Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Cynopsis: Sports
10/19/11

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, October 19, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

ESPN announced that they are poised to set another record this basketball season, running more than 1,450 regular-season as well as Championship Week men’s college games across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, ABC, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN Mobile TV and ESPN FULL COURT. That schedule bests last year’s previous high of approximately 1,200 matchups. ESPNU will tip off the season on Monday, Nov. 7, with a doubleheader from the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer: featuring William & Mary/St. John’s at 7p followed by Valparaiso/Arizona at 9p to mark the seventh consecutive year ESPNU has presented the first nationally televised games of the season.

On the Air

More details of the broadcast plans for the 107th World SeriesFOX Sports announced that coverage of Game 1 between the American League Champion Texas Rangers and the National League Champion St. Louis Cardinals will feature First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden attending tonight’s game as part of Major League Baseball’s Welcome Back Veterans program. America Idol season 10 winner Scotty McCreery will perform the National Anthem prior to the contest in St. Louis.

Meanwhile, ESPN Radio will handle its exclusive broadcast of every game of the 2011 MLB World Series with the Sunday Night Baseball team of Dan Shulman and analysts Orel Hershiser and Bobby Valentine providing commentary for games with pregame coverage from Jon Sciambi, Chris Singleton, Peter Pascarelli and Marc Kestecher.

ESPN will also take its Baseball Tonight crew on a road trip throughout the series, where they will be positioned just outside of the ballpark in both host cities to capture fan atmosphere around the venue. Host Karl Ravech will be joined by analysts John Kruk, Barry Larkin and Curt Schilling (St. Louis) to provide news and analysis as well as join Florida Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen behind the microphone.

Big East Commissioner John Marinatto told reporters Tuesday that the conference’s exit fee is officially set to jump to $10 million once the league finally moves forward with its expansion plan. Multiple outlets report that the conference is targeting full membership for Central Florida, Houston and SMU, with football-only invitations to Navy, Air Force and Boise St. That said, a New York Times report that Big 12 school Missouri is on its way to the SEC could also open up more slots in the Big East.

Last night’s MNF telecast on ESPN helped the channel win the evening with a 7.8 rating, according to Nielsen with just over 12 million viewers. ESPN again won the night among all networks in all key male demos, and also won in the adult demos

With a mediator attempting to facilitate talks between NBA owners and players, Commissioner David Stern told CNN that he hopes to have the season underway within the next 30 days.

NFL Network announced that upcoming editions of the channel’s documentary series A Football Life will take on the likes of Al Davis, NFL Films founder Ed Sabolas well as Super Bowl-winning head coaches Mike Ditka and Tom Landry. The final four episodes of the season will begin Thursday at 10p with Sabol.

ESPN and Caesars Interactive Entertainment are tweaking the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event schedule to ensure near-live coverage by the channel. Under the new schedule, the November Nine will now start playing at 11:30a on November 6. a day later than planned  and will battle their way down to three players, who will return the following day.With only a 15-minute delay to prevent cheating, the entire final table will air on ESPN, ESPN2 and stream online at ESPN3.com

HDNet inked a new, multi-fight, multi-year television deal with the ProElite fight promotion with the new deal beginning on Nov. 5 with live coverage of HDNet Fights: ProElite at the iWireless Center in Moline, IL.

Orion Entertainment executives have reportedly announced that they have inked a deal with NBC Sports Network to air upcoming series Ram Outdoorsman in the fall of 2012. The new series will focus on North American hunting and angling destinations from Alaska to Texas.

FOX Sports Southwest has picked up former Rangers third baseman Steve Buechele to the channel’s World Series coverage team. Buechele previously worked as an analyst on FOX Sports Southwest’s Rangers Live pregame and postgame shows before tapped as the Rangers’ Double A manager in 2010.

Sponsorship & Promotion

With new owners now official, the Philadelphia 76ers are implementing a new marketing strategy to rev up interest and ticket sales for the team once again (presumably for when the lockout is over). As part of the new campaign, the slogan will now state “Passionate. Intense. Proud.”

Major League Baseball is dedicating the first four games of the 2011 World Series to various community causes, according to the league’s website. The run will begin with “Welcome Back Veterans during Game One, community service with the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet during Game Two, youth in underserved communities with Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) and Boys & Girls Clubs of America during Game Three and advancing the fight against cancer with Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) during Game Four.” 

Digital Fields

UK mobile app ESPN Goals hit the one million download mark over the weekend. The app delivers fans with highlights and goals from every Barclays Premier League football match minutes after they happen. Between August 8th and September 8th, ESPN Goals ranked as the top downloaded free sports app on iPhones in the UK.

Top Social Programs in Sports for the week ending Oct. 16 (games only), according to Socialguide.com’s Social 100:

1.      NFL               Bears/Lions                        ABC               10/10
2.      NFL               Cowboys/Patriots                  FOX               10/16
3.      Soccer           Liverpool/Manchester United  ESPN2            10/15
4.      NFL               Eagles/Redskins                   FOX               10/16
5.      NFL               Vikings/Bears                     NBC               10/16

The Main Event

World Series Game 1 Texas Rangers @ St. Louis Cardinals on FOX at 8:05p.


ON THIS DAY in 1991: Rhode Island and Maine record the longest NCAA football game, clocking 3:52 in six overtimes. URI pulled out the win.

Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question:  St. Louis last won the World Series in 2006. What infielder was honored as the MVP of the Series? Answer: David Eckstein. Kudos: Paul Brewer – Turner SI Digital/NY; Bobby McConnell – ESPN/NY; Brian Palmenteri – NBC Sports Group/NY; John Dumas – Get Baked Inc./Rockville Centre; Frank Forgey – Missouri Broadcasters Association/Jefferson City; Mike Patterson – Turner SI Digital/Chicago; Jeff Marozas – Assignment Desk/Chicago; Bill Goodfriend – Charter Media/St. Louis; Steve Miller – R2C Group/Portland; Paul Gygli – NBCUniversal Television Distribution/Universal City

In The Know:  What four players have won the NBA MVP as 76ers? (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.)

Later — Chris
 Chris Pursell for Cyn opsis | Sports
10.19.11

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