01/03/19: Sunday Night Football on NBC Has Now Led Primetime Ratings For A Record Eighth Straight Year

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Good morning. It’s Thursday January 3, 2019 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Those who predicted the demise of the NFL may be best reconsidering, at least from a ratings standpoint.  NBC ‘s 13th season of Sunday Night Football was up seven percent viewership keeping it on pace to be the number one show in primetime for a record eighth straight year.
 
The run has already eclipsed the six years of American Idol, and the five of The Cosby Show and All In the Family. NBC Sunday Night Football posted a Total Audience Delivery average of 19.6 million viewers in 2018 – up 7% from last year (18.4 million), according to official national live plus same day data released by Nielsen, and digital data from Adobe Analytics.2018 was SNF’s most dominant ever in average viewership (+35% advantage) and household rating (+28%) compared to primetime’s #2 show. In addition, SNF delivered nine of the 10 most-watched primetime telecasts on any network since September.
 
 
ON THE AIR
 
The Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual and the Allstate Sugar Bowl delivered New Year’s Six record ratings, with both bowls achieving their highest non-CFP Semifinal rating in the College Football Playoff five-year history. The significant New Year’s Day ratings, combined with the strong College Football Playoff Semifinals and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl ratings on December 29, resulted in a new high-water mark for the New Year’s Six among years with similar calendar structure on ESPN.
 
The Rose Bowl Game delivered a 9.7 overnight (ESPN and ESPN2) up 3% from the 2017 Rose Bowl Game (1/1/2017) and up 23% from the 2016 edition (1/1/16). The Sugar Bowl earned a 7.8 overnight (ESPN and ESPN2), up 28% from the 2017 Sugar Bowl (1/1/2017) and 47% increase from the 2016 game (1/1/16).while the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl delivered a 5.0 overnight, up 9% from the 2015 Fiesta Bowl, the only other time in the New Year’s Six era which the game hosted the automatic qualifier from the Group of Five. The overnight for the Tigers’ victory was also the highest rated among the New Year’s Day early window games this season.
 
NBC Sports’ presentation of the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic across NBC, NBC Sports.com, and the NBC Sports app averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of nearly three million viewers (2.968 million), making it the most-watched Winter Classic in four years and up 20% compared to last year’s game, according to Fast National Data from Nielsen, and digital data from Adobe Analytics.
 
NBC Sports Chicago and the White Sox, Bulls and Blackhawks announced a multi-year media rights deal that provides NBC Sports Chicago with exclusive local, multi-platform media rights to present game coverage of all three teams starting with the 2019-2020 season. NBC Sports Chicago and NBC Sports Chicago+ will be the exclusive regional home for all regular season games, pre-season/spring training, and the first round of the post-season coverage for the Bulls and Blackhawks.
 
 
NBC Sports Group and Nashville Predators star and entrepreneur P.K. Subban have agreed to a first-of-its-kind content partnership to produce a television special and an original digital series. In conjunction with Glassman Media and PeeK Productions, NBC Sports will produce a special one-hour variety program hosted by the Predators defenseman that will air on Friday, Jan. 25 on NBCSN at 11:30 p.m. ET, immediately following the conclusion of the 2019 NHL All-Star Skills competition. The special will feature several vignettes, as Subban interviews some of the brightest NHL stars and entertainers, amidst a backdrop of fans in the heart of downtown San Jose, Calif.
 
NBC Sports Radio, in conjunction with Westwood One, is launching “The Daily Line,” a new, weekday afternoon drive show, which will focus on the increasingly popular topic of sports betting while also featuring topical and entertaining sports talk. The program will air nationwide on NBC Sports Radio, the NBC Sports Radio app, and other digital platforms from 3-7 p.m. ET, with hosts Michael Jenkins of NBC Sports Washington, and Tim Murray, a 10-year sports radio veteran based in the Washington, D.C. area.
 
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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION
 
Honma Golf officially signed Justin Rose to a multiyear equipment deal. The new deal requires Rose, who will play a part in future product development, to carry a Honma bag and have the brand’s logo on both sides of his hat.
 
Toyota will partner with the National Governing Bodies of six new sports for the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo – skateboarding, surfing, wheelchair basketball, swimming, triathlon, and track and field.  With the addition of six sports, Toyota now has 16 partnerships with National Governing Bodies between the winter and summer games.
 
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form and National Turf Writers and Broadcasters announced that Jeannine Edwards, who enjoyed an award-winner 22-year career with ESPN and ABC, will host the 48th Annual Eclipse Awards on Thursday, January 24, 2019. It will be the seventh time Edwards has emceed the ceremony.
 
The Milwaukee Bucks will host a variety of events with Bucks players, front office staff and community organizations to promote the importance of mentoring, while encouraging members of the community to become mentors in real life. Events planned this month with Bucks players and community organizations include Sterling Brown meeting with Operation Dream, Pat Connaughton meeting with youth from Journey House, Malcolm Brogdon and Thon Maker teaming up with the Bucks front office staff to host students from Marquette University Education Opportunity, and the Bucks hosting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee’s annual Volunteer/Mentor appreciation mixer at Fiserv Forum with an appearance by Khris Middleton. This month will also include the formal launch of MENTOR Greater Milwaukee, a first of its kind partnership between Milwaukee Public Schools, the City of Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Bucks, on Jan. 9 at Fiserv Forum.
 
 
DIGITAL AND STREAMING
 
Rovio is set to bring the hugely popular Angry Birds franchise virtual reality (VR), teaming up with visual computing-focused game studio Resolution Games to bring the game ‘all major VR platforms’ early next year. The game, called Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs, will enable fans to take on the common enemies in the game series, the green pigs, with the help of the well-known Angry Birds characters.
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Verizon FiOS will carry the ACC Network on its expanded basic package when the net launches on Aug. 22. They join Altice as the first major carriers of the network.
 
 
eSPORTS
In this week’s edition of Cynopsis Esports
  •     World Showdown of Esports event tops expectations
  •     Tapei to host HCT Championship
  •     Professional Fighters League forges esports alliance with Team Liquid
  •     SMAAASH Entertainment enters agreement to combine with Simplicity Esports
  •     Ninja’s New Year’s Eve event draws 4+ million overall views
  •     Steam shares top-selling titles
 
ROSTER MOVES
 
The Dolphins named AmericasMart VP/Digital & Information Services Kimberly Rometo VP & Chief Information Officer. Rometo will be responsible for managing and directing the technology initiatives and strategic direction of information technology for the Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium.
 
 
THE MAIN EVENT
 
The Rockets visit the Warriors at 9:30 pm on TNT.

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
HONORING TOP SPORTS PROGRAMS, CAMPAIGNS, AND PEOPLE
 
For the 8th year in a row, we’ll celebrate the work of the most talented producers, hosts, sponsors and executives in the sports industry, saluting the initiatives that drove audiences and turned sports viewers into fans. Crossing the spectrum of television, radio, and online platforms, we’ve expanded our categories and are looking forward to spotlighting this incredible industry.
 
VIEW CATEGORIES               ENTER BY JAN. 25
 

ON THIS DAY in 2016 Jimmy Butler breaks Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls record for points in a half, scoring 40 of his 42 points in the second half to lead the Bulls in a 115-113 victory over the Toronto Raptors
 
In the Know: On this day the New York Yankees named a manager who ended up never winning a game at Yankee Stadium. The team played his seasons at Shea Stadium. Who was he? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
 
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What is the name of the trophy awarded to the winner of the NFC Championship Game? Answer: The George Halas Trophy Kudos: Larry Kahn, Golf Channel, Joe Schreiber 3 Penny Films, Mark Lehman, Atlanta Braves, John Kukla, KDFW FOX 4 Dallas, Rick Rosenfelt New York Red Bulls, Jack Hodgson, Oklahoma State, Peter Lasser, Lasser Productions, Tom Moore Kalt Productions, Russ Camlet NBCU/NY, Matt Fumagalli NBC/Chicago, and Jaymz Wooden Bottelsen American Dart Lines
 
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DIR AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT & OPERATIONS/NBCUniversal/NY: seeking someone to build and engage audiences across digital, emerging and TV platforms. Work with leaders in research, mktg, edit, engineering, sales and bus dev to implement a strat to retain/monetize audiences. 5 yrs exp in digital audience dev/mktg, BA/BS degree, some travel. Full info/apply HERE (1/11)

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