Good morning. It’s Friday, May 24, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
ESPN added 20 more ACC college football games to its 2013 slate across the family of networks. Combined with five previously released games, every conference home contest, as well as a road and neutral site matchup, will be available on an ESPN platform during the first three weeks of the season. Overall selections include the Saturday Night Football season-debut pitting No. 12 Clemson and No. 7 Georgia on Saturday, Aug. 31, at 8p on ABC; Thursday ESPN College Football Primetime telecast featuring North Carolina/South Carolina on August 29, at 6p on ESPN as well as Virginia Tech/Alabama in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game on Saturday, Aug. 31, at 5:30p on ESPN.
TNT’s coverage of the 2013 NBA Eastern Conference Finals Game 1 between the Pacers and Heat handed the channel a 5.3 household rating and 8.2 million total viewers, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals. The was good enough to place the network atop all of television(cable or broadcast) for Wednesday night’s prime time numbers and marks the highest-rated and most-viewed 2013 NBA Playoffs so far this season. Overall, the telecast is up 10% in households and 6% in viewers compared to last year’s Thunder/Spurs series on TNT.
Sunday Night Football on NBC finished this television 2012-2013 broadcast season ranked as the top show in primetime (Viewers 2+ and all key adult and male demos), based on Nielsen combo data and all 19 SNF telecasts. This ranking marks the second straight television season, and the only two times on record, that a sports series has been the most-watched show of the primetime TV season. The 21.5 million average viewers for Sunday Night Football tops second place NCIS (21.3 million).
ESPN celebrates its 20th year of televising the Scripps National Spelling Bee 14 hours of the competition across three networks ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3 – next Wednesday. Coverage begins at 8a on ESPN3 with preliminary rounds before ESPN2 runs the Semifinal rounds Thursday at 2p and the Championship Finals on ESPN at 8p. Throughout the competition, ESPN3 will feature a second “Play Along” version where fans will have the option to view coverage without seeing the word until the last second so they can test their own spelling skills while watching the champion spellers. SportsCenter’s Sage Steele will host for the fourth straight year.
NBA TV is set to carry 45 games during the 2013 WNBA regular season with programming tipping off with the Fever/Silver Stars tonight at 8p. This year’s slate of games includes appearances by the top three 2013 draft picks, Britney Griner, Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins. Griner, the first overall draft pick, makes her NBA TV debut on June 21 at 10p when the Phoenix Mercury host the Washington Mystics. Second overall draft pick, Delle Donne, and the Chicago Sky will be featured on June 22 at 7p with the team takes on the Fever. Rookie Diggins and the Tulsa Shock will visit Griner and the Mercury on Friday, August 9, at 10p.
Meanwhile, Time Warner Cable SportsNet announced plans for its regional coverage of the Los Angeles Sparks, which marks the first local television home for the team in its 17 year history. Time Warner Cable SportsNet will air 25 live games, with the first game telecast tipping off on Sunday, May 26 for the Sparks season opener vs. the Seattle Storm at 5:30p. Time Warner Cable SportsNet will also cover the Sparks with pre- and post-game shows and original programming all season long.
Memorial Day will see MLB Network air 12 hours of live coverage on Monday, including an Interleague doubleheader. MLB Tonight starts it off at noon, leading up to the first game of a four-game series between the Orioles/Nationals at 1p. MLB Tonight then returns and will lead viewers into the opening game of the Yankees/Mets series at 7p.
ESPN made its hiring of Paul Finebaum official, announcing that he will host a daily radio show and make a variety of appearances across ESPN platforms from ESPN’s Charlotte, N.C. studios. Then starting in August 2014, when the SEC Network launches, a television simulcast of Finebaum’s radio show will anchor the afternoon lineup.
Telemundo offers fans a twin bill full of soccer action on Rumbo Al Mundial in two weeks, starting Tuesday, June 4 with Jamaica/Mexico at 8:30p. El Tri then travels to Panama for its second road game on Friday, June 7 at 9p. Andres Cantor calls the action alongside Sammy Sadovnik.
After losing Appalachian State, Georgia Southern, College of Charleston and Davidson, the Southern Conference took another hit with member Elon announced that it will join the Colonial Athletic Association for the 2014-15 season. The Phoenix will join as an all-sports member, giving the CAA 10 basketball schools and 12 in football.
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The NBA and Taco Bell are partnering up to launch the Taco Bell BIG Box. The promotion will see six different NBA-themed boxes filled with Taco Bell menu items that will be offered during the playoffs and Finals. The meal will be packaged in an interactive, commemorative box customized for the NBA fan, 42 NBA players in total are featured on the boxes, which feature a QR code for lots of exciting NBA Live Mas Moments.
Who: Sam Flood, Executive Producer-NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network
What: Formula One Grand Prix from Monaco on Sunday at 7:30a on NBC
On the Event: It’s one of the iconic sporting events that you want to have and treat differently. It’s bigger than just a car race, it’s an event. We want to capture the feeling and the specialness that goes with cars racing around on these streets by multimillion dollar yachts. It’s more than just a car race and our job is make sure that translates and we showcase it in the biggest possible form and being live from Monaco makes it a pretty special Sunday.
On the production challenges: You figure out how to function on the ground in Monaco which is not the cheapest place in the world. So you have to decide how you deploy as many assets as possible to televise a race so you get the group over there and they are on the ground looking for locations to showcase what it is. Their job is to capture the flavor of this place and this race.
On favorite new hardware: There’s something we played with at the last Rangers/Bruins game in Boston, that allowed us to zoom in and not degrade the picture at all off the 4K camera. You are able to move around the screen and keep it in pristine HD throughout the image process even as you blow it up to a larger image.
On the F1 side they have a helmet cam on one of the drivers for this race. An on-board camera is one thing as it shows you the tight streets and the scene there, but the helmet camera shows you the violence that these drivers go through-the violent turns and the violent transitions up and down hill and you really understand how physically draining it is to drive one of these cars around one of these streets in Monaco.
Digital & Production
Level 3 Communications will provide video broadcast services to FOX Sports to deliver the live feed of the UEFA annual championship soccer final to viewers in the US. The final match takes place May 25 at 2:45p. Level 3’s global fiber network is directly connected to Wembley Stadium, which allows Level 3 to deploy its Vyvx Solutions to offer an end-to-end video broadcast solution to FOX.
Broadcast services and solutions provider Bexel announced an expansion of its selection of camera solutions with the purchase of four Sony F55 cameras, a compatible selection of PL-mount Fujinon Cabrio Lenses, as well as 10 Canon EOS C300 cameras. The new camera packages will be on display at Cine Gear Expo which runs May 31 through June 1 in Los Angeles.
The Madison Square Garden Company promoted Ron Skotarczak to Executive Vice President of Marketing Partnerships for MSG, effective immediately. In his new role, Skotarczak, will be charged with leading MSG’s sales and service organization, which includes developing, managing and implementing the company’s overall sales strategy and initiatives within the marketing partnership sales and service groups, including Integrated Sales, Team Sales, Entertainment Sales and Sports Property Sales.
The Main Event, the featured game of the day sponsored by Thuuz, real-time sports discovery for mobile & connected TV platforms
Dortmund vs. Bayern Saturday 2:00p. Thuuz rating: 94
Champions League Finals – an all German affair at Wembley. On FOX.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Cynopsis: Digital Model D Awards
Entry Deadline: June 20
Late Submission Deadline: June 27
Awards Event: November 2013 (NYC)
ON THIS DAY in 1935: The Reds beat the Phillies 2-1 on Major League Baseball’s first-ever night game.
In The Know: What is the NBA’s oldest arena still being used today? (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 golfer is known as the Great White Shark? Answer: Greg Norman. Kudos: Brian Traynor-Home Team Sports/NY; Rob Duke-The Weather Channel/NY; Gary Rosen-RLR Associates/NY; Nicholas V. Quinn-MC Media Initiative Media/NY; David Schaefer-Golf Channel/Orlando; Adam Zimmerman-CSE/Atlanta; Mark Darnell-Golf Consulting Services/Augusta; Randy Ingram-WBTW-TV/Myrtle Beach; Bill Goodfriend-Charter Media/St. Louis; Derek Crownover-Crownover, Blevins, PC/Nashville; Andy Lee-ESPN Audio/Chicago; Will Allmendinger-Captivate Network/Chicago; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; David Hauptman/Denver; Aly Stogol-KOLD/KMSB/KTTU/Tucson; Alex Newman-FOX Sports/LA; Bryan Geidt-Direct Avenue/San Diego; Richard Sindell-RSA Management/LA; Sal Cocco-NFL Network/Redondo Beach.
Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports
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