01/29/21: CBS Sports broke down their production plans for the Super Bowl

 

Medias First Morning Read

 

Friday January 29, 2021

CBS Sports is “virtually sold out” of ad time for the Super Bowl, according to company executives as its broadcast network shores up for its 21st presentation of the game. In addition, CBS Sports laid out its production specs, detailing plans to introduce various new camera enhancements with unique new camera angles never before seen, and cameras never before used live, during the Super Bowl on February 7 from Tampa. Overall, more than 120 cameras implemented around the field and stadium, tech toys will include the Trolley Cam, Venice Cameras, and a 53-foot Movie Bird crane.

Twelve cameras with 4K and 8K capabilities will be scattered throughout the stadium allowing the production team to extract close-up shots. While past Super Bowls deployed 8K camera technology high up in the stadium infrastructure, CBS will debut this angle from near-field height for a unique view of the field.

PROGRAMMING

Meanwhile, NFL Network and NFL Digital Media serve up more than 70 hours of live Super Bowl week coverage starting Monday, highlighted by Super Bowl Opening Night at 8p as well as more than 11 hours of pregame and postgame coverage set for Super Bowl Sunday, starting at 9a with a special 8.5-hour edition of NFL GameDay Morning.

Big news on local front, as Sinclair Broadcast Group and Bally’s Corporation jointly revealed the new Bally Sports logo and Bally Sports regional monikers for Sinclair’s RSNs where the Bally Sports regional logos will replace the existing FOX Sports regional logos when the networks officially rebrand in the coming months. Upon rebranding, the Sinclair-owned and operated RSN portfolio will include the following 19 network brands: Bally Sports Arizona, Bally Sports Detroit, Bally Sports Florida, Bally Sports Great Lakes, Bally Sports Kansas City, Bally Sports Indiana, Bally Sports Midwest, Bally Sports New Orleans, Bally Sports North, Bally Sports Ohio, Bally Sports Oklahoma, Bally Sports San Diego, Bally Sports SoCal, Bally Sports South, Bally Sports Southeast, Bally Sports Southwest, Bally Sports Sun, Bally Sports West, and Bally Sports Wisconsin.

FOX Sports locked in its Daytona Speedweeks talent assignments with driver Clint Bowyer joins the FOX NASCAR Cup Series booth for his first DAYTONA 500 on Feb. 14 at 2:30p ON FOX. Meanwhile, veteran motor sports reporter Jamie Little makes her historic move to the ARCA MENARDS Series broadcast booth as the first female play-by-play announcer for a nationally televised motor sports series. Tony Stewart joins Adam Alexander and Bowyer on the call for the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona on Feb. 13 at 5p on FS1. Mike Joy handles DAYTONA 500 play-by-play, with Jeff Gordon and Bowyer serving as analysts. -time DAYTONA 500 winner Michael Waltrip and Labonte to keep race fans up to date leading into The Great American Race. Myers, working his 18th DAYTONA 500 for FOX, will continue his at-track hosting role for the remainder of the 2021 FOX NASCAR season. Veteran sports reporter and acclaimed storyteller Tom Rinaldi also will contribute to FOX NASCAR DAYTONA 500 coverage.

Speaking of racing, NBC Sports will leverage a comprehensive roster of motorsports commentators for the presentation of the 59th Running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona from Daytona International Speedway, beginning Saturday at 3:30p on NBC. Dale Earnhardt Jr. will join the booth as a lead analyst alongside Leigh Diffey (play-by-play) and Calvin Fish (analyst) as part of NBC Sports’ motorsports commentary team spanning IMSA, NASCAR and INDYCAR that will call the storied endurance race.

ESPN has launched “Black History Always,” a company-wide content commitment initiative to highlight Black stories that run beyond the traditional Black History Month in February. ESPN’s content initiative exploring the intersections of sports, race and culture, Black History Always launched Jan. 18 with a series of vignettes featuring well-known athletes and coaches appearing across ESPN television and digital platforms. The celebration will now continue year-round, every year. “ESPN has recognized Black History Month with special programming and events since 1995,” said Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, ESPN and Sports Content. “For Black History Always, we are expanding that commitment by further leaning into what The Undefeated already does, deepening our celebration of Black History across all ESPN platforms year-round.”

CBS Sports celebrates the month with a spotlight on black athletes – including Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, Josh Gibson, Cheryl Miller, Alice Coachman, Doug Williams, Maurice Ashley and others – to celebrate Black History Month. Programming will include CBS Sports Network running a new documentary on Feb. 11 titled, Big House, The Pearl & The Triumph of Winston-Salem State. “It is imperative that we at CBS Sports, and as an industry, work towards a more diverse and inclusive landscape,” said Harold Bryant, Executive Producer and Executive Vice President, CBS Sports. “Telling these stories of Black athletes is incredibly important, and we are proud that many of our Black employees have the opportunity to lead these productions. These vignettes written, produced and edited by Black CBS Sports employees continue that necessary mission of utilizing our resources in front of and behind the camera to push for more diversity and inclusion.”

This weekend sees FOX carry a throwback special, the 1997 “All-Time All-Madden Super Bowl Team” featuring John Madden and Pat Summerall choosing a team of all-time greats from the 60s, 70s and 80s, including Joe Montana, Joe Namath, Walter Payton and many more. The production team revitalized the footage for its 12:30p run on FOX.

ESPN+ finalized a new five-year agreement with Cricket West Indies for exclusive U.S. rights to all men’s and women’s matches in the International Cricket Council Future Tours Program played in the Caribbean. The deal also includes domestic CWI matches for a total of 124 matches including 20 Tests, 46 ODI and 58 T20s. The new deal begins Feb. 7 with domestic CG Insurance Super50 Cup matches, including the championship final on February 27.

Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley Jr. signed a new contract extension with ESPN. Under the agreement, Bradley will continue to serve as boxing analyst for Top Rank on ESPN and appear on a variety of ESPN platforms including ESPN+. He will also continue to work alongside ESPN’s best-in-class boxing announce team, including Mark Kriegel, Bernardo Osuna, Joe Tessitore and Andre Ward, on pre- and post-shows and ringside contributions.

Lauren Thompson joined GolfNow and Clubhouse Solutions, two of the businesses within the NBC Sports Group digital portfolio. There, she will serve as the host of the Clubhouse Bulletin, a white-label video newsletter offering by Clubhouse Solutions, which recaps monthly member news for participating private clubs throughout the U.S. She also will host other promotional and business videos for GolfNow.

ESPN 2 carried the American Cornhole League’s SuperHole on Feb. 5, pairing four top ACL pros alongside 4 top football personalities led by former teammates DeVonta Smith. The competition will air live starting at 9p and will anchor the network’s coverage of the 2021 ACL Kickoff Battle from February 5-7, the first National of the 2021 Johnsonville Cornhole Championships.

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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Cricket Wireless and WWE announced a new multi-year sponsorship that makes Cricket the co-presenting sponsor of Royal Rumble this Sunday, streaming live on WWE Network at 7p. The multi-year agreement will provide Cricket Wireless “significant visibility and consumer engagement” as the exclusive wireless provider for WWE’s premier pay-per-view events, including WrestleMania, SummerSlam, Survivor Series and Royal Rumble. Cricket also becomes the new presenting partner of the live Kickoff Shows, which take place prior to all four flagship events. As part of the sponsorship, WWE Superstars The Miz, Sasha Banks, Kofi Kingston and Charlotte Flair will serve as brand ambassadors for Cricket Wireless through original custom content, community activations and marketing materials.

Comcast NBCUniversal and PGA REACH, the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America, announced a multiyear collaboration to promote diversity and foster inclusion within golf through PGA WORKS. With financial and programmatic support from Comcast NBCUniversal, PGA WORKS will enhance key initiatives – including the PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship and PGA WORKS Career Expo – to expand access and create opportunities for diverse student-athletes across the country.

New Super Bowl activation news sees Bose support frontline workers. Bose’s “Healthcare Heroes” will surprise 55 healthcare workers with the ultimate Super Bowl LV at home viewing kit, featuring the Bose TV Speaker, gift cards to local restaurants and limited edition Super Bowl LV merchandise. When the recipients open their kits, they’ll be surprised with a live virtual meet and greet with one of the following Team Bose athletes: Russell Wilson (SEA), Baker Mayfield (CLE), Joe Burrow (CIN), Justin Herbert (LAC) or Tua Tagovailoa (MIA).

Meanwhile, TUMS is launching the #TUMSBingoSweepstakes ahead of the Super Bowl, with participants able to win prizes including a grand prize winner of $35,000. Throughout the game, the brand will tweet out TUMSworthy moments with game boards available starting Feb. 1 via TumsworthyBingo.com.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association named Nyheim Hines as its 2021 National Spokesperson to raise awareness and funds for the not-for-profit organization with a mission to fund research, care and advocacy for people nationwide living with muscular dystrophy, ALS and over 43 neuromuscular diseases. Hines is a running back for the Indianapolis Colts and has been a supporter of MDA through the NFL’s My Cause My Cleats campaign, and other events for MDA in Indiana.

MKTG Sports & Entertainment and the World Surf League Australia announced a new partnership that will see MKTG support the commercial growth of WSL through the introduction and procurement of new and strategic brand partnerships. MKTG will actively work with the WSL, and introduce partnership opportunities to brands.

DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

Bally’s Corporation entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Monkey Knife Fight. The all-stock transaction makes Bally’s the third sports betting company in the U.S. to have a fantasy sports segment. “With this acquisition, we are pleased to enter into the high-growth DFS market. Monkey Knife Fight is a unique asset that we look forward to incorporating into Bally’s constantly growing omnichannel portfolio of land-based casinos and iGaming platforms,” said George Papanier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bally’s Corporation. “As with all of the properties and services that fall under the iconic Bally’s brand, we are committed to providing a best-in-class DFS platform to sports fans around the country.”

The Charlotte Hornets named DraftKings as the exclusive Official Daily Fantasy Sports Partner of the franchise. The multi-year agreement will see DraftKings-branded LED signage featured courtside and on the basket stanchion at Spectrum Center, in addition to logo displays on top of the backboards. The two companies will also collaborate on unique social promotions and content that further align the collective brands.

The Topps Company just launched the all-new “The People’s Champ” curated collection of 100 cards that honor the life of Muhammad Ali. “This will be the most comprehensive dedicated collection of Ali cards ever created, one which will resonate with a broad array of fans across sports and pop culture,” said Jeff Heckman, Global Director of eCommerce for Topps. “We are proud to be collaborating with the Ali family and ABG to represent the many facets of one of the great icons of sport and society, truly ‘The People’s Champ’.”

Building on recent television broadcast agreements with CBS Sports Network and FOX Sports, Athletes Unlimited today announced it will use its channels on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Dailymotion and Twitch to stream worldwide eight live matches from its inaugural volleyball league, featuring 44 of the best players in the world and starting February 27 at Fair Park Coliseum in Dallas. In addition to streaming the eight live matches globally, the Athletes Unlimited Facebook page will host a weekly draft show where each week’s teams will be unveiled.

ESPORTS

ESL Gaming announced that DreamHack Open is returning in 2021 with $700,000 up for grabs across seen tournaments. The first tournament runs through Jan. 31 and will be split between the European and North American regions as CS:GO players battle it out. Additional tournaments include a U.S. stop at DreamHack Atlanta, scheduled to take place in November of this year. “This first DreamHack Open Online of 2021 represents a crucial part of the ESL Pro Tour for CS:GO,” said Shaun Clark, ESL Pro Tour Director at ESL Gaming. “ESL and DreamHack share the same vision of creating an open-ecosystem that provides aspiring players the platform to succeed, following the path from ‘zero to hero.’ Following in the footsteps of what we’ve announced, we are excited to release the entire year’s worth of competition with a roadmap to return to live events.”

INDUSTRY & ROSTER MOVES

Rival upped Paul Brewer to Chief Revenue Officer of the company. Brewer joined last year from ESL and takes on CRO duties for “a first-of-its-kind, enterprise platform solution that empowers companies and organizations to leverage the popularity of gaming and esports to acquire new customers, drive engagement, build a loyal community around their brands and create new revenue streams.”

Tennis star Naomi Osaka invested in the North Carolina Courage, the club announced. Osaka is the first investor in the Courage since Steve Malik acquired and relocated the team to North Carolina in 2017.

SPORTS BROADCAST JOURNAL w/David J. Halberstam

Lots of good notes covering the gamut of sports, play-by-play voices and other personalities. Who’s good and who’s not so good? Did you know that Bill White was the first Black play-by-play broadcaster hired by any team in the four top professional leagues, 50 years ago.? All covered herein.
Halby’s Morsels: Dan Patrick, The Alberts, Bill White, Remotecasts, Screeching voices and hard work

Hear the two calls of Hank’s 714th, Braves’ Milo Hamilton and Reds’ Marty Brennaman and 715th- Curt Gowdy, NBC; Hamilton and Vin Scully on Dodgers radio
Historic Calls, one-by-one: Hank Aaron’s 714th and 715th; Brennaman, Gowdy, Hamilton and Scully

Lots of changes in the baseball booths – notes and comments- opinions and more
Halby’s Morsels: A busy winter of MLB announcer changes; Spring Training gave Scully a large canvas

Nantz and Romo got an A+ -you’ll see why -all broken down, and Buck and Aikman were very good but not great
Coverage of AFC and NFC title games: CBS gets A+ and Fox A-; Romo spot-on and speaks his mind

Happy Birthdays:
John Rooney 1/30 St. Louis Cardinals radio
Jalen Rose 1/30 ESPN, NBA
Ken Korach 1/30 Oakland A’s radio
Kenny Albert 2/2 Fox Sports, NBC
Bob Griese 2/3 ex-ABC, college football
Joel Klatt 2/4 Fox-college football
Ron Franklin 2/2 ex-ESPN, college football/basketball
Sports Broadcast Journal

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On this Day
1936: The first players are elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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