Good morning. It’s Thursday, October 11, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
The NHL and its players association resumed meetings on Wednesday in an effort to finally pin down a new CBA that has already cut the season short. The session saw NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr and Special Counsel Steve Fehr all in attendance and reportedly covered playing conditions and health issues for the league’s athletes.
Notre Dame’s resurgence is boosting NBC’s numbers this season. Through three games this season, NBC’s viewership of the team is up 45% vs. last year (4.2 million vs. 2.9 million). Primetime coverage of Miami/Notre Dame from Soldier Field this past Saturday night was seen by 3.7 million viewers, up 131% vs. last year’s third game on NBC. The channel returns to South Bend on Saturday at 3:30p with the Irish/Stanford matchup with Tom Hammond handling play-by-play and joined in the booth by analyst Mike Mayock. Meanwhile, for the first time, NBC Sports’ college football studio team of Liam McHugh, Doug Flutie, and Hines Ward will report on-site from Notre Dame Stadium with pre-game and halftime commentary on the network. A postgame show will air at 7p on NBC Sports Network.
ESPN college basketball analyst Jimmy Dykes inked an extension with the company with a new multi-year deal. He joined ESPN in 1995 and will open the season this year tomorrow when ESPNU visits 13 programs in whip-around coverage of Midnight Madness events where Dykes will be reporting live from Kentucky.
MLB Postseason Programming Notes: Turner Sports will televise up to three Division Series games including San Francisco/Cincinnati (Game 5) at 1p, St. Louis/Washington (Game 4) at 4p and Baltimore/ New York (Game 4) at 7:30p on TBS, while Detroit/Oakland (Game 5, if nec.) will air at 9:30p on TNT. However, if the Tigers/Athletics series ended in four games last night, the Giants/Reds, Cardinals/Nationals and Orioles/Yankees telecasts will all shift to one hour later on TBS.
NBC Sports Network will offer ten Ivy League men’s games this season in its college basketball slate, beginning with Penn hosting Villanova on Saturday, December 8 at 8p. The Ivy League schedule will feature all eight member schools and also includes Florida/Yale on Sunday, January 6 at 5:30p, Penn/Princeton on Saturday, January 12 at 6p and Princeton/Harvard on Sunday, February 16 at 7p.
Former Monday Night Football analyst, actor and NFL player Alex Karras passed away at the age of 77 due to kidney failure. Our condolences to his family and many friends.
NBC officially named Willie Geist as the new co-host of the 9a NBC’s “Today.” In his new role, Geist will continue as a contributor to NBC News programs as well as NBC Sports Group, where he will report for the Olympics and NBC Sports Network. Geist anchored NBC Sports Network’s coverage of the 2012 London Olympic Games.
HBO Boxing After Dark is offering Nonito Donaire/Toshiaki Nishioka and Brandon Rios/Mike Alvarado this Saturday night at 10p. Bob Papa, Max Kellerman and Roy Jones Jr. will be ringside for the event.
The Professional Bull Riders announced that the American Forces Network will televise the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals to nearly 1 million American service men and women, Department of Defense civilians, and their families overseas, at bases in 175 countries, as well as 140 U.S. Navy ships at sea. The PBR now joins ESPN’s SportsCenter along with live and delayed broadcasts of the NFL, NBA, NASCAR, MLB, NHL, NCAA football, NCAA men’s and women’s basketball, FIFA soccer, PGA Tour, and other highly-rated team competitions on the outlet.
NBA TV’s The Association makes its return on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 10p with a focus on the inaugural season of the Brooklyn Nets. New episodes of the fourth season of the series will air on both NBA TV and NBA.com. and include multiple shows on NBA TV and original webisodes on NBA.com throughout the upcoming NBA season. In a conference call yesterday to discuss the show’s return. Christina Miller, SVP and GM of NBA Digital stated that “The show becomes more and more important every year. The Association was the first series to go behind-the-scenes of a professional sports organization for an entire season. Every season we’ve gone a little deeper and done a little more. This year it will be multiplatform. It continues to evolve and it is key programming to us. Original programming is something that is important to the network, and the growth of the network. We’re coming off a year in which we’ve had double-digit growth in all platforms. We believe programming like this gives the viewers and fans rich, deep storylines that they are committed to and can follow.”
Pac-12 Enterprises locked in an agreement with SureWest Communications, to carry the Pac-12 Networks, to customers in Northern California. SureWest launched the Pac-12 Bay Area regional network in both standard definition (channel 160) and high definition (626).
Newborn channel beIN SPORT announced that Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico will offer the network to its sports fans as part of Liberty’s basic service package on standard definition channels 94 and 95, respectively. The networks will also be part of the cable provider’s premium HD package on channels 224 and 225. In addition to its linear TV networks, select beIN SPORT content will be available on demand via Liberty Cablevision’s website.
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Procter & Gamble is launching an online platform dubbed Fan-cestry that allows fans to build and share their personal fan history and see how they are connected to their favorite NFL team. Five P&G brands: Duracell, Gillette, Head & Shoulders, Old Spice, and Tide will sponsor the Fan-cestry program. The site encourages fans to enter information about their relationship with their favorite NFL team, including memorable events from their teams, their NFL game rituals, and habits throughout the season. The result will be a sharable infographic about how each member’s lives are parallel to their NFL team’s history. As part of the promotion, anyone who creates their Fan-cestry will have a chance to be entered to win tickets to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.
DIRECTV and ESPN entered an agreement that makes the broadcast satellite service provider the title sponsor of the 2012 DIRECTV Classic, formerly the Anaheim Classic. The early-season basketball tournament is played at the Anaheim (Calif.) Convention Center over Thanksgiving weekend, Thursday, Friday and Sunday, Nov. 22, 23 & 25. The eight confirmed teams playing in this year’s event include Cal, Drake, Drexel, Georgia Tech, Pacific, Rice, Saint Mary’s and Xavier. ESPNU will carry six of the tournament games, while ESPN2 will air five, including the Championship Game.
Integrated marketing agency CSE has been tapped by Regions Financial to execute the strategic marketing plan for its collaboration with six Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the Southeastern United States supporting financial education, academics, athletics, and alumni engagement. CSE will oversee Region’s overall HBCU involvement and serve as lead strategic agency for multicultural initiatives, which include the sponsorship of multiple student and alumni events across six institutions and the “Official Bank” sponsorship of the Florida Classic football game.
Sportsman Channel has its sights set on a new target, announcing a brand-new Zombie Preparedness Campaign in time for Halloween, as well as a primetime special. The campaign kicks off this week with the tagline “Outlive the Dead” with content leading up to the network’s special Zombie Busters primetime show on Oct. 29 at 10p. Nine national sponsors have signed on for the campaign including Gerber, Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, Kel-Tec, Cheaper than Dirt!, PowerTac, Yankee Hill Machine Co., Magnum Research, Inc. (MRI) firearms, Krossroad Guitars and Birchwood Casey. Vignettes are designed to prepare viewers in case of a zombie apocalypse.
Northwestern Mutual is organizing an auction that will offer University of Kentucky basketball fans across the country the chance to own a piece of the floor on which the Wildcats won their eighth national men’s basketball championship earlier this year. The pieces will be auctioned off to benefit Kentucky-based nonprofits. Starting today at noon, fans can visit www.2012UKFloor.com and submit their bids to own one of 300 12″x18″ pieces of the floor. The auction will run one week, until noon on Thursday, October 18. Northwestern Mutual obtained the floor through the company’s partnership with the NCAA following the men’s basketball tournament’s final game at the Superdome in New Orleans.
Golf Channel is launching a new companion online series to its popular Big Break Greenbrier program. The series, called Last Break, will offer contestants eliminated from the competition a shot at redemption and run on GolfChannel.com. Last Break features eliminated competitors going head-to-head in Big Break-style challenges, with the winner each week advancing to the following week’s online show. The winner of the eighth and final challenge will be crowned Last Break champion and awarded $5,000. The Last Break champion also returns to Big Break Greenbrier for the series’ 10th episode (Dec. 4), where he faces off in a challenge against the three remaining competitors in the series for a chance to win another $5,000 in cash.
With the return of college football and the NFL, ESPN reported that ESPN.com took the top spot in September in average minute audience, total minutes and unique visitors for the month. According to comScore, the site logged an average minute audience of 104,000 users, 4.5 billion total minutes and 47.1 million unique visitors.
The Main Event
Baltimore/New York at 7:30p on TBS.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
*** Late Submission Deadline: October 18***
ON THIS DAY in 1967: Three consecutive HRs in the World Series as Carl Yastremski, Reggie Smith and Rico Petrocelli all hit it out of the park for the Red Sox.
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Who hit the winning home run in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series? David Freese. Kudos: Jason Schifrien-ESPN/NY; Ben Sturner-Leverage Agency/NY; Mike Donato-CBS/NY; Mark Tannenhauser-Turner Digital/NY; Glenn Schineller-Time Warner Cable/Charlotte; James Taguchi-WTVR/Richmond; Matt Guertin-Active International/Pearl River; Janis Logan-WideOrbit Inc./Tampa; Ron Salcedo-Zimmerman/Nashville; Barb Throm-Smart Media Partners/St. Louis; John Kukla-KDFW/KDFI/Dallas-Fort Worth; Dory Melman Petsrillo-Petry Media Corp./Dallas; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Anne Wettig-MundoFox/LA; Paul Gygli-NBCUniversal Television Distribution/Universal City.
In The Know: The Portland Trailblazers sole NBA championship came in the 1976-77 season. Who did they beat in the Finals? (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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