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Cyn opsis: Sports
Good morning. It’s Thursday, September 15, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
NASCAR, Turner Sports and ESPN entered into an agreement that will push the Chase into new waters, making online platforms RaceBuddy and WatchESPN available to racing fans for the first time ever during the Chase. The multi-year agreement will offer audiences with a digital viewing experience throughout the sport’s postseason run, with NASCAR.com’s RaceBuddy product (operated by Turner sports) now available for the first time ever during the Chase while NASCAR content will appear also for the first time ever in ESPN’s WatchESPN.com platform and WatchESPN app.
RaceBuddy will feature two mosaics with a mix of eight in-car and stationary cameras positioned around the track for the nine Chase races airing on ESPN. Meanwhile, viewers who want to watch ESPN’s live telecast on their computer, smartphone or tablet will now have access via WatchESPN and WatchESPN.com. The deal reportedly runs through 2014.
In addition, ESPN2 series NASCAR Now, will be available on multiple devices to NASCAR fans for the first time ever through WatchESPN and WatchESPN.com.
Univision and the NFL are entering an expanded partnership designed to offer Hispanic fans in the U.S. a deeper NFL experience through multiple platforms. As part of a three-year agreement, Univision will serve as an Official Hispanic Media Partner of select NFL events surrounding the next three Super Bowls, and continue to serve as the official Spanish-language network radio broadcaster of the NFL, as well as for the Miami Dolphins, the New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders. Univision will also jointly operate the official Spanish-language website of the NFL in 2011 and continue to produce an NFL segment for series Republica Deportiva and twice-weekly segments in Contacto Deportivo.
The NFL reports that final tallies of the opening weekend of games drew a record 107.4 million fans across CBS, ESPN, FOX and NBC, making last weekend the most-viewed opening weekend ever for the league. Three Kickoff Weekend games broke the 25 million mark and NFL games ranked first in all 30 of the NFL markets for the third consecutive Kickoff weekend.
Meanwhile, NFL Network saw a record of its own, with 7.1 million viewers tuning in to the channel’s Sunday coverage, marking a 16% increase over 2010. NFL GameDay Morning drew a record 455,000 viewers for a 23% spike from the opening Sunday in 2010.
MLB has unveiled its slate of games for the 2012 season, which will feature the opening of one ballpark in Florida, the 20th-anniversary celebration of a famed ballpark and the hope of another World Series that will end no later than October. The season begins on April 4, when the Cardinals and Marlins open the season in the new Florida stadium. The regular season will wrap up on Oct. 3.
ESPN is bringing in a new series as part of the channel’s Year of the Quarterback initiative, debuting Depth Chart Presented by Degree Men, a new series that examines the quarterbacks competing for position within four powerhouse college football programs: University of Arkansas, Auburn University, Oklahoma State and University of Wisconsin. The series will launch on Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 7p, and air in that slot for the next four weeks.
MLB Network has officially announced that sports anchor Brian Kenny has joined the channel’s lineup of talent, where he will begin on Monday. Kenny recently left ESPN for the gig, where he was anchor of the 6p SportsCenter, and previously served as an ESPN anchor for Baseball Tonight as well as calling play-by-play for ESPN’s Wednesday Night Baseball and the World Baseball Classic.
Former New York Jets and Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Kris Jenkins is set to make his first appearance as a contributing analyst on CBS’ The NFL Today this weekend.
LA is about to become home to the world’s largest sports and humanitarian event with the Special Olympics International Board of Directors naming the city as the host site for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games. The Special Olympics World Summer Games will return to the United States after 16 years.
HBO is dedicating a six-hour boxing-themed programming block for its HBO Zone channel on Sept. 17, which is the day of the Mayweather- Ortiz PPV bout. The block begins at noon, with Mayweather/Ortiz HBO Zone Roadblock featuring two separate marathons of its24/7 Mayweather/Ortiz documentary. Jim Lampley, who is slated to call the fight later that evening, will be the host of themed block.
Universal Sports has turned to Scott Brown as the network’s new Senior Vice President and General Counsel. In this position, Brown will oversee Universal Sports’ legal matters, including rights acquisitions, network distribution agreements, litigation and employment matters. Brown previously served at Fox Cable Networks.
Former ESPN commentator Jay Mariotti pleaded no contest in Los Angeles to charges he stalked and assaulted his ex-girlfriend, according to AP. Mariotti entered open pleas Tuesday on three felony charges, including stalking, and two misdemeanors. The former Chicago Sun-Times columnist was sentenced to five years of probation and 90 days of community service.
ESPN is bringing back its MNF Chalk Talk series for the fifth year, scheduling live events throughout the 2011 NFL season that features on-air personalities sharing their insider perspectives with invited guests from the local community. ESPN and the NFL launched the Chalk Talk Series in 2007 to showcase the teams and host cities participating in the weekly MNF primetime games. The series kicks off Monday, September 19, with an afternoon tailgate at 5:30p at the Timex Performance Center across from MetLife Stadium before the St. Louis Rams-New York Giants game.
Hyundai has joined in with IMG College’s new collegiate marketing platform, joining the likes of UPS, establishing official sponsorship relationships with is bevy of schools from IMG College’s portfolio. Activation will begin at 15 universities in 2011 with plans to add nine more IMG partner schools next season. The program includes on-site displays at football matchups, as well as print, online and local media support. Game-day display elements include on-field promotions, on-site displays, tickets for hospitality and giveaways.
Yahoo! Inc. has announced the debut of MLB.com Full Count, a new online video outlet that is produced and powered by MLB.com in partnership with Yahoo! Sports. The platform allows fans to follow live baseball action throughout the remainder of the regular season. MLB.com Full Count features live look-ins to key plays and pivotal moments and in-progress video highlights from around the league, as well as statistical data and footage from the day’s action.
PGA Tour fans can now earn their own FedExCup badge via foursquare. The badge can be unlocked when fans attend either of the two remaining Playoffs events from the Tour, which include the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship by Coca-Cola. The badge also carries a special shipping offer from FedEx for users.
The Main Event
Be sure to check out a look at life beyond the sideline tonight when NFL Network runs part one of Bill Belichick: A Football Life at 9p.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
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ON THIS DAY in 1990: Chicago White Sox pitcher Bobby Thigpen becomes the first to record 50 saves
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