01/13/20: NBC and CBS saw multi-year highs for the NFL’s Divisional Round



Monday January 13, 2020

The NFL’s flame this season continues to heat up postseason numbers, as Saturday’s coverage of the Divisional rounds drew big numbers for NBC and CBS. CBS reports that the NFL on CBS divisional round broadcast ranked as the most-watched Saturday AFC divisional round game on any network in three years, averaging 29.412 million viewers as the Titans upset the Ravens.

Meanwhile, NBC’s broadcast of the 49ers win over the Vikings in the NFC Divisional Playoff averaged 29.3 million TV-only viewers to rank as the most-watched Saturday 4:30p NFL Divisional Playoff in four years. In addition, Vikings/49ers averaged a Total Audience Delivery average of 30.1 million across television and digital, according to fast national live plus same day data from Nielsen, and digital data from Adobe Analytics. Coupled with last Sunday’s 35.8 million TAD for Seahawks-Eagles, the 2019 Playoffs mark the second time in the 14-year history of NBC Sunday Night Football that both NBC NFL playoff games topped 30 million viewers.


In addition to the Mountain West’s new deal with CBS, the conference also locked in a new partnership with FOX Sports, spanning six-year media rights agreement with the Mountain West, marking the first-ever relationship between the network and the Conference. Beginning in 2020-21 and running through 2025-26, FOX Sports will carry MW content that will include exclusive rights to Boise State home football games and to the Mountain West Football Championship game, which will be televised annually on the FOX family of networks. In addition, a full slate of MW football and men’s basketball games will be carried each year across the various FOX Sports linear platforms.

Tonight’s coverage of the College Football National Championship saw ESPN recruit its four coaches for ESPN’s Coaches Film Room on ESPNU as part of the MegaCast. Airing at 8p, Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State), Jeff Hafley (Boston College), Derek Mason (Vanderbilt) and Gary Patterson (TCU) will break down all of the action from a coach’s perspective when LSU faces Clemson in New Orleans tonight. New to this year’s line-up is Coaches Film Room Preview, a pregame show on ESPN2 at 5p, hosted by Tom Luginbill, featuring Gundy and Hafley.

NBCSN’s Curling Night in America returns for a sixth consecutive season this fall on the channel. Curling Night in America features Team USA, as well as Scotland, Japan, and Italy, and includes one men’s, women’s and mixed doubles team from each nation competing in round-robin tournaments. Jason Knapp (play-by-play), Pete Fenson (analyst), and Tanith White (reporter) will provide commentary for all Curling Night in America telecasts.

Beginning this month, ESPN+ will expand the number of live sports events that are available to sports fans each month providing the option of Spanish-language commentary, adding dozens more events every month. The growth in Spanish-language commentary will initially be focused on several sports, in particular the industry-best lineup of soccer (including the newly-acquired Spanish Copa del Rey, Serie A, Coppa Italia, FA Cup, MLS and more), Top Rank boxing and Major League Baseball (with the beginning of the new season in 2020). ESPN+ will also now deliver all live UFC coverage in both English and Spanish (including early preliminary and preliminary fights). Additionally, five days a week beginning Monday, Jan. 13 ESPN+ will feature Fuera del Juego.

Speaking of which, ESPN+ will serve as the exclusive home for Spain’s premier domestic soccer cup competition, the Copa Del Rey, as part of a new multi-year agreement with the Royal Spanish Football Federation. ESPN+ will feature up to 65 matches per season, including matches featuring the biggest teams in Spanish soccer and the Copa del Rey Final.

Turner Sports, NBC Sports, Telemundo, Bleacher Report, ESPN, FOX Sports, DRL, Granity Studios, MLB Network, NASCAR, NBA, NBCUniversal, and SHOWTIME Networks are just a handful of the winners from last year’s sold out Cynopsis Sports Media Awards (view all 2019 winners here). With new categories (including sports betting categories sponsored by SeventySix Capital) combined with the epic year we’ve seen in sports, the 8th Annual Cynopsis Sports Media Awards are on track to be our best year yet. View categories here and enter your team’s content, campaign, or individual before Jan 28th.

Jan. 13-16 will be the second ever “Players Week” on SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio channel. Eleven current major league players will join SiriusXM hosts for special extended feature segments over the course of the week. The conversations start today with Trevor Williams, Michael Chavis and Tyler Glasnow.

The Cynopsis Sports Media Awards gives industry titans and emerging startups the chance to compete on a level playing field. With categories that cover individuals, content, marketing campaigns, social media, coverage and sports betting (sponsored by SeventySix Capital), this program is designed to spotlight your work and give your team the recognition they deserve.

Finalists will be celebrated at the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards Breakfast, on April 23rd in NYC. Entries are due by January 28th.

Click here to get started


Feb. 1 will see Microsoft Surface present the first-ever “Anything But Ordinary” Player of the Year award at NFL HONORS, the League’s annual award show, to celebrate “unique NFL player achievements and passions off the field.” The award will honor players exploring entrepreneurship, technology, and literary or creative arts in their day-to-day lives. The Surface “Anything But Ordinary” Player of the Year will be announced alongside the League’s other key awards, such as the Most Valuable Player, Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, as well as the introduction of the newest members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “At Microsoft, empowering every person and every organization to achieve more is our number one goal. And innovation plays a critical role in that,” said Eli Friedman, GM of Integrated Marketing at Microsoft. “Through our partnership with the NFL, we’ve worked closely with the League, coaches and players to provide Surface devices on the sidelines to help improve the performance and efficiency of the game, as well as the speed of instant replay. We’ve also witnessed the unique talents and creative and entrepreneurial endeavors that the players are pursuing off the field, where technology can play a critical role in helping them to achieve their goals.”

The College Football Playoff teamed up with Nike to create an Augmented Reality experience around the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship. Local artists from New Orleans created individual murals for each of the four Playoff Semifinal teams. The murals are located in the heart of the Championship Campus in downtown New Orleans. When the murals are viewed through Snapchat or the official CFBPlayoff mobile app, former athletes associated with each team will offer messages for fans and information on an exclusive Nike product drop.

The Western Athletic Conference named TicketSmarter as the presenting sponsor of WAC Basketball Tournament. The multiyear partnership begins for the 2020 event held March 11-14 at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The resale ticket marketplace brand will also sponsor the WAC Athletes of the Week and receive additional marketing assets on WAC platforms. Van Wagner Sports, the multi-media rights and sponsorship partner of the WAC facilitated the development and execution of this partnership.

Select Blinds, a custom window shade and blind company, will sponsor two-time NASCAR driver David Ragan for his 14th consecutive Daytona 500. The company was the primary sponsor on Ragan’s #38 Ford at Front Row Motorsports last season in select races, including last year’s season opener at Daytona International Speedway.

The Hula Bowl, the post-season all-star college football game held annually in Hawaii, named Newsweek as title sponsor of the 2020 event, which takes place Jan, 26. “Newsweek is delighted to support the revival of a great American tradition,” said Newsweek CEO Dev Pragad. “The HULA BOWL, with its deep American roots and its potential for global appeal, fits perfectly with our mission to build a loyal audience through highly engaging content on our multimedia platforms.”


December saw ESPN Podcasts set a new record for the month with a verified unique audience of 6.9 million. The total marks an uptick of 43% over December 2018 and is the 12th consecutive month of year-over-year growth. In addition, ESPN podcasts had 40 million downloads, up 36% from December 2018.

FanHub announced a new multisport collaboration with Buffalo Wild Wings. The collaboration will expand upon Picks & Props, the existing game co-branded with their partner BetMGM, operated by ROAR Digital. “We are pleased to be able to work with Buffalo Wild Wings and launch what we think will be the standard fan engagement platform for consumers going forward – a simple, multisport user friendly experience that will really grow interest in each day,” said Phil de Winter, Head of Business Development, Americas, FanHub. “People want to be able to have fun and build rewards that have value, and this game does all that for whatever team, league or sport you enjoy.”


Riot Games continues to expand its portfolio, this time announcing plans to deepen its library of tabletop games, beginning with Tellstones: King’s Gambit, described as “ a 2-4 player bluffing game from the lawful kingdom of Demacia.

Allied Esports and Simon announced that Mall of Georgia in Buford will serve as the location for the companies’ first dedicated esports venue as part of their previously announced strategic alliance. The two-level, 13,000-square-foot facility will be located at The Village and feature regular amateur and professional esports tournaments and events across a variety of games and genres.

North American outfit Noble Esports announced that Jeremy “Lambzy” McLamb will return to the organization as CEO. McLamb was a co-founder and former COO before departing in 2015.


Excel Sports management upped Stirling Eads and Colleen Garrity to Senior Vice Presidents at the company. Stirling joined Excel in 2011 as Client Relations Manager and was promoted up the ranks to her most recent title of Vice President of Marketing. Garrity joined Excel in 2014 after working across the sports industry with the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche and the Cleveland Cavaliers.


LSU/Clemson for all the marbles at 8p on ESPN.


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In 1994 Shawn Eric Eckardt and Derrick Brian Smith are arrested and charged with conspiracy in attack of skater Nancy Kerrigan.

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