Monday, October 21st, 2013

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Monday, October 21, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Two weeks ago, the 4th annual espnW Women + +Sports Summit saw Laura Gentile, Vice President of espnW close the conference with a look at the future of the division after three days of panels and networking that included the likes of Michelle Kwan, Tina Charles, Gabrielle Reece, Mia Hamm, Lisa Andersen, Sanya Richards-Ross, Summer Sanders and some of the 2014 Olympians and Paralympians. As the reach of espnW continues to grow and numbers rise online, Gentile laid out the action steps that would be taken looking forward. A portion of that plan included: a commitment to continue to strengthen their global sports mentoring program; a commitment to doing one thing in the sports space to make a difference for women; and making a conscious decision to be an ally for the gay community.

In addition, ESPN President John Skipper announced  that espnW and ESPN Films will continue their Nine for IX series collaboration with an annual digital short films series. Cynopsis Sports spoke with Christine Driessen, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, ESPN about the rise of espnW and its road ahead.

Driessen on evolution of espnW: We started this as an attempt to have a collaboration of women across multiple arenas of sports to start a conversation on how we can elevate the coverage of women’s sports and the activity of women’s sports. It was very humble beginnings about having a conversation and getting the movers and shakers in the room together to enhance women’s sports in general. The second year we built on that, but in year three we approached it with more of a business focus with real action steps that we wanted to walk away from. So Laura and I spent a lot of time thinking about how we could use this incredible group of powerful women to determine how we could use our collective power and influence to impact the power of sports for women. This year we brought out the next set of action steps to move this forward.

On espnW’s impact on women’s sports: I would love for it to be a movement. What we have tried to demonstrate is that yes, espnW will benefit from a business standpoint, but it’s not really about that. It’s about college coaches and parents and special athletes, how do we combine to ensure that there is great storytelling about those women and how can they help someone else and improve their lives.

On next steps: Over the last couple of years, we’ve had the ability to become an influencer. Is that measurable? Yes and no. But it is more to me about the individual stories. Our site is a place where women can have a conversation. They blog about sports and write about what it means to be a runner or to cover the NCAA Women’s Tournament. There’s now a home where people can have that conversation. But what we are thinking about next is if espnW can be so bold as to be the authority on the subject and we are starting to wrap our heads around that next step and next evolution of what that could be.

On the Nine for IX series: We wanted to have women producers and directors and showcase the whole picture of how a film gets made and the stories behind them. Every story had a thread through it that there are incredible individuals who against all odds had gone beyond their own individual sport to become really great leaders. That’s what we were trying to get. With the new announcement, we are going to nine for IX shorts. We felt we served a role and were so encouraged by the reception that we got, that we want to continue that.

On the Air

St. Louis and Boston. MLB laid out the national broadcast schedule for the 2013 World Series, set to begin on Wednesday at Boston’s Fenway Park. FOX Sports brings back Joe Buck and Tim McCarver, who is moving on at the end of the season, will call their record 16th and final World Series together. ESPN Radio will offer complete coverage of all World Series games.

Game 6 of the ALCS on FOX delivered a 5.5/10 national household rating for the channel with 9.0 million viewers, according to Nielsen. The game was up 20% over last year’s 4.6/7 for Game 6 of the National League Championship Series on FOX and also out-rated last year’s decisive NLCS Game 7 by +12%. The series clincher also tallied FOX’s best rating for an LCS game since 2010’s NLCS Game 6. The complete 2013 six-game ALCS on FOX averaged a 4.9/9 and 7.7 million viewers, up 23% over last year’s 4.0/7.

On the other side of the coin, TBS’ coverage of the NLCS averaged a 3.2 household score for the series, up 10% compared with the 2.9 score the channel notched the last time the channel carried the series in 2011. The corresponding average of five million total viewers for this year’s six-game series is an increase of 9% over an average of 4.6 million total viewers in 2011.

FOX is doubling down after the Super Bowl in February, and will run the Andy Samberg comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine after the game. The series will run after The New Girl in a special one-hour comedy block after the contest.

On the racing front, IndyCar revealed its schedule for the 2014 IndyCar series, officially adding a new event, the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on Indianapolis Motor Speedway as well as the return of doubleheader races in Detroit, Houston and Toronto. Overall, there will be 18 races over 15 event weekends. The action begins on Sunday, March 30 with the 1.8 mile St. Petersburg street circuit and wraps up at the Auto Club Speedway on Aug. 30.

Meanwhile, NASCAR announced a 33-race slate for the 2014 Nationwide Series, holding steady with this year’s schedule. Slight tweaks included a change of dates for Darlington and the first Texas race in order to coincide with the Sprint Cup schedule. In addition, the first Iowa Speedway event has moved from June to May 18. Of course, the season takes off on Feb. 22 at Daytona international Speedway.

Telemundo Deportes reports that its series Titulares Telemundo ranked as the top-rated late fringe weekend sports show on Spanish-language television during the 2012-13 television season. The show averaged 391,000 total viewers with growth of 22% over the previous season.


Cynopsis Digital’s Video Measurement Summit
 NOV. 13| GRAND HYATT, NY | Register Now

Panels Include:
Where is “TV Everywhere?”
The “Holy Grail” of True Cross-Platform Measurement
Riding the Tsunami of Data
The Advertising Mega Panel: If You Build It, Will Clients Come?

Sponsorship: Mike Farina (203) 218-6480|Registration: Pete Romas (203) 899-8483

Sponsorship & Promotion

Turner Sports and Justin Timberlake are teaming up for a new marketing campaign the will celebrate the launch of the 2013-14 NBA season on TNT. The push will see Timberlake’s single Take Back The Night featured in a series of custom promotional spots produced by Turner Sports and featured across TNT, NBA TV and The marketing campaign will run for the next eight weeks and feature footage that includes LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant,Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Paul George, Blake Griffin, Tony Parker, Tayshaun Prince, and Deron Williams.

The UFC is throwing a party for its 20th anniversary, announcing a promotional tour of North America that will feature stars of the MMA promotion. The tour will span 20 days and lead into UFC 167: St. Pierre vs. Hendricks on Nov. 16 in Las Vegas. The tour begins in Denver, the site of UFC 1, on Oct. 28 and continues with visits to almost two dozen cities.

Digital & Technology

Custom sports video producer and distributor CineSport is launching, a new multi-platform portal that showcases its original programming and offers premium content produced with the reporters from its network of publishers. CineSport’s partners including The Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News, Atlanta Journal Constitution and over 100 others. CineSport is also launching its social presence, and will be “aggressively” distributing programming on Facebook and Twitter. 

SINA Corporation and NBA China expanded their partnership to deliver fans in China with greater access to NBA content on multiple SINA platforms. The enhanced partnership also makes the NBA the first U.S. professional sports league to offer specific destinations for all 30 teams online and via mobile, a live game streamed daily on mobile, and original programming, and also includes the launch of a new NBA online community. Through the deal, SINA will continue to operate and deliver enhanced NBA features on, the Mobile Web, SINA Sports (SINA’s multisport application), and SINA Weibo (SINA’s Microblog).

Pac-12 Networks are now available to AT&T U-verse customers on and in the Pac-12 Now iOS and Android applications. Conference fans on AT&T U-verse can now watch all seven live 24/7 Pac-12 TV Networks via TV Anywhere technology online and via mobile and tablet devices.
The Main Event

Avalanche/Penguins on NBCSN at 7:30p.


Cynopsis: Digital Model D Awards
November 12, 2013 | 12:00  2:00 p.m. | Grand Hyatt, NY

The list of Finalists will be announced soon, but don’t wait to reserve your tickets/tables.

 Register here:

Sponsorship: Mike Farina (203) 218-6480|Registration: Pete Romas (203) 899-8483

ON THIS DAY in 1980: The Phillies with their first World Series in the club’s 98-year history.

In The Know: Who was the last Super Bowl MVP that wasn’t a quarterback? (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: In what movie was Reggie Jackson “programmed” to assassinate the Queen of England? Answer: The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! Kudos: Mark DiPippa-DNA Creative/NY; Mark Romano-Outdoor Channel/NY; Kyle Helm-CBS Sports Network/NY; Chris Mccloskey-NBC Sports Group/NY; Mike Antolini-Tiger Woods Foundation/Boston; Randy Ingram-WBTW-TV/Myrtle Beach; Jeff Miller-CW69 WUPA-TV/Atlanta; Shawn Gerchicoff-Turner Sports/Atlanta; Pam-Tierney-Actress/VoiceOver/Chicago; Chuck Gordon-Clear Channel Media/Mobile; Will Allmendinger-Captivate Network/Chicago; Karl Duesterhaus-Continental/Chicago; Michael Jaquet-U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association/Park City; Matt Sautter-OpenTV/Golden; Jim Thurston-ESPN/Glendale; Anne Wettig-Fox Sports 1/LA; Alan Perris-The Television Academy/North Hollywood; Jeff Macedo-State Senate/Sacramento.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports

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