Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Tuesday, August 21, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

As expected, NASCAR and FOX Deportes officially announced a new deal between the two companies, laying out plans to provide the channel with 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races as well as original programming, daily news segments and weekly updates beginning next year. Of the 15 race broadcasts, FOX Deportes will carry six of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races live, including, for the first time ever, a Spanish-language broadcast of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 24. In addition, FOX Deportes will also produce and air a series of original NASCAR programs focused on engaging the Latino fan base that will be complemented by daily NASCAR news segments on Central FOX.

Coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on the channel begins Saturday, Feb. 16 with coverage of The Daytona Shootout. FOX Deportes will also broadcast live in Spanish four additional races from Auto Club Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.

“The thirst for NASCAR programming, and in particular race broadcasts, is very strong and we’re constantly looking for ways to expose the sport to new fans in new places,” said Steve Herbst, NASCAR vice president of broadcasting and production. “To be able to put a deal like this together with FOX Deportes, a leader in U.S. Latino sports media, is something we believe will help satisfy the strong demand for NASCAR racing in the Hispanic community while also exposing the sport to new audiences.”


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On the Air

ESPN announced that the family of channels will begin coverage of the US Open starting Monday, Aug. 27 with nearly 100 hours on ESPN2 HD, and 400 hours on ESPN3’s multi-court offering. During the first week of the tournament, ESPN2’s coverage will start at 1p each weekday and will continue nonstop for at least 10 hours through both the day and evening sessions. Primetime at the US Open will start at 7p. The broadcast team is set to include Chris Evert, Cliff Drysdale, Darren Cahill, Mary Joe Fernandez, Chris Fowler, Brad Gilbert,  LZ Granderson, John McEnroe, Patrick McEnroe, Chris McKendry, Tom Rinaldi, Pam Shriver, Mike Tirico, and Hannah Storm.

CBS Sports Network announced its own plans for the US Open Tennis Championships with live matches, studio shows and encore presentations of classic US Open matches on deck. Live programming begins on Tuesday Aug. 21 at 1p as the Network televises US Open qualifying matches for the first time in tournament history. During qualifying week, play-by-play announcer Dave Ryan teams with analyst Katrina Adams, while Andrew Catalon pairs with analyst Taylor Dentto to call the action. Adam Zucker anchors coverage from the Mojito Set with analyst Justin Gimelstob. CBS Sports Network’s coverage continues throughout Labor Day weekend with three days of live outer-court coverage from 11a-6p.

Around the dial, Tennis Channel named Jim Courier as the network’s lead men’s analyst for the US Open in a new multiyear deal as it gears up for nearly 245 hours of US Open-related programming for the two-week tournament; including matches throughout the day, US Open Tonight after hours and Breakfast at the Open the following morning. Courier will join the likes of Martina Navratilova and Tracy Austin, as well as Bill Macatee and Ted Robinson for the event. Coverage begins Monday, Aug. 27, with match coverage underway at 11a and running through 7p.

On the Tennis Channel/FCC/Comcast legal front, Comcast is alerting customers that Tennis Channel will be moved from the sports tier to a level of service similar to their own Golf Channel and NBC Sports Network. Although Comcast is still challenging the FCC ruling to shift the channel in court, the MSO told customers that “On or about September 7, 2012, Tennis Channel, which is generally carried on the Sports Entertainment Package, will be included in the Digital Starter and Digital Preferred levels of service on most Comcast cable systems by order of the Federal Communications Commission.”

Golf Channel has created a new Editorial Research Unit that will be modeled “after the Olympic Research Unit model first created by Roone Arledge at ABC Sports in 1967 and subsequently used by NBC as the foundation of its Olympic storytelling.” Geoff Russell, Executive Editor, Golf Channel, who will oversee the group with Gil Capps serving as Managing Editor. The research unit will support Golf Channel and NBC production teams, including news, tournaments and original productions, as well as GolfChannel.com.

Sports staple Brent Musburger has resigned with ESPN in a multiyear extension that will allow him to continue to serve as a play-by-play commentator for multiple sports across ESPN and ABC. Musburger primarily works college sports for the company, calling the weekly Saturday Night Football series on ABC, as well as several bowl games a year and the BCS National Championship. He also announces an extensive schedule of men’s college basketball, most recently working ESPN’s Big 12 Big Monday telecasts.

CBS Sports Network and CBSSports.com will be showcasing docu-series College Football Confidential: Arkansas on Wednesday, Aug. 29 at 7p. The series will take a behind-the-scenes look at the Arkansas Razorbacks as the network embeds with the team throughout the season for an inside look at practices, road trips and team meetings. The series includes interviews with administrators, coaches and team members, including Athletic Director Jeff Long, head coach John L. Smith, as well as Heisman Trophy hopefuls Knile Davis and Tyler Wilson. CBSSports.com will offer additional content from the show including interviews, behind-the-scenes videos and live chats.

NASCAR and SPEED are bringing all 12 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup contenders together for the first time on Sept. 13 at 7p in a one-hour television special dubbed NASCAR Contenders Live Sponsored by Toyota & Sprint. Krista Voda sets the stage for the television special and NASCAR on FOX host Chris Myers will lead the questioning.

The Jacksonville Jaguars appear to be set to play multiple home games in London starting next season, according to the AP. The announcement is expected to be officially made today.


Cynopsis’ Most Intriguing People Awards

We’re in search of The Most Intriguing People in the television industry! Please nominate (free to submit) those you feel are making significant & sometime head-turning contributions to the business: those that are trail blazers or risk-takers, unpredictable (in positive ways) and who are downright intriguing.

Nominate: NOW  |  Deadline: NOV 1  |  Awards Gala: SPRING 2013

Event/Submission Questions: Jenn Sredzinski 203.906.4603
Advertising/Sponsorship information: Mike Farina 203.218.6480

Sponsorship, Promotion & Licensing

The NFL announced that the league will host its first-ever Fantasy Draft Week via a three-day celebration on Aug. 22-24 at the Best Buy Theater in New York. Sponsored by DIRECTV, the fest will feature appearances by NFL players, analysts and fantasy experts, as well as on-site drafts, fantasy roundtables, personalized fantasy advice and fan giveaways. NFL players set to appear will include Marcus Allen, Derrick Brooks and Marshall Faulk, as well as at least a dozen others. NFL Fantasy Livewill broadcast live from the event and portions of the event will air on NFL Network.
The NBA is teaming with Ticketmaster to develop an online ticketing destination for NBA fans. As the Official Ticketing Provider of the NBA, Ticketmaster will now offer buyers all of the available ticket options for upcoming games, including available tickets from the primary market, as well as tickets being resold by other fans. The move allows fans to avoid potential scams as Ticketmaster will validate every ticket purchased on the league’s site.

NBA Canada, in consultation with Studio Licensing, announced a slew of new licensing deals for the league including:

  • Calego – bags, luggage, drinkware, and dinnerware
  • Leese Enterprises – range of confectionery including chocolate
  • Nemcor – bedding and home décor including blankets and throws, pillows, towels, slumber bags and wall decor
  • Primemotion – lenticular puzzles, electronic coin banks, automatic bathroom dispensers, lenticular watches/clocks and playing cards, and smart phone/tablet/computer accessories.

Digital Fields

Spike TV has agreed to a deal with top kickboxing organization K-1 on a strategic partnership that will launch this fall with live fights streamed on Spike.com starting Saturday, September 8 at the U.S. World Grand Prix Championships in Los Angeles. Overall, there will be four events that will be streamed live in the remainder of this year. Then, in 2013, the K-1 events will move from Spike.com to Spike TV to coincide with the network’s extensive coverage of Bellator Fighting Championships. Spike.com’s 2012 coverage will include “unprecedented access to K-1 events, from live streaming of the weigh-ins the day before the bouts, to locker room interviews, to live coverage of every fight on the card, including all the prelims.” Other events to be streamed will take place on Oct. 14, Dec. 8 and Dec. 26.

The USOC announced broadcast and online coverage plans for the London 2012 Paralympic Games via the U.S. Paralympics YouTube channel, YouTube.com/USParalympics, as well as with NBCUniversal. Beginning on Aug. 29 and running through the conclusion of the Games on Sept. 9, U.S. Paralympics will offer 10 daily video highlights packages from YouTube, including competition, athlete stories and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. In addition to the online content, NBC Sports Network will air one-hour highlight shows on Sept. 4, 5, 6 and 11 at 7p while NBC will offer a 90-minute special on Sept. 16.

The Main Event

Little League US Elimination Game on ESPN2 at 8p.



Cynopsis: Digital Measurement Summit: Video ROI, Illuminated
November 14 | JWT, NYC | 12-6pm

Join us as we bring together top thought leaders from every facet of the online video landscape, from research firms and technologists to executives from brands, agencies, TV and online networks to debate and evaluate the solutions toward establishing cross-platform measurement standards.

More info + registration coming soon…
For sponsorship information: Mike Farina, VP Sales & Marketing: 203-218-6480

ON THIS DAY in 2004: Swimmer Michael Phelps wins his eighth medal of the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Who is the only Dodgers player to pitch a perfect game? Before moving to Atlanta, the Braves were previously based in what city? Milwaukee (and Boston before that). Kudos: J. Barry McMullin-Professional Bull Riders/NY; Zac Salamon-Northwestern Mutual/NY; Phyllis McQuillan-MSG Media/NY; Peter King Hunsinger-Golf Digest & Gold World/NY; David Koonin-MELT/Atlanta; Rory Rosegarten-The Conversation Company, Ltd./Roslyn; Robert J. Morgan-Scripps Networks Interactive/Knoxville; Dan Parisi-Rowland Publishing/Tallahassee; David Perlmutter-MediaOcean/Chicago; Chuck Gordon-WABM-TV/Birmingham; Steve Weinshel-Loica/Chicago; Kristin Staskowski-Charter Media/Birmingham; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Michael Jaquet-US Ski and Snowboard Team/Utah; David Hauptman/Denver; Matt Sautter-OpenTV/Golden; Jerry Silbowitz-Size Sports & Entertainment/Beverly Hills; John Sutton-Charter Digital Media/LA; Joe Pedri-KLAS-TV/Las Vegas; William Povletich-Ellen Rakieten Entertainment/RelativityREAL/LA.

In The Know: Name one movie in which Brent Musburger had a cameo. (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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