Good morning. It’s Thursday, November 17, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
ESPN is geared up for the final weekend of the NASCAR season which will feature a battle-to-the-end race for the championship. Production elements will include 72 cameras for the Ford 400 telecast, including two that will solely focus on championship contenders Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart. In addition, both drivers will carry onboard cameras, and Stewart will serve as ESPN In-Race Reporter, talking with analyst Dale Jarrett during the race’s pace laps and caution periods. ESPN also will place robotic cameras in the garage stalls of both contenders, showcasing overhead views of the respective race teams at work during ESPN’s coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup practice on Friday.
Also on deck this weekend is the MLS Cup 2011 pitting David Beckham and the LA Galaxy against the Houston Dynamo on Sunday at 9p. ESPN will carry the championship game which will also be available on ESPN3 and ESPN Mobile TV. Ian Darke will handle play-by-play with John Harkes in as analyst. ESPN will feature 21 cameras for the game, including two super slo-mo cameras, two robotic cameras, a steadicam, two Jib cams, and two POV cameras.
Speaking of the Galaxy, MLS announced that the team struck a deal with the upcoming Time Warner sports network for ten years and $55 million for rights. That marks an uptick over the team’s previous deal with FOX which paid out less than $500,000 for the games and ran 19 of them this season.
With the crown jewel of soccer already in tow, Telemundo has added to its portfolio, inking exclusive Spanish-language and virtually all media rights to the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifiers for London 2012. The deal will include the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifiers for the men’s tournament from March 22 April 2 set to feature Mexico and the US Under-23 squads, along with Canada, Honduras, El Salvador, Panama, and two teams from the Caribbean yet to be determined. Telemundo and Universal Sports will now produce the 15 men’s matches with Universal Sports Network’s rights including exclusive English-language telecasts of all United States matches and the finals from each of the two tournaments.
Following a successful first outing on FOX last Saturday, the UFC has announced its first foray with fellow partner FX, lining up two fights between Pat Barry and Christian Morecraft as well as Josh Neer and Duane Ludwig for the channel’s first broadcast fight of the MMA promotion. The card is expected to air sometime in late January.
Major League Baseball has informed new Astros owner Jim Crane it would not approve his purchase of the team unless he agreed to move the team to the American League, according to the AP. Crane “was forced to agree to move the sale along,” the reports stated, and agreed to switch in exchange for a lower sales price for the franchise. Approval of the sale could be announced as early as today.
NFL games topped local ratings in 29 of 30 NFL markets last week, with New Orleans heading the list with a 52.9 rating and 73 share. The market was followed by Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Baltimore, and Chicago this week.
The Los Angeles Dodgers filed a lawsuit against News Corp.’s FOX Sports, accusing the company of interfering with the bankrupt team’s plan to be sold as well as the auction of television rights through a court-sanctioned auction. In papers filed in US Bankruptcy Court, the team stated that FOX Sports sent the team letter that attempted to interfere with the ability of the team and its advisers to sell assets of the bankrupt team. FOX had previously stated that they had been provided with an exclusive negotiating period as part of their current deal with the team.
Tennis Channel has lined up nearly 60 hours of live match play for the channel’s annual coverage of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London next week. Ted Robinson and Leif Shiras will call the matches at the men’s tennis championship, with Jimmy Arias handing analysis and Justin Gimelstob reporting.
America ONE Television Network has announced that the 99th Canadian Football League Grey Cup Championship game, the CFL East and CFL West Divisional Championship games will all run live on the channel. The regional championship games will be held Sunday, November 20, with game one beginning at 1p.
Turner Enterprises’ Chairman Ted Turner is set to join his son on a quail hunt as part of Beau Turner’s show, Beau Knows Outdoors,on Sportsman Channel tonight at 10:30p. The show features Ted Turner spending time with Beau on the Armendaris Ranch in New Mexico.
Penn State, which lost sponsors following the recent university sex scandal, can at least be reassured that one high profile sponsor isn’t going anywhere. The Daily Finance reports that Pepsi, one of the university’s largest corporate partners, will remain a sponsor for the football team, stating in an email to a reporter at the paper, “We are very concerned about the current allegations surrounding certain individuals at Penn State University, but will continue to honor our longstanding relationship.”
The Mets are gearing up to celebrate 50 years in the National League next summer according to MLB.com, unveiling a commemorative logo and slating a series of promotional events for fans next season. In pictures of the new logo, it will showcase a golden 50th anniversary banner that is superimposed over the New York City skyline and will be featured on the left sleeve of jerseys and hats. The black-and-blue caps will be off the books next year, with players wearing the traditional orange-and-blue hats with their pinstriped home uniforms, gray road jerseys and two alternate unis — black and solid white to reflect the look from the Mets’ inaugural season.
IMG Media has locked down a sponsorship deal for L’Oréal to become the official lifestyle partner and supplier for February’s World Snowboarding Championships. The deal allows L’Oréal Norway to receive category exclusivity, worldwide branding, onsite activation and to be incorporated in all official event marketing as well as plan activities and competitions to promote their brands.
Just ahead of The President’s Cup, GolfChannel.com has become the golf news and editorial site for NBCSports.com, as well as MSNBC.com. The recently redesigned GolfChannel.com now replaces the entire golf section on NBCSports.com online, as well as across NBC Sports’ mobile and tablet platforms. The NBC Sports Group is carrying more than 50 total hours of coverage of The Presidents Cup this week. GolfChannel.com also serves as the lead golf brand for NBCSports’ mobile and tablet initiatives by creating golf content to the NBC Sports Talk app and NBC Sports Mobile.
With the MLS Cup on Sunday on ESPN and Galavision, the league is launching a promotion based on who can best answer questions on the MLS Cup tab on Facebook. Everyone who correctly predicts all the answers will be entered into a random drawing for a chance to win a jersey autographed by either the LA Galaxy or the Houston Dynamo. Questions include “Which club will score that first goal of the match?” and “How many shots will Brian Ching have?”
The Main Event
Pittsburgh Penguins/Tampa Bay Lightning on NHL Network at 7:30p.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
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ON THIS DAY in 1926: The Chicago Blackhawks play their first NHL game
Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question: The Orioles are celebrating the team’s 20th anniversary at Camden Yards. What venue did they previously play in? Answer: Memorial Stadium. Kudos: Mitch Burg – Syndicated Network Television Association/NY; Bob Rathbun – FOX Sports South, Raycom Play-by-Play/Atlanta; Michael Novara – ESPN/New York; Sofia Holohan – Dish Network/NY; Anthony Antonelli – Rogers Communications/Toronto; Ben Simonds – NFL/Chicago; Derek Crownover – Crownover, Blevins, P.C./Nashville; Willie Price – American Forces Network/Riverside.
In The Know: Who managed the Mets the last time they won the World Series? (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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