Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Cynopsis: Sports

05/12/11

Good morning. It’s Thursday, May 12, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

The Fiesta Bowl will continue party with the BCS, but will be forced to pay $1 million to Arizona youth for alleged illegal campaign contributions and inappropriate spending by bowl executives. The BCS presidential oversight committee made the announcement Wednesday based on a task force investigation which determined the board of directors at the Fiesta Bowl failed to properly oversee the management and administration of the event. However, due to the recent reforms undertaken by bowl organizers, the annual game was allowed to remain part of the controversial system designed to create a national champion.

An internal report by the Fiesta Bowl showed that officials reimbursed employees around $45,000 for political donations, which would violate federal and state laws, and had a pattern of wild spending from then-CEO and President John Junker.

On the Air

Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed the company’s strong interest in bidding for the Olympics, telling analysts that the Games would help drive ad revenue as well as raise affiliate fees for the ESPN family of channels. On a conference call to discuss second quarter fiscal results, Iger noted, “There are definitely opportunities for ESPN to address its subscription revenue based on the general programming offering that it has which is both a collection of events including the Pac-12 or sports it’s already bought and possibly sports that it may buy. I think it would be wrong to assume that the purchase of an Olympics should only be looked at as a possible generator of incremental advertising revenue. It would definitely generate incremental subscription revenue.”  He later noted that the company was prepared to walk away from the table if the pricetag for the 2016 and 2018 Games rose too high. Network executives around the dial are slated to make the cases to the Olympic committee on June 6 and7 in Switzerland.

Following allegations of corruption in a bid to host the World Cup, FIFA officials are demanding that England’s Football Association and media provide evidence so the charges can be investigated. The request comes after England 2018 chairman Lord David Triesman testified that six members of FIFA’s executive committee wanted cash and a knighthood in exchange for their votes to allow the country to host the event. FIFA secretary-general has since sent a letter asking that FA forward Triesman’s report to him.

Marking the first season under their 12-year deal, ESPN is ramping up broadcasts of the 2011 ACC football games. The ESPN Networks announced that they will air all 16 conference home games that air played during the first three weeks of the season. Games will include two prime-time matchups on Sept. 17 with Oklahoma at Florida State and Ohio State at Miami. Other broadcasts will include:

  • Four ESPNU telecasts: Northwestern at Boston College and Louisiana Monroe at Florida State on Sept. 3, Stanford at Duke on Sept. 10, and Virginia at North Carolina  on Sept. 17.
  • Nine games will be housed on ESPN3.com starting with a season kick-off match between Western Carolina at Georgia Tech on Sept. 1, Troy at Clemson and Richmond at Duke on Sept. 3, and Charleston Southern at Florida State on Sept. 10.
  • An ESPN Labor Day prime-time telecast on Sept. 5 will feature Miami at Maryland.
  • Thursday night series ESPN College Football Primetime will showcase five telecasts involving ACC teams, including over four consecutive weeks from Oct. 27 to Nov. 17.

The IndyCar Series has hired IMG Sports to help the racing company in upcoming television negotiations, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal. Talks are reportedly heating up with current broadcaster ABC during their exclusive negotiating window in an effort to increase payouts as well as exposure for the sport. ABC has aired the Indianapolis 500 for 46 years running.

The Glendale City Council agreed by a vote of 5-2 late Tuesday night to pay the NHL as much as $25 million in order to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in the area. The team declared bankruptcy in 2009 and the league has since been seeking an owner who would agree not to relocate the team.

The 2011 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series season delivered SPEED with the channel’s highest ratings in the five-year history of the network. This year’s eight live race broadcasts drew a .27 average household rating for the event and a .35 HH rating in the key male 35-54 demographic. In addition, the 2011 season HH ratings grew 29 percent over 2010 numbers

A call to arms? A new AdWeek/Harris Poll of 2,124 Americans states that 19 percent of viewers would be less likely to watch NFL games if the lockout delays the start of the 2011 season and more than half of the 19 percent said they would be “much less likely” to watch. Meanwhile, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told fans that both sides need to get back to the negotiating table in order to resolve labor differences.

Sports media personalities Brent Musburger, Bob Uecker and Bob Ryan will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame next week at the 52nd annual National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Banquet on Monday. ESPN’s Mike Tirico will be honored as the National Sportscaster of the Year. Other NSSA honorees will include National Sportswriter of the Year Peter King of Sports Illustrated as well as over 100 state sportscasters and sportswriters from across the country.

Sponsorship & Promotion

The Washington Wizards have unveiled a new look for the franchise. New team owner Ted Leonsis and apparel partner Adidas are returning the team’s colors back to Red, White and Blue, which were worn by the original Washington Bullets when they moved from Baltimore to DC.

ESPN is requesting that viewers make them a sandwich. As part of the “It’s Not Crazy, It’s Sports” campaign, the channel is asking fans and restaurants alike to submit their own version of the perfect sandwich and name it after a sports personality. Sandwich gurus can submit their creations to The Fanwiches.com with a picture of the meal and fans will then vote to determine a winner.

A marketing promotion by The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim is in the books, literally. Fans attending the team’s game against the White Sox set a Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people wearing costume masks (Mexican luchador wrestling masks were distributed to fans prior to the game). Fans were asked to put the masks on for ten minutes during the game, while a Guinness official certified the record. The final number of fans participating was not available.

Digital Fields

After doubling its TV coverage on ESPN, the World Series of Poker is adding to its coverage. Executives organizing the upcoming 42nd Annual WSOP announced Wednesday that the company will stream the final table action of 55 gold bracelet events live online (with a five minute delay according to policy to prevent unscrupulous acts). Jack Link’s Beef Jerky will serve as presenting sponsor of the coverage. The streams will be housed at WSOP.com, and will include two camera coverage and audio through the tournament’s final event announcer.
 
The company also announced that it was renewing its partnership with Miller Lite, which will be featuring WSOP on its pint cans
 
NCAA.com is on deck to stream more than 20 live championships from around the country, including Division 1 Men’s and Women’s Golf, Division 1 Women’s lacrosse, Division II and III baseball and softball, and the National Collegiate Women’s water polo championship. The site will also include previews, video highlights, features, daily recaps and stats for fans watching their universities.
 
Charlotte Motor Speedway has unveiled the world’s largest high-definition video board ahead of the NASCAR All-Star Sprint Cup Race on May 21. .The screen was created by Panasonic and runs 200 feet wide by 80 feet high. The screen was placed across from the finish line, along the backstretch of the speedway between turns 2 and 3.

Tonight’s Main Event

Two great games tonight. On ESPN, the Bulls will try to close out the Hawks in game six of the NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals at 8p. On Versus, the Red Wings will seek to complete an improbable comeback from a 3-0 series hole on the road in game seven against the Sharks at 9p.


CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM DIRECTV

IN THE MEDIA GAME THERE ARE NO TIME OUTS.

Success is always a layup with DIRECTV’s Sports Fanatics, Live Sports, and Interactive Sports Apps.

Get your advertising off the bench and into the games.
Make the winning play by contacting Brad Van Nostrand 
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ON THIS DAY in 1875 – Chicago wins the first recorded shut out in professional baseball history, topping St. Louis 1-0.

Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question: In what year did the Ravens begin play in Baltimore? The Ravens officially began playing in 1996. Kudos: Tracy Pruzan-Roy – Sony Pictures Television/New York; Bowa Kim – Univision/New York; Tom Wetzel – MMSI/Warwick, RI; Rich Dubroff – C-SPAN/Washington, DC; Shannon Myers – Intersport/ Chicago

In The Know:  What was the last team the Wizards beat in a series during the NBA playoffs? (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 Cyn opsis | Sports
May 12, 2011

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