Good morning. It’s Tuesday, November 6, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
Our condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of ESPN’s Jim Durham, who died Sunday at his home in Tomball, Texas at the age of 65. Durham had called NBA games on ESPN Radio since 1996, serving as the network’s lead radio play-by-play voice, and his final assignment was Tuesday night’s season opener between Boston and Miami.
A foursome of undefeated teams on Saturday helped propel college football to new ratings peaks this year. Ratings were led by CBS’ coverage of Alabama’s comeback against LSU, according to Nielsen, which drew a 7.0 household overnight score, to mark the highest-rated college football game so far this year. Fox’s primetime offering of Oregon/USC delivered the network’s highest college football overnight this season at a 3.5. Notre Dame’s escape handed NBC with a 4.3 score for the game, marking the best overnight tally for the network’s coverage of the Fighting Irish in two years. Meanwhile, ABC’s Oklahoma St./Kansas St. game handing the network with a 1.9 number.
Meanwhile, NBC’s primetime airing of the Breeders Cup drew a 2.2 in overnight household scores, up 83% from last year’s coverage around the dial on ESPN in late-afternoon.
Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes inked a carriage deal with Cox Communications (just in case ya missed the news on our Facebook and Twitter feeds way back on Sunday).
FUEL TV kept its streak alive, announcing that October marked the network’s tenth consecutive month and 44th consecutive week of audience growth, bolstered by UFC events and programs with viewership up 114% and M18-49 up 200%. The network is now the fastest growing ad-supported cable network in percentage year-over-year growth in 2012 among households, total viewers, and men 18-49 during total day and prime time, according to Nielsen Media Research.
ESPN has its announcer lineup ready for the 2012-13 men’s college basketball season with over 1,450 games on deck, anchored by Dick Vitale and Dan Shulman, who will work the weekly Saturday Primetime Presented by DIRECTV series and select ACC Wednesday Night Hoops telecasts. New assignments this year will include: Bill Walton rejoining ESPN to work Wednesday and Thursday Pac-12 telecasts with Dave Pasch; Fran Fraschilla partnering with Brent Musburger for the Big Monday Big 12 series; and Bob Knight working Thursday Night Showcase SEC matchups with Rece Davis.
Travel Channel is partnering with NFL Films and RIVR Media on a new series looking at the current 2012 season of the Browns in NFL Road Tested: The Cleveland Browns, which premiers on Tuesday, December 4 at 1p. The series offers never-before-seen footage of what it takes to travel an entire professional football team from city to city, game to game, during the regular season with tasks that include feeding, clothing and housing an entire team, as well as how a stadium prepares and deals with more than 70,000 fans.
For the second consecutive year, Golf Channel is slating an hour-long feature during Veterans Day week that focuses on The Patriot Cup, a golf event benefiting families of our nation’s fallen and disabled service members. The Patriot Cup will premiere on Monday, Nov. 12, at 9p, and top PGA TOUR players, Champions Tour players and celebrities paired with members of the military. The special is hosted by Rich Lerner with on-course commentary by David Feherty.
CBS Sports announced its SEC ON CBS football game selection for Saturday, Nov. 17at 3:30p, choosing Ole Miss/LSU. Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson will call the contest, along with reporter Tracy Wolfson from Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.
The NFL made its first flex scheduling move of the season, shifting the week 11 Colts/Patriots game to 4:25p on CBS. The league announced that NBC chose to keep the Ravens/Steelers as its SNF game for the week.
In other NFL news, CBS found the lucky winner of the annual game of Who Gets the post-Super Bowl Slot? The network announced that its freshman drama series Elementary will get the coveted time period, with a special episode set to following CBS Sports’ coverage of Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday, Feb. 3 around 10p.
New lifestyle channel Outside Television announced the debut five original series over the next several weeks. Series will include Dispatchers, hosted by Serena Altschul, who will anchor reports on emerging green initiatives, technology, environment stewardship and personalities spearheading those efforts. Surfing 28 States: India will feature Aussie surfers and filmmakers Jonno Durant and Stefan Hunt on a three-month journey across India’s 28 states. The series Jeremy Jones Futher marks the second of three series installments with the legendary snowboarder. Reel Rock will offer the best of the 300-city Reel Rock Film Tour. Finally, morning show Outside Today features in-studio guests and action stars courtesy of a new programming alliance between Outside and Red Bull Media House.
Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic roped in former University of Maryland men’s basketball head coach Gary Williams to serve as a college basketball analyst for the network. Williams will be featured on college basketball throughout the season, offering analysis, features and special segments to the network’s news and entertainment programs, including Geico SportsNet Central and SportsTalk Live.
Comcast SportsNet Houston announced that Steve Bunin has joined the network as an anchor and reporter. Bunin joins the network from ESPN, where he served as an anchor since August 2003. Bunin frequently hosted Outside the Lines and has also hosted ESPN’s flagship sports news program, SportsCenter, in addition to NFL Live, Baseball Tonight, ESPNEWS and studio coverage of various live events, from the World Cup to college football and men’s college basketball.
SNY announced its all-access programming lineup for the 2012-13 UConn Women’s basketball season, which will feature 340+ hours of exclusive programming surrounding the team. SNY tips off its coverage on November 8th at 7p with the UConn Women’s Basketball Preview show. Programming will also feature Huskies All-Access, Geno’s Legacy, and The Geno Auriemma Show. SNY also plans to produce a special on the All-Time Greatest UConn Women Basketball Players, a Tournament Preview Show and a Season In-Review Show.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Published: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 26 Timed to coincide with the NASCAR Sprint Cup – Cynopsis Sports will report on everything you need to know about the Sprint Cup – as well as the latest news on NASCAR (the new events, network carriage deals, etc.) and a look into 2013.
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Sponsorship & Promotion
PromaxBDA announced that this month’s Sports Media Marketing Summit has been called off. However, the Sports Media Marketing Awards ceremony is still scheduled for November 13 at Capitale in New York at 7p.
Online network Ustream entered a strategic alliance with IMG Media to serve as the online broadcast platform for IMG Media to distribute live games and events online to a worldwide audience. The deal covers “select sports content from around the world ensuring global audiences will see these amazing events regardless of platform.” As part of the agreement with IMG Media, Ustream will now have access and encode live feeds via satellite and distribute the content so fans can choose where to watch their favorite sporting events across a selection of top tier sites.
SPEED inked a deal with Participation TV specialist iPowow to utilize real time interactive voting technology that shows voter results on-screen, as the events are happening via iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, and the Web.
The Main Event
Raptors/Thunder on NBATV at 8p.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Monetizing Cross-Platform Video
November 14 | JWT, NYC | Only 9 Seats Left [Sponsors: Tremor Video & Yahoo! +Spotlight Sponsor: Videology +Media Partner: Ad Club of NY]
ON THIS DAY in 1995: Art Modell announces that the Cleveland Browns will move to Baltimore.
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Only one player from UNLV has been picked first overall in the NBA draft. Who was he? Answer: Larry Johnson. Kudos: Leopold Myrie-OMD/Sydney, Australia; Kevin Byrnes-NBC Sports Group/NY; Craig Berman-Carat/NY; Rich Williams-Sesame Workshop/NY; G. David Brown-FOX Sports Carolinas/Charlotte; Juan P. Delgado-Telemundo Media/Hialeah; James Taguchi-WTVR Television/Richmond; Doug Jacobs-Integrated Sports Media/Hoboken; Steve McNair-CBS Radio/Houston; Kevin Micklo-Initiative Media/Chicago; Jim Dittemore-I Will Race You/KC; Ryan Nolan- Sportsman Channel/New Berlin; Harry S. Vested, Jr.-Gravity Collection, Inc./Denver; Michael Jaquet-U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team/Park City; Jerry Silbowitz-Size Sports & Entertainment/Beverly Hills; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Joe Pedri-KLAS-TV/Las Vegas; Paul Gygli-NBCUniversal Television Distribution/Universal City.
In The Know: Gary Williams’ championship at Maryland came at the expense of what team in the final game of the NCAA Tournament? (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
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