Good morning. It’s Thursday, April 19, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
The NBC Sports Group officially announced that its Olympics site NBCOlympics.com will live stream every event at the games for the first time ever, with a tally of 3,500 total programming hours, including the awarding of all 302 medals. By comparison, in 2008, the site live streamed 25 sports for 2,200 hours of coverage. The site relaunched yesterday to mark the 100 day countdown, and will profile hundreds of athletes, all 32 sports, and offer famed moments from previous Games. In addition, and marking another first, the site will also offer multiple concurrent streams for select sports, including gymnastics, track and field, and tennis.
The NFL, NFL Network and ESPN are working together to cut down on tip-offs before each pick of next week’s draft, and the league reportedly won’t show draftees on the phone in the green room before the announced pick on the first night of the draft. The story was first reported by Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch.
Saturday’s UFC on FUEL TV: Gustafsson vs. Silva, which marked the second UFC Fight Night on FUEL TV, handed the network with its most-watched day in history and most-watched program within the target demo of M18-49, according to Nielsen. The three-hour program drew 326,000 Total Viewers and 203,000 M1849 Viewers combined across both airings of the fight;. The channel scored its most-watched day in network history for both Total Viewers and M18-49 with an average of 71,000 Total Viewers and 44,000 M18-49, up 1320% and 2100%, respectively, compared to April 2011.
The FOX Saturday Baseball Game of the Week is hitting Fenway this weekend, with the Yankees/Red Sox at 3:30p. The game will be carried in 91% of the country with Joe Buck, Tim McCarver and Ken Rosenthal handling microphone duties. The rest of the country will get White Sox/Mariners.
While we are on the subject of Fenway, MLB Network plans to cover the 100th anniversary of the famed venue this week, beginning with the channel’s Intentional Talk, airing live from Fenway Park today at 5p and again on Friday with a special 90-minute edition starting at 1p. Tom Verducci will join Rose as a guest host during part of Friday’s show. In addition, Matt Vasgersian and John Smoltz will call the national telecast of the first meeting of the 2012 season between the Yankees at Red Sox at 3p.
ESPN Classic is also celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Fenway Park on Friday by counting down nine of the best games ever played at the Fens. In addition, ESPNBoston.com will debut its rankings of the 100 Greatest Moments in Fenway Park history.
BTN announced a slate of conference championships that will air in May, including baseball, men’s and women’s golf, rowing, men’s and women’s tennis and men’s and women’s outdoor track and field. Broadcast coverage of the Big Ten’s spring championships begins at 6p on Wednesday, May 9, with the Big Ten Women’s Tennis Tournament from Ohio State. In addition, for the fourth straight year, the Big Ten Network will televise every game of the Big Ten Baseball Tournament live from May 23-26.
ESPN will continue to celebrate the career of retiring Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt across multiple platforms with ESPNU and ESPN3 carrying the school’s formal press conference of the announcement live today, at 1:30p. In addition, ESPN Classic and ESPNU are programming a slate of memorable games coached by Summitt throughout the day.
NBC Sports Network’s coverage of Major League Soccer continues Saturday with Toronto FC/Chicago Fire at 3:30p. So far this season, after 6 regular season games, the MLS on NBC Sports Network is up 56% in average viewership compared to the 2011 regular season average, according to the network with 106,000 viewers.
NFL Network is bringing back The Top 100: Players of 2012 Presented by Buffalo Wild Wings, with the first episode set to air Saturday, April 28 at 8p, following the draft. After the season debut, the NFL Films-produced series will continue in its regular time on Wednesdays at 8p beginning May 2.
Kenny Albert, play-by-play broadcaster for FOX Sports and MSG Network and on-air talent for the NFL on FOX, MLB on FOX, and the New York Rangers, will emcee the Cynopsis: Sports Business Summit Lifetime Achievement Awards on Tuesday. Buy your tickets now to watch Albert help honor Dr. Harvey Schiller, Bud Collins and Tony Ponturo. For the full agenda and to register, visit: http://www.cynopsissportssummit.com/
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Kenny Albert will emcee the 2012 Cynopsis: Sports Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Cynopsis Sports Business Summit on April 24
Honorees: Bud Collins, Tony Ponturo & Dr. Harvey Schiller
Last chance to register: http://www.cynopsissportssummit.com/.
Sponsorship & Promotion After six weeks and more than 19 million votes cast on ESPN.com/MaddenVote, the Madden NFL 13 Cover Vote is down to two candidates. Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson. The winner will be announced live during ESPN’s SportsNation on April 25 at 5p. The vote tally has easily surpassed last year’s 12.7 million votes.
ESPN was named a winner in the Volunteer category of the PR News Corporate Social Responsibility awards for its 2011 RISE UP Give Back! campaign. The multi-stage program looked to inspire citizenship and leadership among youth by encouraging those who benefited from grants from ESPN’s RISE UP television series to “pay it forward” and reciprocate good deeds in their community through a day of volunteerism.
FOXSports.com is partnering with MSN to mark the 100-day countdown to the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics on July 27, launched a special site, http://msn.foxsports.com/olympics, that is devoted to its planned coverage of the London Games. The site will feature a selection of multi-media content including editorial, videos, photo galleries, social media integration and more, and mark FOXSports.com’s “most ambitious coverage of an Olympics to date.” Content will be provided writers, producers, and editors who will be onsite in London for the entirety of the Games including Jason Whitlock, Mark Kriegel, Jen Floyd Engel, and Bill Reiter. FOXSports.com will serve as the exclusive provider of Olympics content to MSN.com and marks the first time both companies have collaborated on the Olympics.
Universal Sports Network unveiled a new look and experience across all of its digital platforms in order to complement its Olympic, adventure and endurance sports programming. UniversalSports.com was recently redesigned with an entirely new look with enhanced video content, as well as improved live streaming and a larger video player.
The Main Event
Bulls/Heat on TNT at 8p.
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ON THIS DAY in 1991: Evander Holyfield bests George Foreman in 12 for the Heavyweight title. Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What number did Joe Montana wear during his professional career? Joe wore #16 with the 49’ers and #19 with the Chiefs. Kudos: Peter King Hunsinger-Golf Digest & Gold World/NY; Bobby Coyle-Yankees Radio Network/NY; David Kalan-NHL.com/NY; Bob Dudelson-Trifecta Media/NY; Rick Rosenfelt-NY Jets/Florham Park; Art Salisch-SMR/New Jersey; Nik Del Greco-Root Sports/Pittsburgh; Pete Gautieri-A&E Networks/Stamford; Mitch Burg-Syndicated Network Television Association/Chicago; Patrick Reynolds-Reynolds Media Consulting/LA; Charles Harris-Coast 2 Coast Experts/Irvine; Joe Pedri-KLAS-TV/Las.Vegas; Susan Torrey-New Day Marketing/Santa Barbara.
In The Know: Who handed Mike Tyson his first loss in the ring? (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
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