Good morning. It’s Wednesday, August 31, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
In a move to continue winning over Hispanic fans, Telemundo and the NFL have extended their six-year partnership through the 2013 NFL season and will offer a trio of NFL games on the network this season. The deal, made with NBC Sports, establishes Telemundo as the only Spanish-language broadcaster to air “Sunday Night Football,” with Jessi Losada set to host the games and Rene Giraldo and Edgar Lopez calling the play-by-play action in Spanish. The network will begin coverage on Sept. 25 at 7:30p with an NFL Hispanic Heritage special on followed by the Steelers/Colts game. Both events will air on Telemundo in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco/San Jose, and Washington. Other games on deck include Giants/Cowboys on Dec. 11 and Chargers/Ravens on Dec. 18.
In addition to the simulcast with NBC Sports, Telemundo will air three nationally broadcasted specials, including “2011 NFL Kickoff Presented by Verizon” on Sept. 10 at 5p, an NFL Playoff special on Jan. 7, 2012 and a one-hour Super Bowl special on Saturday, Feb. 4.
CBS has its ground game covered for the US Open beginning this weekend, with the network airing action starting Saturday, Sept. 3 at 11a, with men’s and women’s third-round action and concluding with the men’s singles championship on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 4p. CBS Sports will broadcast over 37 hours overall of the tournament with lead play-by-play announcer Dick Enberg joining Mary Carillo and John McEnroe in the booth for the 12th consecutive year. Other faces include Jim Courier, Bill Macatee. Mary Joe Fernandez and Ian Eagle.
NBC Sports has found its man for next year’s Summer Games, tapping Today’s Jim Bell to serve as executive producer for NBCUniversal’s coverage of the 2012 London Olympics. Next year’s Games will feature every event running live in some form from over the air to online streaming, according to reports, although the prime-time broadcasts will maintain the company’s traditional format of airing human-interest features and taped events. In addition, former NBC Sports head Dick Ebersol is returning to the company as an adviser to NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus.
With Hurricane Irene shifting the Giants/Jets game to Monday, NFL Network scored the channel’s third highest viewership for a preseason game in the network’s history. The game drew 1.78 million viewers.
NBC will take advantage of its family of networks, airing Golf Channel production Golf Central Live From the TOUR Championship ahead of NBC’s Saturday and Sunday coverage of the 3rd and final rounds of the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. The half-hour pre-game show marks a first for golf coverage on broadcast television, airing from Sept. 24-25. Golf Channel and “Golf Channel on NBC” personalities Kelly Tilghman, Brandel Chamblee, Johnny Miller, Dan Hicks and Steve Sands will all appear on the broadcast.
Spike TV’s run of the UFC 134 Prelims drew an average of 1.3 million viewers in preliminary numbers, according to Nielsen, with the hour long special scoring a 0.9 household rating as well as a 1.23 number in the M18-34 demo.
MSG Networks is bringing college football back this fall, with at least nine matchups featuring teams currently ranked in the AP Preseason Top 25 as well as SEC games every Saturday at noon. The majority of games on MSG Networks this season will feature teams from the SEC, Big 12, Pac-12 and Conference USA. Programming begins Thursday at 8p with Mississippi St./Memphis on MSG Plus.
EPIX has signed on to simulcast MTV2’s live coverage of the upcoming season of Bellator Fighting Championships, which begin Saturday, September 10 at 9p. Entering its second year as the cable television home of Bellator, MTV2 will televise the upcoming 12-week season
What is Dancing with the Stars without its athletes? This year’s cast will include LA Laker Ron Artest and soccer player Hope Solo as contestants on the dancing competition. The series returns to ABC on Sept. 19.
Sponsorship and Promotion
Office Depot unveiled the two small businesses finalists in contention to take home $1 million in the annual “Official Small Business of NASCAR®, Courtesy of Office Depot” sweepstakes. The two finalists will have their logos featured on the cars of NASCAR drivers Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle during this weekend’s nationally televised NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™, AdvoCare 500 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
The Los Angeles Kings are changing their look, dropping purple from their team colors for the upcoming season and returning to the black, silver and white color scheme adopted in 1988. In addition, the team is also featuring a new crest for the franchise.
In-Flight Entertainment provider Row 44 is partnering with MLB Advanced Media, to deliver live streaming video that includes over 2,400 MLB games annually to passengers’ smart phones, laptops, tablets and other Wi-Fi enabled devices. Passengers will also be able to use their own devices to listen to every game’s radio broadcast and hear each Club’s regular announcers.
Bloomberg Sports is upgrading its fantasy football app with new features that include a crowd polling tool and pre-season and draft values. The company also announced that Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew will be working with Bloomberg Sports to highlight the analytical strengths of the Decision Maker tools and that the company had tapped WFAN sports radio personality Anita Marks, who as spokesperson for Bloomberg Sports.
The Main Event
The always classic Yankees/Red Sox at 7p on ESPN.
ON THIS DAY in 1991: Houston QB David Klingler sets a NCAA record when he throws 6 touchdown passes in the 2nd quarter as the Cougars beat Louisiana Tech 73-3.
Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question:The Mariners are one of two MLB franchises to have never played in the World Series. What is the other team? The Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals. Kudos: Bob Rathbun – FOX Sports South/Atlanta; Michael Novara – ESPN/NY; Chris Connaughton – Big Lead Sports/NY; Michael Jaquet – CBS Sports Network/NY; Tom Herriott – CSN/Chicago; Kevin Micklo – Cramer-Krasselt/Chicago; Greg Busch – Freelance Production/St. Louis; Alfred Hopton – RPRT Communications/Beverly Hills; Charles Harris – Sportsinfo101.com/Orange County; John Connell – ExerciseTV/LA; Willie Price – American Forces Network/Riverside
In The Know: The Mariners are one of two MLB franchises to have never played in the World Series. What is the other team? (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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