01/13/21: NBC Sports renewed its deal with the Atlantic 10.

 

Medias First Morning Read

 

Wednesday January 13, 2021

The Atlantic 10 Conference and NBC Sports extended their agreement for men’s and women’s basketball via a multi-year renewal of their media rights agreement. The deal sees NBC Sports continue to provide live linear and streaming coverage of more than 35 A-10 men’s and women’s basketball games, including more than 25 regular-season games and eight games of the A-10 Men’s Basketball Championship.

“The Atlantic 10 has enjoyed a strong relationship with NBC Sports for the past eight years,” stated Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade. “NBC Sports’ high-quality productions during the regular season and across eight championship games have provided tremendous distribution for the conference. This extension is exciting and we’re looking forward to continuing this great partnership.”

“We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with the Atlantic 10 Conference, which consistently provides high-quality, compelling competition for college basketball fans across the nation,” said Marc Iacovelli, senior director, programming, NBC Sports. “We’ve enjoyed a great relationship with the A-10 and Commissioner McGlade for the better part of a decade and we look forward to showcasing the conference in the years to come.”

PROGRAMMING

The NFL on CBS Super Wild Card Weekend coverage on Sunday across CBS and Nickelodeon reeled in an average of 30.653 million viewers for the Bears/Saints NFC Wild Card game across both networks to rank as the most-watched game of Super Wild Card Weekend, according to Nielsen, delivering more viewership than any CBS Sunday Wild Card game in seven years. Sunday’s telecast on Nickelodeon was the network’s most-watched program among total viewers in nearly four years, delivering 2.061 million viewers and up 245% versus the comparable window a year ago.

Saturday’s games were led by FOX Sports, with more than 24.559 million viewers tuning in across all platforms to see the Rams top the Seahawks. The game also ranked as the second most-streamed Wild Card Game for the company, averaging 803K viewers.

ESPN’s MegaCast presentation of the Ravens/Titans on Sunday delivered an audience of 24,822,000 viewers, ranking as the second-best Wild Card offering on ESPN’s networks over the past four seasons The audience surpassed ESPN’s Wild Card Game audience following the 2018 NFL season (Indianapolis at Houston) by 9% and the 2017 season (Tennessee at Kansas City) by 12%. Nashville was the highest-rated local market, drawing a 36.7 rating, followed by Baltimore with a 33.1 rating

NBC Sports’ presentation of a pair of NFL Super Wild Card Weekend games saw the Browns’ win over the Steelers average a Total Audience Delivery of 26.0 million viewers across NBC TV, Telemundo, Peacock, NBC Sports Digital and NFL Digital platforms, and Verizon Media mobile properties, according to official data released today by Nielsen, and digital data from Adobe Analytics. Saturday’s matchup between the Bucs and Washington registered a TAD of 22.2 million on Saturday night to rank as the most-watched Saturday primetime show on any network since the Titans-Ravens 2019 AFC Divisional Playoff (1/11/20 on CBS).

Speaking of which, NBC Sports drops the puck on the 2020-21 NHL season tonight with a tripleheader on NBCSN. The company announced its team of more than 20 game and studio commentators for its coverage of the 2020-21 NHL regular season, utilizing nearly 15 play-by-play commentators and analysts throughout the 2020-21 season. Kenny Albert, Brendan Burke and John Forslund will headline the group of play-by-play commentators. Eddie Olczyk, Brian Boucher, Pierre McGuire and AJ Mleczko will lead NBC Sports’ game analyst team, all appearing on the season’s opening night Wednesday Night Hockey tripleheader. Kendall Coyne Schofield will take on a recurring role as a game analyst this season. In addition, many analysts, such as Olczyk, Anson Carter and Keith Jones, will contribute to both game and studio coverage during the year.

With the NHL season underway, NHL Network carries live coverage every day of the season starting today. Analysis, commentary, highlights and interviews will be featured daily on NHL Now at 4p, HL Tonight at 6p and On The Fly.

Finally, the NHL formalized plans to play outdoors in a new event via NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe, which will see two regular-season games take place as part of the festivities. The Avalanche and Golden Knights will play in the Bridgestone NHL Outdoors on Feb. 20 at 3p on NBC while the Bruins and Flyers will play in the Honda NHL Outdoors Sunday on Feb. 21 at 3p. The rink will be on the 18th fairway of the golf course at Edgewood Tahoe Resort near the California-Nevada border in Stateline, Nevada,

Rounding out the ratings news, Univision’s Sabado Futbolero returned last weekend for matchday 1 of the Liga MX Guardianes 2021, with America-San Luis at 10p scoring over 1.05 million Total Viewers 2+ and 598,000 Adults 18-49. That marks the highest-rated opening Sabado Futbolero Clausura match since 2017.

Turner Sports’ Bleacher Report will debut a new content series in partnership with NFL Films called B/R Gridiron All You Got that will intersperse critical gameplay footage from the field, player reactions on the sidelines and fan-driven user-generated content to deliver a “holistic new viewing experience for young, digital-native audiences.” The series will debut Jan. 13 on the Bleacher Report app and on B/R Gridiron social channels.

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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Pepsi is lining up big promotion for the 10th Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show courtesy of a month long, multi-channel campaign, including the debut of a national TV spot featuring international phenom and Halftime Show headliner The Weeknd, titled “Get Ready.” The brand’s month-long campaign will activate across multiple retail and digital components, and bring fans closer than ever to the year’s biggest performance, starting immediately with the launch of PepsiHalftime.com – a digital fan portal. “Over the past decade, the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show has become one of the most anticipated, viewed, and talked about moments in music and entertainment. So, this year, instead of buying a traditional 30-second in-game Super Bowl ad, we decided to double down on the 12 minutes Pepsi already has in the middle of the game – the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show,” said Todd Kaplan, VP of Marketing – Pepsi. “Coming off of a year that was mostly void of live music, we are reimagining the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show to ensure fans can experience The Weeknd’s performance in new ways that have never been done before, with tons of exclusive access and content leading up to the show.”

Celsius Holdings officially signed Dustin Poirier to Team CELSIUS to act as an ambassador and engage with fans and consumers on behalf of the brand. “We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to collaborate with an athlete of Dustin’s caliber who happens to be a huge fan of the product and is also practically a neighbor,” added Celsius Holding Inc.’s CEO John Fieldly. “We look forward to working with Dustin to introduce CELSIUS to new fans and to get our existing fans even more excited.”

DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

fuboTV executed a binding letter of intent to acquire sports betting and interactive gaming company Vigtory, and expects to launch a sportsbook before the end of the year. fuboTV intends to leverage Vigtory’s sportsbook platform and digital gaming assets, and its consumer-driven betting technology, to develop a “frictionless betting experience” for fubo’s customers. Additionally, Vigtory has been in discussions for market access agreements in the eastern part of the United States and currently has a deal secured in Iowa through Casino Queen.

The Patriot League partnered with Teamworks in a move to “facilitate a standard of easily accessible and centralized communication in preparation for a non-traditional championship season this spring.” “Everything about how a team prepares for competition and how the competition itself is conducted has changed in the last year,” said Patriot League Commissioner Jennifer Heppel. “It only makes sense that the League office change how we support and work with our institutions. Teamworks will be our most critical partner in the League-wide efforts to return to competition and foster streamlined processes in all areas from document sharing, including the uploading and filling out of forms, to our daily messaging and communication efforts.”

Sportradar announced the launch of Sportradar Connect, its new multi-faceted in-house curated event series which will provide exclusive insight, analysis and ideas on the business of sport, technology and innovation. Content will feature conversations with a range of prominent thought leaders and executives organized by Sportradar.

ESPORTS

TSM locked in a partnership with Cadillac, marking the first time the automotive brand has partnered with an esports organization. Cadillac serves as the exclusive automotive partner of TSM with the campaign kicking off with the unveiling of the all-new TSM jersey featuring the Cadillac logo. “Cadillac is excited to enter the esports space as part of the TSM family,” says Bryan Steele, Manager of Emerging Media and Partnerships for GM. “Whether on the road, or on the Rift, our organizations place an incredibly high value on innovation and craftsmanship. Given our shared values, and the pedigree of Cadillac and TSM, it was a natural fit to team up with one of the most decorated esports teams in the world.”

LG Electronics cemented a partnership with Gen.G Esports with the pair set to collaborate to further develop the esports scene internationally with the help of LG’s UltraGear gaming monitors. “With a young and dynamic brand such as LG UltraGear as our partner, we look forward to providing the ultimate gaming experience to not just professional players but to gaming fans across the globe,” said Chris Park, CEO of Gen.G Esports. “Based on our common objectives and values, I’m excited about the diverse possibilities this collaboration will deliver to our fans and customers.”

Evil Geniuses announced the start of its partnership with Cxmmunity in a move designed to forge a relationship with the student populations at Morehouse College, North Carolina Central University, Oakwood University, Johnson C. Smith University, and 16 other prestigious Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the United States. In accordance with this newly established relationship, Evil Geniuses is committing 25% of their ‘Genius League’ professional internship program candidacies towards applicants from HBCUs that are reached through this relationship. “In my experience with HBCUs, often the most prominent hurdle is access to viable employment opportunities within emerging industries,” said Chris Peay, co-founder of Cxmmunity. “Evil Geniuses is the perfect organization to surmount the opportunity gap for these talented candidates and help them translate their passion for the industry into a lasting career.”

INDUSTRY & ROSTER MOVES

Legends signed an agreement to receive a majority investment from investment firm Sixth Street, with the investment designed to support the long-term growth of the Company’s global client relationships and further enhancements to its platform of premium experience offerings. “The Legends commitment to excellence, instilled from its inception, enabled it to grow a new category of holistic sports and entertainment services, and we are excited to be joining their culture of ‘winning together’,” said Alan Waxman, Co-Founder and CEO of Sixth Street. “Legends will continue to stay on offense with an industry-leading management team doing what it does best: delivering value-creating projects and operations, innovating new technology-enabled service offerings, and creating immersive customer experiences.”

Engine Shop announced the promotion of Christopher Handy to Chief Executive Officer. “The notion of humanity became paramount last year–in politics, health, business and society at large. And humanity will be heightened in this agency’s approach in 2021 and beyond,” said Handy. “This is a necessary time to get back to the days when ‘impressions’ meant not how many people saw you, but the thoughts and feelings you created for them.”

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