Good morning. It’s Friday, June 7, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
The NBA’s international push continues to pay off with last night’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Heat and Spurs seen by fans in 215 countries and territories in 47 languages, according to the league. In addition, the first-ever “NBA Finals Companion” was launched to blend television and social media for “the ultimate fan experience” for international audiences. The platform allows international fans to play a real-time predictive gaming experience, view live tweets from top international commentators, and post photos of themselves with #NBAFan to Instagram or Twitter for a chance to be featured on the NBA world feed television broadcast.
ESPN announced that it will surround the 113th U.S. Open with extensive multiplatform offerings starting June 11. Coverage is set to include eight hours of live play in each of the first two rounds from 9a-3p and 5-7p on Thursday and Friday, June 13-14 and will be hosted by Chris Berman. An edited encore presentation from each of the first two rounds will then air in prime time on ESPN and WatchESPN at 8p. Meanwhile, ESPN’s flagship series SportsCenter will originate from the tournament site with special SportsCenter presented by IBM at the U.S. Open programs each day starting on Tuesday.
Tennis Channel hit the jackpot this morning, and will carry the Novak Djokovic/Rafael Nadal matchup at 7a. Ted Robinson and John McEnroe will call the match. The winner will take on the winner of the other men’s semi-final featuring Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and David Ferrer that will be seen on NBC at 11a.
Turner Sports is on deck for its portion of the NASCAR season and will begin its 31st consecutive year of NASCAR coverage with the Party in the Poconos 400 presented by Walmarton Sunday at 1p, with the pre-race Countdown to Green presented by Kelley Blue Bookat noon. Adam Alexander will call the race and host the studio show along with analysts Kyle Petty,Wally Dallenbach and Larry McReynolds.
A double overtime thriller in the NHL Eastern Conference Finals between the Bruins and Penguins handed NBC Sports Network with gains in the two teams’ home markets. Boston scored a 21.89 household rating, according to Nielsen, up 47% over the Bruins’ 2011 Conference Final average on the channel in that market. Pittsburgh drew a22.71 score, rising 5% from the Penguins’ 2009 Conference Final average on NBCSN in the market. Overall, in early ratings, the game drew 2.84 million average viewers with a 1.2 in the Adult 18-49 demo.
FOX Deportes revealed that it finished May as the top Spanish sports cable network in total viewers and adults 18-49 across key day-parts, including total day, primetime and weekend day, based on Nielsen numbers. In addition, seven of the top ten sports programs in Spanish cable in total viewers and adults 18-49 last month were all televised by the channel. FOX Deportes’ total day average rose 11% in total viewers to 49,000 and 14% in adult 18-49 viewers to 32,000 vs. 2012.
Around the dial, college baseball and softball continue to pick up steam as ESPN2 and ESPNU combined to reach 11,680,000 viewers for the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship Regionals from May 31 to June 3. Online, ESPN3’s coverage of LSU vs. Louisiana-Lafayette on Sunday, June 2, is the network’s most-viewed NCAA baseball game, logging 136,000 unique viewers that watched over 11 million live minutes. On the local front, Greenville-Spartanburg ranked the highest-rated metered market for ESPN2’s Regional telecasts. Up next, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to televise every game of the eight best-of-three Super Regionals starting today.
ESPN’s coverage of the Women’s College World Series delivered record-breaking metered market ratings in the hometowns of both teams in contentions with Knoxville recording the highest metered market rating for any WCWS telecast on ESPN2 since 2007*, averaging an 11.9 rating for Game 1 of the Finals. Meanwhile, Game 1 and Game 2 set local Oklahoma City records for ESPN2 and ESPN, respectively, averaging a 6.6 metered market rating for Game 1 and a 6.7 for Game 2.
Here’s our annual list of HRTV analyst picks for Saturday’s Belmont Stakes:
- Jon White — Overanalyze, Orb, Revolutionary
- Richard Migliore — Orb, Overanalyze, Incognito
- Scott Hazelton — Orb, Incognito, Freedom Child
Universal Sports continues to build up its rugby portfolio, and will offer Scrum Saturday this weekend with the debut of USA Rugby Rising at 7:30p and 8p, followed by USA/Ireland. USA Rugby Rising follows a group of Americans determined to make the United States a Tier 1 rugby nation in the eyes of the world. In addition, Monday nights will then serve as rugby nights on USN. From June 17 through July 8, rugby fans can watch recent episodes of USA Rugby Rising at 8 and 11p. Then, on July 15, the network will showcase a marathon of all the episodes following a RWC re-cap show.
ESPN revealed that the second edition of the Armed Forces Classic will pit Georgetown and Oregon on Friday, Nov. 8. The game will take place at a military installation to be determined as part of ESPN’s Veteran’s Week initiative.
Bellator MMA is making more international inroads, and will be carried by Viacom’s VIVA channel in the UK for the first time. The network will start airing live Bellator fights on Wednesday June 19 as part of the MMA league’s summer series tournament. The deal now beefs up Bellator’s global tally to 116 countries and territories.
Dick and Rick Hoyt will be the recipients of this year’s Jimmy V Perseverance Award at The 2013 ESPYS presented by Capital One on July 17. The father and son team saw Rick born with cerebral palsy and (although he is unable to use his hands or legs) he and his 73-year-old father have run in more than 1,000 endurance events including triathlons and marathons with Dick pushing his son in a custom-made running chair.
Save the date! The annual Cynopsis: Sports Business Summit is set to take place on Aug. 14 in NY, and will feature some of the biggest names driving sports today. In addition, we are holding our Women of Action cocktail event celebrating and discussing the impact women are having in the sports industry on Aug. 13.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
June 18 | NYC | Sponsored by: Yahoo! A sampling of the powerful line-up of speakers:
Kathryn Friedrich, Head of Video Strategy/Americas [Google/YouTube]
Jeffrey Hinz, Managing Partner, Digital Director [MediaCom]
Russ Torres, Head of Original Video [Yahoo! News & Finance]
James Rooke, VP Advisory Services [FreeWheel]
View the complete list of speakers & register:
Four-time NASCAR champ Jeff Gordon secured a primary sponsor through the 2016 Sprint Cup season. Axalta Coatings System, formerly DuPont Performance Coatings, inked a three-year extension to remain with Gordon’s No. 24 car. Axalta will serve as the primary sponsor for 10 races in each of the next three seasons while playing associate sponsor for the remaining races.
Sports-apparel retailer Fanatics locked in $170 million in funding this week from Singapore state-owned investment company Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd., and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., according to the WSJ. Company executives notes that they expected the company to reach about $1 billion in revenue this year, up from roughly $800 million last year and $600 million in 2011.
Digital & Production
Golf Digest is offering a virtual social hub where fans and followers for the US Open, that will spotlight social conversation around the famed tournament and allow users to see the topics and developments that are resonating most with audiences. This marks the second time the company did that (the first being the Masters) and visitors will see tweets from Golf Digest editors and PGA Tour players, as well as Facebook posts from Golf Digest and analysis of the social metrics that are trending as they are watching the U.S. Open.
ESPNcricinfo is launching new and improved versions of its iOS and Android mobile applications. New features in the mobile app are designed to socialize the experience, deepen engagement with fans and personalize the interface for each individual user. The enhanced content and user experience of this new version of the app will extend beyond iOS and Android smartphones later this year, with apps for additional tablets, including Kindle Fire, the Windows Phone platform and entry-level smartphones like the Nokia Asha also on deck.
YES Network COO Ray Hopkins is departing the company to become President, Television Networks Distribution, CBS Corporation. Hopkins began his tenure as COO in December 2004, and was responsible for all aspects of the company’s cable, satellite and telco distribution strategy, as well as affiliate negotiations.
HBO Sports Senior Vice President Kery Davis is leaving the company, according to multiple reports. He had served as the main negotiator for the major fights for the network.
The Main Event, the featured game of the day sponsored by Thuuz, real-time sports discovery for mobile & connected TV platforms
#1 S. Williams vs. #2 M. Sharapova Saturday 10:00a. Thuuz rating: 94
Serena has dominated this match. French Open Women’s Final On ESPN2
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Wednesday, August 14, 2013 | Grand Hyatt NY It will examine how the industry is using content, context and digital connectivity to build audiences, engage fans and integrate sponsors locally, nationally and on a global stage.
For sponsor information, please contact Mike Farina at (203) 218-6480.
More information to follow…
ON THIS DAY in 1986: The Kansas City Royals draft Bo Jackson.
In The Know: What musician anchored Nike’s Bo Jackson campaign in 1989/90? (not counting the Sonny Bono cameo) (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.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What would someone have to do to win the Harley J. Earl Trophy? Answer: Win the Daytona 500. Kudos: David Young-ABC/NY; Joe Guarnieri-ESPN Remote Operations/Bristol; Glenn Schineller-Time Warner Cable/Charlotte; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; RT Harris- WideOrbit/Detroit; Chuck Gordon-Clear Channel Media/Mobile; Matt Sautter-OpenTV/Golden; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA
Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports
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