Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Thursday, April 26, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

NBC Sports Network has renewed NFL series Turning Point for an additional three years, taking the freshman series through the 2014 season. In addition, more episodes will be added to each cycle to chronicle the NFL Playoffs. The weekly series, produced with NFL Films, will bring back Dan Patrick as host and debut this season on Sept. 12 with a total of 22 episodes. The season finale is slated to air on Wednesday, February 6, 2013, will look back at the turning point of Super Bowl XLVII. The series will shift from Thursday to Wednesday nights this season.


Upcoming Specials Editions for Cynopsis Media

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On the Air

FOX Deportes revealed more details about its part in FOX’s recent deal with boxing outfit Golden Boy Promotions. In addition to the one originally produced boxing event per month from the United States, the channel will also air two live boxing events per month from Mexico as well as an archived fight from the Golden Boy archives which will run once a month. The classic footage will feature past and current world champions such as Oscar de la Hoya, Bernard Hopkins, Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera.

Two game sevens are on deck tonight in the NHL Playoffs, with the NBC Sports Network running the double-header tonight with support coverage from the NHL Network. Nationally, coverage of the Senators/Rangers Game 7 from Madison Square Garden in New York City will begin at 7p on the channel with Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, Eddie Olczyk and Pierre McGuire on the microphone. Game 7 of the Devils/Panthers series will begin at 8:30p on NHL Network before shifting back to NBC Sports Network when the first game is over. Extended live look-ins of Devils/Panthers will also be shown during intermissions of Senators/Rangers on NBC Sports Network. Dave Strader and Brian Engblom will call the game nationally on NHL Network/NBC Sports Network. Through 13 days, the Conference Quarterfinals on NBC Sports Network are averaging 699,000 viewers, up 18% vs. the comparable time period last year.

In New York, where MSG has the broadcast rights to both of the two games, MSG Networks will telecast the early game on MSG with the later game on MSG+. MSG Networks’ presentation of the Knicks regular season finale against the Bobcats in Charlotte will be carried by My9 starting at 8p.

NBA TV’s coverage of the 2011-12 NBA regular season wrapped with record-setting viewership for the network. The network’s 96-game regular-season slate averaged 337,000 viewers for a 33% spike over last season and up 34% in households, according to Nielsen. The season featured the channel’s most-viewed regular-season game in NBA TV history on January 14, with the Lakers/Clippers matchup, a record first quarter and double digit growth in all key demos. NBA TV will also originally produce up to nine NBA Playoff games this postseason, marking the first time NBA TV will independently produce its playoff games with NBA TV and TNT commentators since the Turner Sports-NBA partnership began.

With BCS revisionary talks underway, analysts are valuing a potential playoff system to be worth between $600 million to $1.5 billion per year, according to ESPN. Currently, the BCS model draws $125 million per year from ESPN for the national championship, Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl. The Rose Bowl’s deal with ABC brings in another $30 million per year.

The FOX Saturday Baseball Game of the Week will be anchored by the Brewers/Cardinals game at 12:30 this weekend. The contest will run in 72% of the country with Joe Buck, Tim McCarver and Ken Rosenthal handling coverage. In addition, the Angels/Indians will air in 23%, and Royals/Twins get play in 4%.

SPEED inked a deal with 2012 World Rally Champion Series, with coverage beginning this Sunday with same-day delay programming from Rally Argentina at 11p. In addition, SPEED2  the channel’s broadband network — will replay the first four events of the season with 30-minute highlight packages from each day of competition moving forward.

The NBC Sports Network will televise 13 games of the International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship, from May 4-20, which will include all Team USA games, a Semifinal matchup and the Gold Medal game. Team USA begins play on Friday, May 4, with a preliminary-round game against France and all Team USA games will air live on the channel, with the exception of its preliminary-round game on May 5. Last year, the channel televised the IIHF Men’s World Championship for the first time, and will now expand that association.

MLB Network released it May schedule, with 30 games on deck from Tuesday, May 1 through Saturday, June 2, including seven doubleheaders, five matinee games and two Interleague Play matchups. In the lineup, five Games called by each of Bob Costas, Jim Kaat, John Smoltz, Matt Vasgersian and Tom Verducci.

Comcast SportsNet will cover the Eagles 2012 NFL Draft with three specials featuring Ron Burke, Ray Didinger, Derrick Gunn and Reuben Frank. The series kick off on Thursday, April 26 at 6:30p and wraps up on Sunday, April 29.

Sponsorship & Promotion

Electronic Arts has found its cover for the upcoming Madden NFL 13 game, with fans voting via ESPN for Calvin Johnson, Jr. to take the honor. Johnson bested Cam Newton in the final round of balloting, with this year’s vote campaign passing last year’s tallies by 54% with 19.6 million votes.

Procter and Gamble and the NFL announced a multi-year sponsorship for Tide beginning with the 2012 NFL season making the brand the “Official Laundry Detergent of the NFL.” As part of the deal, products across Tide’s portfolio will be sport specialty NFL packaging ahead of the NFL season as part of a fully-integrated program with support across all marketing channels. Additionally, the individual team sponsorships allow Tide the opportunity to utilize team marks and execute team-specific marketing programs.

Anheuser-Busch has reportedly reprimanded UFC for some fighter remarks that were described as sexist and homophobic, according to Ad Age. The MMA league responded to the magazine’s story quoting, “With over 425 athletes on our roster, there have unfortunately been instances where a couple athletes have made insensitive or inappropriate comments. We don’t condone this behavior, and in no way is it reflective of the company or its values.”


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Digital Fields will take on the 2012 NFL Draft with news and analysis as well as a video show that focuses on the social conversation around the draft. Draft Show Live will feature two sets, one of which will monitor social buzz from Twitter and Facebook, that will also interact with fans, and offer instant polling, and other elements from the social sphere. The show will feature Senior NFL Columnist Pete Prisco along with Senior NFL Blogger Will Brinson, with Lindsay McCormick hosting. Meanwhile, another desk will feature Bruce Feldman, Rob Rang, and Billy Devaney to discuss the latest news, information, and pick-by-pick prediction and analysis for the first three rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft. Jason Horowitz hosts. will take on the Draft with instant analysis from Brian Billick, as well as FOX Sports College Football analyst Charles Davis, and NFL draft reporter Peter Schrager. The trio will participate in a live interactive chat with fans at to discuss draft picks in real time starting Thursday at 8p. Laura Okmin will provide player interviews from the draft.

The Main Event

Hmmm, two number sevens and a draft. (Sounds like my bar order). Senators/Rangers on NBC Sports Network at 7p. Devils/Panthers on NHL Network at 8:30. The NFL Draft airs on ESPN and NFL Network at 8p.

ON THIS DAY in 1961: Roger Maris hits the first of what will become 61 homers this season.

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: The Celtics retired the number 00 in honor of what player? Robert Parish. Kudos: Andrea Reid-NBA/NY; Matt Denerstein-Mindshare/NY; Rick Goralnick-Richard Leeds International/NY; Chris Connaughton-USA Today Sports Media Group/NY; Brian Cleek-PGA of America/Palm Beach Gardens; James Taguchi-WTVR/Richmond; Matthew A. Deprey- Discovery Communications/Silver Spring; Juan Delgado-Telemundo Media/Hialeah; Erin Forfa-JumpForward/Chicago; Dan Radman-Anheuser-Busch/St. Louis; Paul Tarrants; RTM Productions/Nashville; Mike Patterson-Turner Digital/Chicago; Matt Sautter-OpenTV/Golden; Rob Dustin-Red Brick Entertainment/Franklin; Jeff C. Fellenzer-University of Southern California/LA; Rob Maron-I’m Serious Productions/LA; Brian Manning-Warner Bros./Burbank.

In The Know: Who is the only number one draft pick to come out of the University of South Carolina? (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.)

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports

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