Good morning. It’s Wednesday, October 16, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
The NBA had a hankering for Taco Bell, locking in a multiyear expansion with the corporation that will continue the brand’s position as the league’s Official Quick Service Restaurant Partner. The deal will see the two entities expand their alliance with the launch of a new digital and social program that spotlights last-second game winning shots. Taco Bell will be featured prominently on NBA national game telecasts and have comprehensive television and online advertising exposure through NBA, WNBA, and NBA D-League media platforms. The deal also continues the chain’s role as the title partner of the Taco Bell Skills Challenge during NBA All-Star, with the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens as the beneficiary, as well as continuing as an associate sponsor of the NBA All-Star Jam session.
NASCAR rolled out its broadcast schedule for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, featuring 36 points races as well as two additional weekends featuring non-points events. In addition to the Sprint Unlimited (Feb. 15) and two Daytona 500 qualifying races, the season opens with the 56th running of the Daytona 500 live on FOX on Feb. 23. Four tracks will see spring date changes: Texas Motor Speedway will hold its event one week earlier and move from Saturday to Sunday (April 6). Darlington Raceway will feature its race on April 12. Kansas Speedway will hold its first NASCAR Sprint Cup Saturday night race, with its event shifting to May 10, while Martinsville Speedway will host the series on March 30, a week earlier than in 2013. Once again the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins at Chicagoland Speedway (Sept. 14) and concludes on ESPN on Nov. 16. TNT’s final season with NASCAR revs up on June 8 while ESPN’s last go-around will start on July 27.
TBS’ coverage of Game 3 of the NLCS averaged 4.8 million total viewers with a 3.1 household rating, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals. That’s good for a rise of 12% and 11% respectively over the last NLCS on the channel in 2011. Through three telecasts, this year’s coverage is averaging a 3.1 rating and 4.7 million total viewers, up 35% and 34% over 2011.
NBC’s SNF offering this week scored 22.1 million viewers for the Redskins/Cowboys and a 12.7/20 to rank as the highest for a primetime NFL game against an MLB League Championship Series game in 17 years. The game was also up 11% from last year’s Week 6 SNF matchup.
FOX Sports 1 earned its second most-watched program ever on Saturday with the Oregon/Washington game. The rivalry game drew 1,765,000 viewers and a 1.3 overnight rating.
ESPN named SportsCenter anchors Hannah Storm and John Anderson as co-hosts of ESPN’s 2013 ING New York City Marathon coverage on Sunday, November 3. The event, which is returning after being cancelled because of Hurricane Sandy last year, will be presented live on national television (ESPN2) for the first time in 20 years, and will be telecast for the first time in high definition. The broadcast team also includes reporter Jeremy Schaap and analysts Tim Hutchings and Carrie Tollefson with reporters Lewis Johnson, Laura Behnkeand, Rob Powers, as well as Jim Dolan and Kemberly Richardson.
ESPN begins its new deal with the PBA on Sunday, Dec. 1 at 1p, with 36 hours of bowling coverage through April 13. The 2013-14 schedule features seven two-hour events from the PBA World Series of Bowling V as well as the return of the PBA League. Mike Jakubowski serves as ESPN’s new PBA play-by-play voice, pairing with Randy Pedersen. Kimberly Pressler serves as the sideline reporter.
NBA preseason coverage on TNT tips off tomorrow at 8p with the Heat/Nets from the Barclays Center. Marv Albert will call the game with analyst Steve Kerr and reporter David Aldridge.
MSG Networks and ESPN Deportes Nueva York 1050AM reached a broadcasting agreement that will make 1050AM the Spanish radio broadcast home of the New York Knicks during the 2013-14 NBA season. Broadcasts begin with the season opener against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, October 30 at 7:30p. The agreement features a 60-game schedule as well as a continuation of a multi-tiered cross-promotional effort between The Madison Square Garden Company and ESPN Radio.
Upcoming Bellator Pay-Per-View Rampage vs. Tito added a battle between featherweights Mike “The Marine” Richman and Akop Stepanyan for the Nov. 2 card and will be featured on Spike TV as part of its prelims broadcast.
CBS Sports Network debuts the 2013 edition of the World’s Strongest Man competition tonight at 9p. Brent Stover calls the action, along with Aaron Taylor and three-time World’s Strongest Man Bill Kazmaier from Sanya, China. New episodes will run every Wednesday evening, culminating with a one-hour finale crowning the 2013 World’s Strongest Man on Christmas Day, Wednesday, Dec. 25 at 9p.
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Sponsorship & Promotion
A sales shuffle at NBCUniversal, designed to “strengthen portfolio-wide opportunities for advertising clients” will see Seth Winter named Executive Vice President of the Ad Sales News and Sports Group. In his new role, he will now add ad sales oversight for the NBCUniversal News Group in addition to continuing his leadership of the NBC Sports Group ad sales teams.
The Madison Square Garden Company officially opens the curtains on an overhauled Madison Square Garden Arena on Thursday, October 24 at 11a, marking the completion of its $1 billion, three-year, top-to-bottom project.
WFN: World Fishing Network is looking to reel in anglers who are willing to ‘Fish Pink.’ The initiative is designed to support Casting for Recovery in their mission to improve the quality of life for breast cancer survivors. In addition, the network is making its website pink from Oct. 15 25.
The LA Kings teamed up with Delta Air Lines to launch the Delta LA Kings SuperFan competition, with the winner snagging a VIP package including two Delta BusinessElite roundtrip tickets from LA to New York, a two-night hotel stay, and two tickets to the second and final meeting this season between the Kings and New York Rangers on Nov. 17. Eight SuperFan finalists will be named based on their level of devotion, and beginning Oct. 31 fans can visit the site to vote for a winner.
Digital & Technology
Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) International locked in media/distribution agreements with ESPN, YouTube and Facebook across the linear broadcast, digital and social media spectrums. Each deal begins in 2014 and marks the first national and global media deals in the history of professional surfing, according to the organization. Programming is set to include the 26 elite tour events across men’s, women’s and big wave arenas in Australia, Brazil, Fiji, Indonesia, Tahiti, USA, France, Portugal, Chile, Peru, South Africa, Spain and Mexico. The ASP YouTube channel, along with the rebuilt ASP website which will embed this content via the YouTube player, will exclusively provide fans with more than 3,000 hours of programming. Facebook will serve as the primary social platform partner for ASP with the relationship focusing on fan engagement.
Digital video entertainment network DeskSite announced the launch of a new app for the NFL fans designed to provide instantaneous video playback without any of the buffering, freezing, and frame-dropping associated with web-based video streaming. In essence, NFL fans can instantly rewind, fast-forward, and play back video in slow-motion even when they’re offline. Each participating NFL team provides between 25 to 40 hours per month of HD video, and inaugural partners include the Ravens, Texans, Dolphins, Patriots, Giants, Jets, Raiders Rams, and Redskins.
Gannett Co., Inc. named Dave Morgan as the new President of USA TODAY Sports Media Group. Morgan takes over for Tom Beusse, who held the role since 2011. Morgan has served as senior vice president of content and editor-in-chief of USA TODAY Sports Media Group since 2011.
InStadium is bringing in Pat Coyle to the team, where he shifts from the role of Senior Strategic Advisor to the full time position of Vice President of Audience Platforms. Coyle will lead InStadium’s effort to leverage technology, enhance fan experience and drive value for InStadium and its ecosystem partners.
The Main Event
MLB does double duty tonight. ALCS on FOX at 4p and NLCS on TBS at 8p.
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Cynopsis: Digital Presents…
ON THIS DAY in 2011: IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon dies following a 15-car wreck in Las Vegas.
In The Know: Who was the last Georgetown player to be selected with the very first pick of the NBA draft? (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: How wide are the NFL’s goal posts? Answer: 18′ 6″. Kudos: J. Barry McMullin-Professional Bull Riders/NY; David Stern-BARD Entertainment/NY; David Baer-CBS/Rachael Ray/NY; George Finkel-MegaSport Productions/North Myrtle Beach; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA; Carl E. Ossipoff-ESPN Sales/Service Western Division/LA.
Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports
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