Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Tuesday, January 8, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

2013’s rite of passage gears up next week with the Australian Open on ESPN2 and Tennis Channel. ESPN2 carries over 100 hours of coverage, with 600 on ESPN3 leading into the finals on January 26 and 27. The action gets underway Sunday, Jan. 13, at 6:30p with a 12.5-hour telecast. ESPN Interactive TV, seen on DIRECTV and ESPN3, will again present the Australian Open in a six-screen “mix channel” format.

Around the dial at Tennis Channel, the network’s  sixth year of televising the Australian Open begins Monday, Jan. 14, at 7p with more than 30 hours of live match telecasts during the two-week competition and more than 180 hours of dedicated tournament coverage overall. New for 2013 will be a retooled format for daily highlight and encore-match show Australian Open Today featuring two daily editions, one dedicated to the tournament’s most recent day session and one to the most recent night session.


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On the Air

The battle between RGIII and Russell Wilson drew the highest score of the NFL playoffs over the weekend. FOX Sports’ coverage of Sunday’s Seattle/Washington game garnered a 23.7 Nielsen rating in overnight numbers for a slight dip of 8% from comparable coverage of Denver/Pittsburgh a year ago. CBS’ Colts/Ravens matchup handed the network with a 19.7 in overnight scores, good enough for a 4% bump over last year’s early game featuring the Giants/Falcons. NBC’s double header on Saturday gave the network a 19.7 for NBC’s Green Bay/Minnesota game on Saturday night off 5% year-to-year, while Cincinnati/Houston drew a 16.2 for a 6% jump.

Barring a last-minute change of heart, the NHL will slate a 48-game season following a 103 day lockout. The league has reportedly sent a memo to teams telling them to be ready to play by Jan. 19, marking the date the shortened season is expected to start.

NBA Deputy Commissioner and COO Adam Silver named Jason Cahilly as the NBA’s Executive Vice President, Strategy and Chief Financial Officer. Cahilly most recently served as a partner and Global Co-Head of Media & Telecommunications within the Investment Banking Division at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and will oversee the financial affairs of the league, including accounting, financial reporting, the management of the NBA’s financial relationships and strategic planning.

Speaking of the NBA, the league announced that Sky Sports inked a new television partnership that will bring fans in the United Kingdom live coverage of the 2012-13 NBA regular season, the NBA Playoffs, and NBA Finals. The deal begins with Sky Sports’ coverage of NBA London Live 2013 featuring the Knicks and Pistons at London’s The O2 on Jan. 17 and mark the first NBA game played in the UK to be shown live in 3D. The package will offer exclusive live Sunday double-headers during the regular season, and includes live select NBA Playoff games, the entire Eastern Conference Finals, and every game of the NBA Finals in June.

ESPN2 will televise the Baseball Tonight Hall of Fame Special tomorrow afternoon at 3p, following the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA)’s 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame election announcement. The special will be hosted by Karl Ravech.

Dial Global and the NBC Sports Group announced that Bobby Valentine will join the NBC Sports Radio lineup as a Major League Baseball contributor, starting this month. Valentine will call in weekly to affiliated stations and NBC Sports Radio talk hosts to offer his thoughts and observations on baseball. In addition, Valentine will become a part-time co-host of a soon-to-be-announced daily Monday-Friday talk show that will debut in April, 2013, as the network expands its programming lineup.

Eight months before the vote, officials from Madrid, Tokyo and Istanbul turned in bid books formalizing their bids for the 2020 Summer Olympics. The AP reports that the IOC’s evaluation commission will visit the cities in March and prepare a report for IOC members before a meeting with the bidders in July. The full IOC will select the host city on Sept. 7.

Golf Channel revealed plans for new original series, In Play with Jimmy Roberts. The series will debut on Tuesday, March 12 at 10:30p with a mission to “scour the globe to uncover the most compelling stories in golf.” The series is hosted by Jimmy Roberts, a 13-time Emmy Award-winner at NBC Sports. Contributors who are already working on stories for the show include Damon Hack, who covered golf for The New York Times and Sports Illustrated, Golf Channel’s veteran on-air hosts Rich Lerner and Kelly Tilghman, and Golf World senior writer Tim Rosaforte.

FUEL TV finished 2012 as the number-one ad-supported cable network overall in year-to-year percentage growth among households, total viewers and men 18-49 during total day and prime time, according to Nielsen. In 2012-bolstered by UFC programming-prime time viewership rose 164% compared to 2011, while the network’s total day viewership grew 122% vs. 2011.

Francois McGillicuddy has been tapped as the new Senior Vice President and General Manager of FOX Sports Ohio where he will oversee all aspects of FOX Sports Ohio’s business, including production, programming, advertising sales, marketing, and team relations, while also working in conjunction with Fox’s affiliate sales and marketing group on distribution issues. McGillicuddy will also handle the transition of recently acquired SportsTime Ohio into the FOX Sports portfolio of regional sports networks.

The LPGA will make its first-ever official appearance in the Bahamas in 2013 with the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, the first in a series of new 2013 tournaments that will be announced this week. The full-field, standard eligibility tournament will take place May 23-26 and will include four tournament rounds with 72 holes of stroke play, a $1.3 million purse and coverage on Golf Channel.

Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic announced a new an eight-episode weekly series, Table Manners, hosted by The Junkies’ John Auville, Eric Bickel, Jason Bishop and John-Paul Flaim that launches Feb. 5. The half-hour program will offer “dinner conversations between the popular Washington, D.C.-area sports radio personalities and a different special guest each week.” New episodes will debut on Tuesdays in February and March at 11p.
WFN: World Fishing Network, announced that the network is now available in high-definition (HD) through multiple providers across Canada. Rogers (Ch. 542), Eastlink (Ch. 732), SaskTel (Ch. 461), Bell Fibe (Ch. 1419), CityWest (Ch. 295), MTS (Ch. 1183) and Cogeco (Ch. 747) have added WFN HD to their high-definition channel lineups

Celebrate the passing of 2012 in style! Now is the time to submit for our 2013 Cynopsis Sports Media Awards. The deadline is February 1 and we want to see your best work from the past year. Don’t let someone else take your trophy! Click here for entry information.


Honoring Top Sports Programs, Campaigns, and People…

It’s a NEW YEAR, so don’t forget to enter the
2nd Annual Cynopsis: Sports Media Awards
Entry Deadline: February 1
Late Submissions: February 8
Awards Event: April 2013 (NYC)

Visit our website for additional information on:
Who Should Enter, How to Enter, Eligibility Period, Categories, Deadlines, Sponsorship Opportunities, Contact Information and FAQs.

Sponsorship & Promotion

Sprint is partnering with Daytona International Speedway to sponsor The Sprint Unlimited At Daytona, formerly known as the Daytona Shootout, that traditionally kicks off the stock car portion of Budweiser Speedweeks and the NASCAR season. The race will take place on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 8p on FOX. The Sprint Unlimited marks the first time the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race cars will compete on-track in an event. The news comes after a SBJ report that DIRECTV will end its sponsorship of the sport as well as slate of NASCAR Hot Pass programming.

IMG Worldwide acquired Catalyst Public Relations, the communications firm that focuses on three core platforms-sports, entertainment and active lifestyle. For the moment, the company will operate as Catalyst and will become a part of IMG’s Consulting business, headed by David Abrutyn, senior vice president and Global Managing Director of IMG Consulting. With the acquisition, Catalyst’s current management team of Bret Werner, Bill Holtz and Ted Fragulis will all join IMG, as will their staff of full time employees in their New York, Charlotte and Los Angeles offices.

Digital Fields

Jeff Berman is reportedly leaving his role as GM of Digital Media for the NFL. Deadline reports that Berman will join BermanBraun as president of the TV, film and digital production company.

Sony launched its MLB 13: The Show online cover vote yesterday, allowing fans able to choose one of seven players to grace the game’s box this year. Competing for the honors will be Matt Kemp, CC Sabathia, Andrew McCutchen, Bryce Harper, Buster Posey, Ryan Braun and Miguel Cabrera.

The Main Event

Lakers/Rockets on NBA TV at 8p.


Date: JAN 24, 2013 | Time: 1:30-3:00 p.m. ET | Price: $295/site

Hosted by: Sahil Patel Associate Editor, Cynopsis Digital
JoAnna Foyle Abel
– VP, Marketing, FreeWheel
Charlie Echeverry
– EVPSales for Univision Interactive, Univision Communications
Marcus Startzel
– General Manager, North America, Millennial Media

ON THIS DAY in 2000: The Music City Miracle as the Titans score a last-second come-from-behind victory to beat the Bills.

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What NFL player holds the record for most rookie rushing yards in a season? Answer: Eric Dickerson. Kudos: Aymon DeMauro-Discovery/NY; Douglas Pucci-TV Media Insights/NY; Chris Connaughton-SEASON Sports/NY; Hector Calix-MEC/NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Steve McNair-CBS Radio/Houston; Chuck Gordon-WABM-TV/Birmingham; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc/Santa Monica; Joe Pedri-KLAS/Las Vegas; Adam Deverell-Cox Reps/LA.

In The Know: What player holds the record for most career points at the NBA All-Star Game? (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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