Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, April 25, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

A packed house, a killer lineup of speakers and hot topics fueled the first-ever Cynopsis: Sports Business Summit in Manhattan yesterday. Featuring speakers that included executives from the NFL, NHL, NASCAR, NBC Sports, CBS Sports, FOX Sports, Turner Sports, ESPN, Univision Deportes, IMG, Wasserman Media Group, PepsiCo, Tennis Channel, MLB Network, BTN, DIRECTV and many more, audiences were able to take away the latest trends and best practices in the sports industry. Thank you to all of our speakers as well as everyone who participated.

In case ya missed it, here are some snippets from some of the session speakers:

  • Steve Phelps, CMO of NASCAR: NASCAR doesn’t have the luxury of the local community to support the franchise. It’s a national community. Generational transfer is not happening as much, and its effecting all sports, not just NASCAR.

  • Jon Miller, President of Programming at NBC Sports: We expect a very robust upfront marketplace because sports delivers where other properties can by cyclical.

  • Ken Fuchs, Vice President Yahoo! Media Network – Sports, Games &  Entertainment: When we think about video and live sports vs. non-live, there are multiple opportunities for us to play in that system. Consumers are hungry for sports 24/7, they can’t get enough and can access the content at all times from any device.

  • Alex Kaplan, DirecTV VP of Marketing: We’ve been raising price of NFL Sunday Ticket by $20-$30 a year for past 10 years.  Now, we want to broaden our audience, so the price came down from $400 to $200 to sell more packages. Now, for the people who got it free, going forward will they pay $200 or $400? We’ll find out if it worked.

  • Jennifer Storms, Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing at PepsiCo: There is no ROI tool out there, so we are just going to make sure it’s good. It is on the sponsor themselves to know what moves their business. We have to be the ones who take it and measure it to determine if it’s successful. Relying on a system that is just out there is putting your head in the sand… You have to go into a deal holistically for your business.

On the Air

SPEED and the ACO (Automobile Club de l’Ouest) inked a multi-year deal that keeps the celebrated 24 Hours of Le Mans with the channel. The package includes expanded digital rights and extends the 17-year relationship between the endurance race and SPEED.

ABC officially delivered its highest-rated and most-viewed NBA regular season ever, averaging a 3.3 household rating with 5,421,000 viewers on average for its 15 broadcasts during the 2011-2012 campaign, according to Nielsen. That rating is up 10% from last season while viewership rose 6% year-to-year. 

As expected, NBC’s coverage of the Bruins/Capitals game on Sunday officially scored as the most watched NHL Playoff game in 15 years (not counting Stanley Cup Final matches) drawing 3.52 million viewers. Elsewhere, viewership of the playoffs on NBC Sports Network is up 17% through 12 days, hitting 691,000.

MSG’s Monday night telecast of Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals between the Rangers and the Senators scored a 4.27 Nielsen household rating, to mark the highest-rated Rangers game on the network since May 6, 1997 when the team faced the New Jersey Devils in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals (5.01 HH). The game was the top-rated program in New York on Monday night among all household-rated programs on cable networks.

Last weekend’s UFC 145 preliminary-card broadcast on FX continued an upward trend on the channel. The card drew 1.6 million viewers for the channel, to score as the best prelims so far and nearly doubling the viewership from the first prelims that ran on the channel in January. So far, every FX-televised UFC prelims special has done better than the one that ran before it.

FUEL TV is holding a 48-hour UFC marathon Saturday and Sunday as part of DIRECTV’s Choice Xtra Free Trial taking place from April 24 to April 30. The marathon, dubbed Domination Week, will feature current and past UFC champions such as George St-Pierre, Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, Brock Lesnar, Frankie Edgar, Tito Ortiz and Randy Couture in memorable bouts.
ESPN has tapped six Big Ten Conference college football games that will be slated for prime-time telecasts on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 this year. Selections include Boise St./Michigan St. on Aug 31 on ESPN; Notre Dame/Michigan St. on ABC on Sept. 15; Wisconsin/Nebraska on Sept. 29 (channel TBD); Nebraska/Ohio St. on Oct. 6; Ohio St./Penn State on Oct. 27. In addition, the company has also elected Michigan/Nebraska

SPEED’s coverage of last Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway was up 21%, according to Nielsen Media Research, with an .86 score compared to last season’s equivalent race. Ratings were also up 113% among M18-49 with a .51. So far this season, the NCWTS is outpacing last year by 7% overall.

FOX Sports Network renewed a deal with organizers of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah for this year’s professional cycling stage race. FSN serve as the national broadcast partner and will provide 18 total hours of national programming for the Tour, including 12 hours of live coverage. All six days of programming will run from Aug. 7-12, 2012.

HRTV is making its annual pilgrimage to Churchill Downs for on-site coverage of the 138th edition of the Kentucky Derby, beginning with Opening Day on Saturday. Programming will include a daily Fasig-Tipton Pursuit of the Crown,Race Day America, Westrock Coffee First Call and live coverage of the Derby post position draw on Wednesday at approximately 5p.

Bloomberg Television will dedicate its sports business series Sportfolio to the NFL Draft tonight at 9p. Content will include an interview with University of West Virginia Athletic Director Oliver Luck who will talk about his son Andrew and also interview NFL CMO Mark Waller.



Upcoming Specials Editions for Cynopsis Media

Daytime Emmy® Awards: Before the Ballots: Talk Show [April 24]

Digital NewFronts Wrap-Up [May 7]

Upfront 2012: Spanish Language [May 9]

 Upfront 2012: Sports [May 15]

Space is limited. To reserve your ad space, contact Mike Farina | 203.218.6480

Sponsorship & Promotion

Forbes, Nielsen and E-Poll released its annual list of America’s Most Influential Athletes, and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson scored at the top of the list to repeat as America’s most influential athlete, based on public opinion polling to measure an athlete’s likeability and whether they’re considered “influential”. Other athletes in the top ten included Tim Tebow, Peyton Manning, Manny Pacquiao, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Drew Brees, Eli Manning, and Jeremy Lin.

Israel has asked the International Olympic Committee to honor the Israeli team members who were killed by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Games, according to the AP. He report states that Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon sent a letter to the IOC, asking for a minute’s silence honoring the 11 Israeli Olympic athletes and coaches that were killed by Palestinian terrorists. The tragedy will mark its 40th anniversary this year.

AmeriHealth NJ has extended its sponsorship with the New Jersey Devils for three additional years, adding branding opportunities as well as increased social media engagement. As part of the deal,  AmeriHealth NJ will continue to hold the naming rights to the AmeriHealth Pavilion, the New Jersey Devils official practice facility and  AmeriHealth NJ will be the title sponsor of the “Marquee Match-Up,” a youth program played during the first intermission at selected New Jersey Devils regular season home games.

Digital Fields

The International Olympic Committee has launched a new social site allowing fans to follow their favorite athletes during the Summer Games. The Olympics Athlete Hub was created to generate a stronger connection between athletes and fans by aggregating the Twitter and Facebook feeds of the athletes

The Main Event

Game seven of Caps/Bruins in a terrific series. Coverage starts at 7:30 on NBC Sports Network.


ON THIS DAY in 1974: The NFL moves the goal posts and institutes one fifteen-minute sudden death overtime period for all tied games.

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Three quarterbacks from Stanford have been taken with the number one pick in the NFL draft. Name two.  John Elway, Jim Plunkett, and Bobby Garrett. Kudos: Jon Miller-NBC Sports/NY; Michael Novara-ESPN NY/NY; Peter King Hunsinger-Golf Digest & Golf World/NY; David S. Larson-CBS Television/NY; Doug Drotman-Drotman Communications/Commack; Kathryne Copeland-XOS Digital/Orlando; Terry Ewert-BTN/Short Hills; Michael Goodman-Radio One/Atlanta; Mike Wilczynski-Comcast Spotlight/Naperville; Kevin Micklo-Initiative Media/Chicago; Cliff Smith-Root Sports/Denver; Jess Schoep-STARZ Entertainment/Englewood; Alan Resnikoff-Shamrock Capital Advisors/LA; Willie Price-American Forces Network/Riverside; John Sutton-Charter Digital Media/LA.

In The Know: The Celtics retired the number 00 in honor of what player? (Email 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 Cyn opsis | Sports

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