Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

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Cynopsis: Sports
08/09/11

Good morning. It’s Tuesday, August 9, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Fox Sports is gearing up for its 18thNFL season, announcing its broadcast plans for the channel’s slate of games this year. New on-air talent will include quarterback Chad Pennington as well as Gus Johnson and broadcast pairings have been tinkered with heading into the new season.

This year’s announcing teams include:

  • Joe Buck, Troy Aikman & Pam Oliver
  • Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston &Tony Siragusa
  • Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick & Laura Okmin
  • Dick Stockton & John Lynch
  • Chris Myers & Tim Ryan
  • Ron Pitts & Jim Mora
  • Sam Rosen & Chad Pennington
  • Gus Johnson, Charles Davis & Tim Brewster

In addition, Bill Richards is set to take over Fox NFL Sunday and the network’s other NFL studio shows, including post-game series The OT, as coordinating producer. The 2011 NFL on FOX campaign will kick off on Sunday, Sept. 2011 at 1p with doubleheader coverage of seven games.

On the Air

Friday saw the Red Sox/Yankees deliver highs for YES, now Sunday’s matchup delivered the highest overnight numbers for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball as well. The game drew a 3.6 overnight Nielsen rating, 33% higher than last year’s telecast between the same teams on the same weekend.

ESPN 3D has announced that it will double the amount of college football telecasts this year with 20 regular season games on deck as well as the Allstate BCS National Championship and five postseason bowl games. The network launches coverage for its second season of college football over Labor Day weekend with UNLV/Wisconsin on Thurs., Sept. 1, at 8p and Miami/Maryland on Mon., Sept. 5, at 8p.

NFL Network has locked in former Super Bowl winner and NFL MVP Kurt Warner to a long term deal with a new multi-year the channel. Warner will join NFL Network’s NFL GameDay Morning Sunday pregame show,NFL Total Access as well as the Thursday Night Football on location pregame, halftime and postgame shows this season. This week, Warner will return for the second year to call the 2011ArenaBowlon NFL Network on Friday at 8p.

TNT and PGA.com announced their featured groups for coverage of the 93rd PGA Championship this week, including Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Charl Schwartzel teeing off at 1:45p on Thursday. Former PGA Champions Martin Kaymer,Y.E. Yang and Shaun Michel also will be a featured group as they begin play at 1:15p. TNT’s coverage on Friday will showcase four-time PGA Champion Tiger Woods as well Davis Love III and Padraig Harrington teeing off at 1:45p. Online outlet PGA Championship LIVE will spotlight Woods, Love III and Harrington on Thursday morning at 8:35a and Friday afternoon at 1:45p as well as McIlroy, Clarke and Schwartzel at 1:45p on Thursday and 8:45a on Friday.

ESPN is tapping the services of Michael Smith and new hire Charissa Thompson to co-host ESPN2’s upcoming series Numbers Never Lie. The weekday show which will premiere on Monday, Sept. 12, at 3:30p and roundtable debate that pits former professional athletes against statisticians.

BTN is gearing up to showcase its teams with the Big Ten Football Preview Tour, featuring Dave Revsine,Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith crossing the country for the fifth straight year to analyze each team in the conference. The first preview show will air at 8p from the University of Wisconsin with subsequent shows continuing nightly through Aug. 25. Additional football preview content from the tour will be offered at BTN.com, as well as Facebook and YouTube

NCAA basketball plans continue to get finalized with ESPN locking in network and time assignments for the 13th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge set to be held on Nov. 29 and 30. ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com will combine to televise all 12 games of the two-day event, highlighted by four traditional power programs on ESPN and ESPN3.com including Duke at Ohio State on Nov. 29 at 9:30p as well as Wisconsin at North Carolina on Nov. 30, at 9:30p. The Big Ten won the Commissioner’s Cup for the second consecutive year last year.

“The Ultimate Fighter 14″ is changing tact, according to reports, with UFC president Dana White saying that the upcoming season, which debuts on Sept. 21 on Spike, will focus on bantamweight and featherweight divisions for the promotion. For more on “The Ultimate Fighter 14″ season debut, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Duke’s going on tour and ESPNU and ESPN3.com will televise live three Duke’s men’s basketball games from the program’s inaugural “Friendship Games” trip to China and Dubai this month. Duke’s men’s basketball team will face the Chinese Olympic team in Shanghai and Beijing with games airing Thursday, Aug. 18, at 8a and Monday, Aug. 22, at 8a. The team’s matchup against the United Arab Emirates national team in Dubai will air on Thursday, Aug. 25, at 1:30p. The games will also air world-wide by ESPN networks in 194 other countries.
 
BASE Productions, home of series such as ESPN’s Sports Science is merging with Tinopolis, the team behind a slew of TV shows as well as sports events such as America’ Cup, BBC’s Grand National and ITV’s Tour de France.

TSN and TSN2 have locked in plans for coverage of the NFL preseason in Canada, with six pre-season match-ups on deck this month beginning Thursday at 8p on TSN2 as the Seattle Seahawks take on the San Diego Chargers.

Westwood One will bring back Kevin Harlan and Boomer Esiason to serve as the lead announcers for the company’s Monday Night Football and Super Bowl XLVI radio broadcasts this season. In addition, Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts will also join in for select Monday Night games as well as the Playoffs. Dave Sims and James Lofton return as the Sunday Night broadcast team while Ian Eagle and Trent Green again pair up for Westwood One’s Thursday Night action.

WPP’s MediaCom Worldwide is launching a new global sports division, MediaCom SPORT and tapped former IMG executive Marcus John to run the new unit as global head of sports. The new practice is set to offer four main areas of services: strategic advice, rights negotiation, rights activation and measurement.

Sponsorship & Promotion

WWE has officially announced that 7-Eleven will serve as the presenting sponsor and TWIX as the promotional sponsor of the company’s upcoming SummerSlam PPV on Sunday. In addition, the National Guard will serve as the presenting sponsor of SummerSlam Axxess, WWE’s two-day interactive fan experience. Other Axxess sponsors include TWIX, Skittles, Mattel, THQ and Topps.

Big Lead Sports, is teaming with The Experts Network to create a strategic marketing, sales, and content relationship between the two companies. The partnership will help deliver TXN’s analysts to an audience of more than 17 million users via the Big Lead Sports property. In addition, the arrangement will offer marketing opportunities for leading advertisers and brands around the NFL Season, Super Bowl, Fantasy Football, World Series and PGA tournaments.

Digital Fields

Video chat service provider ooVoo and NFL sportscaster Cris Collinsworth and joining up to create SMACK TALK, a fantasy football and social video chat experience delivered through ooVoo’s 12-way HD video chat service. As part of the agreement, Collinsworth will commentate on a fantasy league’s football draft for a winning fan who enters the online promotion.

Top Social Programs in Sports for the week ending Aug. 7 (games only), according to Socialguide.com’s Social 100:

Soccer  Manchester City vs. Manchester United      Fox Soccer      8/07/2011
MLB              Yankees at Red Sox                        ESPN              8/07/2011
MLB              Yankees at Red Sox                        Fox Sports      8/06/2011
MLB              Phillies at Giants                             CSN               8/05/2011
MLB              Yankees at Red Sox                        YES               8/05/2011

The Main Event

Classic East/West coast matchup of playoff contenders with the Angels at Yankees at 7:05 on MLB.


ON THIS DAY in 1992: The 25th Olympic Summer games closes in Barcelona, Spain.

Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question: Who is the only undefeated/untied heavyweight champion in pro boxing history with a 49-0 record?  ROCKY MARCIANO. Kudos: Phyllis McQuillan – MSG Media/NY; David Stern – BARD Entertainment/NY; Brian Ricco – BOXTV- The Boxing Channel/NY; Synda Kollman – Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; David . Hauptman – Katz Television Group/Denver; Don Wollman – Big Brother/LA; Paul Gilbert – CBS Studios International/LA; Jason Levin – Racing Jason Media/LA; Paul Gygli – NBCUniversal Television Distribution/Universal City

In The Know:  Who is the all-time leading scorer for the men’s basketball team at Duke? (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
08/09/11

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