Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Cynopsis: Sports
06/21/11

Good morning. It’s Tuesday, June 21, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Domination has its perks, as well as its downside. Rory McIlroy’s record-breaking performance at the US Open on Sunday may have launched the career of a new superstar in the sport, but ratings took a hit for NBC, which saw overnights slip 26% to a 5.1 in metered markets. A number of factors were in play, however, for the ratings slide. Not only was his victory nearly certain before he teed off, which may have put off viewers, but the east coast location also placed a tournament in a rougher timeslot compared to last year, when the US Open was held in the west coast and pushed coverage well into primetime. The overnight rating did match, however, the score for the same Sunday at the 2009 Open.

On the Air

With Fox’s deal with NASCAR set to expire in 2014, the company is already holding talks for an extension and may move multiple races to Speed if an agreement is made. A Fox Sports spokesman confirmed the talks, which one executive described as preliminary. Fox currently has an eight-year, $1.76 billion contract with NASCAR and ratings moved upward this season with the network averaging a 5.0/11 and 8.6 million viewers per race. That audience average marks a three-year high for the channel, up 9% over 2010 and posting year-to-year bumps across every major male and adult demographic.

Today could mark a key date in the future of the NFL lockout, with owners set to convene to discuss negotiations with the players for a new CBA. The gathering marks the first meeting called by the league to be dedicated solely to labor issues, with owners and representatives from all 32 teams set to be on hand and advised to prepare to stay an extra day. Expected to be on the agenda will be the state of discussions on a salary cap, rookie pay, free agency as well as revenue sharing.

Tomorrow night marks the 2011 NHL Awards, which will air on Versus and CBC at 7p. The league has lined up Jon Hamm, Jerry Bruckheimer, and Kevin Smith as some of the celebrity presenters for the annual event, which will take place at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas. NHL Network and NHL.com will carry the red carpet festivities beginning at 5p.

After accusations of bribery led to a sport-wide scandal, FIFA VP Jack Warner has left his position despite the governing body dropping a bribery charge against him. Warner and was suspended by FIFA last month amid corruption accusations throughout the organization. In a statement, Warner said he resigned by his “own volition and self-determination.”

In a move that will almost certainly lead to the sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has turned down Frank McCourt’s 17-year, $3 billion TV rights deal between the team and Fox, citing that the deal was not in the team’s best interests. Selig was able to break the agreement due to the league’s debt-service rule, which prevents franchises from borrowing on future assets in order to pay current bills.

Fox Soccer has announced that its coverage plans for the United States’ 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal match against Panama tomorrow from Reliant Stadium in Houston. Pregame coverage is set to begin at 6:30p, with a 7p kickoff. JP Dellacamera and Kyle Martino take the broadcast booth to call the game, with sideline reporting from Brian Dunseth

It’s the UFC vs. the UFC in the Octagon on Sunday, now that Spike TV has announced an all-day marathon showcasing some of the promotion’s best fights from Nate Marquardt. The special is slated to run from 1p to 11p, and run against UFC on Versus 4 at 9p, which will feature Marquardt’s debut in the welterweight division against Rick Story. No word on if this will affect negotiations between Spike and UFC in a renewal of their TV contract.

ESPN will be covering this year’s Special Olympics World Summer Games Athens 2011 on ESPN3.com and ESPN.com. The Games are set to kick off on June 25 and run through July 4 in Greece. ESPN3.com will serve as the exclusive live outlet for the opening and closing ceremonies in the United States.

VH1 is broadening its own sports franchise, announcing that the channel will premiere spinoff series Basketball Wives LA on Monday, August at 8p. The cast is set to include Kimsha Artest (wife of LA Laker Ron Artest),  Gloria Govan (fiancee of Laker Matt Barnes), Laura Govan (sister of Gloria Govan) and Jackie Christie (wife of former LA Clipper Doug Christie) and Imani Showalter (ex-fiancee of Charlotte Bobcat Stephen Jackson) as well as others. Ten episodes of the series are slated to run.

Sponsorship & Promotion

ESPN has turned to Gildan Activewear Inc, inking a multi-year deal that will give Gildan title sponsorship for the New Mexico Bowl. The Gildan New Mexico Bowl now boasts a new primary logo, and was created by Tim DeLisle of DeLisle and Assoc. of Mauldin, S.C..

The WNBA, in partnership with Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), will tip off WNBA Green Week today where the entire league will team up to raise environmental awareness, with players wearing special oncourt apparel and participating in hands-on community service projects. The WNBA.com microsite, www.wnba.com/green , will feature green tips for fans as well as interviews with WNBA players exploring why environmental awareness is important to them. In collaboration with the NRDC, the WNBA purchased Renewable Energy Credits to off-set energy used at all WNBA arenas hosting games throughout WNBA Green Week.

The Associated Press is reporting that Red Bull is flying away from NASCAR, and will no longer participate in the sport following the end of the season. Red Bull serves dual roles in NASCAR, both owning and sponsoring a two-car NASCAR team, although the team has struggled since its inception in 2007.

Rutgers University has locked down a sponsor for naming rights to its football stadium, according to multiple reports, agreeing with High Point Solutions for a multi-year agreement for the team’s home.

Digital Fields

NBA Digital has unveiled its online plans for Thursday’s NBA draft, developing content leading up to and during the selection process, with features that include video interviews with players selected, live chats, social media commentary through the NBA Facebook page and Twitter account. In addition, the platform will present a behind-the-scenes look at the prospects as they go through their NBA indoctrination which will include moments such as touring New York City, being fitted for their draft day suits, to meeting with the media.

The NHL is reporting upticks from the Stanley Cup, not only from its broadcast partners, but from its digital sites as well. NHL.com, saw the average daily unique visitors count during the Stanley Cup Final rise 26 percent over last season, with total visits up 28% and video starts growing by 26%. For the entire Stanley Cup Playoffs, traffic increased by 18% in the U.S. and 32% in Canada.

Top Social Programs in Sports for the week ending June 19, according to Socialguide.com’s Social 100:

1)      Stanley Cup Final Boston Bruins at Vancouver Canucks 06/15/11 NBC
2)      Stanley Cup Final Vancouver Canucks at Boston Bruins 06/13/11 NBC
3)      US Open Golf Championship Final Round 06/19/11 NBC
4)      US Open Golf Championship Second Round 06/17/11 ESPN
5)      NY Yankees at Chicago Cubs 06/17/11 CSN/YES
6)      US Open Golf Championship Third Round 06/18/11 NBC
7)      Texas Rangers at NY Yankees 06/15/11 ESPN
8)      US Open Championship Opening Round 06/16/11 ESPN
9)      New York Yankees at Chicago Cubs 06/18/11 Fox
10)     Texas Rangers at NY Yankees 06/14/11 Various

The Main Event

More Wimbledon action on ESPN2 starting at 7a



ON THIS DAY in 1970 – Brazil beats Italy, 4-1, to win the World Cup in Mexico City

Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question: In which Grand Slam event does Chris Evert hold the most championships? Answer: Chris Evert holds 7 Championships from the French Open, the most of any of the Slams. Kudos: Adam J. Holzer – AJH Media & Sponsorship/NY; Jude Tummillo – Clear Channel/Rutherford; Carol Teichman – Comcast Spotlight/Bloomfield; Paul Brewer – Turner Sports Illustrated Digital/NY; Connie Wang – Tennis Channel/Santa Monica

In The Know:  When was the last time the Dodgers won the MLB Championship?   (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 Cyn opsis | Sports
June 20, 2011

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Agree or disagree? 

In My Opinion …

What exactly is in the water in Boston? When the Patriots are the local team that has the longest drought in Championships, something seems to be clicking with teams in that market. While some editorials cite solid and smart ownership of the teams, which is obviously a factor, there is something to be said for the rabid fan base and solid media coverage within the market. Large crowds, high merchandise sales, and a draw for star athletes helped propel the Bruins to the Cup this year, helped deliver the Celtics their rings in 2007-2008, and broke the Red Sox curse in 2007. Analysts can say that Boston’s big market gives them an unfair advantage, but what other major city is finding this type of success? Maybe it’s time to pity the poor Patriots, who haven’t won since 2005. Nah…

Send in your views for posting here to chris -sports@cynopsis.com under Emails to the Editor …

It’s chicken and egg! Smart ownership invests in players, team, stadium/park when they are confident there is an appreciative fan base. Media ownership invests in better writers, websites, talk hosts and reporters when the fan base can’t get enough. Good players want to come to cities that appreciate their talent and where THEY are the story. But the fans make the market. They feed The Tradition! If they aren’t into it, you get the Tampa Bay Rays.

Interesting observation I heard yesterday on talk radio.  When has one city had four active championship coaches all coaching/managing at the same time? Francona, Belichick, Rivers, Julien

Can’t think of another yet.

Beverly Tilden



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