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Good morning. It’s Tuesday, May 14, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
With a Tiger/Sergio rivalry making headlines, golf’s “fifth major” produced major numbers for NBC on Sunday. The final round of The Players scored the highest overnight rating (5.9) for a non-major PGA Tour telecast since the 2006 Buick Invitational, according to Nielsen. The previous high this season was 4.4 for the final round at Doral, where Woods notched his second of four wins. Sunday’s rating was up 68% over the final round in 2012. On Saturday, NBC drew a 3.0 overnight rating for the weather-delayed third round, up 20% year-to-year.
On the Air
As Kentucky Derby winner Orb looks to continue a claim the Triple Crown, NBC Sports Group announced 6½ hours of coverage for the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes. Coverage begins from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md., Friday at 3p on NBC Sports Network and continues through the Preakness Stakes Saturday at 4:30p on NBC. Network coverage will be co-hosted by Bob Costas and NBC’s veteran horse racing commentator Tom Hammond; two-time Preakness Stakes-winning jockey Jerry Bailey; analyst Randy Moss; contributing analysts/handicappers Mike Battaglia and Bob Neumeier; host Laffit Pincay, III; reporters Kenny Rice, Donna Brothers and Jay Privman; race caller Larry Collmus, a Baltimore native; and Michelle Beadle, who will contribute features and handle interviews.
NBA TV announced that the channel will televise the second annual NBA Social Media Awards presented by SAP on Wednesday, June 12 at 8p. The awards show is designed to celebrating NBA players, teams and fans for their social engagement throughout the 2012-13 NBA regular season. Chris Webber hosts the show along with contributions and appearances from various players and celebrities. New categories this year include the #Trendsetter Award (best sense of style), The 140 Award (best Tweet), The OMG Award (best video shared by a team) and the Social Rook of the Year Award (rookie with biggest increase in popularity).
While we’re on the NBA, ESPN networks will showcase 10 hours of live 2013 NBA Draft Combine with coverage from Chicago on May 16-17. On both days, ESPNU will televise four hours of coverage from 10a-2p, while ESPN2 will televise coverage from 2-3p. Ryen Russillo hosts ESPN’s coverage with college basketball analyst Jay Williams, NBA analyst Tom Penn, college basketball analyst and International basketball expert Fran Fraschilla, NBA Insider Chad Ford and college basketball reporter Andy Katz.
ESPN Regional Television confirmed the date, time and network for each the company’s seven owned and operated bowl games for the upcoming season. The Gildan New Mexico Bowl is set to kick off the bowl season on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 2p on ESPN, the Las Vegas Bowl will later be played at 3:30p on ABC. On Monday, Dec. 23, The Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg will take place at 2p on ESPN. The Sheraton Hawaii Bowl will be played on Christmas Eve for the ninth time at 8p on ESPN. The Texas Bowl runs Dec. 27, at 6p; the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will be played Monday, Dec. 30, at 11:45a and the BBVA Compass Bowl wraps up the slate on Jan. 4 at 1p. All three are on ESPN.
The sports halo was in full swing at yesterday’s upfront presentations. NBC announced that Jimmy Fallon will be introduced as the new host of The Tonight Show during the second week of the Sochi games when ratings are at their highest. Meanwhile, FOX will air an episode of the comedy New Girl after Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2, 2014. The episode will be followed by one of FOX’s rookie comedies.
ESPN inked a contract extension with college basketball reporter Andy Katz to continue his multi-platform role for ESPN.com and ESPN networks. Katz, who joined ESPN in 1999, will continue his daily written and video contributions and, after the debut of his weekly show, Katz Korner, and hosting The Experts on ESPNU, his role on ESPN networks will continue to expand in both a reporting and hosting capacity for Outside the Lines on ESPN.
In other talent news, ESPN also announced that Bomani Jones will join Dan Le Batard as a full-time member of the program, which will now be known as Highly Questionable. The basic format of the show will remain the same, with Dan and Bomani fielding questions and being joined for segments by Dan’s father Papi.
NESN drew a 14.3 average household rating (23 Share) in the Boston DMA for game 6 on Sunday night, marking the series best score for the Stanley Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The 14.3 rating now stands as the 4th best rating for a Bruins game in network history.
Sherwin-Williams is now the Official Paint of NASCAR, locking in a deal to serve as an Official NASCAR Partner. The agreement will also see Sherwin-Williams become a Contingency Sponsor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Touring & Weekly Series and GRAND-AM Road Racing.
The NBA revealed that its mobile basketball playground, NBA Nation presented by Sprint is coming back and will tip off its eighth summertime tour on Saturday, May 25, at the San Francisco Carnaval. Darryl Dawkins serves as the official tour ambassador for the fourth consecutive year, with the tour offering 20,000 square feet of basketball action, featuring full and half courts, free interactive basketball activities, and the opportunity to meet NBA players and legends. More than 1 million fans are expected to visit via stops in eight cities San Francisco, Los Angeles, Charlotte, Chicago, Washington D.C., East Rutherford, Philadelphia, and Dallas.
Forty rookies from the 2013 NFL Draft class are set to hit the 19th annual NFL Players Association (NFLPA) Rookie Premiere today in LA. The Premiere will run through the 19th and is designed to offer business of football seminars and connect with NFL sponsors, partners, and licensees through daily activities. Marketing partners and licensees activating at NFLPA Rookie Premiere this year include Topps, Panini, Pepsi NEXT, Nike, EA SPORTS, Fandeavor, FedEx, SB Nation, TheraPearl and elevee.
ESPN launched a campaign to drive viewership for the 97th Indianapolis 500, which will air live on ABC on Sunday, May 26, at 11a. The campaign tags the race as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” and showcases the tradition, history, and on-track product to portray the event as part of the fabric of American culture.
In a move to drive attention on the global campaign to keep wrestling in the Olympics, actor Billy Baldwin, who is partnered with USA Wrestling’s Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling has formed a team from the entertainment and sports industries to support Olympic wrestling and “United 4 Wrestling,” a friendly international wrestling dual meet between the USA and Iran on Sunday, May 19 at 2p in LA. Baldwin has gained the endorsements of his brother, Alec Baldwin, as well as the likes of actors Ashton Kutcher, Matthew Modine, Nate Parker, Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum, Steve Buscemi and Tom Arnold, comedian Jay Mohr, entertainment show host Mario Lopez, MMA athletes Chael Sonnen and Randy Couture, and former NFL player Mike Golic for the campaign.
Derrick Walker was named IndyCar’s new President of Operations and Competition where he will be charged with oversight of all technical and competition aspects of the racing operations for the organization and will focus on cost management, enhancing innovation, safety initiatives, sustaining programs and avenues to develop drivers and suppliers for the IZOD IndyCar Series, and developing plans for future technical platforms. Walker departs his role as team manager with Ed Carpenter Racing in IndyCar and begin his new role with the series on May 27.
Tennis Channel named Ross Schneiderman as the network’s Senior Coordinating Producer, where he will oversee the network’s television production of tennis’ four major events – the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open – in addition to tournaments like those in Indian Wells, Calif., and Miami each spring. He most recently served as a producer at CBS Sports.
Digital & Production
ESPN and Twitter are expanding their partnership with ESPN making ad-embedded highlights and clips available for Twitter and mobile devices. Users will be able to see video highlight clips on Twitter during major sports events ranging from soccer to college football to the X Games. ESPN is expected to offer more details today during their upfront presentations.
Digital sports video news agency SendtoNews locked in a partnership agreement with The World Archery Federation to distribute event highlights and other video content through its News Partnership Network. The partnership allows WA to quickly distribute highlights and interviews from international tournaments, such as the upcoming 2013 World Cup in Shanghai May 13th to 19th, to local and international media markets.
Georgia IMG Sports Marketing struck a deal with LiveU to use its live transmission cellular bonding technology for coverage of UGA Athletics this fall. UGA will use LiveU’s LU70 cellular transmission backpack to send live video from pre- and post-game activities, locker room, live Olympic competitions, and other events straight to its official website as well as to their in-stadium video boards.
The Main Event
Golden State and San Antonio look to break a 2-2 series tie on TNT at 9:30p.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
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In The Know: What were the official team colors of the Seattle Supersonics? (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 MLB player was known as The Flying Dutchman? Answer: Honus Wagner. Kudos: Lewis Blaustein-Lewis Brand Solutions, Inc./NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Tom Turner-Active International/NY; Michael Dittelman-CCM / CCMThinkImpact.com/NY; Larry Kahn-Golf Channel/Orlando; Daniel Elias-Verizon/Reston; Allison Wright-Viacom Media Networks/Detroit; Susie Vanden Boom-Time Warner Cable Media/ Milwaukee; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc/Santa Monica; Rick Pike-InterMedia Advertising/Woodland Hills; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Don Surath-KPIX 5/KBCW/San Francisco.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
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