01/20/15: CBS gets sophomore run of TNF; NFC/AFC Championships average 46.1 million viewers; Kumho Tire takes the train to NBA All-Star


Good morning. It’s Tuesday, January 20, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

A long weekend saw CBS and the NFL renew their vows for Thursday Night Football, announcing the deal on Sunday. The agreement will be for the 2015 season with an addition year available at the NFL’s option as CBS and NFL Network simulcast TNF for the first eight games of the season. NFL Network will also exclusively carry eight games leading up to the playoffs with all 16 produced by CBS. In addition, the programming relationship between the NFL and CBS will expand to include, among other elements, “the development of new programming initiatives across the various CBS and NFL platforms.”

“We are pleased to extend our partnership with CBS for Thursday Night Football,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “The promotion and production by CBS and NFL Network last season made Thursday night a night for NFL football. We look forward to working again next season with CBS.”


Meanwhile, Sunday’s NFL conference championship games saw an average of 46.1 million viewers tuning in for the comeback and the blowout. The Green Bay Packers/Seattle Seahawks NFC Championship Game on FOX peaked at 60.5 million average viewers as the game went into overtime. The game averaged 49.8 million viewers to rank as the most-watched program since Super Bowl XLVIII. Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Colts/New England Patriots AFC Championship Game on CBS averaged 42.1 million viewers.

FOX Sports 1 generated a 1.7 in the overnight numbers for UFC Fight Night on Sunday, which would mark the channel’s highest-rated and most-watched UFC event of all time.

Anyway, the Seahawks/Patriots Super Bowl will see Idina Menzel sing the National Anthem at this year’s game. NBC and the NFL also report that John Legend will sing America The Beautiful as part of Super Bowl XLIX pregame festivities. The performances will be televised live on NBC ahead to kickoff.

Speaking of performances, the NHL has locked in artist Fall Out Boy, rock band O.A.R. and power-pop band Locksley to perform at the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game. Fall Out Boy will perform during the first intermission of the game, followed by a performance from Ohio State alumni O.A.R. during the second intermission, while Locksley will perform The Whip during the NHL All-Star player introductions. Fans can watch the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game live on Sunday, Jan. 25 at 5p on NBCSN stateside and on CBC and TVA Sports in Canada.

This week’s NBA TV Fan Night presented by Sprint telecast will feature the Heat/Thunder tonight at 7:30p. The game selection was based on fan voting via NBA.com, the NBA.com mobile web, NBA Game Time App, and via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Univision scored on Jan. 10 with its coverage of the Liga MX match between Club America and Leon, which ranked as the most-viewed LMX opening match among Total Viewers and Adults 18-49 since 2009. The contest delivered an average of 1.7 million Total Viewers and 970,000 Adults 18-49, according to Nielsen.

Sand volleyball is beefing up its presence as the NCAA has made Division II and Division III an approved sand volleyball a championship sport starting in spring 2016. Sand volleyball, which was approved to become a championship by Division I in October, marks the 90th NCAA championship. The NCAA is looking to name host sites for this new championship by fall 2015.

CSI Sports locked in a carriage deal for FIGHT SPORTS with leading Pay-TV operator, Telia to become Scandinavia’s first dedicated network to support the entire genre. The channel was launched by Telia in Sweden on Jan. 15 and by Sonera in Finland later this month.

RIP to Tony Verna, television director and producer who is credited with the creation of instant replay in sports 51 years ago, who died at 81. CBS utilized instant replay for the first time ever in the Dec. 7, 1963 during the Army/Navy football game in Philadelphia.

Greg Anthony was suspended indefinitely by CBS and Turner Sports following his arrest for solicitation on Friday. “I made a mistake,” Anthony said in a Jan. 17 statement to the press. “I apologize to my colleagues and business partners, but most of all to my wife and my family.”


2015 Upfronts: Behind the Scenes with Cynopsis
Everyday at 6 PM, we’ll bring you up close & personal coverage of the 2015 Upfront with a new additional edition.

-Get the low down on where was the event held and who was there.
-Find out fun facts about each network and their programs.
-Learn everything from programming & marketing strategies, to the state of the business and future plans.
-Hear a roundup of Q&A’s from execs at each event!

Advertising space is limited, please contact: Mike Farina at 203-218-6480


Kumho Tire laid out its plans for NBA All-Star 2015 in New York City. The promotion will see Carmelo Anthony join Kumho Tire as a brand ambassador for NBA All-Star with activities that include the first-ever NBA All-Star 2015-themed subway cars which are wrapped both inside and outside. Kumho will also host an interactive fan experience at the Times Square subway station beginning Jan. 26. In February, Kumho will take over Times Square and Pennsylvania Station, with giant dynamic digital billboards and other promotional signage at NASDAQ, Reuters, Penn Plaza and the Times Square Digital Twins.

Bud Light released a teaser for its 2015 Super Bowl ad with the full 60-second spot, dubbed “Coin,” showing how one Bud Light fan finds himself in a giant Pac-Man maze. The commercial is designed to build on the brand’s Perfect Beer for Whatever Happens campaign.

Minor League Baseball named DeVry University as the Official Education and Career Development Partner of Minor League Baseball. DeVry University and its Keller Graduate School of Management will offer higher education opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate levels for players, their spouses, employees, umpires and National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (NAPBL) employees and alumni through 2017. 

Agent Leigh Steinberg and serial entrepreneur Cosmo DeNicola announced New York Jets owner Robert "Woody" Johnson IV will become the inaugural recipient of the first annual Steinberg DeNicola Humanitarian Award, an award designed to commemorate members of the NFL community for their humanitarian efforts. The award will be presented during the 28th Annual Leigh Steinberg Super Bowl Party on Saturday, January 31 at the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix.

SCORE International locked in deals with Bud Light, Vision Wheel and Axial Racing as official sponsors. SCORE opens its 2015 racing calendar in Baja California, Mexico next week at the 29th Annual Bud Light SCORE San Felipe 250.


Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz won’t be the only headliners of the Super Bowl Halftime Show during the Feb. 1 game; YouTube and Collective Digital Studios will also release its own halftime show. Hosted by YT’s Epic Meal Time’s Harley Morenstein, the program will feature more than 20 YT celbs, such as, Freddie Wong, Toby Turner and Rhett and Link. Bloomberg reports the show will also feature fake ads, including a 90’s style ad for sugary drinks from Wong. The live stream will broadcast on the AdBlitz channel, and showcase a postgame gallery with behind-the-scenes footage from Super Bowl commercials.

NBC Sports Group launched the NBC Sports MatchMaker app, designed to aid Premier League fans locate, chat and meet up with each other to watch matches with fellow club supporters. At game time, the app activates an interactive map that shows which venues fans of a specific club are meeting as well as the best bars and restaurants to watch football as voted on by other fans.  In addition, users can seamlessly invite their friends to meet up in the moment or organize a get together in advance for an upcoming match, and start the pre-game banter early with an integrated group chat function.

Global fantasy sports platform developer Mondogoal is adding Chelsea FC as a team partner. Chelsea joins a list of Premier League, La Liga and Italian Serie A clubs as partners.


WWE promoted Lisa Fox Lee to Executive Vice President, Content where she will oversee the strategic development and distribution of WWE programming and content across all platforms, including TV, WWE Network, WWE.com, WWE App and social media. In addition, Lee will oversee WWE’s Creative Writing team with all TV creative continuing to run through Vince McMahon and WWE Executive Vice President, Paul Levesque.


Iowa/Wisconsin on ESPN at 9p.



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ON THIS DAY in 1980: President Carter calls for the Olympic to be moved from Moscow.

In The Know: Sunday saw Patriots coach Bill Belichick set the NFL record for playoff coaching victories with 21. Whose record did he break? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Name three MLS pitchers who have won Cy Young Awards in both leagues. Answer: Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and Gaylord Perry. Kudos: Jay Goldstein-AdMore/NY; Lewis Blaustein-Lewis Brand Solutions, Inc./NY; Lon Samuelson-Hospital for Special Surgery NY/NY; Jamie Schaefer-Herstein/Time Warner Cable Media/NY; Randy Ingram-WBTW-TV/Myrtle Beach; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc./Santa Monica; Doug Kelly-Foster Farms Bowl/South San Francisco; Miguel Velasco-FOX Sports/LA; Greg Dudsic/Venice; Allan Flowers-NFL Network/LA.

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