Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Cynopsis: Sports
06/23/11

Good morning. It’s Thursday, June 23, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

You know it’s summer when it’s time for Breakfast at Wimbledon. NBC Sports is gearing up for its annual Wimbledon coverage, with more than 38 hours of programming spread over a nine day period. The action will begin Saturday at 1p and Sunday at 2p with early round action. NBCSports.com will feature simulcasts of the network feed as well as live streaming of up to three concurrent courts. This year will mark the 32nd anniversary of Breakfast at Wimbledon and the 42nd anniversary of NBC’s Wimbledon coverage from the All England Lawn Tennis Club. Ted Robinson will host, and will be joined by John McEnroe and Mary Carillo as analysts as well as Jimmy Roberts handling interviews.

Elsewhere on the digital front, NBCSports.com will feature a live Twitter feed of tennis personalities and analysts to all of the video streaming, simulcast coverage on iPhone and iPad, and highlights, interviews and replays throughout the day.

On the Air

Sky has reportedly ponied up nearly $145 million to keep the rights to UK’s Rugby Football League through 2016. The company’s current deal was set to expire at the end of this season, but the reported five year extension will enable it to remain the home of Super League matches for the next five years. The deal marks a new monetary high for rights to the contests. Reports suggest that the formal announcement won’t come for another few weeks as details are hammered out.

CBS Sports Network has inked a multi-year deal with the Patriot League, extending their partnership. The deal calls for a minimum of 12 Patriot League men’s basketball regular-season and tournament games, including the men’s basketball championship, which will air on CBS Sports Network for the first time. Other aspects of the deal include televising the conference’s Women’s Basketball Championship game as well as coverage of the entire Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse Tournament for the third consecutive year, with a minimum of four regular-season games also televised. In addition, at least two football games will be broadcast each season.

The Los Angeles Lakers are revamping their broadcast team, bumping up John Ireland, who has been the sideline reporter for KCAL’s broadcasts since 2002, to anchor radio broadcasts with Mychal Thompson on 710 ESPN. On television, Bill Macdonald has been tapped to replace Joel Meyers on play-by-play working with Stu Lantz.

Univision’s coverage of the Mexico/Guatemala quarterfinal in the 2011 Gold Cup tournament took the night as the top-rated program in Nielsen overnight ratings for Saturday among adults 18-34, adults 18-49, men 18-34, men 18-49 and persons 12-34. In addition, the channel’s Sunday broadcast of the match between Panama and El Salvador, averaged 2.6 million viewers  making it the second most watched non-Mexico Copa Oro match ever on the network. Sunday’s USA/Jamaica matchup averaged 1.8 million persons.

MTV is continuing to swim in the MMA game, announcing that MTV2 will showcase three live events over the summer from Bellator Fighting Championships. The newly announced summer shows come on the heels of the channel’s initial 13-week debut season with the promotion, which grew all key male demos in the timeslot. The Summer Series will debut on June 25 at 9p, with other episodes on July 23 and August 20.

Fox will continue to showcase interleague play for this weekend’s Fox Saturday Baseball Game of the Week, set to take place on Saturday at 4p. The Mets and Rangers matchup will take the lead spot this week, set to be broadcast in 50% of the country with Kenny Albert and Mark Grace behind the microphone. The Indians/Giants game will be shown in 31% of the country, featuring Jose Mota, Mitch Williams and Ken Rosenthal calling the action, the suddenly interesting Nationals/Cubs game will be shown in 12% of homes, with Josh Lewin and Sean Casey handling the calls, and the Angels/Dodgers game will be seen in 6%, featuring Dick Stockton and Eric Karros.

CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network are ramping up for this weekend’s coverage of The Alt Games: College Action Sports Championships. CBS Sports Network will kick off the programming on Friday at 7p, with the action continuing Saturday and Sunday with an additional 10 hours of programming, including a special one-hour edition of CBS Sports Spectacular. The games feature competition from 20 college championships including skateboarding, wakeboarding, flowboarding, beach volleyball, ultimate and surfing. Jonny Moseley and Todd Harris host the coverage. ,

Sponsorship & Promotion

Kia Motors America has officially tabbed LA Clipper Blake Griffin as the company’s official spokesperson around the world. The deal seeks to build upon the athlete’s Slam Dunk competition where he leapt over an Optima midsize sedan to win the 2011 Sprite Slam Dunk competition and footage of the dunk was featured in Kia’s advertising. Griffin serves as the only current professional basketball player with a global marketing relationship with an automaker.

Up-and-coming creatives will have the chance to have their work seen on America’s biggest stage, the Super Bowl. Chevrolet is teaming up with Mofilm to allow filmmakers capture the spirit of the open road in a new ‘Route 66′ competition. Submissions for the contest will consist of 30-second ads that will air during  Super Bowl XLVI.

Digital Fields

Watch out evildoers, there are new sheriffs in town, and they go by the name Manning. DirecTV is featuring Peyton and Eli Manning on the small screen, not on the field, but in a “drama,” about two former football players seeking justice. Peyton plays Mike Tahoe, and Eli is C.J. Hunter in Football Cops in the series. DirecTV posted behind the scenes info and pics on their Facebook page to spread the buzz.

The WNBA has unveiled its 30 official nominees for the league’s top 15 Players of All-Time balloting, with voting set to begin today on WNBA.com. Selected players will be honored at this year’s All-Star game on July 23. Later in the year, the league will also offer fans a chance to determine the Top 15 Moments in league history.

Wow! What was I drinking last night? The Thrashers were, of course, based in Atlanta. I’ll never hear the end of that from my Georgia friends…

The Main Event

Alright, we are pretty sure who is number one and two, but what happens next? NBA Draft, at 7p on ESPN


ON THIS DAY in 2009 – Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle became the 18th pitcher to throw a perfect game in MLB history.

Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question: How many times have the Gamecocks been crowned champion in SEC Football? The Gamecocks have never won it. Kudos: Kudos: Brian Hogan – Fox Sports/Atlanta; Michael Goodman – Radio One Atlanta/Atlanta; Marc J. Beck – Major League Baseball/NY; RT Harris – Eagle TV Sales/Detroit; Kevin Micklo – Cramer-Krasselt/Chicago; Haley Davis – Gravity Collection, Inc./Lake Tahoe; Steve Hirsen – Producer,Director/Sherman Oaks

In The Know:  From which University was Blake Griffin drafted? (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 Cyn opsis | Sports
June 23, 2011

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Agree or disagree? 

In My Opinion …

What exactly is in the water in Boston? When the Patriots are the local team that has the longest drought in Championships, something seems to be clicking with teams in that market. While some editorials cite solid and smart ownership of the teams, which is obviously a factor, there is something to be said for the rabid fan base and solid media coverage within the market. Large crowds, high merchandise sales, and a draw for star athletes helped propel the Bruins to the Cup this year, helped deliver the Celtics their rings in 2007-2008, and broke the Red Sox curse in 2007. Analysts can say that Boston’s big market gives them an unfair advantage, but what other major city is finding this type of success? Maybe it’s time to pity the poor Patriots, who haven’t won since 2005. Nah…

Send in your views for posting here to chris -sports@cynopsis.com under Emails to the Editor …

It’s chicken and egg! Smart ownership invests in players, team, stadium/park when they are confident there is an appreciative fan base. Media ownership invests in better writers, websites, talk hosts and reporters when the fan base can’t get enough. Good players want to come to cities that appreciate their talent and where THEY are the story. But the fans make the market. They feed The Tradition! If they aren’t into it, you get the Tampa Bay Rays.

Interesting observation I heard yesterday on talk radio.  When has one city had four active championship coaches all coaching/managing at the same time? Francona, Belichick, Rivers, Julien

Can’t think of another yet.

Beverly Tilden



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