01/22/21: CBS Sports laid out its programming plans for Super Bowl LV


Medias First Morning Read


Friday January 22, 2021

CBS Sports laid out its roadmap for Super Bowl LV, marking the company’s 21st Super Bowl telecast on Feb. 7 with kickoff at 6:30p. Jim Nantz and Tony Romo will call the Super Bowl, along with reporters Tracy Wolfson, Evan Washburn and Jay Feely and Rules Analyst Gene Steratore. Pregame begins at 11:30a, with five hours of live pregame coverage as well as Super Bowl Today Postgame on CBS Sports Network following the game. TOPS opens the slate at 11:30a, with Road to the Super Bowl at noon, Tony Goes to the Super Bowl at 1p, and then The Super Bowl Today at 2p. Super Bowl on CBS Kick-Off Show runs at 6p, followed by the game. James Brown will anchor CBS Sports’ Super Bowl pregame, halftime and postgame coverage for Super Bowl LV, hosting the event for a record setting 10th time.

On the digital front, CBS Sports presents the game with coverage beginning at 2p and streaming coverage available to viewers across an expanded lineup of platforms and devices, including unauthenticated at CBSSports.com and on the CBS Sports app for OTT devices and services, smart TVs and mobile devices while CBS Sports’ broadcast coverage of Super Bowl LV will also be available to stream live via the CBS All Access subscription service. In addition to CBS digital properties, the game will be streamed for free on NFL digital properties across devices, and on mobile via the participating teams’ mobile properties, and Yahoo Sports and other Verizon Media mobile properties. It will also be available in Spanish on ESPN Deportes and ESPN digital platforms.


The NBA reports that viewership across TNT, ESPN and ABC through MLK Day (spanning 27 games) is up 34% this year vs. the comparable number of games during the 2019-20 season, hitting an average of 2 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. Through MLK Day, NBA League Pass has delivered an uptick of 18% over the comparable number of games during the 2019-20 season on the platform. The NBA’s social media platforms have generated record engagement season-to-date, with a 201% increase in minutes watched vs. last year.

In other ratings action, NBC’s broadcast of the Buffalo Bills’ 17-3 victory over the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional Playoff last weekend delivered the network’s largest Saturday primetime audience in four years, and the largest Saturday night audience on any network since last January. The matchup averaged a Total Audience Delivery of 27.1 million viewers across NBC TV, Universo, 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.

Meanwhile FOX Sports is reporting that 36,416,201 viewers tuned in across FOX, FOX Deportes and digital platforms for the Bucs and Saints battle to rank as the most-watched NFL telecast of the season. In addition, 27,186,576 viewers watched the Rams and Packers, ranking as the most-watched telecast of the day.

The results of the 2021 National Baseball Hall of Fame election will be announced exclusively on MLB Network on Tuesday at 6p, part of a four-hour announcement show presented by Camping World, which begins at 3p. For the first time ever, National Baseball Hall of Fame President Tim Mead will reveal the results live from Cooperstown. Anchored by Greg Amsinger, Brian Kenny and Lauren Shehadi. Coverage will include analysis from Bob Costas, MLB Network analyst Harold Reynolds, Hall of Fame voters Ken Rosenthal, Joel Sherman, Susan Slusser and Tom Verducci, 2004 J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner Peter Gammons, 2019 J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner Jayson Stark and MLB Network host Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo.

Lindsey Vonn joins NBC Sports’ alpine skiing telecasts this Saturday and Sunday on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA. Vonn makes her on-air debut as an analyst with NBC Sports’ lead alpine skiing commentator Dan Hicks for the women’s downhill and Super-G events in Crans Montana, Switzerland. “As one of the greatest skiers of all time and a superstar who has transcended her sport, we’re thrilled to have Lindsey join our team for her on-air debut this weekend,” said Molly Solomon, Executive Producer & President, NBC Olympics Production. “Known for her fearlessness, competitiveness and determination, we’re confident Lindsey will provide an unmatched perspective for our passionate ski racing audience.”

Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company and Tupelo Honey announced the formation of a media partnership. The partnership will entail both companies working together to produce INSPIRED: Heroes of Change, an unscripted series that will “celebrate inspirational current and former professional football players who have used their platform to help those in need as well as bring their communities together.”

SiriusXM and Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship are teaming up to launch a new show hosted by Bare Knuckle FC’s newest star, Paige VanZant. VanZant serves as the host of a new four-episode SiriusXM show, Knuckle Up Radio with Paige VanZant, that will chronicle her journey from the MMA octagon to the BKFC “Squared Circle.” A new one-hour episode will air every Wednesday through February 10 exclusively on the SiriusXM Fight Nation channel.

YES’ telecast of the Nets/Cavs game averaged 159,000 Total Viewers in the New York DMA, ranking as the network’s most-viewed Nets telecast in six years. Through Wednesday night’s game, YES’ average viewership is up 89% vs. last season’s season average, according to Nielsen.

Enter By January 27 for a Shot at the Gold.

Time is running out to get the recognition you deserve.

The search is on for the best and brightest in sports media. This award spans 40+ categories, each spotlighting the most successful work, executives, producers, and sponsors alike. Act fast: applications due 1/27, and you can’t win if you don’t play.




X Games Aspen 2021, running Jan. 29-31, revealed its roster of sponsors, including Monster Energy, Pacifico Beer*, The Real Cost (FDA), GEICO, Wendy’s and the Jeep brand. Additionally, St. Huberts The Stag has signed on as wine sponsor of X Games Aspen 2021. Elements featured as part of sponsor packages include signage across all event competitions, virtual X Fest activations, content creation and rights to the official marks and logos. Sponsors will also have a media presence during the X Games telecasts as well as prominent positions across X Games social platforms.

Atlantic 10 Conference Sports Properties finalized an agreement with Air Force Reserve for the title sponsorship of the 2021 A-10 Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships. “We’re thrilled to have Air Force Reserve as our title sponsor for both of our basketball championships,” stated A-10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade. “It’s an honor for the Atlantic 10 to partner with Air Force Reserve to promote recruitment, acknowledging the importance of the men and women of our military and their commitment in protecting our national freedom.”


The Washington Football Team became the first NFL franchise to receive a sports betting license, landing a permit in Virginia and, through the franchise’s partnership with FanDuel, creating a mobile sportsbook in the Commonwealth. The Virginia Lottery issued the permit to Washington on Wednesday.

IMG and Panasonic Avionics Corporation extended their agreement in a deal that will see the technology partner make Sport 24 – the world’s only live 24/7 sports channel for the in-flight industry – available to all airlines worldwide. Panasonic will exclusively market both Sport 24 – and its sister channel Sport 24 Extra – to airlines using other connectivity networks for the first time, enabling the service to be shown on any carrier featuring in-flight entertainment.

Rob Gronkowski is coming to Instagram in Augmented Reality. Facebook and Sportsmanias, partnered to create a 3D AR effect called “Spike It” featuring the NFL star and his signature Gronk Spike touchdown celebration. Fans will be able to superimpose this effect on their photos and videos and share them in their Stories and Reels on Instagram.

Famer, the virtual sports coaching and mentorship platform, announced a partnership with The Alliance Fastpitch, representing over 700 teams, and 10,000 members. Famer’s video production arm, Famer Productions, will work with The Alliance Fastpitch to produce a custom library of hundreds of holistic player and coach training videos covering everything from softball skills, drills and game situations, to sport specific training, to leadership and mental toughness.


ESL Gaming laid out its 2021 plans for esports tournaments and DreamHack festivals, including DreamHack’s first live, in-person festival since the pandemic in DreamHack Atlanta in November. The year sees the majority of ESL and DreamHack esports competitions scheduled to be played in a studio setting without a live audience with ESL One Cologne currently slated to serve as the first in-person competition with an audience in July 2021, pending local regulation and guidelines. “Like many other industries, we have had to react and change our plans so that we can ensure the safety of our community while still delivering the same world-class action,” said Ulrich Schulze, SVP Product Management at ESL Gaming. “2021 will look different as we continue to follow the latest health guidance relating to the pandemic, but we are also excited at what prospects are on offer with this calendar. We are committed to returning players to a LAN environment and are currently aiming to have fans back in their seats for ESL One Cologne. Of course this is dependent on the very latest guidance and we will release further information relating to the status of all tournaments in due course.”

Van Wagner and eight of its NCAA conference partners are launching the Collegiate Esports Invitational were any enrolled student in a member school of the America East Conference, Big South Conference, Big West Conference, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Southland Conference, Sun Belt Conference, West Coast Conference and Western Athletic Conference will be able to compete in Rocket League. Van Wagner is partnering with Mainline for the online-only event which will feature each conference playing host to a single-elimination qualifying tournament from Feb. 2-5. The two finalists from each conference will advance to the Collegiate Esports Invitational Championship tournament February 6-7 making up the 16-team championship bracket. Van Wagner’s official Twitch channel will carry the finals of each conference tournament as well as the entire Collegiate Esports Invitational Championship bracket.

MOUNTAIN, which develops gaming peripheral devices, is jumping into the esports market by becoming the official keyboard, mouse, and mousepad partner across all teams at Misfits Gaming Group. “Misfits Gaming Group is one of the most exciting esports organizations and their vision very much aligns with what we are doing at MOUNTAIN”, stated Tobias Brinkmann, CEO & Founder of Mountain. “We have been working on our gaming peripherals for the last two years with the focus on releasing user-centric products that allow gamers to perform at their very best. Our Everest keyboard and Makalu 67 mouse have been developed from the ground up to enable gamers to perform at their peak, and we’re really excited to see them in action.”


The Pac-12 Conference announced that Commissioner Larry Scott would be leaving his role in June. The decision was made in advance of next year’s contract expiration, in part, to allow a new commissioner to be in place to negotiate and maximize the Conference’s next long-term media rights agreement. The decision ends his 11-year tenure and he will remain in the role until 30 of this year. The Pac-12 executive committee, including University of Oregon President Michael Schill as chair; Kirk H. Schulz, Washington State University president; and Ana Mari Cauce, president of the University of Washington, will immediately commence a national search for Scott’s replacement as commissioner.

IMG announced senior promotions within its media and events group. Gavin Forbes, formerly Senior Vice President and Managing Director, has been elevated to Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Tennis Events. Grant Slack, formerly Senior Vice President and Managing Director, has been elevated to Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Golf Events.


Guest hosts are being used by Jeopardy! following the death of Alex Trebek. So who will eventually take over for the legend? For some fun, here are ten sports broadcast names who can fit the bill.
Jeopardy!; Ten sports voices who would make solid choices to succeed the late host Alex Trebek

Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth did a masterful job on the Baltimore-Buffalo playoff game last Saturday night. Their season is over. It’s Fox and CBS from here.
NBC gets an A+ for its Baltimore-Buffalo playoff coverage; Michaels and Collinsworth sparkled

The NHL’s abbreviated season has started. Broadcast details follow- NBC’s and each of the teams are listed, plus notes. For NBC, it’s the first season without Hall of Famer Doc Emrick.
NHL: Kenny Albert and John Forslund will share NBC’s regular season load; Full list of all teams’ TV/Radio voices

Laura Okmin, a regional TV fixture on Fox, launched GALvanize about a decade ago as a network for women in sports broadcasting and beyond. For women starting out, it’s an opportunity to share, learn and get advice. The organization continues to grow.
Fox’ Laura Okmin loves her job and is overjoyed to help aspiring women in the biz through GALvanize

Happy Birthdays:
Wes Durham 1/25 ESPN and Atlanta Falcons
Mark Schlereth 1/25 Fox Sports
Bob Uecker 1/26 Milwaukee Brewers
Cris Collinsworth 1/27 NBC Sports
Keith Olbermann 1/27 ex-ESPN anchor
John Buccigross 1/27 ESPN
Malika Andrews 1/27 ESPN
Chris Rose 1/127 NFL Network
Katie Nolan 1/28 ESPN
Sports Broadcast Journal

One Quick Way to Surpass Your Career Goals in 2021
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On this Day
1984: The Raiders beat Washington in Super Bowl XVIII.

Johnny Carson dubbed this sportscaster and actor as “Mr. Baseball.” 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 left side of the tennis court for each player? Answer: Ad court. Kudos: John Ferlazzo/London; Greg Conner-Sinclair Sports Group/NY; Matt Sautter-WideOrbit/Harrisburg; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Rick Rosenfelt-New York Red Bulls/Harrison; Mike May-R2 Innovative Technologies/Wellington; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; David Westberg-SAG•AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo

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MY SOFTWARE TUTOR: MST offers three levels of real-time, online courses in Excel with a live instructor: Fundamentals, Basics, and Intermediate. These courses deliver practical, functional business skills to increase your marketability. Use promo code CYNOPSIS20 to unlock a 20% savings. Full info HERE (2/3)

AROUND ROBIN PRODUCTION COMPANY/WASHINGTON, DC: Looking for a Media Executive Consultant who can connect a content creator with distribution partners. Will be tasked with consulting production company on strategy of selling content. Must have experience in sales, traditional and digital media, and distribution strategy Full info HERE (1/30)

Looking for a passionate designer, enthusiastic about working on creative and conceptual design projects. The designer will work within a team of Art Directors and Designers to create high impact key art, and streaming platform product art. Candidates should be well versed in design principles for both print and digital deliverables. 7+ years agency experience, background in entertainment design preferred. Full info HERE. (1/30)


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