Good morning. It’s Wednesday, August 7, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
The NBA’s broadcast schedules are locked in, with ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBA TV all in line to once again deliver hundreds of games throughout the season. ESPN will offer 90 games this year, including 15 exclusive ABC broadcasts with the slate set to tip off on Nov. 1 with a doubleheader of Heat/Nets at 8p followed by Spurs/Lakers. The company’s traditional Christmas Day lineup will see five games that include Thunder/Knicks and Heat/Lakers on ABC while ESPN will carry Bulls/Nets at noon and a primetime doubleheader of Rockets/Spurs and Clippers/Warriors. Overall the schedule will see 16 appearances by both the Heat and Knicks and more than a dozen appearances each by the Lakers, Thunder and Bulls
Around the dial on TNT, Turner Sports will launch its 30th consecutive year of NBA coverage with a doubleheader on Oct. 29 featuring the Bulls/Heat and Clippers/Lakers. TNT will televise 52 games during the regular season that will include 10 appearances by the Clippers, Lakers and Thunder, as well as nine appearances each by the Heat, Knicks, Bulls and Rockets. TNT will televise 20 Thursday night NBA doubleheaders during the regular season. For the 12th consecutive year, TNT will NBA All-Star 2014 including NBA All-Star Friday (Feb. 14) and the exclusive presentation of NBA All-Star Saturday (Feb. 15) and the 2014 NBA All-Star Game (Feb. 16) in New Orleans.
Finally, NBA TV will see 97 games this season with the slate beginning on Oct. 30 with the Nets/Cavaliers followed by Lakers/Warriors. The channel will look to build upon its most-viewed complete regular season ever, with 12 doubleheaders and up to nine appearances by the Heat, Thunder, New York Knicks, Lakers, Clippers, Spurs, Nets, Bulls, Rockets, Warriors and Pacers.
NBC Sports had its own victory from the Cowboys/Dolphins NFL Hall of Fame game, with an average of 10.1 million viewers tuning in, according to official national ratings released from Nielsen. The network’s telecast of the first game of the NFL preseason scored the highest rating in the Adults 18-49 demo (3.8) for any primetime telecast on any night on ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox since Game 7 of the NBA Finals on June 20 and marks the most for an NFL preseason game in two years. Top markets included Dallas with a 17.0/30, followed by New Orleans, Austin, San Antonio and Miami.
ESPN continues to bet big on college football, announcing that its staple series College GameDay was expanding to three hours this season, with a special four-hour opener on Aug. 31 at Clemson. The series will run during the 9a-noon block on Saturdays and once again feature Chris Fowler as host, with Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and David Pollack and reporting by Samantha Ponder, Tom Rinaldi, Scott Van Pelt and Gene Wojciechowski.
FOX Sports 1 continues to beef up its roster with the addition of Mike Hill for the upcoming FOX Sports Live and FOX Football Daily. Hill will take on multiple roles, providing news updates and serving as guest host for FOX Sports Live. Hill previously worked at ESPN with hosting roles that include SportsCenter, ESPNews, NBA Tonight, NFL Live, Baseball Tonight and ESPN First Take. He also co-hosted the ESPN Radio program, Hill and Schlereth, with Mark Schlereth, among others.
FS1 also brought on NHL Hall of Famer Chris Chelios, who will join the new network as an NHL and Olympics analyst. Chelios will offer commentary on the NHL as well as the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, across all FOX Sports platforms, including FOX Sports 1. He joins Michelle Kwan and Picabo Street, who were previously announced as FOX Sports Olympic analysts.
PGA Championship winners Tiger Woods (2007, 2006, 2000, 1999), Keegan Bradley (2011) and Davis Love III (1997), along with Phil Mickelson (winner of the championship in 2005), Adam Scott and Justin Rose, will get the spotlight as part of TNT and PGA.com’ s coverage of the 95th PGA Championship this weekend. PGA.com will offer live coverage of the marquee group consisting of Woods, Bradley and Love III on Thursday, Aug. 8, beginning at 8:35a. The second marquee group featuring Rose and Mickelson will begin their round on TNT and PGA.com at 1:45p. Overall, TNT will televise 18 hours of exclusive live action including six hours each day on Thursday and Friday, Aug. 8-9, from 1-7p along with live coverage of the third and fourth rounds on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 10-11, from 11a-2p.
Speaking of golf, Golf Channel announced that the upcoming run of Big Break NFL will include 12 previous Big Break competitors taking part in the action starting Oct. 8 at 9p. The all-star cast will be comprised of several of the series’ most captivating and polarizing personalities returning for a second chance at kick starting their professional golf careers.
MSG Networks and FOX Sports Media Group entered an agreement to bring live ACC football and basketball and Big East basketball to MSG Networks this fall. MSG Networks will carry up to 10 ACC football games and up to 23 men’s ACC basketball games, along with select women’s basketball and Olympic sports. MSG will also offer up to 10 Big East basketball games.
Alex Rodriguez’s return to the Yankees drive viewership for YES Network, which averaged a 4.34 TV household rating with 393,000 average total viewers in the New York DMA during the game, according to Nielsen. That marks the network’s highest-rated Yankees telecast of this season.
Rights deals, Regulation and ROI. Oh My! Join is for a special look at the state of sports media on Aug. 14 at the Cynopsis Sports Business Summit in NY. Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch sits down with deal makers that include Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza, NBC Sports Group’s Jon Miller, Univision’s Juan Carlos Rodriguez, ESPN’s John Kosner and YES Network’s Tracy Dolgin. Register now at http://www.cynopsissportssummit.com
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Sponsorship & Promotion
Mercedes-Benz extended its pact with the PGA of America, and will maintain its Patron partnership with the golfing body through 2017. The deal continues the carmaker’s run as the official vehicle of the PGA of America as well as a variety of golf events, including the PGA Championship, the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, and as the official patron of the 2014 Ryder Cup. In addition, the agreement will run through the centennial celebration of the PGA in 2016.
In a similar vein, KitchenAid signed on for an extension to hold the presenting sponsorship of the Senior PGA Championship through 2018. In addition, the brand will continue as the Official Home Appliance brand of The PGA of America.
Digital & Technology
Continuing our golf run, Golf Digest is launching a video series for the PGA Championship dubbed Major Moments: The PGA Championship that will utilize the publication’s writers and editors (along with golf World) to examine the Championship’s history, its best finishes, surprise champions and a preview of Oak Hill.
LeaguePlus is launching a fantasy football app designed to beef up the team ownership experience with features that include the ability for team managers to sign players to long-term contracts, locking up a roster spot for future years as well as have practice squads, rookie draft picks and free agent auction bidding. The game will be available for free later this month.
Al Jazeera America announced that Jeff Green and Neal Scarbrough are going to head up sports programming for the channel. Scarbrough previously served at Comcast and will serve as senior executive producer for Al Jazeera sports programming. Green was previously supervising producer of special events at Current TV and will now serve as executive producer of sports programming.
Octagon promoted Aldo Kafie to Group Director within the Access unit of its North American Marketing & Events Division. In his new role, Aldo will continue to provide Multicultural marketing expertise to the agency’s portfolio of clients, including Allstate and Castrol.
Advantage International hired Leeann Logue as Account Director in its Norwalk, CT office where she will lead sponsorship strategy and activation planning for the agency’s LG Electronics client. She previously worked at Sports Illustrated where she spent seven years in integrated client marketing supporting clients such as; P&G, Subway, Bose, Kraft and AT&T.
The Main Event, the featured game of the day sponsored by Thuuz, real-time sports discovery for mobile & connected TV platforms
Dodgers vs. Cardinals tonight, 8:15p. Thuuz rating: 88
The Dodgers have won 16 straight road games entering Tuesday’s game. On ESPN.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
The Launching of FOX Sports 1FOX executives will detail the strategy that gave birth to FS1 just days before it launches, break down how the company is looking to create a new voice to sports and review how they plan to bring America more live sports, original programming and studio shows such as FOX Football Daily, FOX College Saturday, Crowd Goes Wild and FOX Sports LIVE.
AUG 14 | GRAND HYATT NYC | REGISTER NOW.
ON THIS DAY in 2007: Barry Bonds breaks Hank Aaron’s record by hitting his 756th home run.
In The Know: With what two teams did Chris Chelios win his three Stanley Cups? (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: While the Steelers have a slew of famed jersey numbers, only one has officially been retired. Who wore that number? Answer: Ernie Stautner who wore #70. Kudos: Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Jonathan Lipson-Active International/Pearl River; Noah Coslov – CineSport/NY; Joe Guarnieri-ESPN Remote Operations/Bristol;Gregg Hess-NCC Media/Atlanta; Dan Elias-Verizon FiOS TV/Sterling; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc./Santa Monica.
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Cynopsis Future TV: Content Innovation and Next Gen Advertising Models
October 17| Grand Hyatt | NYC
**More Info/Website Coming Soon** 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.
Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports
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