Good morning. It’s Tuesday, January 10, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
Tim Tebow and an overtime victory handed CBS with the highest-rated Wild Card game in 24 years, according to the network, with an average overnight household Nielsen rating/share of 25.9/43. That marks a 38% spike over numbers for last year’s AFC Wild Card game.
Meanwhile, FOX’s coverage of the Giants blowout over the Falcons, combined with an earlier timeslot this year, handed the channel with a 17.3/36 household rating/share – down from the channel’s Wild Card game last year which ran in the afternoon, but still pulling in 27.7 million viewers. In spite of the dip, those numbers also rank as the highest-rated 1p Sunday Wildcard game on any network since 2004.
The ING New York City Marathon will run (no pun intended) on live national television in 2012 for the first time in almost 20 years thanks to a new national and local five-year television package with WABC-TV/ESPN and NYRR officials. The Marathon will be televised live nationally on ESPN2 and available through WatchESPN from 9a through 12:30p, and in New York on WABC-TV and 7online.com from 9a to 2p. That same afternoon, ABC will broadcast nationally a two-hour Marathon highlight show. The agreement begins with this year’s event on Sunday, November 4. The deal also includes coverage of weekend events and other marquee NYRR races throughout the year, as well as quarterly public service announcements on WABC-TV that highlight NYRR’s efforts to encourage running as part of a child’s healthy lifestyle.
Golf Channel kicked off the 2012 PGA Tour season in high fashion with the highest-rated and most-watched opening round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions since the network began covering the event in 2007, according to preliminary data from Nielsen. The network’s first-round coverage on Friday from Hawaii drew a 0.7 household rating/705,000 average viewers, up 27% over last year.
British broadcaster ITV has signed off on an extension for the Tour de France, keeping the world’s biggest cycling race until at least 2015. The deal will see ITV continue to broadcast daily coverage throughout the three-week race, with highlights each evening. The agreement also expands digital and online coverage beginning this summer.
ESPN is programming a weeklong series of original programming, vignettes and interstitials celebrating the life and contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. that started yesterday and will run through the national holiday on Monday, Jan. 16. Highlights include the debut of Content of Character presented by Red Tails that explores Dr. King’s impact through the lens of sports.
Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic is launching SportsTalk Live, in a synergistic move between NBC Sports Group and the regional sports networks. The series will be hosted by former Redskins star Brian Mitchell and Ivan Carter, beginning on Monday, January 23. The half-hour sports talk and entertainment program is modeled after NBC Sports Network’s NBC SportsTalk, which airs weeknights at 10:30p. The show will include multiplatform components and incorporate talent across all of NBC Sports Group’s properties.
NESN announced that the channel set a regular season Boston Bruins ratings record on Saturday afternoon with an 8.9 average household rating in the Boston DMA for the Bruins’ Stanley Cup rematch with the Vancouver Canucks. The Vancouver game earned a 23 share in the Boston DMA, also setting a new NESN record for a regular season Bruins game.
SportsNation is set to become the first ESPN studio show to air an entire episode live in 3D, with the episode taking place at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. Hosts Colin Cowherd and Michelle Beadle will be joined by the UFC’s Dana White, with Beadle volunteering to be sawed into 3, in 3D, by Las Vegas magician Shimshi. SportsNation in 3D at CES will air live at 5p on ESPN2/ESPN 3D. New elements will include the first-ever StereoscopicStudio Graphics Package, and the first-ever execution of immersive “virtual” graphics in a 3D television live production.
HRTV announced the renewal of its carriage agreement with the National Cable Television Cooperative, Inc. allowing over 950 member companies and their subscribers to retain the right to distribute HRTV as a dynamic part of their video offerings.
Score Media announced that it locked down a long-term programming agreement with FOX International Sports Channels to feature at least 250 hours per year of live collegiate content and other FOX Sports and FUEL TV programming including college football, basketball and hockey games.
Sponsorship & Promotion
The New York Knicks launched a campaign featuring players Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire, to boost team representation at the All-Star Game. The campaign includes the return of interactive fan voting site VoteKnicks.com. Throughout the voting period, the team will release a variety of exclusive new content on the site, including a new Knicks song and an original video mash-up produced by DJ Steve Porter. The site is designed to allow fans to not only vote for their favorite Knick, but also encourage friends to get involved in the action by submitting videos and participating in contests.
Rock star Bret Michaels is lending his musical talents to the Monster Energy AMA Supercross season with an exclusive song and video that will be edited specifically for each race throughout the season. Supercross returns to SPEED on January 14, live from Phoenix at 9:30p.
The Madison Square Garden Company and Duracell Powermat announced a new marketing partnership that makes Duracell Powermat the official wireless charging partner of Madison Square Garden, the New York Knicks, New York Rangers and New York Liberty. The partnership will place the wireless charging systems throughout venue, allowing Knicks and Rangers fans to always be powered up when attending games and other events at the Arena. In addition, the new Event Level Suites which will come online for the 2012-13 seasons, will have the products available for guests to utilize.
DISH is working with Thuuz to create an enhanced Google TV application that helps sports fans instantly find the best live and upcoming games to watch on television. The app utilizes computer algorithms to monitor excitement levels during broadcasts of Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, soccer, cricket and rugby games, as well as both pro and college football and basketball. When buzz starts reaching a peak, an alert pops up on the viewer’s TV screen to let the viewer tune to the action. The Thuuz application can also automatically record the most exciting moments of the game for later viewing using Google TV devices.
LG kicked off CES by launching a new LTE smartphone that will give Verizon customers exclusive access to HD video via ESPN’s ScoreCenter app, announcing that the agreement marks the first for HD video on smartphones. The ScoreCenter app will comes pre-loaded with access to ScoreCenter stats, images as well as videos in 720p HD. The Spectrum phone will launch on Jan. 19.
The Main Event
San Jose Sharks/Minnesota Wild in a good Western Conference match-up on NBC Sports Network at 7:30p.
ON THIS DAY in 1996: Jimmy Johnson is announced as the new coach of the Miami Dolphins.
Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question:What team beat the Bengals in their last Super Bowl appearance? Answer: The 49ers. Kudos: Richelle Cross – Class & Sass Promotions/Atlanta; Loni Berman – Lbi/NY; Ben Lines – Sportsman Channel/NY; Greg Racioppe – DiSH Network/NY; John Kukla – KDFW FOX 4/Dallas; David Hauptman – Katz Television Group/Denver; Miriam Aardahl – OMD/LA; Justin St. Denis – The New York Times Media Group/LA; Stephen Rodgers – PRO- Peter Rodgers Organization/Hollywood; Larry Hutchings Retired/LA.
In The Know: Who was the last NBA player to be the number one draft pick and win rookie of the year? (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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