Good morning. It’s Thursday, December 22, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
The Super Bowl Host Committee officially announced details of the festivities this year for NFL fans attending the game. Officials have lined up a bevy of artists, including Patti LaBelle, Bret Michaels and En Vogue to perform free concerts during the week with the Super Bowl Village open from January 27 through February 5, 2012. Other highlights will include a ZipLine, Tailgate Town and Super Cars on display as well as themed days such as “Super Families” and “Super Biz Bowl.”
In addition, the officials announced that ESPN has selected to settle down in Pan American Plaza in downtown Indianapolis for the company’s production of Super Bowl XLVI, with more than 110 hours of ESPN television coverage on deck. TV broadcasts, as well as radio and other multimedia content will originate from the host city under the banner “ESPN Indianapolis” from Monday, Jan., 30 Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012. ESPN will construct a large outdoor set (62-by-40-foot) in the plaza that overlooks Lucas Oil Stadium. ESPN will also have a 24-by-48-foot demo field and two pod camera locations in the plaza as well as a “flycam” suspended 30 feet in the air and traversing some 300 feet will also provide aerial views during ESPN programs.
On the Air
NFL Network and NFL.com unveiled plans for Pro Bowl announcements, with the selected players set to be announced on Tuesday at 7p. Andrew Siciliano and Kara Henderson host, along with Charles Davis and Steve Wyche, as the series will reveal both rosters, analyze the players selected and debate who should have made it. The Pro Bowl is set for Jan 29 in Honolulu at 7p.
As the NFL season comes down to the wire, the league announced that games topped ratings in all 30 NFL markets for the week of Dec. 12-18. Milwaukee led local markets with a 49.0/75, followed by New Orleans, Boston, Denver and Baltimore. This week, the Bills and Bengals both announced that their games would be blacked out in local markets due to a lack of ticket sales. The Bills host Tim Tebow and the Broncos on Saturday while the Bengals face the Cardinals.
On Christmas, CBS Sports will air NFL Holiday Spectacular, a one-hour television special airing at 3p produced by Intersport and NFL Films. The program will showcase “memorable and historic” NFL moments that capture the holiday spirit. In the show, Ian Petrella, who played “Randy” from in A Christmas Story, hosts a look back at classic clips of coaches and players, such as Tony Dungy, Devin Hester, Herman Edwards, Joe Flacco and Tim Tebow and revisits the top wintry moments in NFL history, and counts down of the best and worst holiday greeting cards.
With Hawaii on the way to the Mountain West, the Hawaii Bowl is changing conference affiliations and will now feature a team from the Mountain West Conference in 2012 and 2013. Bowl operator ESPN Regional Television reached an agreement with the conference that will see the MWC face a team from Conference USA, which has been associated with the Hawaii Bowl since 2002. The deal now brings the Mountain West up to five bowl slots.
Sportsman Channel revealed that the network will premiere 29 new shows in the first quarter starting the week of December 26 with new series such as Dropped: Project Alaska, Shell Shocked! and MeatEater with Steven Rinella. Other new series will include NRA’s Guns & Gold, and Outlanders Limited Draw, the brainchild of renowned outdoor TV star Huntley Ritter.
Creditors of the Los Angeles Dodgers are fighting FOX Sports attempts to block an auction for TV rights to the team. The AP reports that in a filing on Wednesday, the creditors felt that there would be no guarantee that a sale of the team without the TV rights already locked in would ensure that they get paid back in full. FOX continues to challenge the auction, declaring that it violates the current TV deal with the franchise.
Former Drexel men’s basketball player Malik Rose has been tapped to join the 76ers broadcast team where he will join Marc Zumoff and Meredith Marakovits on Comcast SportsNet and The Comcast Network. Rose, worked as an analyst last season for the San Antonio Spurs broadcasts.
Sponsorship & Promotion
London 2012 organizers created a giant set of Olympic Rings that are being displayed on the entrance to Channel Tunnel in France to celebrate 20/12 Day and drive awareness for the Summer Games. The Rings were placed at the entrance of the Tunnel in Coquelles near Calais in northern France, which will serve as one of the primary gateways from Europe to next year’s events and be seen by hundreds of thousands of fans. The manufacturing and placement of the Rings was privately financed by Eurotunnel, with the rings measuring 9.4m wide and 4.6m high.
NFL players are joining have joined the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ad Council for a national public awareness campaign informing Americans of the extreme famine, war and drought in the Horn of Africa. The campaign encourages Americans to forward the facts about the crisis and to donate to the relief efforts and the PSAs, taped in November, feature Ray Lewis, Asante Samuel, Nnamdi Asomugha, Maurice Jones-Drew, Greg Jennings, Larry Fitzgerald, Josh Freeman, Lamarr Woodley, Matt Forte, and Jeff Saturday.
MLS team FC Dallas is hunting for a new stadium rights partner after Pizza Hut pulled out to focus its marketing dollars elsewhere. Pizza Hut Park will cease to exist on Jan. 8,when it will be known as FC Dallas Stadium until a new sponsor is locked in.
FOX Sports is tapping fellow News Corp. outlet The Daily for the release of College Bowl Guide 2011-12, a new free mobile sports app dedicated to the 30+ college football bowl games slated this season. The app is available exclusively for Apple’s iPad and is designed to provide extensive coverage of every single bowl game and participating team with over 100 pages of content, including interviews, game analysis, photos, highlights, interactive games, voting, predictions, TV schedule and more, as well as exclusive video from CFB on FOX lead game analyst Charles Davis.
NBA League Pass will be made available to cable operators with a two-week free preview subscription of out-of-market live game package beginning Dec. 26. The full season package retails at $169 with up to 40 live out-of-market games per week as well as same-day replays of games; dual-feed telecasts and a stats channel.
The NBA announced players such as Kevin Durant, Amar’e Stoudemire and Stephen will participate in a live NBA Town Hall on the league’s Facebook page which is set to take place tonight at 8p. The online gathering will be moderated by David Aldridge and feature players answering questions submitted by Facebook fans.
UFC is giving away a PPV for free, announcing that to celebrate the launch of UFC on Xbox LIVE, the promotion will offer UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem on Saturday, Dec. 30 for free to the first 25,000 fans who order the bouts.
There may not be a college football playoff but FOX site Whatifsports.com decided to take matters into their own hands, running online sports simulations to create a 16-team playoff called “December Madness.” The bracket consists of the 11 conference champions and the five best at-large teams, with four rounds until a national champion is crowned. The results can be found at http://www.whatifsports.com/decmadness/
The Main Event
Boise St. looks to take its frustrations out on a BCS team when it faces Arizona St. in the MAACO Bowl tonight at 8p on ESPN.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Happy Holidays | Merry Christmas | Happy New Year
Cynopsis Mediawill be off from December 23, 2011 January 2, 2012.
Don’t forget to read the 2011 Year in Review on January 1st 2012!
Past editions, classifieds, & industry calendar of events can always be found on our website..
ON THIS DAY in 1894: The United States Golf Association is created.
Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question:When Magic Johnson won the NBA Finals MVP as a rookie, which team did Johnson and the Lakers beat? Answer: The 76ers. Kudos: Noah Coslov – CineSport/NY; Bill McGee – Blvd East Sports/NY; Patrick McOwen – Comcast Spotlight/North Wales; Brian Ricco – BOXTV- The Boxing Channel/NY; Ron Salcedo – Zimmerman/Nashville; Bill Robertson – Tunheim Partners .
In The Know: What quarterback led Hawaii to the university’s only trip to a BCS Bowl? (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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