Good morning. It’s Wednesday, May 1, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
News that NBA center Jason Collins was announcing that he was gay scored records for Sports Illustrated, which broke the story via a first person essay from the athlete. The company reports that nearly 4MM unique visitors (3.713) visited SI.com to set a record for the site on Monday. In addition, SI.com mobile drew its highest UV and PV day ever, with 740K daily UVs and 1.5MM PVs.
With the NHL regular season complete, NBC Sports Network reports that more viewers watched the NHL regular season on NBC Sports Network this year than in any previous year since the channel began televising games back in 2005-06 with audiences up 18% versus last year. The network’s coverage averaged 392,000 viewers to score the most-watched regular season on cable in 19 years, with its Wednesday Night Rivalry telecasts averaging 646,000 viewers, up 46% from the 2011-12 exclusive time-period average for Wednesday night telecasts. Meanwhile, through 13 games and excluding the Winter Classic, which was not played this season, viewership on NBC pulled an average of 1.5 million viewers, up 15% percent from 2011-12.
Showtime and CBS Sports Network unveiled its programming slate ahead of May Day: Mayweather vs.Guerrero, the four-fight pay-per-view telecast this Saturday at 9p. Coverage starts today at 4:30p on CBS Sports Network with the Final Press Conference, with episode 4 of All Access: Mayweather vs. Guerrero at 10p on Showtime. Friday will see the live weigh in at 6p on the two channels, while Saturday’s May Day Live will feature up to two live preliminary fights, special All Access features and interviews from the MGM Grand Garden Arena at 7p. During the week leading up to the bout, CBS Sports Network also will carry encore presentations of classic fights featuring Mayweather and Guerrero.
The X Games are moving out of LA. ESPN announced that the annual event will instead move to one of four North American cities – Austin; Texas; Chicago; Detroit; and Charlotte, N.C. starting in 2014. ESPN will announce the new host city later this summer.
ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike co-host Mike Greenberg makes good on his bet with partner Mike Golic and will literally be a mess this Friday in Orlando, Fla. when he will make good on his bet in the annual “Mike & Mike Sheets of Integrity Challenge Presented by Werner Ladder.” For losing the men’s college basketball tournament bracket wager to Mike Golic, and will now have to get past “Mike & Mike the Mess,” an obstacle course created at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disneyworld at 8:30a on ESPN2. SportsCenter anchor John Anderson, host of ABC’s Wipeout, will provide narration of his attempt. Obstacles will include a 27-foot slide into a mud pit and diving head first into a giant cake.
The NHL is reported close to finally selling the Phoenix Coyotes, according to Fox Sports Arizona. The report states that Renaissance Sports and Entertainment should have a purchase agreement in place within the next week.
On the local front, MSG Networks saw ratings upticks for all three New York-area NHL teams for the 2013 regular season, according to Nielsen, scoring the highest average regular season ratings for each team in at least three years. Rangers telecasts averaged a 1.65 household rating for the 2013 regular season, up 67% compared to the 2011-12 regular season. On MSG+, Islanders telecasts averaged a 0.49 household rating this season, up 133% compared to the 2011-12 regular season average. Devils MSG+ telecasts averaged a 0.47 household rating in 2013, up 42%.
On a similar front, Chicago’s Comcast SportsNet posted the highest Blackhawks final regular season TV ratings average in the history of Chicago regional sports television, averaging a 5.38 household rating this season and marking a 73% uptick over last season’s 3.11 previous record final average.
In Pittsburgh, Root Sports announced that the network posted a 12.66 average household rating for the 2013 Penguins regular season, leading all U.S-based NHL teams for the fourth consecutive season. Average household ratings for regular season Penguins games this season are up 58% form a year ago.
Peter Karmanos, owner of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, announced that he is putting Germain Arena, Southwest Florida’s sports and entertainment venue, and the ECHL defending Kelly Cup Champion Florida Everblades on the market. “I am at a point in time where I want to simplify my life. While I have thoroughly enjoyed owning the arena and team and seeing the tremendous benefit they have been to the community, it is now someone else’s turn,” said Karmanos.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
ONLINE VIDEO: HOW THE HECK DO I MEASURE THIS STUFF?
Date: May 21, 2013 | Time: 1:30-3:00 p.m. ET | Price: $295/site
Hosted by: Sahil Patel– Editor, Cynopsis Digital
Joann Wolferman, Product Leadership, Ad Effectiveness- Nielsen
Matt Timothy, President – Vindico!
Robin Wilson, VP, Operations – Blip
Mercedes-Benz inked a deal to become the newest Global Sponsor of the Masters, according to Billy Payne, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament in a new deal that will launch in 2014. The car brand now joins AT&T and IBM in the category. Meanwhile, UPS has also signed on and will join Rolex as an International Partner, filling the position previously occupied by Mercedes-Benz. The 2014 Masters Tournament is scheduled for April 7-13.
The University of Illinois is bidding goodbye to Assembly Hall, renaming the venue State Farm Center in a 30-year, $60 million agreement. The building is currently undergoing renovation that is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2016.
NASCAR driver Dylan Kwasniewski announced at the 2013 Digital Content NewFront that he would star in a 10-episode docu-series that follows the 17-year-old’s quest to become a top driver in the sport. The series, dubbed Flat Out, is co-produced by NASCAR and Vuguru and will premiere later this year on AOL On Network. Flat Out marks NASCAR’s second original production to receive the green light in as many months.
ESPN Digital Media reports that the company delivered 33% of all sports category usage across digital platforms in March, according to comScore’s Multi-Platform data. Overall, ESPN digital properties drew 54.9 million unique visitors, logging 5.6 billion minutes of usage and 693.9 million visits.
NBA Digital jointly managed by the NBA and Turner Sports saw NBA Game Time for iPad named Best in Sports Mobile Apps and Handhelds for the 17th Annual Webby Awards.
The Sports Video Group named Tom Sahara, Vice President of Operations & Technology at Turner Sports, as the association’s new Chairman. The announcement was made by outgoing Chairman Steve Hellmuth, EVP, Operations and Technology, NBA Entertainment. “Tom has made significant contributions to SVG during the past seven years, most notably his work on the DTV Audio Group, the Sports Production Safety Group, as well as his role as the architect and author of our online Loudness Management Tutorial and his participation on numerous conference panels and working committees,” said Hellmuth, who will assume the role as SVG Chairman Emeritus. “Tom has a fresh perspective and some great ideas to put in motion, and I look forward to actively supporting him as we continue to develop and expand the role SVG plays in advancing the creation, production, and distribution of sports content.”
Senior sports marketing executive Claudio Teixeira joined Octagon Brazil. Teixeira brings over 25 years of experience as a seasoned professional in advertising and communications across the financial services, mobile telecom, lifestyle and ad agency business sectors.
The Main Event
Celtics/Knicks Game 5 on TNT at 7p.
ON THIS DAY in 1951: MLB’s Mickey Mantle hits his first home.
In The Know: Phil Jackson holds the record with 11 NBA Championships as a coach, who is second on the list? (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: For the first time since 1996, all of the NHL’s Original Six teams are in the playoffs. What are the teams? Answer: New York Rangers, Toronto, Chicago, Detroit, Boston and Montreal. Kudos: Leopold Myrie-OMD/Sydney; Jay Goldstein-Vector Media/NY; Jeff Day-Metropolitan Golf Association/NY; Ray Zulauf-Universal McCann/NY; David Kopelman-MLB Network/NY; Larry Kahn-Golf Channel/Orlando; Jerry A. Kapner-Kapner Group/Montclair; Gordon Beck-Beck Comms LLC/Northeast Harbor; Steve Walker-Saatchi & Saatchi/Toronto; Gretchen Brady-KDAF/Dallas; Kevin Micklo-Two X Four Advertising/Chicago; John Ward – NBC Sports Group/Chicago; Lisa Fikeys-Zimmerman/Chicago; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; David Hauptman/Denver; Matt Sautter-OpenTV/Golden; Rick Pike-InterMedia Advertising/Woodland Hills; Brian Robin-Brener Zwikel & Associates. Inc./Reseda; Marci Polzin-Clear Talent Group/Studio City; Don Surath-KPIX 5/KBCW/San Francisco.
Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports
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