Monday, September 10th, 2012

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Cynopsis: Sports
09/10/12

Good morning. It’s Monday, September 10, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

As we prepare to close out the MLB regular season, Cynopsis Sports caught up with Bruce Nash, CEO/President of Nash Entertainment and creator/executive producer of more than 80 TV series ranging from “Amazing Sports Stories” to “Before They Were Stars” to “Modern Marvels.” Nash recently revamped an older franchise, not on TV but as a book, writing-with Allan Zullo-The Baseball Hall of Shame: The Best of Blooperstown. The book chronicles the most dubious, eyebrow-raising feats in baseball history, from stadium promotions to plays.

Cynopsis Sports spoke with Nash about his desire to revamp the Hall of Shame book franchise, his favorite stories as well as a potential TV future for the book.

Nash on the decision to do the book: We had the first Hall of Shame book out in 1985. I hadn’t done one of those books in a long time but was recently at Dodgers Stadium with a couple of families that we are friendly with which included two boys, one from one family and one from another. I was telling them stories from my old books and they would sit there-wide-eyed and amazed-and go ‘That really happened?!’ They loved them so much that I called my former writing partner Allan Zullo and told them how these kids relished these stories and they can’t be lost in time. Baseball is all about passing on stories from one generation to the next.

On a favorite story from baseball lore: One I like, and you’d never see this in a game today, but back in the day a fella hit a long hit out to the outfield. Back then, there was a dog house back by the outfield wall, where the groundskeeper kept his dog. The batter ran around the bases and the outfielder, Ed Delahanty (Big Ed) who was a Hall of Famer saw the ball roll into the doghouse. So Big Ed crawled into the dog house to retrieve the ball wall the runner is going around the bases. He gets the ball and tried to get out, but he can’t because he gets stuck in the dog house. So the batter circles the bases and scores for the first and only inside-the-doghouse home run. True story.

On finding the stories: We did a lot of research. We also went to Cooperstown, and went through yellowed newspaper clippings, as well as old magazines from the 20s and 30s. Fortunately, when we checked these stories out, many of them were true. We also got the stories from baseball players as well, retired players and current players. Years ago, Allan and I were on a radio show for our first book in Chicago and the host had a surprise for us. He told us he wanted to check out a story to see if our facts were right. On the phone, he had the manager Lou Boudreau. The host then tells Lou that we had him in the Baseball Hall of Shame, and reads the story live on the air. Then there is this pause, which seems like it lasted forever, and Lou Boudreau then says “I’m sorry to say it’s all true.”

On whether he will again dabble in sport programming: I did a series I am very proud of that was more on the inspirations, human interest dramatic side of sports, Amazing Sports Stories for Fox Sports Net. That was a very serious show however. What I want to do today with these stories and others that I’ve collected is to possibly do a television series where we retell stories of the past and chronicle stories that are happening today with all the off-beat, wacky side of sports. Not the drugs and sex, it’s not about that. It’s about humorous stuff, everybody makes mistakes, even the best baseball players.

On the Air

Friday’s big story, of course, was that official announcement that ESPN and FOX Sports had locked in a 13-year rights agreement with the Big 12. The deals run through 2024-25 and are estimated to be worth $2.6 billion to the conference, when all is said and done. ESPN’s side of the agreement will amp up the amount of football and men’s basketball games on the ESPN platforms. Through the 2015 season, up to 19 conference-controlled football games will be available on ESPN networks and platforms, and beginning with the 2016 season, ESPN networks will be able to distribute up to 23 of those games. On the basketball front, ESPN networks will televise up to 105 games – a boost of 10 per year – with 43 contests set for ESPN or ESPN2 and up to 40 games televised on ESPNU and up to six contests will originate live on ESPN3. ESPN also retains exclusive rights to the entire Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship as well as exclusive games from the league’s 23 sports teams including women’s basketball.

On the FOX Sports side of the deal, FSMG receives over-the-air access to Big 12 football with a minimum of six games annually on broadcast television, enhanced selections through 2015 with ESPN and FOX sharing rotating game selections beginning in 2016 as well as “TV everywhere” rights to FOX.

The Pac-12 Networks hooked a big one, agreeing to a multi-year deal with DISH to distribute the channels. The deal hands the company exclusive category sponsorship for Pac-12 athletic programs, including stadium signage and logo rights with each of the member schools. 

ESPN staple Chris Berman will remain with the company for years to come, as the longtime sportscaster signed a multi-year extension. Berman, of course, joined ESPN just after launch in October 1979, and at the conclusion of his new deal, Berman would have worked for ESPN for nearly 40 years.

Inclement weather postponed the men’s final of the US Open once again, and the match will now run tonight at 4p on CBS.

Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive told reporters on Saturday that he hopes the conference will have a new TV deal locked in by the end of the year. With the additions of Missouri and Texas A&M, Slive said that he was encouraged by renegotiations with TV partners.

SPEED revealed that Michael Waltrip Racing granted the channel access to its organization during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer, as well as their crews, as part of a 10-week programming initiative. Segments will appear on NASCAR Race Hub and NASCAR RaceDay with the first “all-access” segment running Sept. 16 on NASCAR RaceDay from Chicagoland Speedway at 11a.

CBS Sports said Friday that every game of the 2012-13 NFL season running through Super Bowl XLVII on February 3, 2013, will be simulcast in Spanish via Secondary Audio Program technology. This marks the first year that multiple NFL games will be broadcast simultaneously in Spanish via SAP. Veteran announcer Armando Quintero and Benny Ricardo will call the Super Bowl. Alfredo Bejar,Nelson Fernandez and Halim Zadatalso will call games this season.

Tonight at 10p, Golf Channel runs Legendary Conversation, featuring Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Lee Trevino. The foursome will come together for a roundtable-style interview to share stories and experiences from their legendary careers. Rich Lerner hosts the discussion.

Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic is slating a 70-game regional television schedule with the Washington Capitals this season. The network’s coverage of the NHL franchise also features the return of its comprehensive pregame and postgame shows with Capitals Central and Capitals Postgame Live. The channel’s live coverage of the team will begin with the team’s opener on Oct. 12 against New Jersey at 7p.

Velocity will air a documentary on the mysterious fate of Bobby Thomson’s Legendary 1951 Home Run Ball, aka The Shot Heard Round the World, on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 8p. The ball disappeared on October 3rd, 1951 after New York Giants third baseman Bobby Thomson hit “the walk-off home run” against the Brooklyn Dodgers. The program, dubbed Miracle Ball, spotlights the journey to find the iconic sports treasure.

Ouch. After Arkansas’ shocking upset over the weekend, ESPN College GameDay announced on its Facebook page that the show will now hit Tennessee next weekend instead. GameDay host Chris Fowler tweeted “Epic win for the Warhawks. We’ve seen plot twists before, but ULM rerouting @CollegeGameDay from Ark. next week is the all-timer!”

ESPN Deportes Radio Nueva York 1050 AM made its debut on Friday with the announcement that the station had locked in an agreement with the New York Jets to carry all team games- pre-season, regular season and post-season- in Spanish-language for the next three seasons. Commentary will be led by Clemson Smith Muñiz.

Sponsorship & Promotion

Samsung renewed its shirt sponsorship deal with Chelsea through the end of the 2014-15 season. The deal is estimated to be worth nearly $29 million a year to the Champions League team, according to reports.

The New York Liberty is entering a partnership with Deuce Brand for the rest of the 2012 WNBA season. The agreement is highlighted by activation online and in-arena at Prudential Center, including availability of Liberty branded Deuce watches at merchandise stores in the Arena.

Raycom Sports launched a new consumer sweepstakes over the weekend with the ACC. The ACC Road Trip Driven by Chevy contest, dubbed the Ultimate Road Trip, will run through November 8 and offer two grand prizes: a trip for two to the 2012 Country Music Awards on November 1, 2012 in Nashville, Tenn. and a trip for two to the 2012 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship on December 1, 2012 in Charlotte, N.C.

Digital Fields

Total College Sports launched a new show on Hulu and Hulu Plus called TCS 5th Quarter. The program will run on Saturday nights during primetime viewing through January 12th, 2013. The 18-episode, 22-minute series is designed to feature all of the day’s college sports game action.

ESPN launched ESPN Deportes+ por ESPN3, designed to offer more than 200 live sports events in Spanish through the ESPN3 player on ESPNdeportes.com. Moving forward, the channel will be featured on ESPN3.

The Main Event

US Open Men’s Final at 4p on CBS.


A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE


Cynopsis’ Most Intriguing People Awards

We’re in search of The Most Intriguing People in the television industry! Please nominate (free to submit) those you feel are making significant & sometime head-turning contributions to the business: those that are trail blazers or risk-takers, unpredictable (in positive ways) and who are downright intriguing.

Nominate: NOW  |  Deadline: NOV 1  |  Awards Gala: SPRING 2013

Event/Submission Questions: Jenn Sredzinski 203.906.4603
Advertising/Sponsorship information: Mike Farina 203.218.6480



ON THIS DAY in 1978: Jimmy Connors becomes the first player to win the US Open on three different surfaces.

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: The New York Jets officially retired #73 in honor of what player? Joe Klecko. Kudos: Mike Lee-Zenith Media/NY; Adam Cooper-ESPN/NY; Doug Drotman-Drotman Communications/NY; David Kalan-NHL.com/NY; Shawn Gerchicoff-Turner Sports/Atlanta; Tony Marinaro-Lin Media/New Haven; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Rick Rosenfelt-New York Jets, LLC/ Florham Park; Ron Salcedo-Zimmerman/Nashville; Steve Morrow-Eclipse TV/Mill Valley; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc/Santa Monica; Dick Murphy-Avail-TVN/LA; Joe Pedri-KLAS-TV/Las Vegas.

In The Know: Name two of the first five players to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. ( 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
09.10.12

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