Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Friday, June 22, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

In a move deemed to establish “what will be the nation’s most listened to sports radio network across the Top 50 markets,” CBS announced the creation of CBS Sports Radio. The network will serve as a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week lineup of national programming from CBS Radio and CBS Sports and slated to launch in January 2013. Cumulus Media will serve as the new network’s exclusive syndicator and sales partner who will secure affiliate agreements and ad sales with radio stations around the country via Cumulus Media Networks. In addition, Cumulus will make CBS Sports Radio programming available on 67 of its owned stations.

At launch,CBS Sports Radio will reach listeners in nine of the nation’s Top 10 markets, with programming will be led by the CBS Radio team and owners and operators of stations such as WFAN-AM in New York, WSCR-AM in Chicago, WIP-FM in Philadelphia, WBZ-FM in Boston and WXYT-FM in Detroit, among others.

Cynopsis Sports spoke with Chris Oliviero, Senior Vice President of Programming, CBS Radio about the launch.

Oliviero on the decision to go national: The sports format is one that has grown leaps and bounds over the last least five or six years, obviously we’ve contributed to that launching several FM sports stations around the country in the top 20 markets, what we’ve seen is that it is a tremendous business to be in, it’s sales-friendly, client-friendly, digital-friendly, and creates content you own exclusively every single day that you put across multiple platforms. All of that made us think that this is a format that we should continue to grow in and double down in sports. The next step was trying our expertise in national sports radio.

On whether it will impact local programming: We are not pulling back from what we do locally. This is truly an investment, we are actually adding more content to the sports radio universe, that will consist of a few different programing vehicles including 24/7 all-sports network that will have a national morning show, a national mid-day and afternoon show, a national night show, a national overnight show, 48 hours of original national weekend coverage that we would offer up to affiliates. We will also be offering hourly updates that will run on all the major market sports stations across the country.

On talent: We will be offering listeners expert analysts as we have access now to the CBS Sports personalities, across all sports such as football, NCAA, golf and more. You will see all of these personalities for CBS Sports begin to appear on our CBS Sports Radio stations. Of course, a venture of this size requires an enormous amount of talent, obviously we will be looking at really good radio talent across the country, we’ll look at sports personalities, obviously within the CBS Sports family on TV and online. Even columnists and bloggers who have tremendous opinions and personalities will be in the mix. We’ll ask if they can make the transition from the printed or digital word to the spoken word. We’ll also look inside our arsenal of CBS O&O sports talent, there might be people who are underutilized, part-time people, swing-shift worked who might be ready to move on to the next level.

On the Air

NBC Sports Group announced plans for its upcoming coverage of the Tour de France, with 295 total hours of programming and digital offerings. The slate included 19 of the 21 stages being carried live on NBC Sports Network with stages 7 and 8 running on NBC. In addition, a nightly studio show running from 8p to 11p as well as re-airs of each stage will run on NBC Sports Network. The 99th Tour de France begins on Saturday, June 30, at 8a on NBC Sports Network, with Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen once again calling the action. On the digital front, NBC Sports Group will offer the app Tour de France LIVE Mobile and content online at

The Miami Heat are reportedly talking with FOX Sports Florida about a cable deal that could pay the franchise between $80 million to $100 million per year, according to Forbes. If the agreement comes to fruition, that would mark the second-richest deal in the league. The team’s current contract still has three years remaining.

The 2012 NHL Draft starts tonight at 7p on NBC Sports Network from Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. The channel will carry the first two hours of the first round while the final hour is set to run on CNBC. The NHL Network will also simulcast the Draft starting at 9p.

Detroit Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson and Denver Broncos tight end Joel Dreessen exited the annual NFL Broadcast Boot Camp with their first gigs in tow. The recent graduates earned a guest co-hosting spot on SiriusXM NFL Radio this season while former players Troy Brown and Mark Tauscher will each spend one regular-season Sunday working on-air for one of the league’s United Kingdom television partners. This marks the first time in the six years of the NFL Broadcast Boot Camp that players were given the opportunity to earn a SiriusXM NFL Radio guest hosting position.

MLB has released the celebrity participants for the 2012 Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game that will be carried by ESPN around 10:30p, following the Home Run Derby on July 9. Among the names set to take part include Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family), Kansas City Chiefs QB Matt Cassel; Kansas Jayhawks head basketball coach Bill Self; Mad Men’s Jon Hamm; Glee’s Chord Overstreet; American Idol’s Haley Reinhart; as well as Horatio Sanz, David Nail; David Cook and UFC’s Jon “Bones” Jones.

BTN’s NBA Draft Preview edition of the Big Ten Basketball Report is set to air tonight at 9p, offering interviews with some of the Big Ten’s primary draft entrants including Illinois center Meyers Leonard, Michigan State forward Draymond Green, Wisconsin guard Jordan Taylor, Ohio State shooting guard William Buford, and Purdue forward Robbie Hummel.

Today marks ten years since St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile died in Chicago ahead of a game he was supposed to start against the Cubs. MLB Network will mark the anniversary with an excerpt from an upcoming MLB Network documentary focusing on Kile and his legacy. The documentary is narrated by Bob Costas, and featured interviews with Kile’s former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and teammate Mike Matheny, Kile’s former Astros teammates Jeff Bagwell and Dave Veres, former Cubs catcher Joe Girardi and former Cardinals broadcaster Joe Buck. The excerpt will air on MLB Network’s studio shows The Rundown, beginning at 2p and MLB Tonight starting at 6p.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will square off once again Saturday, July 14 at 2p on ESPN2 as part of a charity event at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu Stadium only six days after the Gentlemen’s Final at Wimbledon. The best-of-three sets match will benefit the Realmadrid Foundation and the Rafa Nadal Foundation.

Pursuit Channel is broadcasting the “Viva Don King II Boxing Card” Saturday night. The event can be seen on DISH and DirecTV starting at 7p. The main event featured North American Boxing Federation featuring heavyweight and Tony “TNT” Grano facing DaVarryl “Touch of Sleep” Williamson for the vacant NABF crown.


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Sponsorship & Promotion

BTN named Jim Reeder as its Vice President, Ad Sales where he will be responsible for providing oversight and strategic direction for the entire BTN sales team. Reeder joins the network after serving as a Sales Account Executive for Fox Networks, where he sold Fox Sports Net, Fox College Sports, Fox Soccer, FUEL TV, and SPEED.

The NBA released its first-ever overall international top selling jerseys list, and Kobe Bryant ranked as the most popular NBA jersey internationally. The list was based on sales at adidas locations outside the United States during the 2011-12 NBA season. Chicago’s Derrick Rose, Miami’s LeBron James, Boston’s Kevin Garnett and Orlando’s Dwight Howard, round out the top five.

WNBA partner Boost Mobile, is launching a new advertising spot based on a new campaign entitled “It’s All About the W” on Saturday, June 23, during the Chicago Sky @ Minnesota Lynx game. The new spot was created with the vision that “Boost Mobile and the WNBA work together to champion those whose voices strive to make a statement and for those who motivate, blaze new trails and challenge conventional thinking.” This new spot features in-game footage and will air during nationally televised WNBA games on ESPN and ESPN2 throughout the season.

USA BMX is slating free BMX racing around the country set to take place the day the 2012 BMX Olympic Trials run on NBC Sports on June 23 aka Olympic Day. In partnership with the United States Olympic Committee and USA Cycling, USA BMX will see nearly 300 BMX tracks around the US taking part.

Digital Fields

NBA TV revealed the winners of the first-ever NBA Social Media Awards on Wednesday celebrating NBA players, teams and fans for their social engagement during the 2011-12 NBA season. Among the honorees were: Jeremy Lin receiving the Epic Award, Blake Griffin presented with the Got Game Award and Kobe Bryant, who took home two awards: #Trendsetter and The Thumbs Up Award.

After two months of voting, Claude Giroux has been named as the cover athlete for the EA Sports NHL 13 video game. Giroux bested goalie Pekka Rinne in the final, which was decided by less than a one percent margin. Nearly 26 million fans voted on during the overall process.

INDYCAR announced that Immersion Media has been brought on board to develop special features for the organization’s official website, The multi-year relationship will allow INDYCAR and Immersion to develope INDYCAR’s Fantasy Racing program, enhance INDYCAR’s online fan experience with virtual laps of each race track which will be posted on the corresponding IZOD IndyCar Series’ event page, and produce INDYCAR 101 videos that will be posted on INDYCAR’s YouTube Channel and on INDYCAR Mobile.

Bellator 71 will run exclusively for free on the Bellator channel on tonight at 8p. The event is sponsored by Bellator’s new video game, “MMA Onslaught,” which debuts this summer.

YouTube channel The NOC is launching a new courtroom series starring professional football player Warren Sapp. The new program, dubbed Judge Sapp, features the NFL Network analyst revealing his decisions on real participants using a combination of field smarts and common sense. The series features a DJ – Olympic snowboarder Louie Vito – and penalties determined by the Wheel of Justice.

The Main Event

UFC on FX: Maynard vs. Guida on FX at 9p.


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ON THIS DAY in 1983: The NHL announces a new five-minute sudden death overtime period for the league.

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What athlete won nine gold medals spanning every Summer Olympics from 1984-96? Carl Lewis. Kudos: Daniel Coffey- Warner Bros UK/London; Kevin Byrnes-NBC Sports Group/NY; Brent Rupp-Advertising Age/NY; Todd Parker-IMG Consulting/NY; Scott Lange-Lange Marketing/NY; G. David Brown-FOX Sports Carolinas/Charlotte; Christopher Doyle-CBC Sports/Toronto; Matthew Meachem-Tribune Media Services/Queensbury; Jeff Miller-Meredith Corporation/Atlanta; Ron Salcedo-Zimmerman/Nashville; Jim Dittemore-I Will Race You/Kansas City; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Matt Sautter-OpenTV/Golden; Paul Barrere-Cox Reps/LA; Paul Gygli-NBCUniversal Television Distribution/Universal City; Larry Lyttle-Prodicer/LA.

In The Know: What primary NBA venue has the largest capacity? (Email 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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