01/18/17: FOX cooks up Super Bowl with local flavor; NFL Network sees 2016 gains; MLB runs with mitu


Good morning. It’s Wednesday January 18, 2017 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

FOX Sports laid out its digital pans for Super Bowl LI, confirming that the company will offer a live, non-authenticated stream of the game on FOX Sports GO with the live stream featuring local advertisement integration for the first time. The company stated that more than 170 FOX affiliates around the country have already committed to partnering with FOX Sports to program local digital ads with participating affiliates receiving access to same ad inventory for both the linear and digital broadcasts of the February 5 game.
“We’re excited that this year’s Super Bowl will showcase the unique relationship of FOX and its local affiliates which allows us to collaborate on innovations such as this,” said Brian Jones, EVP & COO of Nexstar Broadcasting Group, and Chairman of the FOX Affiliates Board of Governors. “An incredible 170 affiliates from all around the U.S., including 22 stations that Nexstar owns or provides services to, opted to participate in this first-of-its-kind digital ad insertion for the Super Bowl, allowing us to promote our local affiliate brands and reach viewers on a national scale. We look forward to more groundbreaking collaborations with FOX in the future.”


Meanwhile, NFL Network reports that – for the first time in its 13-year history  the channel finished the 2016 regular season as the second most-watched sports cable network among both P18-49 and P18-34 viewers, behind only ESPN. In 2016, NFL Network averaged 256,000 overall viewers for a 3% markup over 2015 to make the season its most-watched among P2+ viewers since 2013. In the P18-49 demo, the channel averaged 123,000 viewers for the 2016 NFL regular season, and in Primetime NFL Network ended the season as the second most-watched sports cable network among P18-49 and P18-34 viewers. Series scores saw NFL Network’s new morning show, Good Morning Football finish the 2016 NFL Regular Season up 15% among P18-49 viewers and 9% overall compared to the equivalent time period average in 2015; NFL GameDay Prime, was up 36% overall compared to 2015; and NFL GameDay Morning was up 2%.

NBCSN takes on the 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Friday with live coverage of the sport’s eighth class at 8p from Charlotte. The two-hour special honors renowned car owner and former driver Richard Childress, 12-time NASCAR Premier Series Championship team owner Rick Hendrick, 40-time Premier Series race winner Mark Martin, one of NASCAR’s earliest and most successful car owners Raymond Parks, and 1973 Premier Series Champion and television commentator Benny Parsons. NASCAR on NBC host Krista Voda and lead race announcer Rick Allen will co-host the ceremony.

CNBC and Michael Strahan are teaming up to bring Alex Rodriguez to the network. The network announced upcoming series Back in the Game (working title), produced by SMAC Entertainment and Machete Productions in which the show pairs ex-athletes in serious financial distress with money-savvy mentors who can help them get back on their feet.

Don’t miss the deadline! Don’t miss your shot to bring home a Cynopsis Sports Media Awards to celebrate your work with the people, partnerships and programs in our industry that benchmark excellence in front of and behind the cameras. Get your entries in now by clicking here.

ESPN announced that former US Men’s National Team player and Seattle Sounders forward Herculez Gomez inked a deal to join the company as a soccer analyst. He will serve as a studio analyst on ESPN’s English and Spanish-language networks, primarily serving as a pundit on ESPN FC as well as a studio analyst for the network’s coverage of MLS, US Men’s National Team, and other international soccer competitions. On ESPN Deportes, he will appear on signature soccer studio programs Fuera de Juego and Futbol Picante.
Results from the 2017 National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot will be announced exclusively on MLB Network and MLB.com tonight at 6p as part of a four-hour announcement show beginning at 3p. In addition, for the first time, MLB’s official Facebook page will also showcase the announcement. Programming will be anchored by Greg Amsinger and Brian Kenny and include the first interviews with the Hall of Fame electees, with analysis by Bob Costas, Harold Reynolds, John Smoltz, and voters Peter Gammons, Jon Heyman, Jon Morosi, Ken Rosenthal, Joel Sherman and Tom Verducci.

MMA promotion Combate Americas announced that Thursday’s live event from Mexico City would mark the first MMA event ever to air on ESPN Latin America. Overall, the show will be broadcast into a universe of approximately 187 million homes.



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Jordan Spieth unveiled his first-ever signature shoe with Under Armour, dubbed the Spieth One. The brand’s latest offering will be waterproof, feature rotational resistance traction, a one-seam upper, and a dual durometer outsole: The shoe will be available to the public on March 1 for a suggested retail price of $200.

Meanwhile, Reebok is launching a suite of films championing “the hard work and physicality that lead people to more enriched lives, and celebrate the value of human connection.” The promotion marks the newest step of the brand’s Be More Human campaign, examining the physical blemishes “upon which our life stories are written.” The first film, ‘Hands’ examines people pushing their bodies to their physical limits, through the tight framing of their beaten hands. To celebrate the launch, thousands of ReebokONE trainers will be available across 10 US cities through Friday, offering workouts in exchange for a simple handshake as a way to physically and socially connect people through fitness.


Major League Baseball is teaming with mitu, which creates mainstream entertainment through a Latino lens, for a new Always-On content campaign designed to offer MLB-dedicated content to multicultural youth. Starting next month, the two organizations will offer exclusive digital content that will appear across a variety of mitu and MLB distribution channels. As part of the partnership, mitu will also leverage its proprietary technology to measure response and sculpt content to maximize engagement and reach for a young multicultural audience.
FloSports and USA Wrestling locked in a new agreement as part of a long-term extension of their media partnership. The deal runs through December 2024 and includes the airing of some of the sport’s top events exclusively on FloWrestling.com as well as usage of the FloArena meet management software for selected top USA Wrestling events. FloWrestling will have exclusive digital and marketing live rights for 14 USA Wrestling championship-level events, including World Team Trials, Junior Nationals, Cadet Nationals, University and UWW Cadet Nationals, and Junior World Team Trials among others.

Reality Check Systems is lending its graphics expertise and technology to 29 WTA Media tennis broadcasts this season as part of a new deal. “Our deal with WTA marks the largest yet in the history of women’s sports, so naturally we wanted to take our production value to the next level. Having worked with RCS on DAZN and other projects, we knew they could help us make a big splash with high-end graphics that complement the players and the game,” shared John Learing, MD, WTA Media. “They’ve done an amazing job and we look forward to working with them to improve the quality of our coverage even further.”

Yahoo announced plans to host the first-ever Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit at the company’s headquarters in NYC on Feb. 8, with speakers that are set to include MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. The day-long event will explore “the critical questions and changes facing our economy and financial markets as we begin a new administration for the first time in eight years” and be streamed on the site.


360-degree VR platform SLIVER.tv locked in a 2017 partnership with ESL and DreamHack that will reel in ESL mega events like ESL One and the Intel Extreme Masters series, DreamHack’s DreamLeague, DreamHack ASTRO Open and DreamHack Masters. SLIVER.tv has been Beta testing its VR Live Cast tournament platform for the past three months in collaboration with ESL, with the new stream enabling spectators to experience top esports games in fully immersive 360º virtual reality.

Get in early for our annual Cynopsis World eSports Summit on April 12 in NYC. Leagues, platforms, teams, brands and more will map out revenue success in this thriving industry. Click here for more info…


Sharks/Kings on NBCSN at 10:30p.


Featured Session: The Data Dig: Going Deep with Advanced Consumer Metrics #2
Cynopsis Ratings Master Class // January 25 // Sponsored by Nielsen // REGISTER NOW

After diving into the data learn how to interpret audience behavior, feedback and ratings, and how to best share it with the media and advertising communities.  Our experts Ashwin Navin of Samba TV, and Shareablee’s Tania Yuki will show you how to make the most of all that information you will now have at your fingertips!

ON THIS DAY in 1983: The IOC restores Jim Thorpe’s Olympic medals, 70 years after they were taken from him.

In The Know: Which two teams has the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger beaten in the Super Bowl? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: From what school was Aaron Rodgers drafted? Answer: Cal – Berkeley. Kudos: John Ferlazzo-Media Consultant/London; Mark McDonald-ESPN/NY; Rick Ramage-BIENSTOCK/NY; Daniel Lowenthal-Horizon Media/NY; Joel Lewin-Warner Bros. Media Sales/NY; Rusty Mintz-Turner Sports/Atlanta; Willy Gibson-WTG Consulting/Columbus; Robert Twilley-Jupiter Entertainment/Knoxville; Tom Lopez-UPS/Atlanta; Steve McNair-KUBE TV/Houston; Kevin Micklo-Pinnacle Advertising/Chicago; Matt Fumagalli-NBC Sports/Chicago; Bill Robertson-WCHA/Edina; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Scott Sarra-NBC Sports Group/Denver; David Hauptman/Denver; Michael Jaquet-US Ski and Snowboard/Park City; Greg Larnerd/Astoria; John Baghdassarian-Olympusat/LA; Nick Monroe-Monroe Photography/San Diego; Willie Price-American Forces Network/Riverside.

Later — Chris
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