Good morning. It’s Tuesday, July 31, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
Sunday night’s coverage of the Olympics continued to score with viewers, as primetime coverage on NBC drew 36 million viewers to the Games. The score is the most for the first Sunday of the Olympics for any non-U.S. Summer Games in history, and bests the 2008 score by nearly four million viewers. Competition drew a 19.8/33 national rating/share, for a 9% spike over the first Sunday night of the Beijing Olympics. Overall, the Games have averaged 35.8 million viewers through the first three nights.
According to TiVo, which is measuring the top Olympic moments throughout the Games, the USA Women’s Gymnastics team dominated with viewers, based on live + Same Day Viewership of the Olympic Games on NBC, here are the top moments.
1) Alexandra Raisman finishes the uneven bars event
2) Gabby Douglas performs on the uneven bars
3) McKayla Maroney qualifies as a finalist on the vault
4) Alexandra Raisman and Gabby Douglas perform the vault
5) Team France swim beats the USA in 4×100-Meter Freestyle Relay
ESPN is going all in for the new college football postseason. The company is reportedly locking in a 12-year broadcast deal for the Champions Bowl that will pit teams from the SEC and Big 12. The deal would be worth about $80 million, matching the payout to the Rose Bowl that was locked down several weeks ago, according to Sports Business Daily, and would span 12 years.
Comcast ain’t giving in yet. After an FCC vote upheld Tennis Channel’s program carriage complaint last week, Comcast has asked the FCC to stay enforcement of the ruling. Comcast said that the decision to move Tennis Channel to an equal tier as Golf Channel and NBC Sports Network created an “unprecedented burden” on the company that would allow the network to alter its deal with Comcast “under the guise of avoiding discrimination.” In addition, Comcast alleges that the ruling was unconstitutional and claims that the initial complaint was not filed on time.
Former college basketball coaches Bruce Pearl and Seth Greenberg joined ESPN to serve as men’s college basketball analysts. Meanwhile, ESPN’s Jalen Rose has been added to the college basketball commentator team. Pearl and Greenberg will each serve as studio analysts throughout the upcoming season as well as call select games from various conferences. Rose will be featured on the weekly College GameDay as well as other college basketball studio programming, and will work as a game analyst for certain matchups.
ESPN is on deck to cover the Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 4 at 7p. Trey Wingo hosts the three hour program with analyst Tom Jackson and reporter Ed Werder. Chris Berman will serve as the event emcee. This year’s class is set to include Jack Butler, Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, Curtis Martin and Willie Roaf. As part of the festivities, ESPN Classic will televise a Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Marathon, featuring past ceremonies and NFL legends, starting Friday, Aug. 3, at midnight.
Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic named Jeremy Howard as Vice President of Advertising Sales where he will direct Comcast SportsNet’s strategy, planning and execution for local, national and digital advertising sales. Howard spent the past eight years at NBC4 in Washington.
Sportsman Channel announced that the network is launching Sportsman HD across Comcast’s greater Houston area as part of an ongoing rollout across the country. Comcast viewers in Houston can find Sportsman HD on channel 709.
ESPNEWS added ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike and ESPN2’s SportsNation to its lineup yesterday, where they will now run from 6-10a and 10a-1p respectively. ESPN Radio’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd will now simulcast on ESPNU from 10a-1p while SportsNation will replace re-airs of Highlight Express.
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Sponsorship & Promotion
Athletes completing in London aren’t overly happy about the IOC’s ban on sponsor mentions on social media. In an effort to complain about the decree (known as rule #40) athletes hit Twitter to protest on Sunday when members of the US track and field team called for the barriers to be eased.
Manchester United locked in a new seven-year sponsorship deal the will put Chevrolet on the shirts of team members. The deal marks the club’s fifth shirt sponsor in their history and begins in 2014.
Around 5,000 Big Ten fans took part in the inaugural BTN Big 10K Saturday in Chicago, which officially marked the start of the 2012 football season for the channel. The event was held the day after the Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon following Big Ten Media Days. BTN talent participating included Howard Griffith, Glen Mason, Gerry DiNardo and Dhani Jones. BTN held a Tailgate and FanFest following the race that featured a football toss, field-goal kicking and opportunities to take a photo with the Big Ten Championship Trophy.
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Digital Fields Telemundo Media announced its digital plans for London 2012 yesterday, with over 200 hours of online video incdluing stories, expert analysis, profiles of Hispanic athletes and more than 130 hours of live-streaming. As part of the strategy, the network will feature both original and user generated online content through two sites fully dedicated to the Games: www.olimpiadastelemundo.com, with live-streaming, highlights, scores, news, analysis, athlete profiles, as well as original videos and interactive content and www.deportestelemundo.com, offering feature stories. Telemundo also will promote an via Facebook and Twitter the first-ever “Social Olympics in Spanish” in the U.S. The network will promote the uploading of user-generated content and foster a dialogue among its commentators, experts and analysts, and the Hispanic Olympic athletes.
U.S. women’s soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo didn’t apologize for her swaps at former teammate and current NBC analyst Brandi Chastain, telling reporters that the tweets were her way of expressing her opinion about the quality of television announcers. NBC Sports officials said that the company continues to support its announcer.
The Main Event
Michael Phelps looks for his third straight 200M Butterfly Gold, plus gymnastics and diving on NBC at 8p.
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ON THIS DAY in 1990: Nolan Ryan becomes 20th MLB pitcher to win 300 games. Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Dave Odom finished his coaching career at what university? South Carolina. Kudos: Lew Blaustein-Lewis Brand Solutions/NY; Zach Gray-FX Networks/NY; R J Cavallaro-Mills James Productions/Columbus; Carol Teichman-Comcast Spotlight/Bloomfield; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Bill Robertson-Tunheim Partners/Minneapolis; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Paul Gygli-NBCUniversal Television Distribution/Universal City.
In The Know: What famed athlete ended up being Mary’s ex-boyfriend in the movie “There’s Something About Mary”? (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
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