Stanley Cup finished with a bang; NBA League Pass is feeling single; WWE gets in on gaming


Race coverage kicks off July 4th Weekend
and culminates with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship on November 22nd

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Good morning. It’s Wednesday June 17, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, which saw the Blackhawks clinch the prize on Monday night, handed NBC with an average of 8.005 million viewers and a 4.44 HH rating, according to Nielsen, which would mark the third-most watched Stanley Cup Final Game 6 in history. Overall, the series averaged 5.551 million viewers and a 3.19 HH rating across NBC and NBCSN, for the second-most watched Final series on record, behind only the 2013 series. Meanwhile, the company reports that the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs averaged 1.430 million viewers for the company, which is the third-most watched post-season for the sport in 18 years.


Discovery Networks continues to shore up its sports assets, buying Setanta Sports Asia, a premium sports channel that goes heavy on rugby coverage, with around 500 matches a year and spanning 16 countries. Similar to the strategy we have adopted for Eurosport, we will look to build on the strengths of Setanta and fortify its leadership as a must-have sports channel across Asia,” Discovery Networks International President JB Perrette stated.
ESPN2 saw its opening-weekend WNBA doubleheader on Sunday combine to average 278,000 viewers according to Nielsen. That is up 31% ESPN2’s 2014 opener. Top metered markets included: Las Vegas (0.6), Richmond (0.5), Washington, D.C. (0.5), Raleigh-Durham (0.5) and Minneapolis-St. Paul (0.4).

Golf Channel got a rise out of Monday’s Golf Central Live From The U.S. Open and Morning Drive. The programs notched the network’s second most-watched U.S. Open Monday Total Day audience, with 88,000 average viewers per minute. That is up 26% vs. 2012 at Olympic, which is the most recent comparable West Coast hosted U.S. Open and up 9% over last year at Pinehurst.

The NBA laid out its slate of games for the Samsung NBA Summer League, which will be carries on NBA TV. The lineup will include the Timberwolves and Lakers, who hold the top two picks in NBA Draft 2015 presented by State Farm, facing off on day one on July 10, as well as the Bucks/Pelicans at 3p. NBA TV offers up all 67 games at the annual showcase, culminating with the Samsung NBA Summer League Championship Game at 6p on July 20 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Fans will once again will be able to watch games live on and via the NBA Game Time App.

ESPN announced that Danielle Green, who lost her left arm to a rocket-propelled grenade explosion while serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq in 2004, and a member of the Notre Dame women’s basketball team, will be honored with the Pat Tillman Award for Service at The 2015 ESPYS Presented by Capital One on July 15.

Speaking of ESPN, the company selected the Giants/Nationals for its Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell telecast on July 5 at 8p. Dan Shulman offers provide play-by-play with analysts Curt Schilling and John Kruk and reporter Buster Olney.

From learning about the fate of Pete Rose to virtual reality’s upcoming impact on sports to the future of FIFA to FanDuel’s influence on ratings and everything in-between, thank you to our speakers and attendees for your help at yesterday’s Cynopsis Sports Summit. Hope to see you all again soon!

Texas Athletics and IMG College/Longhorn Sports Marketing revealed that the Austin Radio Network will become the new radio home for Texas Athletics. The multi-year partnership between ARN and IMG will bring fans more live Longhorns athletics events and shoulder programming and add an additional Spanish-language football broadcast flagship, beginning with the 2015 football season. ARN will simulcast across its platform of four FM radio stations and two AM stations live Longhorns sports events including football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball, and Longhorn Weekly coaches’ shows. ARN’s 104.9 FM "The Horn" will become the new flagship station.



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The Sacramento Kings have a new place to call home, announcing that Golden 1 Credit Union locked in a naming rights partnership with the team. The deal will see the Kings’ venue renamed as Golden 1 Center as the name for the sports center, which is slated to open in fall of 2016. "For more than 80 years, Golden 1 Credit Union has been investing in people by helping them make the most of their money and achieve their dreams," said Golden 1 President and Chief Executive Officer, Donna Bland. "Golden 1 Center demonstrates our continued commitment and investment in the people and future of Sacramento, while also advancing our ability to provide our members with more auto loans, affordable home loans, free checking and so many other valued and convenient financial services. Our future, our members’ future, and Sacramento’s future are one. We are very proud to invest in the community that has for so long invested in us."


Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III announced at the Cynopsis Sports Summit that the venue would be partnering with FanVision to introduce the mobile accessory FanVision Puck. The technology connects to an iOS or Android device and offers fans the ability to stream video, audio, and data content currently available on the FanVision Controller dedicated device. FanVision Puck will debut at the 2016 DAYTONA 500 via the DAYTONA International Speedway mobile app and will be available at all other International Speedway Corporation (ISC) races throughout the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Trial runs for the device will be available at select ISC tracks during the remainder of the 2015 schedule.

NBA League Pass is changing up its approach to the 2015-16 NBA season, allowing fans to buy single games and individual team packages. Fans using the single game offering can buy individual live games on a given day during the regular season, while the team package, available for all 30 NBA teams, will give fans the option to follow one team through the regular season. The platform will also continue to offer the traditional, comprehensive full season package.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred was quick to address yesterday’s report that the St. Louis Cardinals are being investigated by the FBI for apparently hacking into data owned by the Houston Astros. The New York Times wrote that the FBI and Justice Department officials cite evidence that Cardinals officials broke into the Astros’ database and had access to statistics, scouting reports and internal discussions about players, trades and other proprietary information. "I think until we know, this is different from when we might investigate, for example, a drug case where we’re one of the investigators," Manfred told reporters during a news conference at Fenway Park. "I have access to all the facts real time in a situation like that. That’s just not the case here, and because I don’t know exactly what the facts are and I don’t think the person who wrote the Times story knows exactly what the facts are, that it really doesn’t make sense for me to speculate as to how serious a problem I have.

Google’s Chromecast is now offering on-demand content from the CBS Sports app and CBS Sports Digital offers free access to sports programming as well as daily, quick-hitting fantasy advice from series such as Fantasy Baseball Today, Fantasy Football Today, and Daily Fantasy Live through Chromecast.

The Arena Football League inked a one-year partnership with FilmOn Networks that will make the IP-delivered cable television platform the official provider of international Arena Football in 2015. will live stream all games of the 20 week season leading right up to ArenaBowl XXVIII on August 29th.


WWE launched UpUpDownDown, a new YouTube channel focusing on video gaming and hosted by WWE Superstar Xavier Woods. Woods will be joined by YouTube celebrities, WWE Superstars and video game editors who will star in daily programming. “By leveraging WWE’s massive influence on YouTube and tapping into a content vertical that scores highly among our fans, we’re poised to make an immediate impact with this new channel,” said Lisa Fox, WWE Executive Vice President, Content. “We’re confident that UpUpDownDown will entertain not only WWE fans, but gamers everywhere.” Programming will include: UpUpDownDown Plays on Mondays; For the Lolz on Wednesdays; Jump Scares on Fridays; Superstar Savepoint  on Saturdays; and Gamer Gauntlet on Sundays.

Electronic Arts announced at E3 that EA Sports NHL 16 hits stories on Sept. 15, in North America and September 17, 2015 in Europe. This year’s game will see “new levels of depth to deliver more ways to play for every hockey fan. Gamers who crave team experiences can jump into either 6 v. 6 Online Team Play, Online Couch Co-op, or the fan favorite, EA SPORTS Hockey League, that’s been reimagined to deliver a new player class system for a more competitive and balanced experience.”


Rays/Nationals on ESPN2 at 7p.



ON THIS DAY in 2010: Utah agrees to join the Pac-10 conference.

In The Know: Before being called the Hokies, Virginia Tech teams assumed what nickname? (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: Who is the only person to be named both the NBA’s MVP and its Coach of the Year? Answer: Larry Bird. Kudos: Michael O. Brown-Lagardere Unlimited/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Jon Latzer-CBS Digital Media/NY; Matthew Luisi-NBCU/NY; Gary Wohlstetter-UMBC/Baltimore;  JB Greer-TeamWork Online/Cleveland; Jon Show-Show Sports Media/Charlotte; Mike May-PHIT America/Wellington; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Steve McNair-KUBE TV/Houston; Gretchen Brady-KDAF/Dallas; Rick Pike-InterMedia Advertising/Woodland Hills; Paul Gygli-NBCUniversal Television Distribution/Universal City; Don Surath-CBS/San Francisco; Neal Stevens-Stevens & Associates/Beverly Hills.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for
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