Good morning. It’s Tuesday, August 20, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
Major League Baseball inked a broadcast extension with SiriusXM Radio that will now deliver programming to both Sirius and XM satellite listeners. The six-year deal means that the carrier will continue to broadcast live play-by-play coverage of each MLB game until 2021. Sirius will also broadcast select spring training contests as well as broadcast a selection of games in Spanish.
CBS Sports is bringing in the Mountain West Conference Football Championship Game in a multi-year deal with the inaugural title game set for Dec. 7 at 10p. CBS Sports Network serves as the Mountain West’s primary television partner and will air 23 games this season. Starting this fall, MW football membership will include Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, New Mexico, Utah State and Wyoming in the Mountain Division and Fresno State, Hawai’i, Nevada, San Diego State, San Jose State and UNLV in the West Division.
ESPN has a new bowl game, announcing the creation of the Camellia Bowl via ESPN Regional Television that will pit the Sun Belt Conference against the Mid-American Conference beginning in December 2014. The game will be played annually at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala., before the Christmas holiday and be televised nationally on ESPN or ESPN2.
The weekend’s presentation of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell pitting the Yankees and Red Sox handed the channel with a 2.5 overnight rating, according to Nielsen. That score marks the highest-rated edition of the franchise in the 2013 season and is up 25% over last year’s comparable Sunday Night Baseball telecast, also a Yankees/Red Sox game.
ESPN also lined up its Super Tuesday college basketball slate, showcasing a game from the Big Ten and the SEC every Tuesday beginning January 7. The doubleheader will tip-off at 7p and 9p with the nine-week series wrapping up on March 4. Top-ranked Kentucky will hit the schedule five times. The action begins with Tennessee/LSU followed by Ohio State/Michigan State.
CNN is slating a new sports series in Rachel Nichols: Unguarded, according to The Wrap. The new show will be hosted by Rachel Nichols on Fridays at 10:30p stating Sept. 20. Nichols, of course, was hired away from ESPN back in January.
ESPN Audio lined up its schedule for its 19th consecutive year of broadcasting NBA games with 27 games on deck this season, beginning on Opening Night, Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 8p with the Bulls/Heat. ESPN Audio will also broadcast a Christmas Day doubleheader featuring the Thunder/Knicks and Heat/Lakers.
Tom Waddle, host of the Waddle & Silvy Show on ESPN Chicago 1000 AM and ESPNChicago.com, reached a multi-year deal to offer analysis during the national Football Sunday on ESPN Radio program, starting September 8 at 1p. Waddle will work from ESPN’s Bristol studios each Sunday throughout the NFL regular season and will also appear on Sunday editions of ESPN’s SportsCenter and on ESPN2’s Cowherd on Football.
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Sponsorship & Promotion
Unruly Media is offering a Super Bowl Playbook to help guide brands as they think about their creative for the 2014 big game, executives exclusively tell Cynopsis. Predicting that Instagram Video and Vine will be used by brands to “steal the show” just as Oreo did last year with its famed blackout-related tweet, Unruly encourages brands to focus more on the shareability of their content by releasing teaser videos and focusing more on the emotion of the content. “The top handful of ads from 2013’s Big Game earned 93% of the total shares, leaving the vast majority of advertisers to compete for the scraps – the remaining 7%,” said Ian Forrester, Insight Director at Unruly.
ESPN’s It All Comes Down to Monday Night campaign returned to mark the start of the 44th season of Monday Night Football. The company released a spot narrated by Texans’ defensive end J.J. Watt that “references to NFL legend Ken Norton Jr. (now a Seattle Seahawks coach), former 13-time All Star Ken Griffey, Jr. and features a cameo by singer Kenny Loggins.” The campaign theme focuses on MNF serving as the biggest stage for the league’s players, fans and Fantasy Football players. Two additional spots featuring different NFL players will be launched closer to the regular season.
Audit, tax, and advisory firm KPMG LLP signed on as a Founding Partner of The 2014 Special Olympics USA Games. The company will be the Presenting Sponsor of the Games’ Golf Competition, which will be held at Mercer Oaks in West Windsor, NJ. KPMG has renewed its commitment to Special Olympics North America as Presenting Sponsor of the 2013 Golf Invitational at the Stockton Seaview Resort in Galloway, NJ on October 17-20. In addition, as part of KPMG’s partnership, the company will also support the Special Olympics Team USA Golfers that will be attending the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles, CA.
Speaker and headphone manufacturer Klipsch inked Colts’ quarterback Andrew Luck as an official brand ambassador for the company where he will “integrate Luck’s commitment to quality, fresh perspective and creative inspiration into all facets of the brand.” Luck will be incorporated into the product development, marketing and social efforts serving the brand itself, as well as its headphones and home audio products and will launch his own headphone series.
Just ahead of football season, ESPN.com is expanding its NFL Nation network by launching a dedicated digital home for all of the 32 NFL teams. The slate of team sites will be staffed by reporters in every NFL city and feature original posts while curating team-specific content from across ESPN platforms and linking to other relevant sources. To staff up, ESPN has already added a number of veteran reporters for the expanded NFL Nation, including Rob Demovsky (Green Bay Press Gazette, who will cover the Packers), Jeff Legwold (Denver Post, Broncos), Tania Ganguli (Houston Chronicle, Texans), Phil Sheridan (Philadelphia Inquirer, Eagles), John Keim (Washington Examiner, Redskins) and Mike Wells (Indianapolis Star, Colts).
Bleacher Report is also broadening its coverage of the NFL for the new season. Fans and fantasy football players can now access an all-new Fantasy Football stream via the Team Stream app that allows users to create a personalized stream of individual players from their fantasy team(s) and have access to instant updates on those players. McDonald’s will serve as the exclusive QSR sponsor for fantasy football coverage on Bleacher Report throughout the NFL regular season and will be the launch partner for the Fantasy Football stream within Team Stream. The company also added Matt Bowen to its roster as an NFL analyst and will also serve as a regular video contributor for the site.
The Main Event, the featured game of the day sponsored by Thuuz, real-time sports discovery for mobile & connected TV platforms.
Rays vs. Orioles Tonight, 7:05p. Thuuz rating: 75
Gonzalez and the O’s need a W over their divisional rival to start moving up in the division. On MLB Network.
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In The Know: What NFL quarterback holds the record for most touchdowns in a single season? (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.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Former NFL player Fred Dryer was also the star of what ’80s crime series? Answer: Hunter. Kudos: Chris Halpin-NFL/NY; David Danowski-FOX Sports Media Group/NY; Lou Monaco-Daily Racing Form/NY; Chris O’Hara-CBS Interactive/NY; Deborah Kehoe-WLTX/Columbia; Chris Schwieterman-Gray Television, Inc./Tallahassee; Mark Altabe-Citibank, NA/Jersey City; Janis Logan-WideOrbit Inc/Tampa; Meg Glenn-Comcast Spotlight/Jackson; Chuck Gordon-Clear Channel Media/Mobile; Gretchen Brady-KDAF/Dallas; Bill Adusei-Comcast SportsNet/Houston; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; David Hauptman/Denver; Harry S Vested Jr.-Gravity Collection Inc./Denver; Matt Sautter-OpenTV/Golden; John Sutton-Charter Digital Media/LA; Stacey Levy-Rudofsky/Levy Casting/Studio City; William “Chip” Beaman-Formosa Interactive/West Hollywood; Mary Downey-Mary Downey Casting/Burbank.
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Cynopsis Future TV: Content Innovation and Next Gen Advertising Models
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This summit will examine what networks are doing – and what they need to do more of – to aggressively evolve to compete, and profit in this shifting landscape. Join us as our experts share the latest business and advertising models for success.
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Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports
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