Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Thursday, October 18, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

One-time heavyweight endorser Lance Armstrong lost three major sponsorship contracts Wednesday, and stepped down as the chairman of his Livestrong charity following the doping scandal. After announcing his resignation yesterday, Nike, Anheuser-Busch and Trek bicycles all confirmed that they were severing ties to Armstrong as a spokesman for their products. Bloomberg reports that he now loses around $30 million in earning potential with the moves.

On the Air

FOX Sports nabbed another Big 12 team, inking a deal with Kansas State and Learfield Sports for a third-tier television package that includes regional, national and world-wide distribution. Under the deal, FOX Sports will televise nearly 60 broadcasts, including up to 28 live K-State sporting events this season with regional distribution on FOX Sports Kansas City and FOX Sports Midwest, some national distribution on FOX College Sports (FCS) and world-wide distribution on K-StateHD.TV. The agreement also allows K-State Athletics to stream events on K-StateHD.TV that are not selected for distribution by FOX Sports or any FOX-designated platform.

TNT and revealed coverage plans for the 2012 PGA Grand Slam of Golf with live coverage on Tuesday, Oct. 23, from 4-7p and Wednesday, Oct. 24 from 4-8p, along with exclusive scoring and updates both days on TNT’s presentation will feature golf announcers Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Ian Baker-Finch (analyst) and Billy Kratzert (course reporter), who will provide on-air analysis and commentary.

New Big East commissioner Mike Aresco announced that with all the recent changes in the league, one thing will remain the same. The league has locked in a 10-year extension to keep the conference’s men’s basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden. The current deal between MSG and the Big East was set to expire in 2016.

UFC’s long-running reality competition series The Ultimate Fighter is making a move off of its Friday night timeslot on FX beginning with Season 17 of the series. FX executives said that the series will return in January with coaches Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen, according to multiple reports, and the reality competition will move to an alternate, still unannounced, evening. TUF has been running on Fridays since moving to the FOX family of networks.

The NBC Sports Network announced that it will televise more than 50 college basketball games this season — the most in its history — featuring more than 40 different schools. The majority of the games and teams will come from the Atlantic 10, Mountain West, Colonial Athletic Association and Ivy League conferences. The slate will include two tip-off classics from aircraft carriers  the Carrier Classic and Navy and Marines Corps Classic; an eight-team pre-season tournament, the Battle 4 Atlantis; as well as the Semifinals and Final of the Colonial Athletic Association’s conference tournament. Coverage begins on Friday, Nov. 9 with a triple-header.

ESPN Films’ next edition of 30 for 30, Benji, will premiere on Oct. 23 at 8p on ESPN. The documentary will focus on the tragic death of Simeon High School star Ben Wilson the day before his senior season.

NBC and Universal Sports are teaming up to offer more than 47 hours of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating this season beginning with Skate America this weekend and wrapping up with the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final, December 8and December 9 from Sochi, Russia. Coverage of the 2012 Hilton HHonors Skate America begins Sunday at 4p. Universal Sports will then re-air the NBC coverage on Sunday from 8-10p. Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, the lead voice of NBC’s NHL coverage, will make his figure skating play-by-play debut at the event alongside Scott Hamilton, Sandra Bezic and Tracy Wilson, with Andrea Joyce handling the interviews.

ESPN Sport Science is about to use its data to determine the greatest athlete of all time. Starting today on SportsCenter and continuing for the next four months, ESPN will include content and elements asking fans to vote for human athletes in 16 categories ranging from football and basketball to action and endurance sports. ESPN Sport Science host John Brenkus and his team of technicians will then “run” the competitors through a metric in which athletes are graded in various categories including speed, quickness, strength, durability and “clutch-ness” until The “Greatest Athlete of All Time” is finally revealed February 21.

Boxeo Telemundo is on deck to showcase the World Boxing Organization Latin Featherweight Title fight between the current champion, Puerto Rico’s Orlando “The Phenomenon” Cruz (18-2-1; 9 KOs) and Mexico’s Jorge “The Ferocious” Pazos (20-4; 13 KOs) tonight at 11:35p.  The 12-round fight, featuring narration by Rene Giraldo and commentary and analysis by sportscaster Jessi Losada, will be Cruz’ first bout after publicly announcing his homosexuality in an exclusive interview to Losada for “Titulares Telemundo.”

GolTV is beefing up its programming slate with a new series designed to showcase the upcoming Argentinean Superclasico between River Plate and Boca Junior. The program, calling Los Caminos de una Pasion (Two Teams, One Passion), marks GolTV’s first documentary-style special to profile an Argentinean league match in network history. A new episode runs each night beginning Monday, October 22 through Friday, October 26 at 8p leading up to the match on GolTV on October 28.

Forbes published its list of the most valuable businesses in sports. Here’s the top ten…

1.  Nike ($15.9 billion)
2.  ESPN ($11.5 billion)
3.  Adidas ($6.8 billion)
4.  Sky Sports ($4 billion)
5.  Under Armour ($3.5 billion)
6.  Reebok ($1.2 billion)
7.  YES ($600 million)
8.  IMG ($520 million)
9.  NESN ($500 million)
10.  MLBAM ($420 million)


Cynopsis Digital Video Measurement Summit
November 14 | 11:30am – 6pm | JWT, NYC
Tremor Video + Spotlight Sponsor: Videology + Media Partner: Ad Club of NY

A sampling of the powerful line-up of speakers:
Artie Bulgrin, Sr. VP Research & Analytics [ESPN]
Erin McPherson, VP and Head of Video Programming & Originals [Yahoo!]
Kate Sirkin, EVP Global Research Director [Starcom MediaVest Group]
Lary Tanz, CEO [Vuguru]

Sponsorship & Promotion

The International Olympic Committee locked in a deal with Nike to supply uniforms and products to members and staff for at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro as well as other events. Nike replaces Japanese outfitter Mizuno.

Northwestern Mutual signed on to become the presenting sponsor of Tiger Woods’ 14th annual World Challenge which will be held from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2.

The Sports Media Marketing Awards announced that former NBC Sports Group Chairman Dick Ebersol will be honored with the Lifetime Innovator Award, while current United States Olympic Committee CMO Lisa Baird will be presented with the Game Changer Award at the November event.

Digital Fields

The Pac-12 Networks are now available to DISH customers on their iPads, Macs and PC’s through the Pac-12 Now TV Everywhere service, the company announced, effective immediately. DISH customers who receive the Pac-12 Networks as part of their subscription can watch all seven networks by authenticating their service on the free Pac-12 Now iPad app or on the Web. In addition to watching all seven networks, fans can also switch between multiple live events and enjoy coverage not available on their regional television network. is auctioning ten limited-edition “Carter 4” Nets jerseys, autographed by JAY Z, will be auctioned off with proceeds benefitting the Shawn Carter Foundation on site. The bidding will span two weeks with the black and white jersey featuring Brooklyn’ across the front and a herringbone tape running vertically along the sides, matching the Nets’ herringbone-designed court at Barclays Center.

The Main Event

Seahawks/49ers game on NFL Network at 8p.

ON THIS DAY in 1977: Yankees outfielder Reggie Jackson hits three HRs in a row in three swings on consecutive pitches from three different pitchers.

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What athlete became known around the world as Father Murphy? Answer: Merlin Olsen. Kudos: Jay Goldstein-Vector Media/NY; Pete Gautieri-AE Networks/NY; Rick Alessandri-Univision Communications/NY; Denis Barry-CBS Television Station Sales/NY; Rick Rosenfelt-New York Jets, LLC/Florham Park; Adam Zimmerman-CSE/Atlanta; Rob Garner-Clear Channel Media & Entertainment/Greensboro; Michael Goodman-Radio One/Atlanta; John Kukla-KDFW/Dallas; Kathryn Kieser-Haworth Marketing and Media/Minneapolis; Michael Bell-NCC Media/Dallas; Lisa Fikeys-Zimmerman/Chicago; David Hauptman/Denver; Harry S. Vested, Jr- Gravity Collection Inc./Denver; Matt Sautter-OpenTV/Golden; Dave Sikula-Walmartlabs/San Bruno; Anne Wettig-MundoFox/LA; Alan Perris-The Television Academy/North Hollywood; Steve Morrow-Eclipse TV/Mill Valley.

In The Know: What famed NFL player holds the record for most career fumbles? (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

Denise O’Connor: Group Publisher, Media Entertainment
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SITUATION WANTED: SR DIGITAL/PRINT SALES: “Temp”: 15+ yrs exp. for maternity fill-in role avail 1/2013. CPG, Pharma, Telco, Tech, Beauty, Retail, QSR, Travel and B2B versed, agncy/client fluent. (10/24)

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