Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Cynopsis: Sports
03/06/12

Good morning. It’s Tuesday, March 6, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Yahoo is looking to snag rights to the granddaddy of sports events and bring them fully online. The company is reportedly mulling a bid for broadcast rights to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia and the 2016 Summer Games in Canada. According to The Globe and Mail, after the International Olympic Committee rejected a pair of bids from Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and BCE Inc., the organization is now looking to alternative outlets for the Games. The Canadian group is, however, expected to offer another deal over the summer, after the NHL and players union decide whether or not its players will participate in the Winter Games.

On the Air

ESPN’s telecast of the North Carolina/Duke men’s basketball game on Saturday, March 3, delivered a 3.1 metered market rating, which would mark the network’s highest overnight rating for a men’s college basketball game since March 8, 2008. Greensboro scored as the top market overall with a 22.4 rating.

The Rory McIlroy/Tiger Woods faceoff in the final round of The Honda Classic helped propel NBC with an overnight rating to soared 78% over last year’s numbers. The round delivered a 3.2 on Sunday according to Nielsen and marked the best overnight numbers for the event in a decade. Ratings peaked at a 4.3 in the 5:30p-5:45 quarter hour.

ESPN networks announced its lineup of more than 200 hours of live coverage of the UEFA European Football Championship 2012 which will begin Friday, June 8 and run through Sunday, July 1, in eight cities across Poland and Ukraine. ESPN Deportes will host the bulk of that slate with 106 hours of programming featuring 27 live matches and four tape-delayed telecasts on concurrent match windows. In addition, ESPN will present 22 matches and surrounding programming for a total of 62 hours, while ESPN2 will feature 33 hours of coverage with nine matches and programming.

Kyle Martino has officially be named as lead analyst for the NBC Sports Group’s coverage of MLS, where he will team with play-by-play voice Arlo White. Martino and White are set to make their debut on Sunday, March 11, at 3p on the NBC Sports Network as FC Dallas hosts the New York Red Bulls. In addition, Robbie Earle has been tapped to serve as a pre-game, halftime, post-game and game analyst throughout the season. Martino most recently served as the lead analyst for Fox Soccer’s broadcasts of MLS and U.S. National Team games.

Saturday night’s broadcast of the Maple Leafs/Canadiens game on CBC’S Hockey Night in Canada drew the game’s largest audience of the season with an average of 2.51 million viewers and marked the best overnight numbers since Nov. 20, 2010, according to BBM Canada.

The D.C. United announced an extension of their longtime partnership with Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic as well as the regional television schedule for the club’s 2012 Major League Soccer campaign. Comcast SportsNet is set to offer a schedule of 15 regular-season games this season, beginning with Opening Night against Sporting Kansas City.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced that Sports Commentator and Essayist, Jack Whitaker, will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Sports at the 33rd annual Sports Emmy Awards ceremony on Monday, April 30th.

Sponsorship & Promotion

The U.S. Olympic Committee is prepping to turn Times Square into a mini Olympic village on April 18, according to the AP, in order to mark the beginning of the 100-day countdown to the London Olympics. At the event, dozens of Olympic athletes will sign autographs and provide demonstrations in beach volleyball, gymnastics, and other sports.

MX Sports Pro Racing and Alli Sports, a division of the NBC Sports Group, have locked in Lucas Oil in an extension to continue serving as title sponsor of the Pro Motocross Championship in a multi-year deal. The 2012 season of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship is set to kick off in May from Sacramento, Calif., with a 17-week, 12-round series that crosses the country.

The New Jersey Devils and the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism are unveiling The Great Mosaic of New Jersey Photo Collage at Prudential Center on Tuesday, March 6 before the Devils game versus the Rangers. The mosaic features over 10,000 photos submitted from fans across the country as well as Canada and will hang in main concourse near entrance to the PNC Tower.

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Think you’re an MVP in the world of sports media or will your rivals steal the spotlight? Enter the Cynopsis Sports Awards and bring home a crystal award for your shelf, recognizing the grit and strategy you’ve shown all year long. The awards will cover the best of 2011 from the world of television, radio and online, with categories that range from news shows to apps to marketing campaigns.

Digital Fields

The ESPN Developer Center was launched yesterday, serving as a website that offers software engineers and developers the chance to join the company’s application programming interface program, which “provides access to ESPN content and data for the purpose of creating new web and mobile apps for sports fans.” As part of the launch, ESPN made available to the public its Headlines API, which allows developers to tap into the company’s daily news stories. Other APIs available include a Research Notes API, which gives strategic partners access to ESPN’s archive of esports facts and figures. An additional set of data are available to select partners via a private beta, which includes a Scores and Schedules API that provides start times, venues, competitors, scores and stats across every major sport, as well as APIs that offer standings, team and athlete information.

Golf Digest veteran Geoff Russell has been named Senior Vice President and Executive Editor of Golf Channel where he will work across all on-air and online production and programming groups to shape the editorial direction of Golf Channel. For the past decade, Russell held the post of Editor-in-Chief for Golf World magazine.

Amplify Social’s Virtual Fan Network launched VFN Golf division in an effort to extend to “the world of golf its proprietary platform that enables professional athletes to monetize and amplify their digital presence.” Joining the endeavor will be Fuzzy Zoeller, Nick Price, Blair O’Neal, and Alison Walshe. Mike Galeski joins Amplify as Director to run the VFN Golf division. The Virtual Fan Network was designed to help brands work with athletes in digital advertising, including display social and mobile delivery.

The Main Event

Knicks/Mavericks on NBATV at 8:30p.


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ON THIS DAY in 1985: Mike Tyson enters his first professional fight, knocking out Hector Mercedes in one round.

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: The CAA has delivered as many or more different teams to the Final Four of the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament since 2006 then any conference except the Big East and the SEC. What two teams represented the conference? George Mason and VCU. Kudos: Barry Correia-DIRECTV/NY; Katie Lee-ESPN/NY; Leopold Myrie-OMD/NY; Rich Dubroff-CSNBaltimore.com/Baltimore; Kyle Jones-CNN Digital Sales/Chicago; Les Stipp-GSD&M/Chicago; Kevin Micklo-Initiative Media/Chicago; Dan Radman-Anheuser-Busch/St. Louis; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Paul Gygli-NBCUniversal Television Distribution/Universal City.

In The Know: What university has a mascot named Big Al? (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
03.06.12

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