Good morning. It's Friday, September 21, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
CBS Sports Network is getting into the late-night game. The channel announced a new weekday late-night show called Lead Off that will be hosted by the newly-signed Doug Gottlieb. The one-hour series will debut on Monday, Oct. 22 and offer "perspective on the sports news of the day, advancing the storylines fans will be discussing in the morning." Lead Off will mark Gottlieb's CBS Sports Network debut, although he will also host a daily radio show on the upcoming CBS Sports Radio which launches in January.
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On the Air
NBC Sports Group will offer over 60 hours of coverage for next week's Ryder Cup beginning Sept. 24, including 16 hours of live weekend programming on NBC. Complementing NBC's live coverage, Golf Channel will offer nearly 50 hours of wraparound programming for the tournament, featuring news, talk and instruction, headlined by its franchise show, Live From the Ryder Cup. Former European Tour Ryder Cup Captain Colin Montgomerie will also join Golf Channel as Guest Analyst. Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller will anchor NBC's weekend coverage of the Ryder Cup.
As part of the Ryder Cup festivities, Michael Phelps will join David Feherty for a special Ryder Cup-themed Feherty Live from Chicago, on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 9p on Golf Channel. The episode will be taped in front of a live audience and also will feature appearances by former Ryder Cup captains Paul Azinger, Sam Torrance and Lanny Wadkins.
Around the dial, ESPN offers 11.5 hours of live play from of the opening matches of the 39th Ryder Cup on Friday, Sept. 28, starting at 8a. Mike Tirico anchors the telecast , with analysis from Azinger.
HBO brings back The Fight Game with Jim Lampley for its third edition on Saturday at 10:35p. The episode will feature a look at Sept. 15, when two major boxing events competed head-to-head in Las Vegas; an examination of the thriving middleweight division; and an all-new "Gatti List."
Canada's TSN and TSN2 revealed plans for this year's NBA coverage, with a 100 game package in store that includes 47 Raptors matchups. In addition to the regular season schedule, the channel will also offer live coverage of NBA All-Star Weekend, the playoffs as well as the NBA Finals. Among the schedule highlights will be 15 games featuring reigning champion Miami Heat and 13 games for the Lakers. Matt Devlin and Jack "The Coach" Armstrong will call all Raptors games this season.
Spike TV is making its weekly series Impact Wrestling live for the remainder of the year. The channel began airing the wrestling program live in May and has since seen time slot growth of 33% in households, 47% in Men-18-49, and 35% in viewers.
FUEL TV is slating two upcoming telecasts around this weekend's PPV UFC 152: Jones vs.Belfort. The action kicks off this afternoon at 4p with the UFC Weigh-in on FUEL TV, hosted by Karyn Bryant. Saturday features the UFC Postfight Show on FUEL TV at 1a following the PPV with Bryant leading the recap of the evenings bouts.
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Pepsi is bringing back the Pepsi MAX NFL Rookie of the Week this season, and turning to comedic website FunnyorDie.com to offer NFL rookies some professional football advice from none other than Sean Astin using his experience from the movie Rudy. Fans can vote for one of five nominated players on NFL.com/rookies starting every Tuesday at 9a. The winning player will be announced each Friday on NFL Total Access on NFL Network and on NFL.com.
Doritos is adding some more sparkle to the winner of its annual "Crash the Super Bowl" contest, with the winner now set to work with famed director Michael Bay on the set of the next Transformers movie. The seventh annual contest promotes creativity among fans to by allowing them to create their own Doritos commercials that are voted on by the public. If the ads do well on the USA Today Ad Meter, contestants can win cash prizes of up to $1 million. Last year saw 6,100 entries, up 1600 from the year before.
MLB Advanced Media launched support for Passbook for four Major League Clubs, making it the first professional sports league to offer fans this new mobile ticketing option enabled by iOS 6. Teams participating include The San Francisco Giants, New York Mets, Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Royals, who are utilizing this feature for the remainder of their regular season home dates in 2012. Via Passbook, fans are able to receive and store their digital tickets after completing a purchase via MLB.com or the official Club websites, and tickets from that platform will include customary information such as game date, opponent, time, section, row and seat.
The Main Event
Lots of channel flipping on Saturday starting with ranked matchups including Michigan/Notre Dame on NBC at 7:30p, Kansas St./Oklahoma on FOX at 7:50p and Clemson/Florida St. on ABC at 8p.
ON THIS DAY in 1991: USA Basketball announces the Dream Team for the 1992 Olympic Games.
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Fred Couples was elected into the World Golf Hall of Fame yesterday. What is his nickname? Boom Boom. Kudos: Mark Erlichson-NHL/NY; Zac Salamon-Northwestern Mutual/NY; Jen Benensky-Turner Digital/NY; Barbara Behrins-Captivate Network/NY; Juan P. Delgado-Telemundo/Hialeah; Larry Kahn-Golf Channel/Orlando; Ted Andrusz-Home Team Sports/Detroit; TJ McGovern-Golf Channel/Orlando; Robert Teinowitz-Live Action Media/Chicago; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc./Santa Monica; Randy Brown-Outdoor Channel/Temecula; John Sutton-Charter Digital Media/LA; Nick Monroe-Monroe Photography/San Diego.
In The Know: What longtime NFL player was a "pawn in game of life" in the movie Blazing Saddles? (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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