Good morning. It’s Tuesday, October 25, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
The Missouri Valley Conference has secured its television future, inking a five-year deal with ESPN that will expand the conference’s national exposure across company networks. The agreement with ESPN runs through the 2015-16 academic year and will program a minimum of 40 national appearances for conference teams on ESPN platforms. ESPN also receives the rights to the championship game of the State Farm MVC Men’s Basketball Tournament each year.
Locally the conference also locked down a deal with FOX Sports Midwest. As part of the agreement, FOX Sports will control exclusive in-market distribution via all media — including all digital as well as outer-market distribution on television via FOX College Sports for MVC TV Network productions. Outside of the six-state footprint, ESPN will retain distribution via all media — including ESPN Full Court, ESPN3, etc. — except for co-existence on television with FOX College Sports.
On the Air
Game 4 of the World Series took down the NFL on Sunday night, delivering FOX with a 9.2/14 fast national rating/share, according to Nielsen. That was good enough to best Game 4 of last year’s Series by 2% to rank as the highest-rated and most-watched World Series broadcast this year. The World Series is on pace to virtually match last year’s numbers through four games. SNF on NBC was hampered by a 62-7 blowout of a Peyton Manning-less Indianapolis Colts and finished the game with a 8.2/13 for the network. The 62 points scored by the Saints tied a record for the most points scored by any team since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. Top markets included New Orleans, Indianapolis, Norfolk, Baltimore, and Richmond.
The moves to get the LSU/Alabama game on CBS Sports’ primetime schedule continue to cause a ripple effect around the broadcast networks. The Nov. 5 game between the top-ranked teams in the country had originally been slated for 3:30p but the network managed to shift the game until later, according to USA Today, through some wheeling and dealing with ESPN, which has the primetime deal with the conference. In order to fill the programming hole, the network has now nabbed the Army/Air Force football game that day at 3:30p, which was originally slated for Versus. In return, Versus will now get to air Colorado St./TCU on Nov 19 from CBS Sports Network.
SPEED has announced that the channel will interrupt regularly scheduled programming in order to air today’s Formula One news conference announcing the new race in New Jersey. Coverage will begin at 2p with the press conference at Port Imperial in Weehawken, N.J. SPEED’s coverage will be hosted by SPEED Center host Adam Alexander and streamed on SPEED.com. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner and West New York Mayor Felix Roque are expected to attend.
NCAA President Mark Emmert is backing two significant changes to college athletics including allowing conferences to add a stipend worth as $2,000 to athletic scholarships to help offset the full cost of paying for college. The other change would mandate a minimum academic progress rate (APR) of 900 in order to be eligible for postseason play. The AP reports that Emmert said he’ll also ask the board to allow colleges and universities to provide multiyear grants, than year-to-year scholarships. The NCAA’s Division I board of directors will vote on both measures during its Friday meeting in Indianapolis.
More movement on the NBC Sports to Connecticut front. A source told Hearst Connecticut Media Group that the network has agreed to a $100 million studio and production space to be set up for the shift across state lines. The move is expected to be announced today and was assisted by the state spending at least $20 million in tax breaks in order to generate around 500 permanent jobs within the state. Meanwhile, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy is expected to announce at the conference that NBC will consolidate its New York as well as Philadelphia operations into the Stamford location
WWE announced Monday that the company’s annual WrestleMania event created an economic impact of $62.1 million for the city of Atlanta, according to a study conducted by the Enigma Research Corporation. WrestleMania XXVII also generated approximately $7.8 million in local, state and county taxes, according to the report. The event drew a capacity crowd of 71,617 fans from all 50 states and 30 countries to the area. Next year, WrestleMania XXVIII will take place Sunday, April 1 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, FL.
Golf Channel is running the season finale of Playing Lessons tonight, and will be reuniting NFL legend Jerome Bettis with Lou Holtz for a Notre Dame-themed episode of the series. The duo will hit the links with host Brandel Chamblee at the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in Lake Tahoe, Nevada for the episode.
World Fishing Network signed off on an agreement with Cablevision Systems Corp. that will distribute the channel to iO TV customers in the Tri-State area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut as a part of the iO Sports & Entertainment Pak.
Sponsorship & Promotion
AT&T is entering a multi-year agreement with Turner Sports and CBS Sports to serve as an NCAA Corporate Champion. The renewal will span marketing rights across all 89 NCAA championships, including continued support of NCAA March Madness coverage across CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV as well as March Madness on Demand. As part of the deal, AT&T will also expand its brand exposure across other NCAA on-site events, which will include the Women’s Final Four, the Men’s College World Series and NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship fan festivals.
Ad Age is reporting that NBC’s Sunday Night Football is now threatening American Idol’s hold on the top spot as the costliest primetime show for advertisers this season. The report stated that a 30-second spot on Idol runs between $468,100 and $502,900, while the same ad on SNF averages $512,367. However, later episodes of Idol generally bring higher rates with prices that can break $600,000.
News Corp. took to the sports section of the LA Times in a warning to DIRECTV customers that FOX-owned channels are likely to be dropped at the end of the month due to a carriage dispute between the companies.
Top Social Programs in Sports for the week ending Oct. 23 (games only), according to Socialguide.com’s Social 100:
1. NFL Colts/Saints NBC 10/23
2. Premier League Manchester United/Manchester City FOX Soccer 10/23
3. MLB World Series FOX 10/19
4. MLB World Series FOX 10/20
5. MLB World Series FOX 10/23
The Main Event
Lightening/Sabres on Versus at 7:30p
ON THIS DAY in 1990: Evander Holyfield KOs Buster Douglas in three rounds for the Heavyweight boxing title.
Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question:Penn St. Coach Joe Paterno is now tied with Eddie Robinson for the most Division I wins in college football. Which team did Penn. St. beat to clinch their last national championship? Answer: Miami, in the 1987 Fiesta Bowl. Kudos: Michael LaPlante – ION Media Networks/West Palm Beach; Marc Nightingale – Lake 5 Media/NY; Peter SP Gimber – CBSBoston.com/Boston; Dan Elias – Verizon/Reston; Kevin Micklo – Cramer-Krasselt/Chicago; Adam Frank – Lionsgate/Santa Monica; Jim Himmel – RM Marketing-American Saver/San Clemente; Richard Murphy – Avail-TVN/LA; Chris Loprete – ABC/Hollywood
In The Know: Which team originally drafted Jerome Bettis? (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.)
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