01/06/16: FOX’s fall fortunes on the rise, Cities: LA or bust, Panasonic’s Rio ventures


Good morning. It’s Wednesday January 6, 2016, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

The NFL continues to pay dividends for FOX Sports. The company is announcing that, with the conclusion of the 2015 NFL regular season, it scored an average 12.0/25 household rating/share for the lineup of games, with 20.7 million viewers. That marks the most-watched season for the company since the division began broadcasting NFL games in 1994, according to Nielsen. America’s Game of the Week ended its run with a 15.4/29, with 26.8 million viewers. Meanwhile, pregame staple FOX NFL Sunday once again took the top spot among NFL pregame shows, reeling in a 3.5/9 rating (besting arch-rival The NFL Today by 40%), and snagging its highest average season rating since 2004 with an average audience of 5.3 million viewers. Meanwhile, the network debut of FOX NFL Kickoff saw a boost of 127% over its slot n FS1, averaging 1.183 million viewers on the broadcast network.


The NFL confirmed that three teams  the Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams, and San Diego Chargers  all submitted applications to its offices to relocate their franchises to the Los Angeles area beginning with the 2016 season. In a statement, the league said that “The applications will be reviewed this week by league staff and three league committees that will meet in New York on Wednesday and Thursday — the Los Angeles Opportunities, Stadium, and Finance committees. The applications will be presented for consideration at next week’s league meeting in Houston on Tuesday and Wednesday. The relocation of a franchise requires the affirmative vote of three-quarters of the NFL clubs (24 of 32).”

A classic college basketball game between Kansas and Oklahoma on ESPN’s Big Monday matchup handed the network with a 1.9 overnight rating, making it the highest-rated Big Monday Big 12 game ever on ESPN (with records going back to 2002). It also marks the network’s second-highest rated Monday night men’s college basketball game on record. On WatchESPN, the matchup ranked as the most viewed men’s college basketball game ever in both unique visitors (295,000) and total minutes viewed (11.6 million).

The NBA is also scoring for ESPN with viewership rising across its television and digital platforms over last season, according to Nielsen. Through 30 games (as of Jan. 5), the league is averaging 2,351,000 viewers on ESPN and ABC combined, for a 4% markup. The company is also seeing its most-watched NBA season on digital platforms as WatchESPN saw the league generated 152,000 unique viewers per game, up 61% from last year.

Rounding out the ratings news, Golf Channel reports that it matched its highest-rated year ever in 2015, scoring a .11 HH Cvg Rtg for the year in 24-hour Total Day Nielsen numbers. One key factor in its growth was the rise of Millennials with impressions for Persons 25-34 rising 50% in Total Day, 17% in Primetime and 22% for PGA TOUR coverage. “Golf Channel’s success in 2015 was fueled by the most live coverage ever, which featured a young crop of players making names for themselves as the future stars of the game. In 2016, we will build on this momentum with the addition of an exciting 12-week span that includes The Open, Olympics, FedExCup Playoffs and Ryder Cup,” said Mike McCarley, President of Golf Channel. “Additionally, we are carrying that momentum beyond traditional TV with millions of our loyal viewers engaging with us daily across our portfolio of digital and golf lifestyle brands.”

Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey is grappling a new challenge, signing on to host Saturday Night Live on Jan. 23 on NBC. Rousey becomes the first mixed martial artist and first female fighter to host the long-running program. Selena Gomez will be the musical guest on the episode.

Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel announced the nominees for the 16th Annual Outdoor Sportsman Awards Powered by RAM honoring the programming created by Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel’s talent and production teams during the previous year. The awards ceremony will take place on Jan. 21 at The Venetian in Las Vegas during the SHOT Show. The ceremony will be emceed by Michael Waddell and Tom McMillan. Country singer Kristy Lee Cook opens the ceremony with The Star-Spangled Banner with presenters that include: Taya Kyle, wife of the late U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle; Krissy Wejebe, daughter of the late legendary angler and Spanish Fly star Jose Wejebe; Willie Robertson, star of Duck Dynasty and Buck Commander protected by Under Armour on Outdoor Channel; Eva Shockey co-star of Outdoor Channel’s Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures; Louie Tuminaro, host of Outdoor Channel’s The Gunfather presented by Brownells; Jana Waller, star of Sportsman Channel’s Skull Bound TV; David and Karin Holder of Outdoor Channel’s Raised Hunting; National Rifle Association Vice President Pete Brownell; and Bass Pro Shops Director of Conservation Rob Keck.

MLB Network lined up Terry Collins: A Life In Baseball for Jan,. 12 at 9p as a new episode of its MLB Network Presents franchise. The one-hour program features Collins discussing his baseball journey, “from never making it to the Major Leagues as a player to guiding the Mets to last year’s World Series.” Tom Verducci spent the day with Collins at the Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida. Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon, three-time World Series winner Tony La Russa and 1997 World Series winner Jim Leyland all discuss their unique experiences with Collins and his evolution as a manager in the show

With the Jets THIS close to making the postseason, SNY reports that its Jets Post-Game Live finished the season with a 43% uptick in households and a 35% rise in total viewers. The season saw the show deliver a 0.57 household rating, marking with highest ever for a season of Jets Post-Game Live, with 50,401 total viewers.


“I was honored to be named as one of the Inaugural Cynopsis Top Women in Digital and privileged to be side-by-side with the most forward-thinking, innovative and game-changing women in the industry.”

– Kristin Frank, EVP, Connected Content – Viacom Music & Logo Group

2015 Top Women in Digital Award Honoree

Don’t miss out on the chance to name or be named among our previous winners. For more information visit: http://www.cynopsis.com/event/2016-women-digital-awards/.


Organizers of the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show are opening the doors for area residents to participate in the festivities, announcing a search for around 500 local fans to be part of the stage crew that will help run the stage onto the field and perform other duties during the halftime show. Field team members must attend all posted rehearsals and be over the age of 18. Interested field team members may log onto superbowlproductions.com to register and view the full rehearsal schedule commitment and submit the preliminary application.
DICK’S Sporting Goods, serving as the official sporting goods retail sponsor of Team USA, announced a roster of more than 180 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Contenders being supported by the Company via its flexible employment opportunities and sponsorship agreements. So far, over 170 athletes are currently working in 87 DICK’S Sporting Goods stores in 31 states across the country representing 36 different sports, across both Olympic and Paralympic, summer and winter events. The brand announced a multi-faceted partnership last February.

The Legacy Agency locked in 2015 U.S Amateur & NCAA Champion Bryson DeChambeau to an exclusive representation agreement. TLA will now handle all marketing, endorsements, licensing and merchandising, speaking engagements, and appearances for DeChambeau, who became only the fifth golfer in history to win the U.S. Amateur and the NCAA Championship in the same year. Brett Falkoff, Andrew Witlieb and Bobby Schaeffer will lead the team working with DeChambeau.

On January 28th, join Cynopsis for a Programmatic webinar and get your team the tools for understanding and navigating the opportunities and challenges of an ecosystem that offers unprecedented behavioral targeting, as well as insight from our panel of experts into how to prepare for what’s around the corner.


On to CES news. Panasonic signed an agreement to become an “Official Ceremony Partner” with the Rio 2016 Olympic Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and will provide turnkey visual operations for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games Ceremonies. Panasonic will provide more than 100 high brightness compact 20,000 lumen projectors (PT-DZ21K2), multiple Broadcast Grade 2-M/E Live Switchers (AV-HS6000 Series), and other visual equipment and provide a turnkey visual solution, including projector system design, technical consultation, system installation, and onsite operation and maintenance of the visual systems for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

In addition, the Atlanta Braves selected Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company as a partner on the new SunTrust Park and The Battery Atlanta. The alliance includes providing state of the art technology in three areas: LED solutions, security and eco and sustainability. "We’re thrilled to partner with Panasonic, an industry leader with expertise in the latest sports and entertainment technologies with a proven track record in skillfully managing large, multifaceted corporate projects," said Mike Plant, Executive Vice President of Business Operations for the Braves. Panasonic will design, install and maintain a high-end, comprehensive large LED scoreboard display, ribbon fascia, digital signage, and video monitors throughout the park and adjacent spaces. Security cameras and security video management system, Video Insights, will also be installed, which will be managed by Panasonic.

Sling TV is adding ESPN3 to its “Best of Live TV” package later this quarter, marking the first time that ESPN3 will be integrated directly within a pay-TV provider’s channel guide. “By incorporating ESPN3 into our service, Sling TV continues to lead as the premier destination for watching live and on-demand sports without a traditional pay-TV subscription,” said Roger Lynch, CEO of Sling TV. “With thousands of live and on-demand events from ESPN3, combined with Sling TV’s next generation int erface, it’s never been easier for fans to watch their favorite teams.”

Neulion announced that Samsung Electronics will integrate the company’s DivX CE SDK to enable 4K live and on-demand streaming of sports and premium content services powered by NeuLion on Samsung 2016 Ultra HD TVs lineup. The move allows OEMs to quickly deploy Smart TVs and other devices that support video streaming up to 4Kp60, including live OTT video services. NeuLion will enable live 4K streaming for a selection of sporting events on Samsung 2016 Ultra HD TVs.

Golf Channel announced the launch of a video simulcast of SiriusXM’s award-winning series Fairways of Life on GolfChannel.com weekday mornings from 7-9a. The program is hosted by golf industry veteran Matt Adams and originates from Golf Channel’s World Headquarters in Orlando. GolfChannel.com also serves up a dedicated Fairways of Life show page, which includes bonus content, featured video and interviews, full episodes and a social media feed.


Electronic Arts will release the upcoming EA Sports UFC 2 on March 15 in North American and march 17 worldwide. The company also released a cinematic trailer for the game featuring “some of the biggest moments from recent bouts, showcasing authentic gameplay features, and highlighting new character visuals and signature animations which can be found here. “Whether fans want to play upcoming cards, recreate the outcome of recent fights, or go back to fight with MMA legends, we’ll help them do that in the most authentic and exciting way ever in an MMA simulation,” said Brian Hayes, Creative Director. “Our first two pre-order fighters, Bas Rutten and Kazushi Sakuraba are perfect additions to what is already the biggest roster ever for an official UFC game. Adding them is huge, and fans are going to go nuts when we reveal who the mystery fighter is. I can’t wait.”


ONE World Sports hired Todd Myers as Vice President, Programming, Acquisitions and Development where he will be charged with the network’s programming acquisitions across all platforms for USA and Canada, as well as the development of original content. Myers joins from ESPN, where he served for 16 years, most recently as Director of Programming & Acquisitions.

VOKE announced that long-time Sportvision executive Jeff Jonas is joining the company asChief Commercial Officer where he will be responsible for developing VOKE’s integrated commercial strategy, driving business growth and building the organization.

KT Health tapped Russell Schleiden to serve as Chief Marketing Officer, where he will develop and drive the brand’s marketing strategy along with growing sales both domestically and abroad. He will also manage the brand’s partnerships with current athlete endorsers Kerri Walsh-Jennings and James Harden, look to increase endorsers and oversee the field marketing team which includes all events and trade shows where the brand will have a presence.


Grizzlies/Thunder on ESPN at 9:30p.

ON THIS DAY in 2002: Giants defensive end Michael Strahan breaks the single-season sack record against the Packers.

In The Know: What is the name of the Adams College sports teams in the movie Revenge of the Nerds? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Retiring coach Tom Coughlin previously served as head coach of which university’s football team? Boston College. Kudos: Rob Thompson-North American Sports Group/NY; Andrea Reid-NBA/NY; Ben Osborne-SLAM Magazine/NY; Jeff Day-NHL/NY; Ken Nice-TeamPeople/Falls Church; Jon Miller-NBC Sports/Stamford; Dave Ridpath-Ohio University/Athens; Jack Mula-NinespotSports/Boston; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Gretchen Brady-KTVT/Dallas; Kevin Micklo-Pinnacle Advertising/Chicago; Bill Robertson-WCHA/Edina; Bob Chasse-Professional Bull Riders/Pueblo; Andrew Rakow-IYF productions/LA; Bryan Geidt-REVShare/Temecula; Mike Petrocelli-Friend MTS/LA; Rick Pike-InterMedia Advertising/Woodland Hills.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

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