Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, February 15, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

TNT is set to hit the 2012 NBA All-Star weekend hard with more than 15 hours of live coverage, beginning Thursday, Feb. 23. Among the scheduled highlights will be the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge at 9p on Feb. 24, the NBA All-Star Saturday Night on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 8p and, of course, on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 6p, will be NBA Tip-Off followed by the game. This will mark Turner Sports’ 27th year of NBA All-Star coverage, and the 10th straight year the NBA All-Star Game is televised in prime time on the channel. Marv Albert calls the action, along with analysts Steve Kerrand, Reggie Miller with David Aldridge and Craig Sager reporting from the sidelines.

Around the dial on NBA TV, the channel will deliver fans more than 95 hours of dedicated All-Star action, including interviews with LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Blake Griffin and other All-Star participants, as well as an exclusive live presentation of NBA Commissioner David Stern’s All-Star press conference on Saturday, Feb. 25.

On the Air

With a new NASCAR season once again gearing up, ESPN announced coverage plans for the bevy of events surrounding the Feb. 26 running of the Daytona 500. TV coverage will be highlighted by Daytona-based locations for SportsCenter and ESPN2’s NASCAR Now, as well as broadcasts from NASCAR Media Day on ESPNEWS. The NASCAR Nationwide Series practice and qualifying as well as the NASCAR Nationwide Series 300-mile race will run on ESPN on Saturday, Feb. 25. Other programming notables include more than 46 hours of past Daytona 500 races and NASCAR programming on ESPN Classic. In addition, for the first time, all NASCAR programming airing on ESPN and ESPN2 from Daytona will be available on computers, smartphones and tablets with WatchESPN. Allen Bestwick serves as lead announcer for the Feb. 25 race, where he will be joined by Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree.

Los Knicks son en fuego and MSG has announced that it will be producing “Los Knicks en espanol”, a slate of 15 Knicks games in Spanish, beginning tonight when the Knicks host the Kings. All games will feature the play-by-play call of Spanish-speaking commentators, Clemson Smith Muniz and Juan “Tiny” Cains. Felipe Lopez will serve as halftime analyst for many of the games. Broadcasts will also feature all-Spanish graphics throughout the game.

The YES Network is about to hit its 10th anniversary and the channel will celebrate with a two-hour special entitled 10 Years of YES on Tuesday, March 13 highlighting its “most memorable on-air moments and events” since the network launched on March 19, 2002. The special will debut at 10:30p right after the network’s Red Sox-Yankees Spring Training telecast that evening.

It’s almost time for the (second) annual “Hockey Day in America” and NBC Sports will celebrate with coverage on Sunday beginning at noon and including a 3p Bruins/Wild contest on NBC. Immediately following the block, NBC Sports Network will offer a Devils/Canadians game at 6p to wrap up the programming.

Meanwhile, the NHL had broadened its international scope, locking in two broadcast agreements that will cover the Ukraine, Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the Ukraine, recently launched Ukrainian “Hockey” TV channel has secured the rights to show up to 15 live NHL games per week for the next five season. In the other territories, Arena Sports snagged rights to show multiple live NHL games per week for a five-year span as well.

West Virginia University is officially off the hook, and announced that the university has settled its lawsuits with the Big East for an unspecified amount, and will now officially join the Big 12 in July. Athletic Director Oliver Luck said no state, taxpayer, tuition or other academic dollars will be used in the settlement.

WAC Commissioner Karl Benson is reportedly about to take the same position at the Sun Belt Conference, according to Current Sun Belt Commissioner Wright Waters is set to retire later this year.

FUEL TV has pinned down its announcing crew for tonight’s UFC action, with Jon Anik and Kenny Florian set to call tonight’s fight beside the Octagon.

Pac-12 Enterprises broke ground on the Pac-12 Studios in San Francisco, where the company will eventually park its headquarters. The building is located at 370 Third Street and is scheduled to be completed in the summer as the operations hub for the new Pac-12 Networks, the Pac-12 Digital Network and Pac-12 Properties.

PBS’ POV program Racing Dreams will have its national broadcast premiere on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 9p, chronicling a year in the life of three tweens who are looking to become NASCAR drivers.The show will look at Annabeth Barnes, Josh Hobson and Brandon Warren who race extreme go-karts in an effort to move up the chain. Dreamworks is in the midst of developing it into a dramatic feature film as well.

WFAN officially announced that Josh Lewin will don the Mets microphone where he will work beside Howie rose as the new broadcast team of the station.

SAVE THE DATE: The Cynopsis Sports Business Summit is April 24 in Manhattan. Details revealed soon.

Sponsorship & Promotion

The NBA and Sprint are joining forces with the City of Orlando, Keep Orlando Beautiful, and Creative Recycling to keep it clean for NBA All-Star E-Recycling Day on Saturday. As part of the promotion, the league and Sprint are encouraging fans to bring their old electronics to be recycled. Bo Outlaw will be on hand that day to welcome fans. Fans who drop off their electronics will receive two tickets per car to NBA All-Star Jam Session on Thursday, Feb. 23, or Friday, Feb. 24.

Firestone announced that it will remain the IZOD IndyCar Series’ Official Tire through at least 2014, with a two-year extension. The Firestone brand will also serve as Title Sponsor and Official Tire to Firestone Indy Lights through this season.

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Think you’re an MVP in the world of sports media or will your rivals steal the spotlight? Enter the Cynopsis Sports Awards and bring home a crystal award for your shelf, recognizing the grit and strategy you’ve shown all year long. The awards will cover the best of 2011 from the world of television, radio and online, with categories that range from news shows to apps to marketing campaigns.

Digital Fields

NBA Digital unveiled plans for multiplatform coverage of NBA All-Star 2012, which will include the first ever Social Spotlight, highlighting the best fan tweets, photos and videos throughout All-Star on During the weekend, NBA Mobile will provide fans with exclusive behind-the-scenes access, live alerts and new content channels through the NBA GameTime app.

The Main Event

FUEL plays host to its first UFC event with Sanchez and Ellenberger squaring off at 8p.


SAVE THE DATE: Cynopsis Sports Business Summit
Tuesday, April 24, 2012 | Grand Hyatt NY

It will examine how the industry is using content, context and digital connectivity to build audiences, engage fans and integrate sponsors locally, nationally and on a global stage.

For sponsor information, please contact Mike Farina at (203) 218-6480.

More information to follow…

ON THIS DAY in 1998: Dale Earnhardt finally wins his first Daytona 500.

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: For which university did Chamberlain play? Kansas. Kudos: Phyllis McQuillan – MSG Media/NY; Adam Zimmerman – CSE/Atlanta; Barry McMullin – PBR/NY; Larry Kahn – Golf Channel/Orlando; Mike Vest – BTN/Chicago; Ron Salcedo – Zimmerman/Nashville; Rachel Rubin – TM Advertising/Dallas; Brienne Chance – Republic Media/Phoenix; John Sutton – Charter Digital Media/LA; Ira Stone – Stone-Maze Productions/LA; Jason Levin – Inside Racing/LA; Richard Levine- AT&T Operations/LA.

In The Know: The University of Maryland has had two players picked first in the NBA draft. Name one. (Email 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 Cynopsis | Sports

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