Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Cynopsis: Sports
08/17/11

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, August 17, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

UFC appears set to enter the world of network broadcast, with a deal reportedly complete with Fox Sports that will shift the MMA programming off of Spike TV and Versus and on to Fox, FX and Fuel. Although UFC President Dana White would not confirm that a deal had been struck to reporters, sources say that reports (broken by SBJ) on a seven to eight-year agreement are on base. Fox Sports declined comment but has set a press conference for Thursday for “one of the biggest announcements in Fox Sports 17-year history.” UFC’s television deals expire this year, and new coverage would be set to begin on the Fox channels in 2012. An agreement could call for up to four UFC shows per year to air on the Fox network, with most of UFC’s programming currently carried by Spike TV and Versus moving to FX and Fuel.

On the Air

ESPN has locked in plans for its coverage of the SEC’s men’s college basketball season. SEC Games will appear every Tuesday from January 10 to February 28 on ESPN and tip off at either 7p or 9p. First game action will pit Georgia at Florida on Jan 10, with Florida also appearing in three of the remaining seven games. Kentucky will also be featured four times beginning Jan 17 when they host Arkansas.

ESPN has settled its lawsuit with Conference USA on Tuesday, after accusing the conference of failing to negotiate in good faith when CUSA inked a deal with Fox earlier this year. While Fox retains the bulk of its programming package with the conference, ESPN will now receive the rights to telecast the C-USA football championship game from 2011 through 2015 and will air this year’s contest at 11a on Dec. 3 on ESPN2.

An NHL official announced via Twitter that the NHL will unveil its national television schedule for Versus/NBC Sports Network and NBC on Thursday afternoon.

Former Ferrari General Manager Peter Windsor is returning to SPEED where he will host exclusive interviews for the channel with Formula 1 drivers, engineers and team officials as well as produce and edit materials for Speed.com. He previously worked at the network as the channel’s Formula One grid reporter from 2001 to 2009.

ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 will all play host to the upcoming 2011 Little League World Series, set to begin tomorrow and run through Aug. 28. All 32 games of the tournament will be televised, with ABC airing five games overall including both the International Championship and the United States Championship on Saturday, Aug. 27, at 12p and 3p respectively as well as the Little League World Series Championship on Sunday, Aug. 28, at 3p. ESPN’s coverage of the Little League World Series will include a customized open featuring Disney characters Phineas and Ferb.

Brent Musburger has also been named a co-recipient, along with Verne Lundquist, of the Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award, given by The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF). The award recognized individuals whose efforts and activities in support of the Foundation and its goals have been local in nature as well as individuals or entities who have made significant contributions to the game of football.

The NFL is reporting that the annual supplemental draft, originally scheduled for today this year due to the lockout, has been postponed and that teams will be informed of a new date once it’s rescheduled.

A local story in LA say that AEG President Tim Leiweke has targeted five teams so far in an effort to move an NFL franchise to LA and has spoken with representatives from the Vikings, Chargers, Raiders, Rams and Jaguars about the possibility.

Galavision drew the fourth largest Spanish-language cable telecast in history on Saturday with the channel’s coverage of the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup quarterfinal between Mexico and Colombia. The game averaged over 1.3 million total viewers, with over 2.3 million viewers viewing all or part of the telecast.

WWE says that the company’s recent PPV SummerSlam drew a sold out crowd of 17,404 at the Staples Center over the weekend, and grossed more than $1 million.

Speaking of wrestling, CMT will be featuring TNA Tag Team Champion Matt Morgan in tonight’s premiere of CMT Made with a Texas police officer wanting to be made into a professional wrestler. The show runs at 10p.

NFL Network’s telecast of Arena Bowl XXIV on Friday, scored a new ratings high for the AFL. The game featured the Jacksonville Sharks at the Arizona Rattlers and topped the previous best, set four days before, with a .37 rating.

Sponsorship & Promotion

NASCAR is adding a fan event to January’s 2012 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Dubbed NASCAR Preview 2012, Presented by Sprint, the event will become part of NASCAR Acceleration Weekend and feature driver and show car appearances, simulators, games, prizes and a host of other fan-friendly and interactive activities. The gathering will take place following the induction ceremony on Sat. Jan. 21.

Canadian channel TSN is joining Kraft Canada for a summer road trip that will feature flagship sports news program Sportscentre broadcasting live from 10 Canadian communities over a period of 10 days, beginning Friday, Aug. 19. All 10 of the communities will receive a $25,000 award as part of the third annual Kraft Celebration Tour. The event will kick off in Armstrong, BC on Friday and continue through Port Hood, NS on Aug. 28.

Digital Fields

MLB Advanced Media is adopting comScore’s UDM methodology for third-party measurement of its general MLB.com traffic metrics for the first time and will begin with the July 2011 Media Metrix. From April to June, comScore’s tracking, which provides a revised methodology for measuring traffic from work computers, showed an average monthly increase of 81 percent in MLB.com’s unique visitors over comScore’s past reporting for those three months.

Top Social Programs in Sports for the week ending Aug. 14 (games only), according to Socialguide.com’s Social 100:

1) Soccer                Super Cup: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona    GolTV             8/14/11
2) Premier League     West Brom vs. Manchester United         Fox Soccer      8/14/11
3) NFL Preseason      Ravens at Eagles                               Fox                8/11/11
4) Premier League     Newcastle United vs. Arsenal               Fox Soccer      8/13/11
5) Premier League     Liverpool vs. Sunderland                      Fox Soccer      8/13/11

The Main Event

Division leaders Diamondbacks visit the Phillies on ESPN at 7p.


A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE


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Exploring the latest research on viewing patterns and evolving media preferences of specific
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ON THIS DAY in 1933: Lou Gehrig breaks the record by playing in his 1,308th straight game.

Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question: What team did the Kansas State Wildcats play in their only BCS Bowl appearance?  OHIO ST. IN THE 2004 FIESTA BOWL. Kudos: Jonathan McCarthy – MSG Varsity/NY; Adam Licker – ABC Family/NY; Bridget Burke – CBS Interactive/Atlanta; Jeff Miller – Meredith Corporation/Atlanta; Suzy Shoup – Moroch/Dallas; Kristin Conrad – KCPR/LA

In The Know:    Kentucky has won the most SEC men’s basketball tournaments. Who has won the second most?  (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 Cyn opsis | Sports
08/17/11

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