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Good morning. It’s Thursday, August 30, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
College football season officially kicks off tonight, as ESPN debuts a doubleheader featuring South Carolina/Vanderbilt at 7p, followed by Washington St./BYU at 10:15p. CBS Sports Network counters with UCLA/Rice at 7:30p while Minnesota/UNLV takes place at 11p. Pac-12 Networks begins its first-ever slate of football games beginning with Northern Colorado/Utah at 7:15p and concluding the day with Northern Arizona/Arizona St. at 10:30p.
ESPN released its 2013 Pac-12 men’s college basketball regular-season schedule that will feature 38 conference games across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU with ESPNU televising 24 of the games. The season begins the new 12-year agreement between ESPN and the conference, with the company adding men’s regular-season basketball across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU, primarily on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday nights, including a new 11p telecast. The action begins on Jan. 3 at 8p with a Colorado/Arizona matchup on ESPNU.
The Pac-12 Networks announced its own its men’s basketball television schedule for the 2012-2013 season, with 150 live games across its seven networks. Each school will be featured at least 11 times during the season. The schedule begins Friday, Nov. 9 at 4p with Northern Arizona/Oregon. In addition, the Pac-12 Networks officially announced that Pac-12 basketball legend Bill Walton will provide color analysis to select games on the Networks.
Mike Florio is set to extend the ProFootballTalk brand by bringing a one-hour Pro Football Talk series to NBC Sports Network beginning Tuesday, Sept. 4 at 5p. The series will then run from Monday through Friday and be co-hosted by Erik Kuselias, the host of NBC SportsTalk. In addition to Mike Florio’s expanded television presence, NBC Sports Digital has extended its ProFootballTalk on NBCSports.com agreement.
Former NFL MVP and five-time Pro Bowl running back LaDainian Tomlinson is set to begin his broadcasting career, joining NFL Network where he will serve as an analyst on the network’s new Sunday morning First on the Field program. He will appear beginning Sept. 9 (aka Kickoff Sunday) at 7a along with hosts Melissa Stark and Sterling Sharpe, as well as NFL Insider Michael Lombardi.
While we are on the subject of opening week, the NFL informed teams that the league will officially open the season with replacement officials beginning with the Cowboys/Giants game next Wednesday.
BTN will continue its birthday celebration with the BTN 5th Anniversary Special tonight at 8p. The special is designed to give viewers a look back at some of the best moments in BTN history.
The U.S. Ski Team and NBC Sports Network will partner for first-ever U.S. live TV broadcasts of Audi FIS Alpine World Cup ski racing as part of a pre-Sochi broadcast schedule . The live coverage will feature Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso along with fellow Olympic gold medalists Ted Ligety and Bode Miller at the Audi Birds of Prey World Cup in Beaver Creek, CO a week later.
ESPN founding Chairman Stuart Evey joined Gravity Collection, Inc., where he will serve as the media company’s Executive Chairman and partner with Gravity Collection CEO Harry Vested, Jr. in launching a new action sports network.
HRTV is adding Sunday editions of Fasig-Tipton Pursuit of the Cup, Presented by Twinspires.com. The series will begin on Sept. 2 at 8p and provide the latest developments involving possible Breeders’ Cup entrants, both in the U.S. and the international scene.
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Turner Sports is utilizing Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band into its postseason promos. The videos will feature the Springsteen song “Land of Hope and Dreams” as the musical backdrop, and will also air on MLB Network, FOX and MLB.com leading up to and during this year’s Postseason. The promos will showcase concert footage of Springsteen and the E Street Band performing along with highlights from this year’s MLB season, including “two of the year’s perfect games thrown by Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants and Phil Humber of the Chicago White Sox.” Other players featured include the Yankees’ Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira, Detroit’s Justin Verlander, Texas’ Josh Hamilton, Washington’s Bryce Harper, the Angels’ Albert Pujols and Mike Trout and more.
The Collegiate Licensing Company and NCAA Football announced that Penn St. is the winner of the inaugural College Colors Day Spirit Cup and $10,000 toward the University’s general scholarship fund. The award stems from the Pledge Your Allegiance campaign, a web-based rivalry competition powered by ESPN.com, featuring 172 colleges and universities from across the nation. Overall, Penn State generated the most fan support with 44,801 pledges. Rounding out the top five schools were Texas A&M, Missouri, West Virginia, and Alabama.
The Coca-Cola Company extended its relationship with the motorsports sanctioning body NHRA and named Mello Yello as the new new series title sponsor. Beginning in 2013, the competition will be known as the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
ESPN pledged $1 million toward construction of a new Boys and Girls Club and Family Center in Bristol, in addition to its $400,000 gift in 2009 for land acquisition. The proposed 38,000-square foot facility will house expansion of education and technology programs, as well as a Teen Center and an Arts and Crafts Center.
Universal Sports Network named Kevin Johnson as its Director of Digital Media and TV Endemic Sales where he will manage advertising sales and sponsorship initiatives for Universal Sports. Most recently, Johnson served as the East Coast Account Manager at Buy.com.
Integrated marketing agency CSE announced that its Multicultural Division will be activating AT&T’s title sponsorship of the AT&T Nation’s Football Classic this weekend in Washington, DC featuring an Old School/New School theme at events that include a kick-off pep rally, a Fan Festival and the game itself. Included in the activation are an AT&T sales tent and a sound stage will be a DJ Battle with lead judge DJ Eddie F (Heavy D & The Boys).
ESPN is making moves to differentiate the ESPN3 and WatchESPN brands with ESPN3 generally focusing on exclusive events while WatchESPN will be used to consume content from ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, Goal Line and Buzzer Beater. Limited events from ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will still exist on ESPN3 during some windows along with replays from ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.
The Pac-12 Networks announced that release of Pac-12 Now for iPad. Developed in collaboration with Ooyala, the app is designed to offer a catalog of live and video on demand (VOD) programming, games, scores, interviews and more from around the Pac-12 Conference. Features include an interactive programming guide, a stats server, and Adobe Pass implementation.
One of a Kind Films, in partnership with the University of Georgia, IMG and XOS, announced that the release of The UGA Vault, an iPhone App that gives users unlimited access to hours of never before seen footage from the past 120 years of UGA football. The app will be available for download on the iTunes App Store at an introductory price of $9.99.
The Main Event
Looking forward to Washington St./BYU at 10:15p on ESPN.
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ON THIS DAY in 1990: Ken Griffey & Ken Griffey Jr. become the first father/son combo to play on the same team as both single in the first inning. Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What college basketball coach was nicknamed “The General”? Bob Knight. Kudos: David Baer-CBS/Rachael Ray/NY; Jon Clateman-Clato Prods./NY; Jon Miller-NBC Sports Group/NY; Nicole McIntyre-WE tv/NY; Ged Young-GC Marketing/Garden City; Dave Bauer-NBC Sports Agency/Philadelphia; Debbie Teitel-Cleveland Interconnect and SportsTime Ohio/Cleveland; Patrick J. Costello-ESPN/Bristol; Spencer Wade-ION Media Networks/West Palm Beach; Mike Patterson-Turner Digital/Chicago; Bill Robertson-Tunheim Partners/Minneapolis; Kristin Staskowski-Charter Media/Birmingham; Jamie Raybon-KTXA Television/Dallas; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; David Hauptman/Denver; Matt Sautter-OpenTV/Golden; Steve Morrow-Mill Valley/Eclipse TV; Brian Sullivan -KHQ-TV/Spokane; Paul Barrere-Home Team Sports/LA; Miguel Velasco-Fox Cable Networks/LA.
In The Know: With what team did Ken Griffey Sr. make his MLB debut? (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.)
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