Good morning. It’s Friday, January 4, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
ESPN’s slate of BCS games continue to deliver, as Wednesday’s coverage of the Allstate Sugar Bowl averaged 10,125,000 viewers based on a 6.2 US rating. That marks a 4% rise over the 2012 matchup and a 9% leap for all three BCS games the network has shown so far at a pace of 12,535,000 viewers. On the local front, the game scored as the highest-rated ESPN bowl game telecast in Louisville on record (back to 2000) with a 28.4 average rating.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
2013 CYNOPSIS SPORTS MEDIA AWARDS
HONORING TOP SPORTS PROGRAMS, CAMPAIGNS, AND PEOPLE
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On the Air
ESPN will launch its 24th Major League Baseball season with an exclusive presentation of MLB Opening Night pitting the Rangers/Astros on March 31, at 8p. The game will mark Houston’s American League debut against their in-state and new division rivals. Baseball Tonight will precede the game with a special two-hour show on ESPN, beginning at 6p to preview the 2013 MLB season and the historic Opening Night game. ESPN and ESPN2 will then combine to present four MLB Opening Day games Monday, April 1, beginning with an afternoon doubleheader on ESPN.
Now that the NFL’s regular season is wrapped up, the league announced that the season reached 200 million unique viewers, representing 80% of all television homes and 69% of potential viewers in the U.S. as well as 31 of the 32 most-watched TV shows among all programming last fall. In addition, for the first time ever, an NFL game was the week’s most-watched TV show in all 17 weeks of the season.
Breaking down the numbers, NBC Sports was bolstered by final numbers for the Cowboys/Redskins game, drawing 30.0 million viewers, according to Nielsen. Adding in the data, which ranks as the most-watched and highest-rated NFL regular-season primetime game ever on the network, SNF finished this season as the top show in primetime in household rating, as well as all key adult and male demos, averaging 21.4 million viewers for the 2012 season, less than one percent below last year’s season average of 21.5 million.
Over on FOX, the NFL season ranked the network’s third most-watched ever, according to fast national figures compiled by Nielsen. The NFL on FOX averaged an 11.8/23 household rating/share in 2012 with 19.7 million viewers, matching 2010 as the second highest-rated season since 1995.
Meanwhile, GolfChannel finished 2012 as its most-watched year ever in the near 18-year history of the network. Golf Channel averaged 95,000 viewers in 24-hour Total Day (6a-6a) during 2012, an increase of 6% more than a record-breaking 2011 and 36% more than 2010 (70,000). Additionally, 14 million Golf Channel viewers watched some or all of the PGA TOUR Playoffs, which was the most-viewed ever in the PGA TOUR Playoffs’ six-year history.
The results of the 2013 National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot will be announced live on MLB Network and simulcast on MLB.com on Wednesday, January 9 at 2p as part of a three-hour announcement show that starts at noon. Coverage will feature Greg Amsinger, Brian Kenny and Heidi Watney with MLB Network’s Bob Costas, Al Leiter, Kevin Millar, Harold Reynolds, Hall of Fame award-winning baseball writer Peter Gammons, and Hall of Fame voters Jon Heyman, Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci.
NBA Commissioner David Stern told ESPN radio that he envisions the league boasting European teams sometime in the next two decades. “I think multiple NBA international teams,” he said. “Twenty years from now? For sure. In Europe. No place else. In other places I think you’ll see the NBA name on leagues and other places with marketing and basketball support, but not part of the NBA as we now know it.”
He may be retiring but famed Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis won’t be out of the spotlight. SI.com reports that Lewis is close to an agreement with ESPN for a featured role on Monday Night Countdown.
NBC Sports Network has a pair of new series on deck that are set to bow over the next couple of weeks. Monday at noon will feature The Box Score, a daily wrap-up program of The Dan Patrick Show featuring ‘The Danettes’ Dan Patrick’s production team of Paul Pabst, Patrick O’Connor, Andrew Perloff and Todd Fritz. Hosted by Casey Geraghty, The Box Score features ‘The Danettes’ recapping the highlights of that day’s program. On Monday, Jan. 28 at 6p, the channel will debut The Crossover: with Beadle and Briggs, a new 30-minute daily topical sports, entertainment and pop culture show featuring Michelle Beadle and Dave Briggs. The series will focus on the biggest and most topical stories of the day in the worlds of sports, pop culture and entertainment. The Crossover will fully integrate with social media with the set offering a 7-foot by 13-foot monitor wall, flanked on either side by 80-inch LED monitors directly connected to live social media feeds.
The YES Network reports that its Brooklyn Nets telecasts are averaging a 1.0 TV household rating so far this season, marking a 150% spike over the 0.4 TV HH rating the network’s Nets telecasts averaged for the entire previous season. Wednesday night’s Nets/Thunder game on YES averaged a 1.4 TV HH rating, the 13th YES Nets telecast this season to achieve at least a 1.0 average TV HH rating.
Professional Bull Riders launches its 20th season of competition on CBS Sports Network on Saturday, Jan. 5 at 10p with the Monster Energy Invitational at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The action continues on Sunday, Jan. 6 at 8p with Round 3 and the Built Ford Tough Championship Round. Sam Gore and Ty Murray are slated to announce with Leah Garcia reporting from dirt level.
Boxing’s return to NBC seemed to pay off, as Fight Night pulled a 1.2 rating and a 3 share, according to Nielsen, with 1.6 million viewers tuning in. On Dec. 15, CBS also brought boxing back into the mix to similar results, scoring a 1.3/3.
60 Minutes is taking a look at the lifeblood of Barcelona’s football club on Sunday’s episode of the show. The segment will profile the team as well as the training system it built that produced nearly 70% percent of the current team.
Celebrate the passing of 2012 in style! Now is the time to submit for our 2013 Cynopsis Sports Media Awards. The deadline is February 1 and we want to see your best work from the past year. Don’t let someone else take your trophy! Click here for entry information.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
CAPITALIZING ON MOBILE VIDEO: STRATEGIES & TACTICS TO DRIVE REVENUE
Thursday * January 24, 2013 * 1:30-3:00 p.m. ET
Sahil Patel, Associate Editor, Cynopsis Digital
JoAnna Foyle Abel
Charlie Echeverry – EVPSales for Univision Interactive, Univision Communications
Marcus Startzel – General Manager, North America, Millennial Media
Sponsorship & Promotion
Just in time for post-season football, KFC has registered a trademark proclaiming the chain as the Official Sponsor of Coachgating, aka enjoying a sporting event from the comfort of your couch. The company is launching a campaign around the concept and will teach game watchers how to become the ultimate “couchgaters” through a dedicated section on its Facebook page and a partnership with ThePostGame.com, the official digital magazine for Yahoo! Sports, to create custom content.
Wayne Taylor Racing announced that Velocity Worldwide had signed on to serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 10 Corvette Dallara Daytona featuring co-drivers Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor for the 2013 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series championship.
NASCAR.com flipped the switch and has launched a revamped site designed to offer video, “big, bold” imagery, interactive graphics and the latest news and in-depth analysis from a select group of NASCAR insiders and writers. The site will feature engagement options for race day including a live leaderboard that will offer fans in-depth information in real-time on each driver, while the RaceView and RaceBuddy applications will be improved for an enhanced broadcast complement on race day. In addition to an entirely new website, NASCAR will also release a pair of mobile apps before the start of the Shootout at Daytona (Feb. 16, FOX) and the Daytona 500 (Feb. 24, FOX), giving fans a new second screen experience on their tablets and mobile devices in NASCAR Mobile ’13 and NASCAR RaceView Mobile ’13.
As the countdown continues for the BCS Championship Game between Notre Dame and Alabama, CSE is launching a war of words for Coke Zero pitting Alabama alum and current Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones against Notre Dame alum and former Steeler and Notre Dame alum Jerome Bettis. The beverage brand enlisted the players to hash out Twitter barbs leading up to the title game and will exchange jabs up until kick off and can be followed at #CokeZeroBattle or @juliojones_11 and @JeromeBettis36.
The Main Event
Wild Card Weekend. NBC kicks off coverage with a Saturday doubleheader starting with Bengals/Texans at 4:30p followed by Vikings/Packers at 8p. CBS gets the ball with Colts/Ravens at 1p on Sunday while FOX cleans up with Seahawks/Redskins at 4:30p.
ON THIS DAY in 2006: Vince Young guides Texas over USC in the Rose Bowl.
In The Know: The University of Southern California retired the number three in honor of what player? (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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