Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Cynopsis: Sports
08.21.13

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, August 21, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

CBS Sports Network is getting a piece of the American Athletic Conference. The channel entered into a sub-licensing agreement with ESPN in a multi-year deal that begins with the 2013-14 college basketball season and runs through 2019-20. The deal delivers 30 men’s basketball games per year, except for the first year, which calls for 25 games to CBS Sports Network as well as a minimum of 13, and maximum of 15 football games beginning with the 2014 season. Earlier this year, CBS Sports also signed a long-term deal to broadcast American Athletic Conference men’s basketball games.

On the Air

Speaking of CBS, the network lined up NFL plans for the season, announcing broadcast pairings as well as a new pregame show on its sister cable channel. CBS officially begins its 54th year of broadcasting the NFL on Sunday, Sept. 8 at noon with James Brown once again anchoring the CBS Television Network’s pre-game studio show with Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason, Shannon Sharpe and Bill Cowher. For games, Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will reteam while other pairings include: Greg Gumbel/Dan Dierdorf; Ian Eagle/Dan Fouts; Marv Albert/Rich Gannon; Kevin Harlan/Solomon Wilcots; Bill Macatee/Steve Tasker; and Spero Dedes/Steve Beuerlein.
 
After teasing another year of the NFL, Bart Scott is officially picking up a microphone. CBS Sports Network will launch a new series dubbed That Other Pregame Show (aka TOPS) on Sept. 8 at 9a as a studio program featuring Scott, along with Adam Schein, long-time Oakland Raiders executive Amy Trask, CBS Sports Radio’s Brandon Tierney, CBSSports.com fantasy analyst Nathan Zegura and LEAD OFF’s Allie LaForce reporting. The series will look to feature social media interaction, with the last hour of the show centered on Fantasy Football. Regular contributors include analysts from The NFL Today including Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason, Shannon Sharpe and Bill Cowher plus host James Brown and Insider Jason La Canfora.

Time for the US Open, which wraps up on Monday, Sept. 9 with the Men’s Final on CBS. Meanwhile, ESPN is lining up 100 hours of coverage on TV & WatchESPN as well as 400 hours on ESPN3 starting Monday, Aug. 26. During the first week of the tournament, ESPN2’s coverage will begin at 1p each weekday and will continue nonstop for at least 10 hours through both the day and the 7p Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM sessions until 11p. On Sunday, Sept. 8, ESPN2 will televise live for the first time the men’s doubles championship at 12:30p

On Monday, Aug. 26, Tennis Channel carries its own coverage of the US Open with 75 hours of live or first-run match hours on deck in addition to 90 original hours of nightly show US Open Tonight and morning program Breakfast at the Open. While the US Open is in session from August 26 through September 9, the network will typically begin programming with half-hour introductory show Live at the US Open each morning at 10:30a before its eight-hour, live-match window runs from 11a-7p every day of the first week. During the first weekend, Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, Tennis Channel’s live coverage window runs in prime time, from 7-11p.

CBS Sports Network is also offering a piece of the Grand Slam tournament, with live matches, studio shows and encore presentations running through Friday. Play-by-play announcers Dave Ryan and Andrew Catalon are joined by analysts Chanda Rubin, Taylor Dent and Todd Martin to call the action. Coverage continues throughout Labor Day weekend with three days of third and fourth-round matches not carried on CBS. Brent Stover serves as studio host with analyst Justin Gimelstob, while Sam Gore, Catalon, Rubin and Dent call the action. Adams again serves as reporter.
 
ESPN and the Southeastern Conference announced its 2014 men’s college basketball regular-season broadcast schedule for the family of networks as well as the regionally syndicated SEC Network with 120 games set to air. ESPN and ESPNU will combine to televise two SEC games every Tuesday during conference play, while ESPN or ESPN2 will showcase an SEC matchup every Thursday while Saturday’s will include at least one game on ESPNU and ESPN or ESPN2. The schedule includes a Saturday Primetime Presented by DIRECTV telecast for Florida/Kentucky on February 15 at 9p on ESPN. The SEC Network, ESPN Regional Television’s over-the-air syndication package, will offer 40 games. The action tips off on Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 7p with Tennessee/LSU on ESPN.

With the numbers officially tallied, NBC Sports Group posted record-setting numbers this past weekend with the Premier League on NBC, NBCSN, mun2, the Premier League Extra Time bonus TV package and the NBC Sports Live Extra live streaming product. Over 3.4 million people tuned in to coverage on Saturday and Sunday for the seven telecasts on three networks. The five English-language games on NBC and NBCSN drew a total of 3.2 million viewers, up 52% from the 2.1 million total for the five games on ESPN and Fox Soccer last year, according to Nielsen.

Back9Network added Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Ahmad Rashad to its ranks where he will join the network as executive producer and on-air host for the year-old channel. Rashad departs his co-host role at Golf Channel’s Morning Drive.
 
FOX Sports and the National Women’s Soccer League announced that the 2013 NWSL Playoffs will be carried live on FOX Sports 2, starting with the semifinals on Saturday, August 24 with the Portland Thorns/FC Kansas City at 2. The second game of the coverage will spotlight the Western New York Flash against Sky Blue FC at 8p.


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Sponsorship & Promotion    

NBCUniversal is turning to its family of talent heading into the debut of Sunday Night Football this weekend with a slate of promos of its stars “trying out” to sing theme song Waiting All Day for Sunday Night. The clips are now online and slated for broadcast this weekend. Celebrities include Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Natalie Morales from “Today” to America’s Got Talent judges Heidi Klum and Howie Mandle, as well as faces from other parts of the NBCU umbrella such as MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski and E!’s Joan and Melissa Rivers. Of course, the famed into will actually be Idol champ Carrie Underwood.

US Soccer has launched a new social media campaign that delivers fans with the chance to send messages and pictures that will be displayed on the walls of the tunnel outside the US Men’s National Team locker room at Columbus Crew Stadium ahead of the USA/Mexico match on Sept. 10. Fans can submit pics using #FanWall on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Breeders’ Cup retained Front Row Marketing Services to market and sell commercial rights and sponsorship opportunities for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. This year’s event will be held on Friday, November 1 and Saturday November 2 at Santa Anita Park, in Arcadia.

Maria Sharapova is NOT changing her name to Maria Sugarpova for the US Open in an effort to promote her candy line. After reports that she was mulling the name change, her agent told ESPN that she opted against the move.

Digital & Technology 

The ACC Digital Network is adding former Miami Running Back Clinton Portis and former Notre Dame Lineman Renaldo Wynn to its broadcast team. The two athletes will join host Jeff Fischel as part of the platform’s coverage of the league. The ACC Live show and all ACCDN video on demand segments, originating from the studio in Charlotte, NC are viewable on theACC.com, the ACC mobile and tablet app, as well as various streaming and connected mobile and TV devices.

Roster Moves

PlayOn! Sports named Monisha Longacre as the company’s first Chief Product Officer where she will lead PlayOn’s product strategy, implementation and customer experience. Longacre joined PlayOn after a 13-year tenure at The Weather Channel where she most recently served as Vice President of Portfolio Management and Strategy.

The Main Event, the featured game of the day sponsored by Thuuz, real-time sports discovery for mobile & connected TV platforms.
Real Salt Lake vs. Portland Timbers
Tonight, 11p. Thuuz rating: 73
Portland looks to catch the Western Conference-leading RSL with a home win. On MLS.com.


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*SAVE THE DATE!*
Cynopsis Future TV: Content Innovation and Next Gen Advertising Models
October 17| Grand Hyatt | NYC
This summit will examine what networks are doing – and what they need to do more of – to aggressively evolve to compete, and profit in this shifting landscape. Join us as our experts share the latest business and advertising models for success.

For sponsor information, please contact Mike Farina (203) 218-6480.
For registration information, please contact Pete Romas (203) 899-8483
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ON THIS DAY in 2004: Michael Phelps wins his eighth medal of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

In The Know: Red Klotz coached what hapless team from 1953 until 1995? (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 NFL quarterback holds the record for most touchdowns in a single season? Answer: Tom Brady with 50. Kudos: James Fisher-Time Warner Cable Media/NY; Michael Brown-PGA TOUR/NY; Andrew Feingold-Nielsen Sports/NY; Jordan Bick-CineSport, LLC/NY; Jon Miller-NBC Sports Group/Stamford; Tom Wetzel-MMSI/Warwick; John Langerman-WXCW TV/Naples; Christine Ferrara-WBZ-TV/WSBK-TV/Boston; Gretchen Brady-KDAF/Dallas; Joe Lyons-Back Nine Productions/Dallas; Anne C. Wettig/FOX Sports 1/LA; Willie Price-American Forces Network/Riverside; Lenny Bart-Entertainment Studios/LA; Miriam Aardahl-OMD/LA.


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**Cynopsis Webinar Just Announced**

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Join Cynopsis Wednesday, September 18th to get the latest insights and tactics on how to influence Millennials across different media. Whether it’s online, on mobile or on television, we can teach you how to increase engagement with this sometimes elusive digital native.

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Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports
08.21.13

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