A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM CBS SPORTS NETWORK
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Good morning. It’s Friday, November 18, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig officially announced a “historic” move in the sport, realigning the league’s conferences and adding a second wild card team to each league. While the moves had been expected, they needed the approval of the owners, who voted unanimously on the measures. Now the Houston Astros will hop from the NL Central to the AL West beginning in 2013, giving MLB two leagues of 15 teams with five teams in each division. Meanwhile, the playoffs will now feature two wild card teams who will face each other in a one game play-in contest and will mean that 10 of the 30 teams will now make the postseason.
One thing that isn’t close to being resolved, however, is the fate of the Dodgers TV rights. Mere hours after the team filed a lawsuit against FOX Sports alleging that the company is interfering with the sale of the team, FOX struck right back by telling the same court that it would seek to dismiss the Dodgers from bankruptcy, which would block the sale of the club and as well as its broadcasting rights. Fox is claiming that the team entered into a “secret pact” with MLB to sell television rights that currently belong to the company, in violation of bankruptcy law.
With the deal for Austin’s F1 race next year in jeopardy, CEO Bernie Ecclestone told the Reuters that he had little hope that the race could be salvaged due to lack of finance. “There’s nothing to save. They can’t bloody well pay,” he said. “What do you want me to do: Wait until next year? To put all our cars on it, run around the circuit and everything and come back with no money? The teams want paying.
The UFC’s debut on FX will be set for Jan. 20, according to Yahoo! Sports. The promotion is eyeing a return to Nashville for the event which has revealed two match-ups thus far.
Former Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams is set to move from courtside to the broadcast booth. Williams said on ESPN Radio’s “Scott Van Pelt Show” that he would be returning to basketball by donning a microphone to broadcast games for BTN.
- CBS Sports gets the doubleheader this week, and will feature Oakland/Minnesota, Buffalo/Miami, Jacksonville/Cleveland and Cincinnati/Baltimore in the early slots with San Diego/Chicago and Tennessee/Atlanta in the afternoon.
- FOX Sports with the singleheader will mark the Tampa Bay/Green Bay game its premiere game, airing in 39% of the country. Other matchups include Dallas/Washington, Panthers/Lions, Cardinals/49ers, and Seahawks/Rams.
- Universal Sports Network and NBC Sports will offer multi-platform skating coverage of the next stop in the 2011 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series with the 2011 Trophée Eric Bompard from Paris, France. Universal Sports Network will start on Saturday at 6p with coverage of the Pairs and Men’s Free Skates, followed at 9p with coverage of the Free Dance. On Sunday at 2p, NBC takes over to air the Ladies and Men’s Free Skates.
ESPN announced that ESPN Films’ The Marinovich Project will premiere on Dec. 10 at 9p, following the life of former USC quarterback Todd Marinovich. The film will look at how the athlete was “bred” to be a player, with his father molding his son since birth for the sport as well as what went wrong with the athlete.
MSG Networks announced yesterday that the New York Islanders broadcast team of John “Jiggs” McDonald and Ed Westfall will reunite one more time to call the second period of the Islanders-Bruins game on Saturday, November 19 starting at 7p on MSG Plus. The reunion will be part of “Ed Westfall Night” as the Islanders honor their original captain and induct him into the franchise’s Hall of Fame. Jiggs and Eddie shared the booth for 15 years beginning with the 1980-81 season, before Westfall retired from broadcasting in 1998.
NESN has locked down Don Orsillo to a multi-year contract extension that will keep the Red Sox play-by-play voice with the network through the 2015 season. Orsillo has served as NESN’s Boston Red Sox play-by-play announcer since 2001. In addition to his play-by-play duties on the channel, Orsillo also hosts Red Sox Hot Stove LIVE during the off-season.
Sponsorship & Promotion
Univision Communications hired a pair of execs to beef up its sports staff, locking in Jason Newman as Vice President of Sports Sales and Rick Resnick as Vice President of Sports Marketing. In these new roles, Newman and Resnick will serve clients with advertising and marketing solutions within Univision’s portfolio of sports properties across all platforms. Before joining Univision, Newman spent over eight years at ESPN, most recently as senior director of Sports Management while Resinick most recently served as Vice President of Marketing at Time Inc.
Trifecta Media has entered a deal with IMG to handle sponsorship sales and marketing for IMG Action Sports’ portfolio of events and media properties. The deal includes premium action and lifestyle sports properties ranging from the Nike US Open of Surfing to the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon to the Formula Drift Pro Series, Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series and others.
Herbalife and Pacific Sports inked a five-year deal that will make Herbalife the title sponsor of the Los Angeles Triathlon. The event will now be known as Herbalife Triathlon Los Angeles and will be held on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012.
While UFC on FOX drew viewers on the airwaves, the company’s digital platforms also benefitted. On Saturday, FOXSports.com drew 257,000 total live streams for the nine undercard matches, while all UFC content during and around the event generated over 1 million streams to mark the biggest non-Super Bowl driven video event in FOXSports.com history.
Xbox 360 is now the official video game console of the NFL. Microsoft reached a multiyear sponsorship deal that will include Microsoft working work with the NFL’s children’s health initiative Play 60 to help kids learn the importance of “a healthy and active lifestyle while having fun with Kinect for Xbox 360” while the NFL will incorporate Kinect into its Play 60 Program as an event that can help kids be active for 60 minutes a day.
The Main Event
NASCAR’s race for the chase is down to two drivers. Who will take home the trophy? Sunday at 2p on ESPN.
ON THIS DAY in 1985: Dwight Gooden (NL) and Bret Saberhagen (AL) win the Cy Young
Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question: Who managed the Mets the last time they won the World Series? Answer: Davey Johnson. Kudos: David Kalan – National Hockey League/NY; Michael Schwartz – DKC PUBLIC RELATIONS, MARKETING & GOV’T AFFAIRS/NY; Agnes Roache – YES Network/ Stamford; Phyllis Toss – MAXUS/NY; Bill Goodfriend – Charter Media/St. Louis; Ron Salcedo – Zimmerman/Nashville; Dominique Omahen – FOX Sports Arizona/Phoenix; George Najame – Tribune/LA; Matthew Morse – CBS47 KGPE Television/Fresno; David Chill – DIRECTV/LA; Paul Gygli – NBCUniversal Television Distribution/Universal City.
In The Know: What was the original name of the Houston Astros? (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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