Good morning. It’s Tuesday, June 28, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
As expected, Univision easily took the ratings crown on Saturday night with its broadcast coverage of the Gold Cup Final, which saw Mexico come from behind to overtake the US in a 4-2 score. Broadcast ratings for the two hour and ten minute final averaged nearly 8 million viewers and a 3.6 adult 18-49 rating, according to Nielsen overnight ratings. The final reached nearly 11 million viewers who watched at least part of the match, and scored as the highest-rated primetime sports telecast in the history of the channel.
Word began leaking over the weekend that the NFL was looking to divide up the proposed 16 Thursday night games into two TV packages beginning in 2012. With NFL Network holding the back end of the deal, the league was making calls to other potential partners for the first set of games. Executives involved with discussions confirmed on Monday that there were explorations, with Sports Business Journal stating that the two most interested parties were Turner Sports (where it would bring football back to TNT) and Comcast (which previously bid on games for Versus). NFL Network remains in the mix as well. Currently, the league gets over $4.5 billion in annual rights fees from its broadcast partners. Analysts suggest that another prime-time deal could bring another $500 million to the coffers.
NBC Sports Group is preparing for the Tour de France this weekend, and in addition to 14 hours of daily coverage of the race on Versus, NBC Sports will broadcast opening stages for the first time ever on beginning July 2 at 2p. Now part of the NBC Sports umbrella, Versus is also changing up its production, with this year’s coverage set to have a new look. Additionally, the network will collaborate with Gripped Films for daily, behind-the-scenes footage from the team that wins each day’s stage and follow them to the night before they start in the next day’s competition. Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen are on deck to once again call the race action.
Other features during NBC Sports coverage will include:
- Cameras on team buses, including Garmin-Cervelo, HTC-Highroad, RadioShack, and Leopard Trek;
- A pointer feature which will easily identify and focus on one rider in the 195-plus peloton;
- Advanced on-screen statistics/biometrics to illustrate the intensity at which the riders are competing.
- Online coverage via Tour de France All-Access that will offer users live streaming video of every stage in full HD, access to a live GPS tracking map, and other toys for the cycling fan.
The Los Angeles Dodgers officially filed for bankruptcy protection in a Delaware court Monday, laying the blame on Major League Baseball for striking down a multibillion-dollar TV deal from Fox that owner Frank McCourt said would keep the team afloat. The legal maneuver now allows the team to use $150 million for daily operations, as well as find time for the team to seek a new media deal.
The NHL season may be over, but for NHL Network, it’s the beginning of off-season programming. The channel will carry the Hockey Hall of Fame inductee announcement today at 3p, with the program set to be reaired twice more. On Friday, with the start of free agency, the channel will dedicate five hours of coverage at noon, followed by a one-hour edition of NHL Live at 5p. Each day this week, NHL Live will showcase free-agency segments each day leading up to the “Free Agent Frenzy.”
BTN is welcoming the Nebraska Cornhuskers to the Big Ten Conference the old fashioned way, with a full-fledged tribute weekend dedicated to the program. Nebraska officially joins the conference on Friday, and the network has slated three days of programming that day beginning at noon with Big Ten Welcomes Nebraska, an hour-long special which will introduce fans to the history and tradition of the university’s athletics programs. Other programming through the weekend will include the team’s 1998 Orange Bowl game, the 1995 Orange Bowl game, retrospectives, and more.
Universal Sports network and Infront Sports & Media have inked a deal that will give the channel exclusive media rights for a slate of International Ski Federation (FIS) World Cup events. The deal begins this fall and runs through the 2015-16 season. Events include each of the World Cup races for FIS Alpine Skiing, Ski Jumping, Cross Country, Nordic Combined, Snowboard and Freestyle, with almost 200 events per season. As part of the deal, Universal Sports has also licensed three magazine programs on FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Alpine Skiing. In a separate agreement with Infront, Universal Sports has also acquired the U.S. media rights for the 2013 FIS Alpine and Nordic World Ski Championships.
Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the New York Jets is set to make its debut on NFL Network on Sunday, July 3 at 11p, following the series finale of The Top 100: Players of 2011. Following the debut, the remaining four episodes will air from July 4 through 7 at 9p.
CBS Sports Network continues to grow, reaching a deal with CableOne which will launch the channel on its systems in territories that include Idaho, Texas, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. The deal will place CBS Sports Network on CableOne’s Digital Value Pak, its second level of service, beginning Aug. 1. With the additional outlets, CBS Sports Network now grows its sub total to 43 million subscribers and it is available to 96 million households.
Showtime is set to showcase its new documentary series The Franchise: A Season with the San Francisco Giants on July 13 at 10p.
If traveling to London is too expensive for ya, SuperVision Media has announced that they will be delivering the men’s semi-finals, women’s finals and men’s finals of the 125th Wimbledon Championships live in 3D from cinemas across the world. Utilizing Sony’s RealD LIVE 3D technology, tennis fans will be able to experience the game from theatres in Europe, Asia, North America and South America beginning July1.
Sponsorship & Promotion
TNT is bringing back its Wide Open coverage for this year’s Coke Zero 400 in Daytona. Wide Open, which provides continuous race coverage without national commercial breaks and instead features racing action using a letterbox widescreen format with sponsor messages, unique branded content and distinct on-screen graphic elements built in. The six national sponsors featured in this year’s telecast include Coke Zero, Coors Light, Pfizer, Sprint, Toyota, Warner Brothers Films’ Horrible Bosses and Crazy, Stupid, Love. This advertising model has proven successful for advertisers during previous coverage with Nielsen IAG Research reporting that advertisements featured during the 2010 TNT NASCAR Wide Open Coverage race delivered a 68% brand recall score, a higher number when compared to standard ads featured during sports and NASCAR coverage.
WWE and the Muscular Dystrophy Association are launching a summer initiative designed to recognize kids and teens who have demonstrated a significant commitment to MDA or supported those with muscular dystrophy or any of the 43 related diseases in MDA’s program. The youths, who must be aged between 6 and 17, may enter themselves or be nominated in order to be named a WWE Community Champion. WWE and MDA will choose two winners who will receive four tickets to a WWE live event as well as a special meet-and-greet with a WWE Superstar or Diva.
With just over a year until the Summer Games, the IOC has issued rules for athletes on utilizing social media at the 2012 London Games. The rules stipulate that while the IOC encourages the use to platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to post, blog and tweet their experiences, athletes may not use the outlets for commercial or advertising purposes or share videos filmed as Olympic venues. Those who don’t comply will face a potential loss of accreditation, a shutdown of online operations as well as potential legal action. The organization also encouraged athletes to avoid commenting on their opponents or reveal confidential information, and to conform to the Olympic spirit and charter.
Outdoor Channel has launched its own app, which will allows users to connect with the brand via iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch as well as share their experiences with their fellow outdoor enthusiasts. The app will feature video clips, news, programming information and schedule.
For the sixth straight show, UFC will feature preliminary matches on Facebook to be streamed to fans for UFC 132: Cruz vs. Faber II, which takes place on Saturday. Streaming begins at 5:55p and feature online matches that include Jeff Hougland vs. Donny Walker, Andre Winner vs. Anthony Njokuani, and Aaron Simpson vs. Brad Tavares.
The Main Event
Potential World Series matchup in Red Sox/Phillies on MLB Network at 7:05p.
ON THIS DAY in 1992 – The US Dream Team beats Cuba in their first exhibition basketball game, 133-57.
Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question:Who won the 2009 Gold Cup tournament? Mexico. Kudos: Jude Tummillo – Clear Channel/Rutherford; David Stern – BARD Entertainment/NY; Lisa Richardson – Atlas Media Corp./NY; Mike Patterson – Turner – SI Digital/Chicago; Bob Pantanini – Futbol De Primera Radio/San Antonio
In The Know: What is the name of the Cornhuskers’ football stadium? (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.)
In My Opinion …
- Give it up Frank. Although I’m from the east coast, I’ve lived in LA long enough to have seen both the good and the bad from the Dodgers. Now, when even Mark Cuban, who tends to be linked by the press to every potential baseball sale, goes on record to say he isn’t sure he wants a piece of the team, it’s time to get out of Dodger Stadium. I’ve worked with some terrific people at the Dodgers over the years, and frankly, they deserve better than this mess. In my visits to the team this year, there have been three constants: No stars, no fans, and no fun. Drop the legalities and sell the team, it’s done.
Completely agree with you on your take about McCourt and this is coming from a lifelong Giants fan. As much as I hate the Dodgers it does pain me to see such a storied franchise mire in this mess. The frustrating part for Bum fans is that everyone knew it would be a mess once they took hold of the team and started spending like they won the lottery. I honestly miss having a relevant rival.
I completely agree! The fact that one of MLB’s most celebrated franchises is a bargaining chip in something so sordid as a high profile divorce case is shameful. I think MLB’s and Commissioner Selig’s actions to date have been none too subtle hints to Mr. McCourt to sell the team and take his personal dirty laundry back behind closed doors where they belong. The best interests of the Dodger’s and their fans would best be served with an owner whose focus is on putting a winning team on the field. Mr. McCourt may think he has his team’s best interest at heart by wanting to hold on to the franchise, but this situation has tainted his reputation as an owner and tainted the storied traditions of Dodger Blue. Time to let someone else play Frank!
Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cyn opsis | Sports
June 28, 2011
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