Good morning. It’s Tuesday, May 21, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
With the French Open set to start next week, ESPN announced that live morning matches on ESPN2 and day-long coverage via ESPN3 will begin on Sunday with more than 50 hours set for ESPN2. Programming will typically begin at 5a and run weekdays through Thursday, June 6, culminating with the women’s semifinals. Chris Fowler and Chris McKendry once again share hosting duties with Fowler also calling matches. They will be joined by Chris Evert, Darren Cahill, Cliff Drysdale, Mary Jo Fernandez and more.
Meanwhile, Tennis Channel will begin its first day of 2013 French Open coverage with nine consecutive hours of matches. The network’s two-week telecast gets underway on Sunday, May 26 and will feature nearly 70 live match hours, as well as more than 65 hours of encore replays, and 114 hours of French Open Tonight for over 200 hours of programming dedicated to the event. Typically, the network’s daily schedule will feature live matches from 10a-3:30p, before shifting to replays through 7p. Bill Macatee takes the helm of French Open Tonight, with analysts Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe as well as Lindsay Davenport and more handling the microphone.
On the Air
Orb may not win the Triple Crown, but The Preakness Stakes still delivered for NBC, according to overnight Nielsen numbers. This year’s race delivered a 6.0 to the network, up 9% over last year’s numbers (5.5).
Game 1 of the Grizzlies/Spurs NBA Western Conference Finals handed ABC with a 3.9 overnight score on Sunday. That is down 41% from the sexier Celtics/Heat matchup in the Eastern Conference Finals last year that drew a 6.6.
The NFL is looking to tweak the dates for its official league year, and will reportedly move next year’s draft out of April and into May. The league’s site reports that the target start date for the 2014 draft would be May 15. Meanwhile, the site for Super Bowl L in 2016 will be decided today, with San Francisco the favorite over Miami. The loser in the 2016 bidding would then face off against Houston for the 2017 Super Bowl.
TNT detailed plans for its coverage of the 2013 NBA Eastern Conference Finals pitting the Heat against the Pacers. Coverage starts tomorrow at 8:30p, featuring Marv Albert calling the action with analysts Steve Kerr and Reggie Miller. TNT’s studio team of host Ernie Johnson and analysts Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith will be in both cities throughout the series for NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com pregame show each game night at 8p as well as the Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai post-game show.
Starting Memorial Day, ESPN2 and ABC will combine to present 14 regular-season WNBA games this season. The new opening-weekend ESPN2 Memorial Day doubleheader starts at 3p with the Mystics and Shock, followed by the Sky/Mercury at 5p. The company will spotlight three star rookies transitioning to the WNBA with “3 to See” featuring Elena Delle Donne, Skylar Diggins and Brittney Griner. To support this, ESPN Classic will run a Memorial Day weekend marathon from games of the “3 to See’s” college careers. Meanwhile, after a one-year hiatus due to the London Olympics, the Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star Game returns on Saturday, July 27, at 3:30p on ABC.
The Sun Belt Conference inked a one-year extension with Cox Sports Television and Comcast Sports Southeast for the Sun Belt Network, continuing a deal that started in 2008. The agreement will see broadcasts for football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball, volleyball and softball contests for the 2013-14 sports season.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
June 18 | 10 on the Park (TWC) | NYC A sampling of the powerful line-up of speakers:
Kathryn Friedrich, Head of Video Strategy/Americas [Google/YouTube]
Jeffrey Hinz, Managing Partner, Digital Director [MediaCom]
Brian Hunt, Head of Creative Development [Yahoo!]
James Rooke, VP Advisory Services [FreeWheel]
View the complete list of speakers & register:
USA Today is expanding its famed Ad Meter beyond the Super Bowl to determine the year’s ‘best of the best’ in sports, both on and off the field. Ad Meter: Year In Sports will span a range of sports categories by the Ad Meter panel vote. During the first week in December, the panel will vote across categories with all final results being revealed on Monday, December 9, 2013. USA Today Sports will then honor winners with an industry event held in New York City.
The Portland Trail Blazers were awarded the 2013 NBA Team Sponsorship Activation of the Year Award by the NBA at its annual Sponsorship Workshop in Los Angeles last week. The Trail Blazers were honored for their activation strategy with team partner Burgerville (delicious, by the way). The highlight of the partnership was the creation of a Blazers Burger that was made available at all franchise locations for a period of five weeks during the NBA season. The burger was promoted through an integrated multiplatform campaign featuring presence throughout broadcast television, radio, and digital media, as well as in-arena activation and point of sales at Burgerville locations throughout the region. The product went on to become the second most successful launch of a limited time offer menu item in the restaurant’s 52-year history.
Microsoft is teaming with Major League Soccer via a multiyear agreement to utilize Windows 8 to deliver fans content. The alliance will feature a new and improved MLS app as well as new in-stadium fan experiences powered by Windows 8. The improved app for Windows 8 will feature exclusive content and this season’s schedule, standings, highlights, play-by-play, roster lineups, game stats, goals, cards and substitutions. In addition, with the Windows 8 live tiles, fans will be able to customize their experiences to focus on their favorite club news.
The Main Event, the featured game of the day sponsored by Thuuz, real-time sports discovery for mobile & connected TV platforms
Grizzlies vs. Spurs Tonight 9:00p. Thuuz rating:90
The Spurs were lights out from 3 point land in Game 1. Can they stay hot? On ESPN.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Online Video: How the Heck Do I Measure This Stuff?
Today | 1:30-3:00pm ET | Register Now
Cynopsis Media:Sahil Patel (Editor, Cynopsis Digital)
Nielsen: Joann Wolferman (Product Leadership, Ad Effectiveness)
VINDICO: Matt Timothy (President)
Blip: Joseph White (Director, Research & Account Planning)
ON THIS DAY in 1994: The Reds bat out of order against the Dodgers in the 2nd inning.
In The Know: This former #1 pick in the NFL draft also had a major role in the movie Goonies. Who was he? (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 were the names of the mascots for the 2012 Summer Games in London? Answer: Wenlock and Mandeville. Kudos: Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Miriam Aardahl-OMD/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA.
Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports
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