Good morning. It’s Thursday, August 9, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
Tuesday night’s primetime coverage of the London Olympics on NBC drew an average of 30.1 million viewers, marking the 11th time in 12 nights that the average viewership for the London Olympics bested the Beijing Games. Overall, viewership was up 11% versus 2008. Top markets from the 12 days of the Games include Salt Lake City with a 26.5/47 followed by Kansas City, Milwaukee, Denver and Columbus.
ESPNU found its host for the channel’s venture into late-night television, announcing that Danny Kanell, Reese Waters and Marianela Pereyra will serve as talent for UNITE. The series debuts on Aug. 27 at midnight.
FOX Sports Media Group locked in its broadcast teams for the upcoming college football season across the FOX, FX, FOX Sports Net Regional Networks, Big Ten Network and FOX College Sports platforms. Both Gus Johnson and Charles David will return and will be joined this year by Julie Alexandria for FOX Sports’ 13 consecutive weeks of regular season action as well as the Pac-12 Conference Football Championship Game and the Big Ten Conference Football Championship Game before wrapping up the season with the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. The number two team Craig Bolerjack joining Joel Klatt, with Petros Papadakis providing sideline analysis for FOX and FX. Eric Crouch will team with Justin Kutcher and Darius Walker for FX.
Over on BTN, Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith will anchor the network’s game-day studio coverage with broadcast teams that include Eric Collins and Derek Rackley; Kevin Kugler and Chris Martin; and Matt Devlin and Glen Mason.
Telemundo’s broadcast of the Olympic semifinal match between Mexico and Japan on Tuesday ranked as the highest telecast in this time period (noon-2p) in the history of the network, averaging 1.4 million total viewers and 713,000 adults 18-49, according to Nielsen. The game also ranked as Telemundo’s highest-rated soccer event in both the 2012 London Olympics as well as the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The channel will now carry the anticipated Mexico/Brazil final on Saturday at 9a.
ESPN’s College GameDay has its travel plans for the basketball season, and will return for its ninth season beginning Saturday, Jan. 19 from the campus of Butler University at 10a on ESPNU. Rece David returns to host with Jay Bilas, Digger Phelps and new addition Jalen Rose. Other confirmed destinations in the new season will include Raleigh on Jan. 26, as well as Bloomington, Ind., Lawrence, Kan., Westwood, Calif., and Lexington, KY.
The Colonial Athletic Association is double downing in NY, adding The University at Albany and Stony Brook University to CAA Football beginning July 2013. The conference has an new contract with NBC Sports Group that will kick off this fall. The Commissioner is reportedly also looking to keep Rhode Island from leaving the football conference.
Kenya will make a go of bringing the Summer Olympics to Africa for the first time. Reuters reports that the country will make a bid to bring the 2024 Olympics to Nairobi, according to the Prime Minister. The IOC will select the 2024 host city in 2017.
Sportsman Channel is venturing into uncharted territory. The network will delve into wolf hunting with the first-ever televised wolf hunt in the lower 48 set to be televised in a two-episode series at 9p on Aug. 16 & 23. Executives at Sportsman Channel stated that they approached the controversial subject factually and thoughtfully in an effort to explain why hunting the animals “is a necessary part of the management process.” Big game hunter and conservation historian Randy Newberg will partner, Matt Clyde for the controversial program.
Congratulations to Larry Scott, Mike McCarley and David Hill who will be on hand to receive recognition today for their work from the past year. Stay tuned for a special edition of Cynopsis Sports tomorrow with all the winners from the Sports Media Awards Breakfast! View finalists: http://ow.ly/bObiI
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
8:00-10:00am | The Harvard Club, NYC The following Sports Luminaries will also be honored at the event:
David Hill [FOX Sports Media Group]
Mike McCarley [Golf Channel]
Larry Scott [PAC-12]
Preview the list of finalists for this SOLD OUT event: http://www.cynopsis.com/events/sports-awards/
Look for a special edition this evening recapping the winners!
Pantech Wireless, inked a deal to return as the official handset partner of the next action sports Dew Tour. As the first of three events encompassing the 2012 Dew Tour, the title-sponsored Pantech Beach Championships will take place in Ocean City, Md. from Aug. 16-19. With this sponsorship, Pantech will have exclusivity in the handset category as with national media benefits across NBC and NBC Sports Network and will be granted onsite activation rights across all Dew Tour events and inclusion in the Tour’s multi-million dollar marketing campaign.
NASCAR announced the addition of three executives to the organization’s Brand, Consumer and Series Marketing team in a move designed to boost the sport’s following among youth, Gen Y and Hispanic fans, according to NASCAR.com. Greg Downey, formerly at Coca Cola, was named Senior Director Brand and Consumer Marketing; former ESPN employee David Zane comes aboard as Director, Brand Marketing; and Joseph Machin will take on the role of Director, Multicultural Marketing.
The Professional Bull Riders contracted Randy Duncan and his company, Turn 2, to take charge of PBR Merchandise and Licensing. Duncan and crew will be responsible for developing strategies to provide quality PBR branded products, available online, at events, and at retailers worldwide.
New York-based predictive game studio PrePlay, which just nabbed $3.1 million Series A funding, announced that it is expanding its operations with the opening of a new midtown Manhattan headquarters, and will be adding staff and developing a new suite of game products. PrePlay develops second screen social games for mobile devices such as the NHL PrePlay app, and will now be relocating to 42 W. 38thStreet in New York.
The Main Event
Usain Bolt looks to become the first man in history to sweep both the 100m and 200m sprints in consecutive Olympic Games on NBC at 8p.
ON THIS DAY in 1988: Edmonton Oilers center Wayne Gretzky is traded to Los Angeles.
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What famed hockey player made a memorable cameo in the movie “Dumb and Dumber”? Cam Neely, who played Seabass. Kudos: Brian Jennings-NHL/NY; Michael Brown-IMG Worldwide/NY; Frank Brown-NHL/NY; Ross Molloy-CBS Sports Network/NY; Chris Conrad-NBC Sports Group/Orlando; Graham Townsend-Repucom International/Charlotte; Greg Mize-Turner Sports/Atlanta; Marc Adelberg-MLB Network/Secaucus; Chris Faulds-Bell Media Interactive/Toronto; Paul Tarrants-Nashville Predators/Nashville; Tom Akers-Outdoor Channel/Chicago; David Hauptman/Denver; Andy Wasif-The PostGame/LA; Chris Navalta-Graham & Associates/CA; Mary Downey-Mary Downey Productions/Burbank; Scott Johnson-Time Warner Media/LA.
In The Know: Who delivered the phrase “the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat” for ABC’s Wide World of Sports? (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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