Good morning. It’s Friday, March 22, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
The NCAA First Four on truTV started the tournament with a bang, as the first round games grossed 4,477,000 total viewers to mark an boost of 14% over last year’s comparable telecasts, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals. Wednesday’s doubleheader was led by victories by James Madison University and La Salle and the corresponding 2,250,000 total viewers ranked as the most-watched second day of the First Four ever with a 1.5 household rating, up 25% year-to-year. Viewership was up 22% when compared with last year’s 1,840,000 total viewers.
MLB Network’s coverage of the World Baseball Classic final brought in 843,000 viewers on MLB Network, to rank as the second-most viewed (non-postseason) baseball telecast ever, according to Nielsen. However, that number is off-pace from the 2009 game on a more widely-distributed ESPN which garnered 1.675 million four years ago. Still the international tournament drew the six most-viewers non-playoff telecasts of all time for the channel.
Around the dial, the World Baseball Classic handed ESPN Deportes record numbers for the Championship Game between Caribbean rivals Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico on Tuesday. The telecast delivered a 3.2 Hispanic household coverage rating with 236,000 viewers to become ESPN Deportes’ most-watched baseball telecast ever.
NBA TV will be the next beneficiary the Miami Heat’s 24-game consecutive winning streak, with the network set to carry the team’s next matchup when they host the Detroit Pistons tonight at 7:30p. Coverage begins with the AutoTrader.com pre-game show at 7p.
Meanwhile, local outlets are also feeling the Heat’s ripple effect. Sun Sports, the Fox-owned regional sports network that is the local TV home to the team, continues to draw record ratings during the team’s win streak. With 20 of the 24 games during the streak televised on Sun Sports, telecasts of their games are averaging an 8.9 household rating in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale DMA, for a markup of 32% over the team’s season-to-date ratings (6.72). Wednesday night’s game against Cleveland scored an 11.73 household number, while Monday’s telecast again the Celtics delivered a 12.2 score, which set anew all-time record on the channel.
Former BBC Director General Greg Dyke will become the new Chairman of the Football Association, according to local reports. Dyke will take over for David Bernstein when the current chairman steps down in July.
MLB Network and Showtime host Brian Kenny has a new gig on his resume, joining NBC Sports Radio to host The Brian Kenny Show in the 9a-noon Monday-Friday slot. The show will feature Kenny going one-on-one with some of the biggest names in sports. Kenny will also break down analytics of the games.
The Canadian Football League inked a new broadcast deal that extends the league’s partnership with Bell Media’s TSN and RDS through 2018. As part of the extension, TSN and RDS nab exclusive media rights to all CFL pre-season and regular season games, playoffs, and the Grey Cup, as well as to the CFL Draft and CFL Combine. The CFL regular season broadcast schedule is set to grow to 81 games next year when the new Ottawa franchise joins the league.
Major League Lacrosse and CBS Sports Network announced the television schedule for the 2013 season, with 20 nationally televised games on deck in addition to all 18 episodes of ‘Inside the MLL,’ the League’s 30-minute magazine show. The first nationally televised game of the season will take place Saturday, May 18 with the Rochester Rattlers/Denver Outlaws at 10p.
Univision Deportes carries the France/Georgia qualifier live on Univision Deportes Network today at 3:55p as well as the USA/Costa Rica on UniMas and Univision Deportes Network at 10p. Coverage will include pre-game show Futbol Central and two special editions of Univision Deportes Futbol Club.
Are you a finalist? Tickets are now available for the Cynopsis: Sports Media Awards, which will take place on April 17 at Yale Club in Manhattan. Click here for more info.
Sponsorship & Promotion
Over 95% of the ad inventory for the 2013 NCAA Men’s Div. I Basketball Tournament is sold out, according to Adweek. The report states that a 30-second spot in the title game is drawing as much as $1.6 million, up 10% over last year’s rate. Slots in the opening round games are pulling in around $250,000 per spot.
Fidelity Investments is partnering with Golf Channel Media for “first-of-their-kind, on-site activations” at professional golf tournaments, including this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational. The on-site promotion will be part of Fidelity’s collaboration with Golf Channel’s instructional SwingFix platform on air, online as well as on site. The company also serves as the presenting sponsor of the Golf Channel Academy mobile app. Initial on-site activation will take place at three PGA Tour events, which also includes the recent Tampa Bay Championship and THE PLAYERS Championship that will feature a co-branded SwingFix/Fidelity chalet that is situated on the golf course.
Apparel brand Sportiqe announced the launch of the first Grateful Dead by Sportiqe collection that will include renowned Grateful Dead inspired artwork. As part of the collection, the NBA will partner to showcase the artwork merged with the logos from teams from the NBA that include Los Angeles, New York, Brooklyn, Boston, Chicago, Miami and Golden State.
ESPN.com’s Men’s Tournament Challenge Game saw a record number of brackets this year, nearly hitting the 8.15 million mark. At the peak period, fans registered 8,123 brackets per minute (135 brackets per second). Based on the entries, fans picked Louisville, Ohio State, Kansas and Indiana to reach the Final Four more than any other teams.
ESPN SportsNation announced first round results and second round matchups for the Madden NFL 25 Cover Vote with fans casting over 21 million first round votes, shattering last year’s week one tally and already besting last year’s vote total.
SharetheMatch locked in a deal with Latin America’s largest broadcaster, Televisa, to launch the football-based social network in Mexico. The social network will be re-branded Vivafut for Mexico and allow fans to upload predictions, comments, photos and videos to create live ‘fanstreams’, which can be shared with supporters all over the world.
The Main Event
A full docket of NCAA Tournament Games continues to fill the schedule throughout the weekend on CBS, TNT, TBS and truTV. Action starts with Albany/Duke on CBS today at 12:15p.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
The list of Finalists will be announced soon, but don’t wait to reserve your tickets/tables… last year, the event sold out a week before.
Register here: http://www.cynopsis.com/events/sports-awards/.
ON THIS DAY in 1894: The first Stanley Cup championship is played.
In The Know: Former Olympic alpine ski racer Suzy Chaffee had a sponsorship deal that gave her what nickname? (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: Who is the only player to be selected with the top pick in the NFL draft to be picked out of the University of Illinois? Answer: Jeff George. Kudos: Amanda Rykoff-AmandaRykoff.com/NY; Marty Rosenberg-Petry Media/NY; Noah Coslov-CineSport/NY; Michael Dittelman-CCM / CCMThinkImpact.com/NY; James Taguchi-WTVR/Richmond; Tony Ferranti-MMSI/Warwick; Paul Tarrants-Nashville Predators/Nashville; Lisa Fikeys-Zimmerman/Chicago; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Michael Jaquet-U.S. Ski and Snowboard Assoc./Park City; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc./Santa Monica; Brian Robin-Brener Zwikel & Associates Inc./Reseda; DeWitt Mosby-KPIX 5/KBCW/San Francisco; Joe Snell-Fox Sports/LA.
Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports
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