Good morning. It’s Wednesday, March 6, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
FOX Sports Media Group made it official, announcing the company’s biggest sports cable launch in history with the unveiling of FOX Sports 1. The anticipated network will debut on Saturday, Aug. 17 (taking over for SPEED) with a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Michigan and UFC on FS1 1 in prime time. The network has lined up nearly 5,000 hours of live event, news and original programming annually that will include college basketball, college football, NASCAR, soccer and UFC. In 2014, FSMG’s new rights agreement with MLB kicks in and will also deliver regular and postseason games to FS1.
Executives also introduced FOX Sports Live to the platform, aimed at delivering around-the-clock coverage via regularly scheduled programs, hourly updates and a ticker that provides a network agnostic sports event television schedule. A morning newscast is expected to launch in January 2014 in conjunction with FSMG’s expansive coverage of Super Bowl XLVIII.
Other programming will include Rush Hour, hosted by Regis Philbin on weekdays at 5p, as well as FOX Football Daily at 6p, hosted by NFL on FOX personalities that include Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Jay Glazer, Gus Johnson, Erin Andrews and Mike Pereira.
The company will also launch FOX Sports GO with the channel, which will offer more than 1,000 live games and events from across FOX Sports, FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports’ 22 regional sports networks, as well as scores, highlights, news, stats, and analysis.
CBS Sports and Turner Sports announced programming plans for the upcoming 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, which will once again span TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV. Turner Sports and CBS Sports will offer fully integrated game and studio productions across the four networks with pregame, halftime, bridge and post-game shows from studios in Atlanta and New York City. The action tips off in primetime with the NCAA First Four on truTV presented by Northwestern Mutual on Tuesday, March 19, and Wednesday, March 20 at 6p. Turner Sports will televise 41 games across its three television networks (TBS, TNT and truTV), while CBS will offer 26 games including the second round, third round, Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final Four and National Championship. CBS will also air the Division II Men’s National Championship game on Sunday, April 7, at 4p.
Turner Sports also announced a documentary based on the legacy of the University of Kentucky men’s basketball program, called Bluegrass Kingdom: The Gospel of Kentucky Basketball. The special will air on Selection Sunday on March 17 at 8p on truTV and featuring interviews and first-hand reflections the likes of former UK players Pat Riley, Jamal Mashburn, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, coaches Joe B. Hall and John Calipari.
ESPN continues to unveil TV lineups for next season’s college football games, announcing broadcast plans for six more contests, including the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game and the Cowboys Classic. All of the games will involve at least one SEC team, three with an ACC team and one with TCU of the Big 12. In all, five of the contests will be played over the opening weekend, and kick off with an ESPN SEC doubleheader on Thursday, Aug. 29 pitting South Carolina/North Carolina at 6p, followed by Ole Miss/Vanderbilt at 9:15p.
Yesterday we talked about NBC scoring a regular-season overnight ratings record for single-game coverage with the Blackhawks win over the Red Wings on Sunday, now the news gets better for the company. NBC Sports Network’s coverage of the Canadiens win over the Bruins posted a viewership record for Sunday night telecasts on the network with an average of 813,000 viewers tuning in. That also marks the most-watched regular-season game featuring a Canadian team on cable in nearly 13 years. In all, five of the six most-watched NHL regular-season games in NBC Sports Network history took place in 2013.
NBC Sports Network also announced coverage plans for the CAA Tournament, which will tip off on Sunday at 2p beginning with the conference semifinals before hosting the Championship game on Monday at 7p. Play-by-play announcer Todd Harris and analyst Ron Thompson will call the matchups. NBC Sports Group will also deliver first-round coverage of the A-10 Men’s Championship. With NBC Sports Network televising all four first-round games on Thursday, March 14 starting at noon.
UFC on FUEL TV 8 broke some more records for the channel on Saturday, scoring the most-watched program in network history. The event drew 485,000 total viewers, according to Nielsen, for the card.
Tennis Channel is offering 15 days and close to 170 hours of live coverage at the BNP Paribas Open and the Sony Open this month, featuring daylong telecasts, encore replays and a new half-hour daily intro show from a set on the grounds of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Coverage begins in Indian Wells this Friday, March 8, at 1:30p.
The AP reports that the departing Big East Catholic schools will give up around $100 million for the right to start playing in their own conference next season as well as keep the Big East name. The deal is reportedly not finalized but expected to be announced this week.
Red Bull Media House is bringing The Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour 2013 back to FUEL TV this season, with six contests on deck starting this month and running through August. The event features the world’s top freestyle motocross (FMX) riders.
Tickets are now available for the Cynopsis: Sports Media Awards, which will take place on April 17 at Yale Club in Manhattan. Click here for more info.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
The list of Finalists will be announced soon, but don’t wait to reserve your tickets/tables… last year, the event sold out a week before.
Register here: http://www.cynopsis.com/events/sports-awards/.
Sponsorship & Promotion
The Professional Bull Riders inked a partnership extension with Wrangler to serve as the “Official Jeans and Shirts” of the PBR. The partnership between the two sides dates back to 1994. The three-year extension continues Wrangler’s presence at nationally televised Built Ford Tough Series events, including signage, in-arena promotions, concourse booths, public address announcements, and a consumer ticket voucher program.
The ACC Digital Network launched the ACC Affiliate Program, designed to allow small publishers utilize game highlights and on-demand video features. The new portal will allow media outlets such as alumni organizations, local TV, sports radio and sports blog sites to access the highlights through an online tool without navigating contracts and sports rights restrictions.
The Main Event
Colorado Avalanche/Chicago Blackhawks on NBC Sports Network at 8p.
ON THIS DAY in 1902: Real Madrid is founded.
In The Know: What athlete was kidnapped by kicker Ray Finkle in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective? (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: What American is the only athlete to win a gold medal in both the Winter Olympics and Summer Olympics and do it in different events? Answer: Eddie Eagan who won the gold in boxing in 1920 and the gold for the bobsled in 1932. Kudos: Zac Salamon-Northwestern Mutual/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Sean Cacciabaudo-Univision/NY; Jen Benensky-Turner Digital/NY; Ken Nice-Yoh/Silver Spring; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Neal Stevens-Stevens & Associates/Beverly Hills; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc./Santa Monica
Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports
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