04/03/14: It’s a new morning for Josh Elliott at NBC Sports


BTN is the premier national college sports network born from the nation’s most storied conference. With nearly half of its 180 football and men’s basketball games featuring a top 25 team & deeper coverage than anyone else, BTN delivers 450+ live events & Emmy-nominated programming yearly. The Big Ten’s eastward expansion means BTN will have over 60 million subs nationwide. And it’s all supercharged by BTN’s digital, mobile & social media extensions, including BTN2Go, the network’s TV-Everywhere app. This is today’s Big Ten Network.



Good morning. It’s Thursday, April 3, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

NBC Sports made it official yesterday, announcing that recently-departed Good Morning America news anchor Josh Elliott was now a team member. In a call yesterday with reporters to formally announce the hiring, NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus said that Elliott would help cover NFL, Olympics, and Triple Crown horse racing coverage but that “we’ve still got plenty of time to sort out” details of his role at the company. Elliott will debut during NBC’s Kentucky Derby coverage on May 3.


Meanwhile, NBC Sports also unveiled plans for the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, announcing that, for the third consecutive year, every NHL Stanley Cup Playoff game will once again be presented nationally across NBC platforms. During April, May and June, NBC Sports Group will carry as many as 105 playoff games via NBC, NBCSN, CNBC (in primetime), and NHL Network. With the new playoff format on deck, NBCSN will be the primary home of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, offering coverage of one or two games virtually every night of the first round. NBC will offer afternoon coverage during the weekends of April 19-20 and 26-27. For the conference finals, NBC and the NBCSN will play host with NBC broadcasting Saturday afternoon games on May 17-18, and on Saturday, May 24 at 8p. The Stanley Cup Final will see NBC deliver Game 1, Game 4, and Games 5-7 (if necessary), while NBCSN offers Games 2-3. Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, analyst Eddie Olczykand ‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst Pierre McGuire will call the Stanley Cup Final.

In addition, beginning on Thursday, April 17, and continuing nearly every morning throughout the playoffs, NBCSN will air cut-down versions of the previous night’s “most exciting” game of the night at 7a.

ESPN revealed this year’s participants of the 20th Annual Jimmy V Men’s Basketball Classic doubleheader, set for Tuesday, Dec. 9. Programs are set to include Indiana, Louisville, Maryland and Villanova starting at 7a with Villanova/Maryland.

Speaking of which, Intersport and ESPN locked in a renewal that keeps three Intersport properties – the Quicken Loans All-Star Football Challenge, the State Farm College Slam and 3-Point Championships and the TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby – on ESPN networks through 2018. The State Farm College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships will air live tomorrow at 9p. Fans will serve as the “Fifth Judge” of the event by voting via Twitter.

Red Bull Global Rallycross entered a multi-year deal with NBC Sports Group that runs through the 2015 season and delivers up to nine races annually over the next two years. Coverage begins Saturday, May 24 at 1p on NBC with the first race of the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross season from the Top Gear Festival in Barbados. Additional race locations this year include New York, Washington D.C., Daytona, Detroit, Charlotte, Los Angeles, Seattle, and the season finale in Las Vegas in November. Tes Sewell will call the action this season, joined by Townsend Bell.

MLB is hitting home for a slew of local broadcasters this year. FOX Sports announced that Opening Day saw ratings spikes that include:

  • Mariners/Angels on FOX Sports West earning a 2.91 in LA to mark the most-watched Opening Day in the Angels 23-year history on FOX Sports West.
  • Giants/Diamondbacks on FOX Sports Arizona nabbing a 6.0 HH rating in Phoenix, the highest rating for a D-backs home opener since 2004.
  • Cardinals/Cincinnati on FOX Sports Midwest delivering the highest-rated Cardinals road opener ever on FOX Sports Midwest, generating an 11.1 HH rating.
  • Royals/Tigers on FOX Sports Detroit spiking 34% in viewership over last year’s season opener.
  • Rockies/Marlins on FOX Sports Florida rising 78% over last year’s Opening Day number with a 1.9 score.
  • Blue Jays/Rays on Sun Sports scoring a 5.7, up 19% from last year’s opener.

Around the proverbial dial in New York, SNY saw 4.05 rating for the Mets opener against the Nationals, marking the highest-rated opening day telecast since 2008 and up 44% over 2013’s game. YES Network drew a 4.5 for its Yankees opener, up 10% from 2013.

Ahead of its coverage of the Masters, CBS Sports has lined up a series of specials in honor of the event, beginning April 12 with The Road to Augusta: Rickie Fowler (hosted by Bill Macatee) at 1:30p and The Big Three at the Masters at 2p. The Big Three is hosted by Verne Lundquist and revisits the impact of Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus. On April 13 at 1p, the channel offers Jim Nantz Remembers Augusta: Nick Faldo at the Masters. The special will see Nantz looking back at the career of broadcast partner Sir Nick Faldo.

Rounding up golf news, Golf Channel will provide over 20 hours of live coverage of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the LPGA Tour’s first major of the 2014 season. The network will offer live coverage on today and Friday in two separate coverage windows; airing from Noon-3p and 6-9p on both days. Kelly Tilghman hosts.

FOX Deportes’ coverage of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals handed the network with the top-ranked Spanish-language sports program on Tuesday. The Barcelona/Atletico de Madrid match delivered 435k total viewers and 329k P18-49, according to Nielsen.

RIP to groundbreaking director Sandy Grossman, who took part in some of the most memorable events in sports history while at CBS and FOX. “Sandy is as much a part of the great tradition and heritage of CBS Sports as anyone who has ever worked here,” said CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus in a statement. “His amazing directorial talents on the NFL truly distinguished him as one of the great directors in the history of sports television. For many years Sandy Grossman’s name was synonymous with excellence in NFL coverage. It’s a sad day at CBS Sports and our sympathies and prayers go out to the entire Grossman family.”


April 17 | Yale Club, NYC | 8-10:00am
Cynopsis Sports will honor 3 executives who changed the way their sports entities connected with fans around the country: 

IMPACT AWARDMark Lazarus, Chairman of the NBC Sports Group
VISION AWARDBrian France, CEO & Chairman of NASCAR
NAVIGATOR AWARD Christina Miller, NBA Digital’s SVP & GM for Turner Sports
Register: http://www.cynopsis.com/event/cynopsis-sports-media-awards/Thank You to Our 2014 Sponsor – Electric Sheep


PepsiCo is extending its stay with Major League Baseball Properties, renewing a multi-year agreement. As part of the sponsorship, PepsiCo maintains exclusive rights within the non-alcoholic beverage, sports fuel and salty snack categories to use MLB marks and logos. PepsiCo brands, including Pepsi, Gatorade, Aquafina, Frito-Lay Seeds, Cracker Jack and Lay’s remain official MLB sponsors. Later this month, Gatorade will debut a new ad supporting the launch of its Fierce subline starring All-Star Bryce Harper. Aquafina remains the “Official Water of Major League Baseball” and also becomes the “Official Sponsor of the Seventh Inning Stretch” this season with on-package promotions.

For the fourth year, Greg Biffle will ride the No. 16 3M ESPE Dental Give Kids A Smile Ford Fusion, with the car hitting Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. As part of the festivities, Biffle and the No. 16 3M race team will host a special dental education program at the racetrack on Friday, April 4 with an eye to educate kids on good dental health and cavity prevention. During the 2014 NASCAR season, the Give Kids A Smile program is bringing the “Brush with the Biff” program to 11 racetracks, including Daytona (February), Texas (April), Richmond (April), Talladega (May), Kentucky (June), Bristol (August), Chicago (September), Dover (September), Kansas (October), Charlotte (October) and Phoenix (November).


WWEannounced its digital and social media initiatives for WrestleMania Week. Tactics will include the Twitter Mirror that will be utilized at three of WWE’s premiere events, WrestleMania 30, the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and the Superstars for Kids red carpet party. The platform allows celebrities to stand before it, tap the screen, pose, approve the photo and send it out through the event’s Twitter feed. Other digital plays include an all new Wrestliemania.com, the WrestleMania set reveal to followers, and partnering with live video streaming site, Twitch.tv, to co-stream WrestleMania Today.


The newly launched Amazon Fire TV is already drawing some heavy hitters. Red Bull Media House announced that the Red Bull TV app will be part of the service, offering live global events as well as a selection of sports, music and lifestyle entertainment. New video clips, action features and original episodic series are uploaded daily.

The newborn Amazon platform has also reeled in Disney & ESPN Media Networks, with WatchESPN available on Amazon Fire TV. Users who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of an affiliated video subscription will be able to access ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, ESPN Deportes and ESPNEWS through WatchESPN, while ESPN Goal Line and ESPN Buzzer Beater will also be accessible when those channels are in season.

Fan voting for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2015 is underway on NASCAR.com and runs through Tuesday, May 20 at noon. The five nominees receiving the highest percentage of votes will make the Fan Vote ballot. Nominees include the likes of Rick Hendrick, Richard Childress, Bill Elliott, and Robert Yates.

Digital sports video agency SendtoNews announced that its News Partnership Network delivered 52 million digital and broadcast views according to Nielsen for the month of March. Numbers were driven by the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games, the BIG EAST Men’s Basketball Tournament, the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, the Western Hockey League playoffs and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs.


Audible Magic is bundling its TV content identification and synchronization technology with information services from SportsData to provide broadcasters and app developers the ability to present play-by-play sports information as events are watched on television. Audible Magic will demonstrate this synchronized-information solution April 7-10 at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.


Spurs/Thunder on TNT at 8p.



In celebration of Cynopsis Media’s 17th birthday, tell us what is your favorite Birthday dessert & you could win a prize. Win a chance for a $25 Crumbs Bake Shop gift card by answering our reader poll.


ON THIS DAY in 2007: Famed Grambling football coach Eddie Robinson dies.

In The Know: John Gagliardi and Eddie Robinson are first and second in most wins for a college football coach. What famed name is third? (Hint, he’s retired.) (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: Name two NFL teams that Trent Green has played for. Answers: Chargers, Redskins, Rams, Chiefs, Dolphins. Kudos: Jay Goldstein-AdMore/NY; Rick Rosenfelt-ESPN New York/NY; Joe Schaefer-ZUUS Media/NY; Daniel Weber-MLB Network/NY; Jon Show-Show Sports Media/Charlotte; Keith Allo-Golf Channel/NBC Sports/Orlando; G. David Brown-FOX Sports/Charlotte; Cris Aguilar-WCYB/Bristol; Benjamin Simonds-National Football League/Chicago; Todd Telin-KMOT-TV/Minot; Joe Haack-Time Warner/Lincoln; Frank Forgey-Missouri Broadcasters Association/Jefferson City; Jim Hall-True Media/Columbia; David Hauptman/Denver; Joe Olson/Manhattan Beach; Bryan Pringle – CBS Sports Network/Carlsbad; Adam Deverell-Cox Reps/LA; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc./Santa Monica.


Join Cynopsis at the…

Creating the Perfect Media Pitch: The New Secrets of Selling Content to Advertisers Webinar
April 8, 2014|1:30-3 p.m. ET| Register Now

Speakers Include:
Lynn LaRoccaSVP of Marketing and Advertising (Modell’s)
Jon SteinlaufEVP, Ad Sales and Marketing  (Scripps)
Linda OngPresident and Brand Strategist (TruthCo.)
Tom TalbertGroup Director, Media Services (Lowe Campbell Ewald)

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for
Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

Roberta Caploe: Editorial Director @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

Cynopsis Ad Sales: Mike Farina | VP, Sales | 203-218-6480
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JOB OPENING:AFFIL MKTG MGR/Asia TV USA/NYC: 3-5 yrs Affiliate Mktg Exp at a cable network/MVPD. Understanding of the dvlpmnt & implementation of campaigns that drive subscriptions. Premium Network exp a + Resume to: careers@asiatvusa.com (4/9)


JOB OPENING:CORP COMMS SPECIALIST/THE WEATHER COMPANY/NYC: Publicity for Weather Channel prog, digital cont, ad sales comm, int comm. Skilled w/Cision, TV Eyes, Meltwater News, intranet. 3 yrs exp. Apply: melissa.ngo@weather.com (4/9)


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JOB OPENING: SR RESEARCH ANALYST/Music Choice/NY: Prgm/Ad Sales research. NPower exp a must. MRI/Rentrak a plus. Standard reports, custom requests & competitive analysis. BA/BS, plus 1-3 yrs relevant research exp. Required. Apply HERE (4/8) 


JOB OPENING: MGR MKTG/ION/NY: Support Nat’l Ad Sales team, assist w/development & execution of integrated client solutions 2 – 3 yrs exp mktg, prefer sponsorships, 4-yr deg, prefer Marketing Apply jobs@ionmedia.com EOE (4/8)


JOB OPENING: ASSOCIATE MANAGER, MARKETING SERVICES/ESPN/Coral Gables FL: Assist in the dvlpmnt of high impact sales materials for use by the Sales Teams. Min 2 yrs exp. http://bit.ly/1hdIZM5 (4/8)


JOB OPENING:TVONE/AD SALES COORD/NY: Work w/AE & Planners. POC for agencies. Create flowcharts, handle make good offrs. Trffic & agency Liaison. Self strter, strg org skills, attn to details. BA+2 yrs exp. Resumes: HERE (4/8)


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JOB OPENING:VP INSIGHTS & INNOVATION/THE WEATHER CHANNEL/NY: Min 8 yrs in media research, exp in mnging large initiatives with proven ROI & provide cross-platform research leadership for sales team.Resume to: ronnie.battle@weather.com (4/4)


JOB OPENING:PROD ACCT/Conde Nast/NYC: Mng finance & maint financial records during prod as a key link between Finance & company’s Creative & Prgrmng teams. 3-5 yrs ent/prod acctng exp; GL exp a + Full info, Apply Here (4/4)


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