02/21/20: New channel PlayersTV will launch in March

 

 

Friday February 21, 2020

The Players Media Group detailed plans to launch PlayersTV, a new network that will spotlight sports lifestyle and culture entertainment, partnering with pro athletes such as Carmelo Anthony, Vernon Davis, CJ McCollum and Chris Paul – among others. The platform will launch next month on Samsung TV Plus. Anthem Sports & Entertainment, owner of AXS TV, Impact Wrestling and other media properties, is also an investor and strategic partner in Players Media Group.

“In today’s world, the desire to not only connect directly with athletes but also learn about their lives off the field of play continues to grow exponentially. But it hasn’t always been easy getting great athlete content into the hands of fans,” said Players Media Group co-founder Deron Guidrey. “Through PlayersTV, we’ve created a distribution ecosystem that brings fans and athletes together in one place, making it easier for fans to access the content they desire, and easier for athletes to reach their fans and also better monetize their content. I’m excited to have world-class athletes join us as shareholders, investors and partners on this journey.”

Nancy Pingitore will serve as CEO and is leading the launch of PlayersTV into the video viewing marketplace. In addition to Pingitore, the executive team will include veteran sports and entertainment attorney Matt Allinson, and Showtime and Disney programming alum Bruce Rider as Chief Content Officer.

PROGRAMMING

NBC Sports is gassing up more than 300 hours of INDYCAR action in 2020 that will span NBC, NBCSN, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and NBC Sports Gold’s INDYCAR Pass. Highlights include: the Indianapolis 500 on May 24, on NBC, NBCSports.com, and the NBC Sports app; eight total INDYCAR races on NBC, including the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on May 9; the Detroit Dual at Belle Isle on the weekend of May 30-31, and the final two races of the season in Portland, Ore., (Sept. 6) and Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., (Sept. 20). NBC Sports’ coverage of the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES begins on March 15, on NBCSN with live coverage of the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

ESPN revealed its Major League Baseball commentator lineup for the 2020 season. Matt Vasgersian will return for his third season as the voice of Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN, joined by Alex Rodriguez in the booth, with Buster Olney as sideline reporter. Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown sees Karl Ravech lead the on-site pregame show with Mark Teixeira, and Tim Kurkjian. Jon Sciambi will return as the voice of Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN Radio alongside Chris Singleton. Additionally, Ernesto Jerez and Luis Alfredo Alvarez will return to call Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN Deportes with Guillermo Celis reporting. Jessica Mendoza will appear on weeknight game telecasts, as previously announced. MLB play-by-play voices Karl Ravech, Jon Sciambi, Dave Flemming will continue to call MLB games during ESPN’s coverage of Opening Day, Weeknight Baseball and Holiday Baseball in 2020. They will each be joined by a variety of analysts during the season, including Jessica Mendoza, Eduardo Perez, Tim Kurkjian, Rick Sutcliffe and Jeff Passan. Dan Shulman will also call ESPN MLB game telecasts and reporter Marly Rivera will contribute to select event telecasts as well.

ONE Championship announced the launch of ‘The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition’ under license from MGM Television. The series will feature 16 contestants from around the world in a high-stakes game of business competitions and physical challenges where the winner will receive a US$250,000 job offer to work for a year directly under Chatri Sityodtong as his protege at the ONE Championship Global Headquarters in Singapore. In addition, a total of 12 of Asia’s top CEOs (1 CEO per episode) will be featured as guest judges alongside Sityodtong.

Poker Central and ESPN mapped out the schedule for the upcoming 2020 World Series of Poker which will feature everyday live footage of the WSOP Main Event running July 1-14. ESPN and Poker Central will telecast at least 40 hours of live WSOP coverage with an additional 90 hours of originally produced episodes. Poker Central’s direct-to-consumer OTT service PokerGO will stream exclusive WSOP Main Event coverage outside of the ESPN broadcast windows. “For the past four years, our partnership with ESPN has been centered on creating the ultimate fan experience by providing wire-to-wire coverage of the World Series of Poker Main Event,” said JR McCabe, chief business officer of Poker Central. “We look forward to another year of bringing poker’s premier event to fans all across the globe.”

NHL Network’s daily studio show NHL Now will air from Team USA’s reunion celebration in Las Vegas today at 4p. NHL Network host Tony Luftman and analyst Brian Lawton, who played for Team USA head coach Herb Brooks as a member of the 1987 Minnesota North Stars, will be on-hand to interview members of the team about their winning experience in Lake Placid 40 years ago. The next day, marking the day Team USA upset Team Soviet Union 4-3 in the “Miracle on Ice” medal round game, NHL Network will host an #NHLMovieNight on Twitter at 4p. During an airing of Miracle, the NHL and its clubs, USA Hockey and the hockey community will join together to celebrate the game and the movie.

MLB Network’s Spring Training series 30 Clubs in 30 Days presented by Camping World, begins today bringing viewers comprehensive coverage from Arizona and Florida in daily installments on MLB Tonight. On-field demonstrations and interviews with players, managers and coaches, plus previews and predictions for the 2020 season from 13 MLB Network personalities will be contributed, and content will be available across MLB Network’s social platforms.

ACC Network picked up four baseball personalities for its roster of on-air personalities. Joining ACCN this spring are former college and major league baseball standouts Doug Mientkiewicz, Javier Lopez, Gaby Sanchez and Adam Greenberg. The quartet will contribute to game and studio coverage with analysis of the conference’s season-long baseball action.

The IRONMAN Group will continue live event coverage on Facebook Watch via the IRONMAN Now Facebook Page for the third straight year, delivering 19 events from around the world in 2020. Over the past two years, more than 5.3 million people have watched at least one minute of an IRONMAN live event broadcast on Facebook. Coverage begins March 7 from the Nutri-Grain IRONMAN New Zealand in Taup?.

SiriusXM NFL Radio takes on the annual NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis starting Tuesday, via NFL channel which will broadcast live each day from the Indiana Convention Center. SiriusXM NFL Radio’s expert hosts in Indianapolis will include Gil Brandt, Pat Kirwan, Charlie Weis; Charles Davis, Jim Miller, Brady Quinn, Bruce Gradkowski and Solomon Wilcots; plus analysts Alex Marvez and Bruce Murray.

TNT and All Elite Wrestling announced the launch of a new weekly podcast, AEW: UNRESTRICTED. Hosted by Aubrey Edwards and Tony Schiavone, AEW: UNRESTRICTED offers fans access to the stars with each one-hour episode featurinng Edwards and Schiavone having in-depth conversations with AEW talent, sharing personal stories that will give exclusive insight into their diverse experiences in wrestling and their lives outside the ring.

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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Pinty’s Delicious Foods and the NHL announced a multiyear Canadian partnership agreement naming Pinty’s, the official chicken wing and premium fresh and frozen meat of the NHL, a partnership inclusive of the fresh and frozen chicken, pork, turkey and bacon categories. Through the partnership, Pinty’s will integrate varying NHL marks to promote existing and new products. Pinty’s products featuring NHL official partner branding will be available at grocery stores across Canada starting this season. Pinty’s will also promote their new Man Cave product line across NHL.com, including for the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline.

Major League Baseball and NFI Consumer Products announced a new multi-year sponsorship agreement between MLB and NFI’s Blue-Emu product line, naming it the Official Pain Cream, Spray and Patch of MLB. With this new partnership. In addition to the MLB sponsorship, Blue-Emu has exclusive deals with 13 MLB Clubs.

Pepsi unveiled its 2020 international football campaign, which includes the debut of a global TVC spot, “Play Never Stops,” featuring Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba, Mo Salah and Raheem Sterling, and Pepsi North America’s “Es Lo Que Quiero” (That’s What I Like) campaign. “Pepsi is proud of our rich history in sports, and we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate another year as an official partner of the UEFA Champions League by launching our 2020 Pepsi Global Football Campaign with ‘Play Never Stops’ here in the U.S.,” said Esperanza Teasdale, Vice President and General Manager at PepsiCo. “It was remarkable working with some of the world’s biggest football stars, who bring ‘Es Lo Que Quiero’ to life with their unapologetic passion for football and Pepsi, and we’re excited for fans to get in on the action with the Pepsi Can Balance challenge.”

ASICS North America unveiled two new commercial spots that will anchor its new 2020 North American “I Move Me” brand marketing campaign, which highlights ASICS’ team of athletes. ASICS athletes featured in the campaign include: distance runners Sara Hall, Emma Bates, Deena Kastor, Lindsay Flanagan, Diane Nukuri, Diego Estrada and Clayton Young, wrestlers Jordan Burroughs and Adeline Gray and track and field athletes Kiara Parker, Kate Hall and Payton Chadwick. As ASICS is an advertiser of NBC’s coverage of the 2020 Summer Games, the first two commercials will make their television debut during the U.S. Marathon Trials on February 29.

DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

Sportradar cemented a multi-year partnership with The Action Network to serve as the company’s official sports data and content provider. The Action Network will now leverage Sportradar’s sports data services for its premium subscription product, Action Edge, and to enhance the mobile experience for consumers looking to track their favorite scores and stats in real-time.

WSC Sports, a leader in artificial intelligence-driven sports video technology, announced an ongoing partnership with the International Volleyball Federation to create and distribute AI-powered video content from the FIVB’s major men’s and women’s events, after a successful launch that included the Volleyball Nations League and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification events. The tech enables the FIVB to customize and distribute highlights for different geographical locations around the world.

ESPORTS

Brawl Stars developer Supercell announced a partnership with ESL for the 2020 Brawl Stars Championship. Starting on March 7, ESL will start running regional qualifiers and broadcast monthly, in-person finals from its main studio in Katowice, leading into the 2020 Brawl Stars Championship in the fall. Supercell will offer an initial prize pool of $1 million for this year’s championship with an additional community pool of up to $500,000 available if players purchase select in-game items to add to the total.

Tempo Storm raised $3.3M in its latest funding round, led by leading Galaxy Interactive via its Galaxy EOS VC Fund. The additional funding will allow the org to “push further into interactive, immersive media, as well as game design, transforming Tempo Storm into something unlike anything else in esports—or in video games as a whole.” Most immediately, they’re focused on building the Game Changers franchise and launching The Bazaar, Tempo’s first video game, into the world. “While Tempo is well-known in the competitive gaming world, we’ve always operated more as a media company than a sports team,” says Tempo Storm founder and CEO Andrey “reynad” Yanyuk. “We believe that interactivity is the future of entertainment, and we’re incredibly grateful to be working with investors who share that vision. Our upcoming game and audience-driven shows are blazing the trail in the world of interactive media, and it’s exciting to see that future being realized.”

The National Association of Collegiate Esports went big in its strategic partnership with Skillshot Media to offer collegiate competition, event production, and rights commercialization. NACE and Skillshot announced that the Spring 2020 collegiate competition includes both Fortnite and CS:GO with an invitational finals to take place at MomoCon in Atlanta, on May 23.

GameWorks is aligning with COMBO BREAKER, the competitive fighting game convention to host the Road to COMBO BREAKER tournament. The R2CB will run March-May with players from all seven GameWorks venues around the country as players compete in TEKKEN 7 on Sony PlayStation 4. In

NEW! SPORTS BROADCAST JOURNAL w/ DAVID J. HALBERSTAM

Hoops Hall adds 2 new media awards; Winners: TNT’s hit, Inside the NBA and rebuked Jim Gray

The Naismith Hall of Fame added two new honors this year to the Gowdy Media Award, the Transformative Media Award and the Media Insight Award. The Transformative went to Turner’s highly acclaimed Inside the NBA with Charles Barkley, Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O’Neil and Kenny Smith.

Halby: Recognizing the highly acclaimed show in one swoop through a new fungible award is smart!

The Media Insight award went to long time network reporter Jim Gray

Halby: The selection is misguided. Gray’s been a lightning rod for criticism through his long on-air career. Think the Pete Rose World Series interview on NBC in 1999 and The Decision, a show he brokered and hosted on ESPN. It turned into a widely criticized fiasco that LeBron himself later admitted could have been handled better. Gray is hardly the model honoree for the Hall’s first such award. How about ESPN’s Outside the Lines or HBO’s Bryant Gumbel?

ASG on TNT: Voices captured the energy and excitement; Team of Albert, Miller and Hill earn a B+

The NBA cleverly changed the format to help facilitate a suspenseful finish. The league designated two captains, LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Each captain and his selected team served as surrogates of sorts, playing on behalf of their preferred charities. The beneficiaries, the kids, were in the crowd rooting. It was quite a show. Turner had 7.3 million viewers, an 8% increase over last year’s game.

Halby: The league might have discovered a cure for All-Stas Game malaise. Turner’s coverage gets a B+. Commentators were Marv Albert, Reggie Miller and Grant Hill. Albert’s been under fire the past couple years for a weakening voice and an increased number of mistakes. Albert’s contract runs out in 2022, shortly before he turns 80. Bosses Jeff Zucker and Lenny Daniels will face a decision on a legend.

Birthdays coming up:
Monday, February 24th
Mike Fratello, former coach and now a commentator on NBA Network

Tuesday, February 25th
James Brown, CBS and host of NFL Today
Andrea Kremer, formerly with NBC, now with NFL Network
Todd Blackledge, prominent ESPN college football analyst

Wednesday February 26
Al Trautwig, decades-long announcer for MSG Network

For additional in-depth coverage, features and profiles on broadcast sports, visit Sports Broadcast Journal

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MANAGER, AD SALES MARKETING
Crown Family Networks
NYC

Dvlp 360-degree advertiser-driven mktg programs while ensuring our brand value proposition, network voice & pgrmng priorities anchor every proposal. 3-5yrs ad sales mktg or related field. Flawless att to detail a must. Full info HERE (2/28)

MGR, DIGITAL AUDIENCE DVLPMNT
>>
A + E Networks/NYC:
Manage day-to-day push notifications, email acquisition, CRM experiences, Social advertising and other digital marketing efforts. 3 – 5yr exp in a CRM development/execution role or a direct marketing / customer acquisition role with a proven track record of success. Full info HERE (3/4)

SR ANALYST, RESEARCH >>
Warner Media/NYC:
Track/analyze/report advertising trends & dvlpmnts, especially as they are projected to affect ad sales. 3+ yrs relevant work exp incl linear, digital & social media mktplace knwldg. V-Lookups, Index-Match, Pivot Tables, Data Connections/Queries, etc.; VBA/Macros a +. Full info HERE (2/27)

AD SALES MARKETING COORDINATOR >>
Crown Media Family Networks/NYC:
Responsible for supporting the Ad Sales team with client communication materials, event coordination, advertiser sponsorship opportunities, premiums and promotions. Min 2 yrs exp mktg or advertising at an entertainment co. Full info HERE (2/28)

SALES SERVICE SUPERVISOR >>
A+E Networks/NYC:
Responsible for training of all new SSR’s, responding to system issues & questions from users & reinforce all Policies & Procedures necessary to provide the best possible customer service to both internal and external client. Full Info HERE (2/28)

DIRECTOR, DIGITAL CONTENT
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INSP/Charlotte NC:
Oversees all website & digital content initiatives. Proven successful exp mngng creative digital-first content, creating websites & digital properties a must as well as . proven track record showing strong growth. 5+yrs exp leading mngmnt of a website property. Relo pkg avail. Full info HERE (2/26)

SALES DIRECTOR >>
VENN/NYC/LA: Entrepreneurially minded self-starter to come in & help drive rev through brand partnerships. Passion for media biz & 5+ yrs track record of success as individual contributor in media sales. Familiarity w/digital & linear media landscape, technologies, platforms & brands. Full info HERE (2/26)

SALES PLANNER >>
VENN/NYC/LA:
Passionate self-starter to play key role in our revenue org to help drive our business forward. Partner w/sales team to create proposals, presentations & media plans to bring to mkt. 2+ yrs track record of exp in similar role at media co. Familiarity w/dig & linear landscape. Full info HERE (2/26)

INTEGRATED MARKETING MGR >>
VENN/NYC:
Ideal candidate will work cross-functionally with Sales & Prod to ideate/oversee execution of breakthrough creative opps for brand partners across Media, Content and Experience. Must be creative thinker & problem solver. Track record of success in similar role at media company, working with video and experiential assets. Full info HERE (2/26)

DIRECTOR, PRICING STRATEGY & INVENTORY >>
Pluto TV/NYC:
Play a meaningful role in Ad Sales driving revenue growth through improved yield. Partner w/SVP of Nat’l Ad Sales & other key ad sales execs within the org. 8-10yrs in a pricing, plan’g or revenue operations dept specializing ad sales @ linear ntwk or online video digital publisher. Full info HERE (2/26)

WRITER PRODUCER EDITOR >>
NBCU Entertainment/Universal City CA: Talented Writer/Producer/Editor brilliant at crafting promos & trailers as they are social & digital videos, with a keen ability to tell different types of stories on diff platforms. Min 3 yrs brdcst network or ent cable network exp on-air promo as a writer/prod/editor. Full info HERE (2/25)

SPECIALIST, MUSIC & MEDIA CLEARANCES >>
MLB Network/Secaucus NJ: Resp to help ensure that assigned media content & products, whether licensed, library, stock or original are cleared for air. 1- 3 years’ work exp at a TV, Film, Licensing or Media Company. Full understanding of music licensing is req’d. Full info HERE (2/25)

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