Good morning. It’s Wednesday, June 29, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
The clock is now down to just over one day, as NBA owners and players prepare for life in a lockout with the CBA set to expire at midnight Thursday. The two sides are set to meet tomorrow in New York in hopes of a labor accord before the clock strikes midnight. However, both parties remain hundreds of millions of dollars apart, with Commissioner David Stern proposing a new 10-year deal that mandates shorter contracts and a 50/50 revenue split, among other items, citing that the league is suffering a loss of $300 million a year. Players, on the other hand, now draw 57% of that revenue, and want a 5-year CBA with $100 million per year in salary concessions.
From a media perspective, the most obvious immediate impact will be online, where all videos, images and references to any and all NBA players will be removed from team sites if the lockout goes into effect, according to multiple reports.
The Gold Cup is apparently the gift that keeps on giving. After Univision announced records from the weekend’s US/Mexico match yesterday, Fox Soccer has stated that the Saturday game drew the largest audience in network history. The event drew a 1.43 household rating for Fox Soccer, to score as the first telecast in channel history to break the 1.0 mark, according to Nielsen. The match also drew 954,000 viewers, which more than doubled the previous record set by the Chelsea vs. Liverpool contest in February. In the demos, the Gold Cup final drew a 1.65 in the M18-34 demo, to also mark a new high.
NASCAR’s ratings continue to roll this season, with TNT’s Sprint Cup coverage of the Toyota/SaveMart 350 drawing a 3.2 rating, for a 32% bump over 2010. The race also approached 5.2 million total viewers, up 16%, and averaged 3.74 million households for a 21% boost So far this season, the channel’s coverage of the sport is up 7% in viewers and up 3% in household rating. Online, NASCAR.com’s RaceBuddy saw 848,000 video streams during Sunday’s race in Sonoma, besting the 2010 stream total by 211%.
TSN has locked in its coverage plans for this year’s kickoff of Canadian Football League programming, with the regular season set to start on Thursday. The channel’s CFL ON TSN studio panel this year will consist of host Dave Randorf with analysts Chris Schultz, Matt Dunigan and Jock Climie. TSN will televise all 72 games, as well as the playoffs and Grey Cup, bringing back staples such as Wendy’s Friday Night Football and the Canadian Football Hall of Fame Game. The channel has been driving awareness for the season via an integrated multi-platform CFL ON TSN marketing campaign including promotion on TSN.ca and TSN’s Fan Page on Facebook, as well as original spots featuring the network’s football experts and die-hard CFL fans from across the country.
While we are north of the border, the 2011 NHL Entry Draft found a record audience for TSN and RDS, according to overnight data from BBM. An average of 1.5 million viewers watched the two channel’s draft coverage last Friday. TSN’s audience of 1.15 million grew 46% compared to 2010 numbers, with RDS up 24%.
The “First Four” will be back in Ohio for the next two years, according to the NCAA, returning to the University of Dayton. The 2012 First Four will play two games on March 13 and two on March 14.
The battle of Chavez Ravine continues with Major League Baseball formally objecting to this week’s bankruptcy filing by Dodgers owner Frank McCourt. The league accused McCourt of driving the team into liquidity and objected to the team’s request for approval to enter into a $150 million financing arrangement to meet payroll and expenses, in papers submitted in Delaware bankruptcy court. Commissioner Bud Selig states in the papers that the league can provide a loan with better terms, and prevent the team from selling broadcast rights to meet expenses and provide cash for McCourt’s personal use.
Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer is out of the running to take over as owner of NHL franchise the Phoenix Coyotes, withdrawing his bid to acquire the franchise. The league will continue to operate the Coyotes until the team is sold, and the City of Glendale will pony up $25 million to cover losses and help keep the team in the area for the new season.
The quickly rescheduled “UFC on Versus 4: Kongo vs. Barry,” which aired Sunday night on Versus, scored an average audience of 744,000 viewers for the channel, up from the previous event in March, which saw a series low. The card saw a last-minute scratch, and release, of fighter Nate Marquardt, who was also being featured as part of a tribute marathon on Spike TV at the same time. Spike TV’s telecast at that time drew 793,000 viewers.
FIFA is reporting that more Germans watched their women’s team kick off the World Cup against Canada this week in Germany than for the men’s game in South Africa last year against Serbia. The women’s game saw an average audience of 15.4 million viewers, which would represent about a quarter of the entire population of the country.
ESPN is announcing that the seventh annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney, which will feature Bethune-Cookman of the MEAC taking on Prairie View A&M of the SWAC, is set for Sunday, Sept. 4 at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando.. The yearly event, which features teams from two prominent Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) conferences, will be aired on ESPN at noon.
MSG Plus is set to run the second season of “Hockey Night LIVE: Summer Ice” tonight at 8p, with the program featuring the best games from local NHL teams twice a week for the next ten weeks. Al Trautwig hosts and will join Ken Daneyko; Dave Maloney; Pat Flatley; Kevin Weekes; and NHL correspondent Billy Jaffe to introduce and wrap-up each episode
Scratch Gilbert Arenas from the fan list for VH1’s upcoming series Basketball Wives: Los Angeles. The Orlando Magic player has sued production company Shed Media as well as Laura Govan, the mother of his four children, claiming that Govan is attempting to profit from his fame. The lawsuit claims false advertising, trademark infringement, unfair competition as well as misappropriation of his likeness and publicity rights, and is seeking an injunction and restraining order as well as statutory and punitive damages.
Sponsorship & Promotion
ESPN is lining up sponsors for its upcoming ESPY Awards, announcing that the awards show will be presented by Capital One and Castrol EDGE, and feature more sponsors than ever. Returning to the mix will be EA SPORTS, Gatorade, GMC, Hennessy, MGD64, and SuperCuts. First-time associate sponsors are set to include Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, K-Swiss, HP and 20th Century Fox. Hennessy is again on board to sponsor ESPN’s Tuesday night pre-party with MGD64 returning as presenting sponsor of the official ESPYs Post Party. HP will present the official Social Media Lounge at the ESPY Style Studio. The 2011 ESPYs will be televised live, Wednesday, July 13, at 9p on ESPN.
Multiple reports now state that MetLife is in deep talks to become the primary naming rights sponsor of the home of the New York Giants and Jets. The stadium is also set to play host to the Super Bowl in 2014.
Crown Royal has announced that it will pull out of NASCAR beginning in 2012, after sponsoring drivers Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray at different point from the last seven years. The company will, however, continue its sponsorship of the Sprint Cup race at Richmond Earlier this month, Red Bull also announced a pullout, both as sponsor and owner, despite the sport’s rising ratings.
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Top Social Programs in Sports for the week ending June 26 (games only), according to Socialguide.com’s Social 100:
- Gold Cup Soccer Final US vs. Mexico 06/25/11 Univision/Fox Soccer
- Day 1 Wimbledon Championships 06/20/11 ESPN2
- Day 3 Wimbledon Championships 06/22/11 ESPN2
- Day 2 Wimbledon Championships 06/21/11 ESPN2
- New York Yankees at Cincinnati Reds 06/20/11 ESPN/YES
It’s down to the Final Four of the Midsummer Classics Bracket Tournament on MLB.com, where fans vote on the greatest moment in the history of the MLB All-Star Game. Semifinal matchups include: Ted Williams Hits Walk-Off Home Run in 1941 vs. Cal Ripken Jr. Moves Back to Shortstop and Hits Home Run in His Final All-Star Game in 2001 on the American League side of the bracket. The National League bracket features Carl Hubbell Strikes Out Five Consecutive Hall of Famers in 1934 against Stan Musial Hits Walk-Off Home Run from 1955.
The Main Event
Wimbledon Quarterfinals on ESPN2 beginning at 7a and later on NBC at 10a.
ON THIS DAY in 1950 – The US beats England 1-0 in a World Cup soccer game and doesn’t win again until 1994
Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question:What is the name of the Cornhuskers’ football stadium? Memorial Stadium. Kudos: Frank Zazza – iTVX/NY; Carol Teichman – Comcast Spotlight/Bloomfield; Zach Hochster – Initiative/NY; Mike Lee – Zenith Media/NY; Jane Degen – Mass Relevance, Inc./Austin; Rebecca Jacobsen – Texas Brahmas Hockey Club/North Richland Hills; Mary Ryan – Raycom Media/Dallas; Greg Moloznik – GLM Media Dynamics/Scottsdale; David S. Hauptman – Katz Television Group/Denver; Tom Moore – Kalt Productions/LA; Adam Frank – Lionsgate/Santa Monica
In The Know: Who is the only player to be enshrined in the Hall of Fames for both the NFL and the CFL? (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.)
In My Opinion …
- Give it up Frank. Although I’m from the east coast, I’ve lived in LA long enough to have seen both the good and the bad from the Dodgers. Now, when even Mark Cuban, who tends to be linked by the press to every potential baseball sale, goes on record to say he isn’t sure he wants a piece of the team, it’s time to get out of Dodger Stadium. I’ve worked with some terrific people at the Dodgers over the years, and frankly, they deserve better than this mess. In my visits to the team this year, there have been three constants: No stars, no fans, and no fun. Drop the legalities and sell the team, it’s done.
Completely agree with you on your take about McCourt and this is coming from a lifelong Giants fan. As much as I hate the Dodgers it does pain me to see such a storied franchise mire in this mess. The frustrating part for Bum fans is that everyone knew it would be a mess once they took hold of the team and started spending like they won the lottery. I honestly miss having a relevant rival.
I completely agree! The fact that one of MLB’s most celebrated franchises is a bargaining chip in something so sordid as a high profile divorce case is shameful. I think MLB’s and Commissioner Selig’s actions to date have been none too subtle hints to Mr. McCourt to sell the team and take his personal dirty laundry back behind closed doors where they belong. The best interests of the Dodger’s and their fans would best be served with an owner whose focus is on putting a winning team on the field. Mr. McCourt may think he has his team’s best interest at heart by wanting to hold on to the franchise, but this situation has tainted his reputation as an owner and tainted the storied traditions of Dodger Blue. Time to let someone else play Frank!
Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cyn opsis | Sports
June 29, 2011
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