Friday, April 27th, 2012

Cynopsis: Sports
04/26/12

Good morning. It’s Friday, April 27, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Say goodbye to the BCS as we know it. Discussions to revise the college football post-season between the 11 FBS conference commissioners and Notre Dame are reportedly pulling the current model off the table. Instead, they will move forward with a playoff system beginning in 2014 with a four-team faceoff as the new model to crown a champ. Details on how to select teams, dates, and where the games will be played still being hammered out. However, the BCS did reveal that there will no longer be AQ and non-AQ conferences.

On the Air

NBC Sports revealed its lineup of announcers for the upcoming Summer Olympics with a mixture of familiar and new faces. As expected, Bob Costas returns as the primetime host for NBC’s coverage of the Games, which begin Friday, July 27 and marks his 10th Olympic broadcast assignment and his ninth as the primetime host. Al Michaels and Dan Patrick will host NBC’s live weekday and weekend daytime coverage, while Mary Carillo once again hosts the NBC late night show. In addition, Ryan Seacrest, John McEnroe, Bela Karolyi, and Carillo will serve as Olympic correspondents during primetime coverage on NBC.

Wednesday night’s NHL Game 7 finale between the Capitals and the Bruins was watched by 1.32 million viewers on the NBC Sports Network, ranking it as the most-watched NHL Conference Quarterfinal game on cable in 12 years. Those viewership numbers are up 43% vs. last year’s comparable game and drew a 0.89 rating that peaked at 1.13 during the 10 p.m. ET half hour.

Locally, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic’s coverage of the game seven scored the second-highest average household rating for a Capitals game in network history, earning an 8.01 in the Washington market. In Boston, NESN’s coverage set a new single-game ratings record for Bruins hockey to deliver a 19.6 average household rating in the Boston DMA and ranking as the sixth-highest rated event in NESN history, with 31 share.

Lots of reports yesterday that the NFL was working with the players association to shelve the Pro Bowl, with league sources telling ESPN that the game is likely off the table for this season and beyond. On ESPN last night before the draft, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the reports, stating “We are going through the process of evaluating the Pro Bowl, we owe our fans more… It has to improve, or we shouldn’t do it.”

FOX Soccer and Liverpool Football Club and partnering for a six-episode documentary dubbed Our Liverpool: Never Walk Alone. FOX Soccer will produce the original series, which takes viewers inside the club and will air in the fall of 2012, going inside the Anfield locker room as the team was chasing its eighth FA Cup title.

TNT is slating HBO’s reality series 24/7 MAYWEATHER/COTTO ahead of the big fight, running replays of the show on four consecutive nights, beginning Tuesday, May 1. The programs will lead up to the May 5 HBO PPV telecast between the two fighters.

It appears that Conference USA is about to get a new member. The North Texas Twitter feed posted that the university’s Board of Regents approved a move from the Sun Belt to Conference USA.

CBS Sports named Mark Wolff as coordinating producer of college basketball, where he will be responsible for the day-to-day planning of the Network’s coverage of NCAA Basketball. Wolff joins Bob Fishman as the lead basketball production team working the regular-season and the NCAA Tournament, including the Final Four and Championship Game. In addition to basketball, Mark will continue to serve as a producer for The NFL on CBS.

FIFA surpassed its revenue estimates for last year by 22%, according to Bloomberg, with the boon of bidding ahead of the 2014 World Cup. The governing body drew sales of $873 million, after budgeting for $715 million, according to its an annual financial statement. FIFA stated that it is projecting revenue of $954 million next year, with $575 million coming from television and $323 million from marketing.

ESPN Radio New York is going from AM to FM, and will hit 98.7 FM beginning at 12:01a on April 30, marking New York’s first 24/7 sports talk station on the FM band. For the moment, 98.7 FM and 1050 AM will simulcast content but the company has plans to turn 1050 AM into ESPN Deportes New York Radio.


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Sponsorship & Promotion

The NBA released its ranking of the league’s Most Popular Jersey and Team Merchandise, based on sales at the temporary NBA Store on Fifth Avenue and on NBAStore.com from April 2011 to the present and the Chicago Bulls as well as Derrick Rose took home the top spots on the two categories. Number two player on the list? Knick’s Jeremy Lin, followed by Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks rose to number two among team rankings, followed by the Lakers, Heat, and the 2011 NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks.

The ninth celebration of NASCAR Day on Friday, May 18th will encourage fans to join The NASCAR Foundation’s initiative with a “Pin It Forward” campaign, where fans are invited to connect and share their pride for NASCAR by posting stories and uploading pictures on the foundation’s Facebook page.

Digital Fields

The NHL is launching a shiny new app today, dubbed the Molson Canadian NHL PrePlay, a predictive gaming app that changes how NHL fans will view the game. The app is designed to create second screen experiences and make the TV-watching experience interactive. In essence, the app allows fans to play along while watching live Stanley Cup Playoffs game broadcasts by earning points for correctly predicting the outcomes of on-the-ice actions before they actually happen. Items that can be selected include who will win a face-off, kill a penalty or ultimately come out victorious against friends and fans.

The Main Event

Primetime racing. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Richmond on FOX on Sunday at 7:30p.



ON THIS DAY in 1967: Rocky Marciano retires undefeated as champion.

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Who is the only number one draft pick to come out of the University of South Carolina? George Rogers. Kudos: Ross Molloy-CBS Sports Network/NY; Stu Heifetz-Learfield Sports/NY; Steve Whitehurst-DIRECTV/NY; Joe Tafuri-Tennis Channel/NY; Matt Oelbaum-West Virginia University/Morgantown; David Koonin-MELT/Atlanta; Adam Zimmerman-CSE/Atlanta; Corey Goff-Turner Sports/Atlanta; Tom Akers-Outdoor Channel/Chicago; Bill Robertson-Tunheim Partners/Minneapolis; Nick Monroe-Monroe Photography/San Diego; Kevin Fay-DirectAvenue/Carlsbad; Maribel Wilkie-DirectAvenue/Carlsbad.

In The Know: What venue served as the original NFL home of the Colts? (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
04.27.12

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