Good morning. It’s Wednesday, August 24, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
With the NFL season just weeks away, Viacom’s outlets announced a bevy of information on programming plans for the upcoming season. At the annual NFL on CBS Media Day in New York, Sean McManus, Chairman, CBS Sports,and Executive Producer, The NFL on CBS announced the broadcast pairings for the network’s upcoming games, led by Jim Nantz and Phil Simms. Greg Gumbel once again calls games along side Dan Dierdorf; Ian Eagle teams with Dan Fouts; and Marv Albert pairs with Rich Gannon to call the games. Other tandems include Kevin Harlan/Solomon Wilcots; Bill Macatee/Steve Tasker; Spero Dedes/Steve Beuerlein and Don Criqui/Randy Cross. The CBS Television Network begins its 52ndyear of broadcasting the NFL on Sunday, Sept. 11.
James Brown once again anchors the CBS Television Network’s hour-long pre-game studio show, The NFL Today with analysts Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason, Shannon Sharpe and Bill Cowher.
Meanwhile, Inside the NFL got a multi-year extension with Showtime, with the new season launching on Sept. 7 at 9p. The program will air every Wednesday night through the NFL season on Showtime for a total of 23 episodes. James Brown anchors the series alongside Cris Collinsworth,Phil Simms and Warren Sapp, with Michael Lombardi returning as the show’s insider.
ESPN begins its new eight-year deal with the West Coast Conference with the company announcing its 2011-12 men’s college basketball television schedule for its family of networks. ESPN will televise a minimum of 25 games involving WCC teams across the networks, highlighted by a weekly Thursday night appearance on ESPN2 or ESPNU from Dec. 29 through Feb. 23. On five Thursdays, ESPN2 and ESPNU will each televise a WCC game. The season will conclude with the WCC Basketball Championship game on March 5. The schedule is set to showcase both all six matchups between the trio of Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s and conference newcomer BYU.
Tennis Channel has signed a new affiliation agreement with the National Cable Television Cooperative, in a multi-year deal that mandates broad distribution on widely penetrated levels of service for Tennis Channel by NCTC members who elect to carry the network under the NCTC partnership. The previous agreement was set to expire on Sept. 3 an allowed carriage exclusive on sports tiers.
The perplexing question of high school sports on university/conference branded channels will have to be answered another day. The NCAA said Tuesday that the association’s meeting on youth sports television was only the first step in a six to nine month process of examining the subject. For the time being, the existing NCAA interpretation that forbids school or conference networks from broadcasting programming that involved prospects will continue.
SportsCenter anchor Brian Kenny is departing the network, according to USA Today. The Friday Night Fights host will move on from his 13 years at the company, with his last SportsCenter set to take place in early Sept. The article speculated that Kenny may be moving to MLB Network in the future.
MLB Network is, however, picking up WCBS personality Sam Ryan as a host and reporter with reports stating that she will begin her new gig next month.
MMA promotion Strikeforce has announced that they have struck a deal with HDNet to broadcast live preliminary bouts as well as official weigh-ins for the company’s upcoming World Grand Prix Semi-Finals and World Grand Prix Finals events. The channel’s own series Inside MMA will rape a special episode live from each event that will feature pre-fight coverage as well as interviews.
The NBC Sports Group is delivering 10 live hours of U.S. golf’s oldest championship the 111th U.S. Amateur Championship with Golf Channel running the first three days of match-play competition, beginning Wednesday, Aug. 24, before NBC takes over for the weekend with the semi-finals on Saturday and the 36-hole final match on Sunday. Dan Hicks hosts with analysts Gary Koch and Steve Burkowski to anchor Golf Channel coverage Wednesday through Friday, with Hicks and Koch manning the tower for “Golf Channel on NBC” weekend coverage.
Rio de Janeiro has unveiled the city’s master plan for its Olympic Park for the 2016 Games, which will include venues for 10 Olympic sports, ranging from basketball to judo to gymnastics, as well as 11 Paralympic sports. The Main Press Center and the International Broadcast Center will also be built at the site.Rio officials said they expect to break the three million ticket mark for the Games.
Sportsman Channel’s hunting staple North American Whitetail will air the 100th episode on Wednesday, August 24 at 9p. In celebration, the cast will look back at some of their most favorite and unforgettable hunts and as well as special segments from episodes past.
Virgin America is revising its satellite TV lineup for its flights, allowing sports to watch all of the games of the fall season including: nationally televised baseball games on FOX and NHL games on NBC . Football fans now won’t miss a single touchdown this NFL season with all televised games now available on the carrier’s live satellite TV.
Sponsorship & Promotion
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A and Daytona International Speedway have announced that the new 2012 Toyota Camry will serve as the official pace car for next year’s Daytona 500. Toyota will showcase the car at Daytona in ‘The Great American Race,’ on Feb. 26, 2012 to kick off the NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Toyota has previously provided pace vehicles at several NASCAR tracks, including Auto Club Speedway of Southern California, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway and Dover International Speedway.
The Golf Channel Am Tour has donated more than $30,000 to the Give Kids the World charity on behalf of the more than 5,000 GCAT members from the 2011 season. GKTW serves as the official charitable organization for Golf Channel and donations were collected from participants at the GCAT 25, two-day “Major Championships” from the 2011 season and from the 2010 GCAT National Championships at TPC Sawgrass. Golf Channel personalities Win McMurry and Charlie Rymer presented the check to Give Kids The World President Pam Landwirth.
As expected, the home of the Giants and Jets has a new name with executives announcing a new 25-year deal that will rename the venue into MetLife Stadium. The stadium will host the 2014 Super Bowl and is the only stadium that houses two NFL teams.
U.S. Olympic Committee Director of Media Services Bob Condron is retiring following 28 years with the organization.
The Crons Brand is entering a partnership with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The motivational lifestyle apparel will become the “Official Motivation Brand of the Pittsburgh Penguins” in a multi-faceted deal that will include outfitting the Penguins Youth Hockey Camps, as well as selling products at retail in the Consol Energy Center and creating a series of season-long promotions with Penguins season ticket holders.
NCAA.com is beefing up its online content, debuting the NCAA.com College Football Preview Show on Thursday at noon. The 30-minute show will be hosted by Vince Cellini and SEC college analyst Dave Archer, highlighting the top storylines for the 2011 college football season across the FBS, FCS, Division II and Division III landscape. The first show will include an exclusive interview with NCAA president Mark Emmert, who will discuss current intercollegiate issues. The online program will run weekly and feature video highlights, live chats, power rankings and weekend previews for all of the various divisions.
AT&T has announced that the company will utilize its Multiview IPTV application deliver U-verse TV subscribers with live video from up to four different tennis courts during the U.S. Open. In addition to carrying Tennis Channel’s main broadcast feed, U-verse subscribers will be able to pick from matches running on five other courts.
The Main Event
Red Sox/Rangers continue a key series on ESPN2 at 7p.
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ON THIS DAY in 1922: Cy Williams becomes the first Phillie to hit for the cycle
Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question: Who was the youngest player to ever win the US Open men’s singles title in tennis? Pete Sampras at 19. Kudos: Thomas Scheuer – Optimedia/NY; Jerry A. Kapner – Kapner Group/Montclair; Shannon Malone – National Geographic/Washington DC; Juan P. Delgado – Telemundo/Miami
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