The undercard fights drew 194,000 total viewers and 136,000 among Men 18-49. The network also saw its largest peak viewership to date with 328,000 total viewers and 223,000 M18-49 in the 7:45p quarter hour.
Telemundo Media has its own Olympic story to tell, announcing that the channel has doubled its 2008 Beijing Olympics audience among total viewers during the first eight days of the 2012 London Olympics, according to Nielsen. Coverage delivered a total cumulative viewership of 13.8 million total viewers through its first eight days of coverage, up 22% versus Beijing. On Saturday, August 4, the Mexico vs. Senegal soccer match on the channel managed to register a 99% share of Spanish-language television in Los Angeles; as well as 91% in San Francisco; 87% in New York; 83% in Dallas, and 76% in Houston. Nationally, the soccer match delivered 1.3M total viewers and 817,000 adults 18-49. Online, Telemundo Media's digital properties also registered 706,000 visitors from July 25 to Aug 4 with 841,000 total visits (324% more than Beijing) and 999,000 streams (556% more than Beijing) so far.
Major League Baseball Productions and NBC Sports Group are working together for a new series dubbed Caught Looking that will launch Wednesday, August 15, at 9p and subsequent episodes running on Thursdays through October 4. Each original episode will be one hour in length and will air on NBC Sports Network. The series offers baseball fans an inside look inside a specific weekend series, as Major League Baseball Productions cameras follow players, managers and front office personnel from both teams. According to the network, "Cameras will follow the two respective teams as they arrive at the ballpark, take batting practice, compete and prepare for each game."
ESPN locked in network and time assignments for both the ACC/Big Ten Challenge as well as the SEC/Big East Challenge for the college basketball season. ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to televise all 24 Challenge games over five consecutive days, November 27 to December 1. Coverage begins with the ACC/Big Ten on Nov. 27 at 7:15p with Minnesota/Fla. St. on ESPN2 and Iowa/Va. Tech on ESPNU and wraps up on the 28th at 9:30p with Ohio State/Duke on ESPN. The SEC/Big East games start the next night with a Kentucky/Notre Dame opener at 7p on ESPN2 and runs through Dec. 1.
Look for the entire U.S. Women's Olympic Gymnastics team to appear on Late Show with David Letterman on Tuesday next week with all members of the "Fierce Five" team-Gabrielle Douglas, Jordyn Wieber, McKayla Maroney, Kyla Ross and Alexandra Raisman-set to hit the show.
BTN announced that the network will televise more soccer this season than ever before with the new season, slating at least 60 matches to air on the channel, including for the first time each round of the Big Ten Men's and Women's Soccer Tournaments. The soccer season begins on Friday, Aug. 24, when Penn State women host Stanford, while the men begin on Sunday, Sept. 23, with Indiana at Ohio State. This season's coverage will include three doubleheaders and one tripleheader, as well as select matches scheduled on Thursday nights to provide more exposure for Big Ten soccer.
ESPN New York 98.7FM added the famed Bill Parcells to its talent roster, announcing that the two-time Super Bowl champion coach will appear on Thursdays at 4p on The Michael Kay Show beginning September 6th. In addition, the station announced that Joe Namath will expand his role as a regular contributor with a one hour weekly feature, The Joe Namath Report.
AT&T U-verse TV reached a multiyear extension to continue to carry the NFL Network as well as its spinoff RedZone Channel. NFL Network is available on the telco's U200 package and above on HD channel 1630 and SD channel 630. NFL RedZone is offered in the HD Premium Tier on HD channel 1629.
Pac-12 Enterprises deepened its tied in the northwest for the upcoming launch of Pac-12 Networks, inking a long-tern carriage agreement with Wave Broadband for carriage of Pac-12 Bay Area, Pac-12 Washington and Pac-12 Oregon to subscribers in the Sacramento, Seattle and Portland areas, respectively.
The New Orleans Hornets have a new broadcast team, announcing deals with Joel Meyers (play-by-play), David Wesley (color analyst) and Jennifer Hale (sideline reporter) for FOX Sports New Orleans. In June, the Hornets and FOX announced a long-term television rights agreement.
Sold out! See you tomorrow in NYC for the Sports Media Awards Breakfast! View finalists: http://ow.ly/bObiI
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Sponsorship & Promotion
Dodge drew national attention yesterday by confirming that they will be withdrawing from NASCAR competition at the end of the 2012 season in both the Sprint Cup Series and the Nationwide Series. Executive for the automaker did not rule out a return in the future, a possibility confirmed by NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France, who said "Dodge has been a great partner to NASCAR for many years, and they have been part of numerous memorable moments throughout our history. They made a business decision not to return in 2013, as they did in 1977 before returning in 2001. We wish them well and hope they again will choose to return to NASCAR at a later date."
While analyzing Super Bowl commercials are an annual tradition, analytics firm Ace Metrix is taking on the Olympics sponsors, and proclaiming which companies are bringing home the gold, silver and bronze medals for this year's games. The company said that based on viewer reaction to national TV ads in its studies, Chobani stands atop the proverbial podium in first place, with GE second and Coke third in the company's indexes.
Kid's sports platform The Whistle inked a deal with gamification company Bunchball to drive participation on The Whistle's online outlet. With the integration of Bunchball to the site, TheWhistle.com will offer missions, contests, rewards, and recognition designed to "maximize active engagement and participation among users." Incentives will include access to exclusive content, virtual goods, status, honors, recognition, points, and badges.
The Main Event
Team USA men's basketball takes on Australia in the quarterfinal at 5:15p on NBC Sports Network.
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ON THIS DAY in 1900: The first David Cup competition begins.
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: From what university did the Raiders draft Howie Long? Villanova. Kudos: Jay Goldstein-Screenvision/NY; Brent Rupp-Ad Age /NY; Zac Salamon-Northwestern Mutual/NY; Marc Ernay-1010 WINS/NY; Perry Casciato-CBS 3 & The CW Philly/Philadelphia; Rory Rosegarten-The Conversation Company, Ltd./Roslyn; Mike Bridges-Today Media/Philadelphia; Tony Marinaro-Lin Media/New Haven; Bill Robertson-Tunheim Partners/Minneapolis; Kevin Micklo-Lipman Hearne/Chicago; Rick Selah-TargetSpot/Dallas; Steve Siskind-Paramount Pictures/LA; Brian Sullivan-KHQ-TV/Spokane; Dick Murphy-Avail-TVN/LA; Paul Barrere-Home Team Sports/LA.
In The Know: What famed hockey player made a memorable cameo in the movie "Dumb and Dumber"? (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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