Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Tuesday, March 12 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Turner Sports and CBS Sports are tweaking this year’s lineup of broadcast teams for the upcoming NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship which will feature 67 games across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV, as well as across multiple platforms including NCAA March Madness Live. Doug Gottlieb joins from ESPN and will serve as game analyst with play-by-play announcer Spero Dedes. Rachel Nichols joins the team as a sideline reporter and Marv Albert and Steve Kerr will now call the opening play-in games March 19 on TruTV.

One thing won’t change, for the third consecutive year, Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg, Steve Kerr and reporter Tracy Wolfson will team up for the Final Four and National Championship game on Saturday, April 6 and Monday, April 8. In addition, two studios will be in action, based in New York and Atlanta, to cover all the tournament action. Studio coverage again will be anchored by Greg Gumbel and Ernie Johnson with Charles Barkley,Greg Anthony and Kenny Smith providing analysis from the CBS Broadcast Center in New York. Matt Winer anchors the coverage from Turner Studios in Atlanta and will be joined by Seth Davis and Steve Smith. In addition, Lesley Visserwill serve as a contributor.

Here are the announce teams…
Jim Nantz / Clark Kellogg / Tracy Wolfson*
Marv Albert / Steve Kerr / Craig Sager*
Verne Lundquist / Bill Raftery / Rachel Nichols*
Kevin Harlan / Reggie Miller / Len Elmore /Lewis Johnson*
Ian Eagle / Jim Spanarkel / Allie LaForce
Brian Anderson / Dan Bonner / Marty Snider
Tim Brando / Mike Gminski / Otis Livingston
Spero Dedes / Doug Gottlieb / Jaime Maggio

On the Air

The NBC Sports Group revealed its motorsports coverage in 2013, marking the most ever for the company with more than 200 programming hours of Formula One and IZOD Indy Car races, practices, qualifying, pre- and post-race studio shows, as well as behind-the-scenes programs. Formula One makes its NBC Sports Group debut this week on NBC Sports Network with the Rolex Australian Grand Prix. The sport will see four races air live on NBC, 13 on NBC Sports Network, with two set for CNBC. The 2013 Formula One World Championship schedule includes all 19 races in 19 countries from March through November, featuring lead race announcer Leigh Diffey, who will call both F1 and the IZOD IndyCar Series this year, veteran analyst and former racecar driver David Hobbs, and analyst Steve Matchett. Other candy for F1 fans will include F1 36, which will feature three-time defending Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel as the first driver profiled in the first-ever episode airing Friday, March 29 at 7p.

A week later, NBC Sports Network will start the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series on Sunday, March 24 with the network carrying a record 13 races live, the most in the channel’s four-year history and include 13 races in three different countries. The season begins March 24 at noon.

FOX Deportes continued its upward trend, announcing that the channel ranked as the top U.S. Spanish Sports Cable Network across all major dayparts in total viewers and adults 18-49 for February, according to Nielsen. Series Central Fox was the top-ranked sports news program for February versus all Spanish sports cable networks and grew the network’s news viewership by 83% in total viewers and 114% among adults 18-49 compared to February 2012.  In addition, soccer talk show La Ultima Palabra grew the Network’s soccer talk viewership by 69% in February in total viewers and 78% in adults 18-49 versus year ago numbers.

NBC drew a 4.4 overnight for Sunday’s final round of the World Golf Championships from Doral, driven by Tiger Woods’ win for the seventh time at the event. That number marks the best rating for the event since 2006 and is up 42% from year-ago scores. However, a blowout Rangers/Caps game on Sunday proved to be a speed bump in NBC’s Sunday hockey coverage, with a 0.8 in overnight scores. That is off 50% from the previous week’s number, but help even with year ago ratings.

Back to basketball. Missouri Valley Conference Commissioner told the AP that Monday’s he was upset that viewers in the area were pulled away from the conference championship by CBS, stating that he received hundreds of complaints after CBS swapped some viewers to the start of Indiana’s victory at Michigan for the Big Ten title.

HBO Boxing offers Road to Rios/Alvarado II on Saturday at 12:15a, with a look at the upcoming junior welterweight rematch between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado. The rematch between the two fighters will take place on Saturday, March 30 and be televised on HBO Boxing After Dark.

Dial Global and the NBC Sports Group are making some programming swaps, announcing that Weeknight host Erik Kuselias will shift to morning drive, 6-9a, while Sunday morning host Jon Stashower will take over the 7-10p Monday-Friday slot.

Tickets are now available for the Cynopsis: Sports Media Awards, which will take place on April 17 at Yale Club in Manhattan. Click here for more info.


Cynopsis: Sports Media Awards Breakfast

April 17, 2013 | 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. | The Yale Club NY

The list of Finalists will be announced soon, but don’t wait to reserve your tickets/tables… last year, the event sold out a week before.

 Register here: http://www.cynopsis.com/events/sports-awards/.

Sponsorship & Promotion

ESPN and Electronic Arts revealed the lineup of players and brackets for the Madden NFL 25 Cover Vote yesterday. This year’s balloting will feature two brackets, one composed of 32 new-school NFL stars and one of 32 old-school NFL legends, with the winner of each bracket facing off in the finals for the right to appear on the cover. In addition, for the first time ever, SportsNation will debut a limited window of live Twitter voting that runs during their show every Tuesday from 4-5p on ESPN2.
DHL and Formula 1 extended their global partnership, announcing a new deal that will see DHL maintain its Official Logistics and Global partner designations for the competition. DHL will also continue to sponsor the DHL Fastest Lap Award in recognition of the driver who delivers the highest number of fastest laps throughout each FIA Formula One World Championship season.

NASCAR and Prevost entered a new multi-year partnership that makes the manufacturer of premium touring and conversion coaches the Official Luxury Motorcoach of NASCAR. NASCAR will utilize Prevost motorcoaches this year for at-track hospitality through the NASCAR Fuel for Hospitality program, which is specifically designed for Official NASCAR Partners to provide employees and customers with a VIP race-day experience at the track.

NASCAR is also hosting an event to support Autism Speaks at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY tonight as part of Speeding for a Cure. The gala will be hosted by ESPN’s Mike Tirico, and feature drivers and executives from the NASCAR community in order to help raise funds and awareness for Autism Speaks and Gillen Brewer School.

Digital Fields

WTA Live debuted over the weekend at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells during the media All-Access Hour, with the webcast streaming live on YouTube. Andrew Krasny and Jamie Morris hosted and the webcast was viewed by more than 10,000 fans worldwide as players answered a selection of over 300 fan questions submitted through Google+, Facebook and Twitter. The next edition of WTA Live is slated for March 19 at the Sony Open in Miami.

For the first time, baseball fans can help select the MetLife All-World Baseball Classic Team with voting underway at the World Baseball Classic website. Fan voting will count for one-third of the total points awarded to each player, with the rest coming from international broadcast media and international sportswriters.

Congrats to our friends at the NHL, whose NHL GameCenter app won Best Sports App at the Appy Awards this weekend at SXSW.

Roster Moves

The United States Football League named Jim Bailey as the league’s President and CEO. Bailey previously served as the Executive Vice President of the Cleveland Browns where he ran all business, financial and legal operations. Bailey replaces Jaime Cuadra who resigned his position to attend to personal matters.

The Main Event

Bruins/Penguins on NBC Sports Network at 7:30p.


Register for This Week’s Cynopsis: Kids! Webinar

Leveraging the Second Screen in the New Kids Market
March 14 | 1:30-3pm ET
| $295/site

Speakers include:
Cedric Arnaud-Battandier
– Magic Ruby
Elie Dekel – Saban Brands/Vortexx
Stacy Isenhower – Cartoon Network
Anne Richards – No Crusts Interactive

ON THIS DAY in 1972: NHL legend Gordie Howe retires after 26 seasons.

In The Know: What is Gordie Howe’s nickname? (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.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What was the nickname of the defensive line that anchored the Vikings for three Super Bowls in four years? Answer: The Purple People Eaters (I’ll also take the Purple Gang). Kudos: Bob Melvin-NBC Sports Group/NY; Michael Brown-IMG Worldwide/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Bobby McConnell-ESPN/NY; Ken Nice-Yoh/Silver Spring; Adam Zimmerman-CSE/Atlanta; Gordon Beck-Beck Communications, LLC/Northeast Harbor; Rick Rosenfelt-New York Jets, LLC/Florham Park; Paul Tarrants-Nashville Predators/Nashville; Chuck Gordon-Clear Channel Media + Entertainment/Mobile; Vickie Broughton-KTTC/CW Rochester/Rochester; Claire Goldsmith-Compass Point Media/Minneapolis; Greg Moloznil-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Harry S. Vested, Jr.-Gravity Collection Inc./Denver; Jeff C. Fellenzer-University of Southern California/LA; Eric Bates-Tennis Channel/Culver City; Marci Polzin-Clear Talent Group/Studio City; Michael Harabin-Pac-12 Networks/San Francisco.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports

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