Good morning. It’s Thursday, December 20, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
Following a successful outing in year one, the NFL is bringing streaming back to the Super Bowl. The league announced that Super Bowl XLVII on CBS, as well as the Pro Bowl and the Wild Card Saturday doubleheader games on NBC will be available to fans on television, online and on select mobile phones. For February’s Super Bowl, fans able to access the live stream from both NFL.com and CBSSports.com, while NBC’s postseason games will be streamed live on NFL.com and NBCSports.com. Last year’s first-ever live stream of a Super Bowl in the United States drew 2.1 million users to score as the most-watched, single-game sports event ever online, according to data provided by Omniture and mDialog.
On the Air
While we’re on the subject, an NFL game ranked as the highest-rated show in all 30 NFL markets for the week of Dec. 10-16, led by CBS’ coverage of Steelers/Cowboys, which drew 26.9 million viewers. Top markets for their local games included Milwaukee with a 48.5/78 for the Packers/Bears game, followed by Pittsburgh, Boston, New Orleans and Houston.
Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas is now part of the NBA TV team where he will serve as a studio analyst and make his debut Friday, Dec. 21 on the AutoTrader.com Pre-Game Show at 7p. Thomas will make several appearances each month on the network and will also be a regular contributor to NBA.com.
ESPN and the Dallas Cowboys extended their agreement to continue the Cowboys Classic college football game that takes place over Labor Day weekend. The extension begins with the 2015 contest and runs through the 2024 game. The 2014 contest will pit Florida State against Oklahoma State in prime time on Saturday, Aug. 30.
The 2013 Golf Channel Am Tour National Championships are set to return to PGA West in Southern California from Sept. 22-Oct.1, 2013, with the Arnold Palmer Private Course joining the tournament’s roster of locations. PGA West’s TPC Stadium Course and Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course and Greg Norman Course will return to round out the list of host locations for the 2013 national championships.
NBC Sports Group locked in Will Buxton to serve as reporter for its Formula One coverage. Buxton will join his former colleagues Leigh Diffey (play-by-play), David Hobbs (analyst) and Steve Matchett (analyst) for race coverage.
FOX Sports Radio is bringing Jay Mohr aboard as its new midday host. Jay Mohr Sports will air live on weekends from noon to 3p on the network, broadcasting from FOX Sports Radio’s Los Angeles studios and launching on Wednesday, January 2, 2013.
The IATSE has called off strike activities targeting the Pac-12 Networks, after the two groups agreed to meet and discuss union issues on Jan. 8.
ESPN’s Friday Night Fights is on deck to return Jan. 4 at 10p on ESPN2 with a new host and on-site reporter. Todd Grisham, who served as anchor for ESPNEWS’ Highlight Express, MMA Live and SportsCenter, has been named Friday Night Fight’s studio host while Bernardo Osuna will shift to on-site reporter. Commentator Joe Tessitore and analyst Teddy Atlas will return to call the action.
College football’s FCS Championship Game will remain in North Texas for at least three more seasons. The NCAA announced a three-year extension to keep its Football Championship Subdivision title game at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco through at least the 2015 season. Defending champion North Dakota State faces a rematch against Sam Houston State in this season’s title game on Jan. 5.
Chicago Fire President Julian Posada is stepping down to pursue other opportunities. Posada served in the position for over two years.
Sports Illustrated named its best and worst of sports media in 2012 naming FOX Sports’ Joe Buck as Person of the Year in its honors. Other notables included NBC’s Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth as Best Announcing Team, Doris Burke as Best Sideline Reporter and Bob Valvano as Best National Radio Voice.
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Sponsorship & Promotion
NASCAR announced a quartet of executive moves. As part of the moves, Ed Bennett was promoted to Senior VP, while also keeping his roles of NASCAR Chief Administrative Officer and President/CEO of GRAND-AM Road Racing. In addition, the organization named Jim Cassidy, Zane Stoddard and Kim Brink as Vice Presidents where they will lead key areas of racing operations, entertainment marketing and NASCAR’s brand marketing initiatives with roles in the implementation of NASCAR’s Five-Year Industry Action Plan.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa inked a deal to serve as the presenting sponsor of the 2013 Bassmaster Classic. Through the agreement, the world championship of bass fishing will now be renamed the 2013 Bassmaster Classic Presented by Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa and receive significant brand exposure for its telecasts on EPSN2.
ESPN launched its new player-tagging technology during this week’s Monday Night Football telecast of the New York Jets/Tennessee. The technology uses optical tracking to track the movement of specific players on the field and calculate specific on-field data, including the speed (10.78 seconds) and distance (94 yards) of Titans running back Chris Johnson’s long touchdown run. ESPN is looking to broaden the use of this technology to other sports.
NFL Films’ 1967 production of They Call It Pro Football was selected for inclusion in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. NFL Films named its NFL.com blog after the movie and to celebrate the honor, the organization has posted the final five minutes of the movie on its website.
Cablevision is making WatchESPN available to Optimum TV customers so sports fans will have live access to ESPN networks on computers at WatchESPN.com, on mobile devices via the award-winning WatchESPN app or through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members.
The Main Event
Heat/Mavericks on TNT at 9:30p.
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Honoring Top Sports Programs, Campaigns and People.
Entry Deadline: February 1, 2013
Late Submissions: February 8, 2013
Awards Event: April 2013 (NYC)
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ON THIS DAY in 1980: NBC broadcasts the NY Jets win over the Dolphins without audio.
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Although running back Shaun Alexander will forever be tied to Seattle, with what team did he last hit the field in an NFL game? Answer: The Redskins. Kudos: Rob A. Kligman-USA TODAY Sports Media Group/NY; Noah Coslov-CineSport/NY; Kyle DeLash- FremantleMedia Enterprises/NY; James Stuart-NBC Sports Group/NY; Ken Nice-Yoh/Silver Spring; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Daniel Goldstein-CSE/Atlanta; Ryan Belden-ZGroup Advertising/Fort Lauderdale; Chuck Gordon-WABM-TV/Birmingham; AustinSmith-TurnerSports/Chicago; Kevin Van Housen-Comcast Spotlight/Chicago; Bill Robertson-Tunheim Partners/Minneapolis; Michael Jaquet-U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association/Park City; Neal Stevens-Stevens & Associates/Beverly Hills; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA.
IN THE KNOW: Since forming in 1978, what school has won the most FCS Football Championships? (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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Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports
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