Monday, June 17th, 2013

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Monday, June 17, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Fresh off of a dramatic US Open, Golf Channel will bring back In Play with Jimmy Roberts tomorrow night at 10:30p for the third episode of the series that will feature an interview with Fanny Sunesson, Sir Nick Faldo’s long-time female caddy, as well as spotlighting a man as he plays his 1,000th consecutive round of golf and LPGA Tour player Lizette Salas.

Roberts, a 13-time Emmy Award-winner at ESPN and NBC Sports, is known for his storytelling abilities and spoke with Cynopsis Sports about his decision to take on the show, the importance of crafting a good story and lessons learned from the likes of Howard Cosell and Jim McKay.

Roberts on storytelling: I have told stories my entire career, whether it’s been in front of the camera or behind the camera, this is something that I’ve always enjoyed being part of. I got my start at ABC Sports, which is the place that invented up close and personal and I had the good fortune of working with people like Jim McKay, Jack Whitaker and Howard Cosell, and also spent some time at ABC News. That is where I really honed my skills. It’s funny how while sometimes we may fall into some stuff, there are also times were we discover things we have an aptitude for and can develop those skills.

On the stories that come out of golf: I think maybe one of the reasons that golf has so many stories is that it isn’t a game like baseball or football that we watch as fans, it’s also a sport that we play. Golf isn’t just a competitive game, it’s also a culture. They play it on Saturday mornings and watch on Sunday afternoons. For me, I love the game and I hate the game. There was one point in my life where I got so frustrated with golf that I wrote a book about it. At the time I had no idea how to get out of this slump I was in. I was once decent and then it went away. So I talked with people who had been enormously successful in golf and in life talked to them about what they did to get out of their slumps. It was cathartic and I was able to break my slump.

On the impact of digital media: I remember a time where everybody was scared that the industry was shrinking and it was just the opposite. Look at how many television channels there are, and vehicle on the Internet, there are so many opportunities and places to tell stories now. I’m lucky that Mike McCarley and Molly Solomon came from NBC Sports approached me and Mike told me he wanted me to do this show. They’ve created an environment where they are very set upon doing really high-quality work.

On lessons from the greats: I took away from Howard a lot of things. One of the things I remember most about Howard and I marveled at was Howard’s ability to ask a challenging question and not lose the person he was talking to. That’s a hard thing to do. I think that from people like Jim McKay and Jack Whitaker, I observed in them an elegance that I admired. Maybe it’s old fashioned but I hope there is still a place for that in storytelling. I don’t mean for that to sound pretentious, it just means that they had a style and they also thought of things more broadly. So if it was a story about a pitcher, it wasn’t only a story about baseball, maybe there was some kind of literary example that could help you tell the story better. In fact, sometimes the best way to tell a story about baseball is to not talk about baseball.

On the Air

The Dodgers have reportedly worked out a tentative agreement with MLB that will allow the team to keep more than $6 billion from its golden television contract, according to the LA Times. The settlement would prevent a meeting in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, with the team ultimately paying around $2 billion into the league’s revenue sharing pot over the life of the deal.

Game 4 of the NBA Finals delivered the second-highest rated Game 4 overnight rating since 2004, and it still wasn’t good enough to top last year’s numbers. The game drew a 12.0 overnight tally, according to Nielsen, marking the 34th consecutive time an NBA Finals telecast has won the night for all of television and is the 22nd consecutive time it has delivered double-digit overnight ratings. On the local front, the matchup delivered a 43.7 in San Antonio and a 34.2 in Miami, both of which are the highest ratings of the 2013 NBA Finals in those markets.

HBO’s Hard Knocks is apparently revisiting the past for its 2013 season. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the behind-the-scenes reality series will focus on the Cincinnati Bengals. That marks the second time the Bengals have been in the spotlight, having first appeared in 2009.

ESPN reports an audience spike for its college baseball post-season, with nearly 30 million viewers tuning in at some point through the Super Regionals across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU combined to televise every game from the eight Super Regional sites, and averaged 404,000 viewers over the 22 telecasts for a 9% uptick over last season. New Orleans marked the highest-rated metered market for both of ESPN and ESPN2’s Super Regional telecasts.

Tonight’s episode of NBC Sports Network’s The Crossover will check up on the 2013 Stanley Cup Final at 6p and another live, special NHL edition at 11p. The one-hour extended edition of will see Michelle Beadle welcome NHL studio analyst Roenick via satellite from Boston, and Will Leitch,Sports On Earth writer and Deadspin founder, to the studio in New York.

World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo is placing himself in the ring, announcing that he will fight at the pormotion’s upcoming WSOF 4 on Aug. 10 in Ontario. The former/returning fighter will square off against Dave Huckaba,

CBC’s Hot Stove reports that if the Phoenix Coyotes are unable to finally up a deal with the City of Glendale by July 2, the team will be sold to Ray Bartoszek and Anthony Lanza for $220 million and would then move to Seattle.

ESPN made its game selection for the July 7 edition of Sunday Night Baseball, picking up the Red Sox/Angels. The 8p game will run on ESPN with Dan Shulman, analysts Orel Hershiser and John Kruk and reporter Buster Olney providing commentary.

Commissioners, CMOs and Sportscasters, oh my! 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.



2013 Cynopsis: Digital Model D Awards Deadline is this Thursday at midnight EST!

Awards Event: November 2013  TBD

Click here to learn about the Awards program & enter online!

Sponsorship & Promotion

The NHL, in partnership with NBC Sports Group, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and French language broadcaster RDS, debuted its 2013 Stanley Cup Final TV spot. Dubbed Handshake, the commercial spotlights the handshake line between players at the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final, that offers heartfelt moments between members of the winning and losing teams when they line up to shake hands at center ice.

CSE announced that it has inked former NBA coach, executive, broadcaster and player Vinny Del Negro to a deal to represent him for management and marketing. Del Negro was most recently the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Digital & Production

The NBA Finals saw Game 4 register the largest NBA game of the season to date with nearly 14 million total minutes and an average minute audience of 82,500 across computers, smartphones, tablets and Xbox on ESPN3, according to Adobe SiteCatalyst. In addition, NBA content across ESPN digital platforms scored over 68 million total minutes, half of which were consumed on mobile properties.

The Main Event, the featured game of the day sponsored by Thuuz, real-time sports discovery for mobile & connected TV platforms

Blackhawks vs. Bruins Tonight, 8:00 pm ET. Thuuz rating: 96
After splitting two OT games in Chi-town, the series moves to Boston. On NBCSN.


Women In Action Sports Event
SAVE THE DATE: August 13 from 4-7pm in NYC

To take place the evening before the Cynopsis Sports Business Summit (8/14 at the Grand Hyatt NY), join us for a stimulating 2-hrs with a dynamic group of women in senior sports positions talking candidly about the challenges that women still face in landing shot-calling, game-changing positions in the sports world, as well as the opportunities those same challenges present.

Networking cocktail reception to follow!
For more info, contact: Jenn Ocampo.

ON THIS DAY in 1992: The 76ers trade Charles Barkley to the Phoenix Suns.

In The Know: The 76ers and Suns retired what number in honor of Sir Charles? (Email 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 team did the Chicago Bulls face twice in the NBA Finals? Answer: The Utah Jazz. Kudos: John Miller-NBC Sports/NY; Barry McMullin-PBR/NY; Mark Prince-MEC/PPS/NY; Mike Dittelman-CCM/NY; Jon Show-Show Sports Media/Charlotte; James Taguchi-WTVR/Richmond; Tony Ferranti-MMSI/Warwick; Chad Conwell-ABC 22/FOX 45/Miamisburg; John Kukla-KDFW/Dallas; Kevin Micklo-Two X Four Advertising/Chicago; Steve Hebel-Continental TV Sales/Chicago; Lisa Fikeys-Zimmerman; Chicago; Rick Pike-InterMedia Advertising/Woodland Hills; Steve Hirsen-Director/Producer/Sherman Oaks; Adam Deverell-Cox Reps/LA; Keith Dobkowski-FOX Sports Digital/LA.


Cynopsis: Digital BIG Monetization Summit

It’s not too late to REGISTER for the Summit Tomorrow!

Panel Sessions Include
Get Ready: YouTube’s Next Wave of Content
Next Generation Digital Programming Models
“How We Monetize” Debate

Sponsored By: Yahoo!

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports

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