Thursday, January 31st, 2013


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Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Thursday, January 31, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

With Bleacher Report now under the Turner Sports umbrella, the site is about to get a boost via branded sports programming that will air on CNN. Content will include long-form specials and daily sports updates that will air on both CNN and HLN, with the first of the collaborations airing this Saturday at 4p as Kickoff in New Orleans: A CNN-Bleacher Report Special. Then, starting Tuesday, Feb. 5, CNN will air Bleacher Report sports updates on a daily basis with cut-in segments throughout morning broadcasts on CNN, as well as throughout the day on HLN.

On the Air

Univision Deportes is partnering with ESPN in a move to bolster the reach of the Mexican National Soccer Team in the US. The agreement will hand ESPN’s English-language networks and digital platforms the media rights to Mexico’s home FIFA World Cup qualifying matches as well as international friendlies. The English-language coverage will complement Univision’s Spanish-language coverage of the team. The series of 20 matches started yesterday with an international friendly in Phoenix, Arizona, vs. Denmark and will wrap up with the team’s last match before the 2014 World Cup.

FOX UFC Saturday led the network to a first place finish across key male and adult demographics, according to Nielsen. The event posted a 2.4/4 average household rating/share, with 4.2 million viewers. The program’s 3.0 rating for Men 18-34 also delivered a 7% spike over the last UFC on FOX in December. Louisville led all markets with a 5.4/9, and was followed by Tulsa, Columbus, Charlotte and Sacramento.

Arnold Palmer was on hand to cut the ribbon at Golf Channel studios and officially christen Morning Drive’s new set as “Studio AP” in his honor. In addition, Palmer introduced a new autograph board that will be signed by every guest that visits Morning Drive. The series will relaunch on Feb. 4 with a new format, a new cast of co-hosts and an expanded, seven-days-a-week schedule.

ESPN lined up its slate of MLB Spring Training telecasts, which will begin this year on March 11 at 1p with the Cardinals/Yankees. The schedule will include multiple appearances by the Cardinals, Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, and New York Mets. The new Sunday Night Baseball team – Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser, John Kruk, and Buster Olney will make their debut a week later on March 18 to call the Phillies/Braves.

Comcast SportsNet Houston locked in a deal to become the official TV broadcast home of Houston Dynamo soccer beginning with this MLS season. CSN will produce and air 15-20 Dynamo matches as well as a 30-minute pregame show and a postgame show. In addition to matches, the network will produce Dynamo Weekly, an in-season magazine show;Dynamo Extra Time, a monthly off-season show; season preview and wrap-up specials; and a behind-the-scenes documentary series. The first team game for the channel will take place March 23 against Vancouver.

Tennis star James Blake will make an appearance as a guest analyst during Tennis Channel’s first-round Davis Cup coverage starting tomorrow at 2p. The gig marks Blake’s first appearance as an analyst and he will appear alongside announcer Brett Haber.

ESPN will reveal the matchups for the 11th annual Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters event on Monday at 6:30p on ESPNU. Matt Schick hosts the 30-minute show, along with analysts Andy Katz and Joe Lunardi.

Universal Sports Network counters the Super Bowl this weekend with the IRB Sevens World Series in Wellington, New Zealand as well as the start of the 2013 Six Nations Championships. Universal Sports’ rugby on-air action starts Sunday, February 3 at 3p. Overall, Universal Sports will televise 15 matches of the 2013 Six Nations Championship.
Last week to enter! Now is the time to submit for our 2013 Cynopsis Sports Media Awards. The deadline is February 1 and we want to see your best work from the past year. Don’t let someone else take your trophy! Click here for entry information.

Super Bowl Notes

The NFL is anticipating modest revenue growth this year due to “a sluggish economy and uncertainty over government tax and spending decisions,” according to Reuters. Eric Grubman, the league’s Executive Vice President and President of NFL Business Ventures, stated that 2014 is set to be a better year as new contract deals will kick in to increase revenues to an average of $7 billion a year.

CBS Sports has its segments lined up for Super Bowl Today on Sunday. The network will showcase live performances by OneRepublic and Matchbox Twenty during the pre-game show, and offer features that include a look at the Harbaugh brothers, player safety, and Indianapolis head coach Chuck Paggano.

Meanwhile, Bob Costas is set to examine the health of the sport with Costas Tonight: State of the NFL tonight at 9p on NBC Sports Network. The program will feature conversations with Tony Dorsett, Larry Fitzgerald, and Thomas Jones as well as NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Ray Anderson, who will discuss topics such as player safety, the Rooney Rule and proposed changes to the rules of the game.

Famed quarterback Brett Favre will join NFL Network’s 8.5-hour edition of NFL GameDay Morning this Sunday starting at 9a. Favre’s return to the Super Bowl will feature the former player discussing his thoughts on the 2012 NFL season, the Super Bowl XLVII matchup, and his life away from the field.

Around the dial, the NFL and Univision Deportes are reteaming to present the seventh installment of Tazon Latino, the nationally televised flag football game featuring current and former NFL players and Hispanic celebrities. The game takes place at 10a with Pepsi, Marriot, Under Armour, and Verizon on board as event sponsors. The game will air nationally on Univision and Univision Deportes Network on Saturday, February 2 at 5p.

LiveU announced that both NFL teams playing in the Super Bowl, as well as various media outlets, are utilizing its video-over-cellular technology help deliver on-air and online coverage leading up to Sunday’s event. In fact, both the Ravens and 49ers used LiveU’s LU40 handheld technology at yesterday’s Media Day to stream their sessions live while walking through the stadium.



Cynopsis: Sports Media Awards
Honoring Top Sports Programs, Campaigns and People

Our awards show continues to spotlight the groundbreaking work created by sports media and as we return for 2013, don’t let your efforts go unnoticed! Enter today for the Sports Media industry’s top honor – we look forward to seeing your submissions!

Enter Now: Click Here | Entry Questions: Jenn Ocampo.

Sponsorship & Promotion

ESPN’s sixth Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research set a new fundraising record for the event by raising nearly $1.6 million in contributions for The V Foundation for Cancer Research during the month of December. That tops the previous best of $1,301,530 set in 2011.

Joe Capobianco has been named Director, National Sales at the YES Network. Capobianco will continue to work closely with Home Team Sports, while maintaining relationships with YES’ major national clients.

Brazil unveiled the official poster for the 2014 World Cup in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday, The image was designed by the Crama agency, and features a map of Brazil between two players challenging for a ball.

Hunt Brothers Pizza signed on to serve as the primary sponsor for four races with Richard Childress Racing for the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The deal will include three races for Kevin Harvick and the No. 33 Chevrolet Camaro and Ty Dillon and the No. 51 Chevrolet Camaro.

Digital Fields

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the WTA is unveiling an enhanced digital offering for fans of women’s tennis that will include a redesigned WTA official website and mobile site that will feature richer content and improved navigation. The WTA also launched a new app designed “to bring fans closer to their favorite players and events than ever before.”

Rogers Communications announced that its digital TV customers in the greater Toronto area who subscribe to Sportsnet Ontario and/or Leafs TV can now log into to live stream Toronto Maple Leafs broadcasts from their devices.

Sport Street announced its new iPhone app yesterday, designed to offer fans access to “team pages” made up of content aggregated from social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. The app offers fans access to in-game chats, team schedules and breaking news stories.

The Main Event

The Grizzlies take on the Thunder tonight at 8p on TNT.


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ON THIS DAY in 1988: Doug Williams leads the Redskins over the Broncos in Super Bowl XXII.

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What NFL player was known as Moses Hightower in the Police Academy films? Answer: Bubba Smith. Kudos: Leopold Myrie-OMD/Australia; John Russo-INSP/NY; Praveeta Singh-NBC Sports/NY; David Danowski-Fox Sports Media Group/NY; Matt Denerstein-Mindshare/NY; Chris Crowley-Outside Television/Westport; Ged Young-GC Marketing LLC/Garden City; Dave Bardua-FOX 8 WGHP/Greensboro; Rick Rosenfelt-New York Jets, LLC/Florham Park; John Kukla-KDFW/Dallas; Will Allmendinger-Captivate Network/Chicago; Bill Robertson-Tunheim Partners/Minneapolis; Dory Melman Petsrillo-Petry Media Corp./Dallas; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Harry S. Vested, Jr.-Gravity Collection Inc./Denver; Matt Sautter-OpenTV/Golden; Jack Simmons-Fox Sports/LA; Anne Wettig-MundoFox/LA; Miriam Aardahl-OMD/LA; Matt Morse-KMPH Fox 26, KFRE CW 59/Fresno.

In The Know: What team originally drafted Doug Williams? (Email 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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