Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Cynopsis: Sports
02.28.13

Good morning. It’s Thursday, February 28, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Lowe’s continues to build its relationship with NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, announcing a two-year contract extension with him just days after his Daytona 500 victory. The deal with Hendrick Motorsports now runs through the 2015 NASCAR season, with the agreement formally announced at the retailer’s national sales meeting. Lowe’s and Hendrick first teamed in 2001.

On the Air

MLB Network laid out it plans for its coverage of the 2013 World Baseball Classic which starts Friday at 11:30p, and continues with 39 games of the tournament through the Championship on Tuesday, March 19 at 8p. The channel has lined up a slate of announcers for the games, including Bob Costas, Jim Kaat, Joe Magrane, Harold Reynolds, John Smoltz, Matt Vasgersian, Tom Verducci and Matt Yallof. MLB Network will also offer studio programming in World Baseball Classic Today, which debuts Saturday at 11a.

Dish Network is asking for $153 million in damages from ESPN for allegedly violating a contract by offering competitors a better deal, according to Bloomberg. Closing arguments were made before a jury yesterday. Meanwhile, ESPN has argued that it eventually granted Dish the same terms offered to competitors.

The NBC Sports Group starts coverage of its second season of MLS on Saturday with a rematch of the 2012 Eastern Conference Championship when D.C. United squares off against Houston Dynamo at 8p on NBC Sports Network. Arlo White and Kyle Martino will handle the call. NBC and NBC Sports Network will present unprecedented wall-to-wall coverage on during “Rivalry Weekend” on Saturday, March 16, during which the networks will cover all MLS games that day.

Canadian broadcaster Sportsnet pinned down a deal to carry the INDYCAR series in the country for the next five seasons. The agreement will run through 2017 with a minimum of 16 races per season, including the Indianapolis 500.

Ronda Rousey’s UFC win generated a PPV victory for the organization, which is reportedly estimating that as many as 500,000 buys were ordered to watch her bout, according to the LA Times. That would mark a 40% spike over the promotion’s Super Bowl weekend card.

Golf Channel will feature former LPGA World No.1 Lorena Ochoa in the channel’s next edition of reality series Big Break. Ochoa competed alongside the contestants in one of the challenges and managed to own The Glass Break on her first attempt. The 19th season of the show premieres Monday, May 13.

Beta Research Corp’s annual Cable Operator Evaluation Study saw operators naming ESPN as the channel with “the most average perceived value among all networks” measured for the thirteenth straight year. ESPN also scored first among unaided mentions for the ninth straight year as the network that has the most valuable programming to help create local ad sales revenue among major networks.

Time Warner Cable SportsNet named Galaxy legend Cobi Jones and commentator John Shrader to call LA Galaxy games on the network, with Kelli Tennant serving as the Galaxy sideline reporter.

NBC and Investigation Discovery are teaming up to produce a documentary on Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius, according to the AP, and the shooting death of his girlfriend. On Sunday, Investigation Discovery debuts the special, Beauty & The Blade Runner.

The NFL is bringing back its annual NFL Pro Hollywood Boot Camp for a second year, designed to offer a comprehensive overview of creative disciplines in the film industry including screen writing, directing, producing and film financing. Participating players include 22 current and former NFL players including Shaun Alexander, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Alex Mack. The program runs from March 11-15, with sessions from the likes of Peter Berg, Thomas Tull and Robert Townsend.

Comcast SportsNet launches its 15th Annual Worldwide Toast to Harry Caray today and will go live to Harry Caray’s Tavern at Chicago’s Navy Pier for the event. This year’s ceremony starts at 5:30p local and include interviews celebrities and VIPs in honor of the famed sportscaster.

Tickets are now available for the Cynopsis: Sports Media Awards, which will take place on April 17 at Yale Club in Manhattan. Click here for more info.


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Sponsorship & Promotion

Papa John’s has placed another order with the NFL, inking a new long-term agreement with the league, although details were not released during a conference call with analysts. Papa John’s serves as the official pizza of the NFL and Super Bowl.

Digital Fields

Syfy and WWE are launching Social Media Smackdown that will include live social media content, interactive fan polls, WWE Superstar and Diva tweets, Touts and more on Friday at 8p. WWE announcers Jerry “The King” Lawler, Michael Cole and Josh Matthews will offer live commentary throughout the night.

Grantland.com posted its newest 30 for 30 Short yesterday, called Holy Grail: The T206 Honus Wagner. The story looks at the world’s most famous baseball card which is now estimated to be worth nearly three million dollars. 

The Washington Capitals are launching a comprehensive social loyalty program that will reward fans for engaging with the team. The program, #CapsPowerPlay, marks the first of its kind for the NHL and allows fans the chance to win prizes and experienced via social actions that include checking into games on Foursquare, using team hashtags on Twitter and Instagram and sharing Caps content on Facebook.

NBCSports.com launched MotorSports Talk as the newest destination on the site. According to its introductory post, the site will focus on content form Formula 1, the IZOD Indycar Series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

The Main Event

76ers/Bulls on TNT at 8p.


ON THIS DAY in 2002: ABC Sports announces that John Madden will replace Dennis Miller on MNF.

In The Know: This famed Harry Caray phrase was also the title of his biography. What was it? (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.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Who hit the home run that gave the Yankees the win in Game 4 of the 2001 World Series? Answer: Derek Jeter who became known as Mr. November. Kudos: Ben Sturner-Leverage Agency/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Anthony Watters-Outdoor Channel/NY; Toni Racioppo-Media Storm/NY; Scott Jenkins-Tribune Media Services/Queensbury; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Steve Alexander-Octagon Baseball/Chicago; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc./Santa Monica; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/Los Angeles

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports
02.28.13

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