02/03/16: A new Pro for the PGA TOUR; Golden Boy targets Khan battle; the PBA strikes new upgrades


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Good morning. It’s Wednesday February 3, 2016, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

GoPro has another heavyweight in the bag, announcing a deal with the PGA TOUR and SkratchTV to offer “never-before-seen perspectives and episodic video content to golf fans around the world.” The alliance debuts this week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open with broadcast integrations using GoPro cameras as the PGA TOUR streams the pro-am from the 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course. The new pro-am show will be hosted by Erik Anders Lang from SkratchTV and see PGA TOUR Entertainment tap GoPro’s HEROCast technology to broadcast unique coverage of the Pro-Am, including on-course interviews leveraging live GoPro cameras on talent, player-worn perspectives, and in-stadium fan-cams. GoPro will also produce episodic videos that bring fans inside-the-ropes at PGA TOUR events and use their spherical capture technology for a virtual reality experience from some locations.

“This partnership with the PGA TOUR and SkratchTV will enable our team to capture unique views of the game and to tell the stories from the TOUR, and about golf lifestyle, in a whole new way,” said Todd Ballard, vice president of global sports entertainment marketing for GoPro. “The Waste Management Phoenix Open will serve as a starting point to collect content for our upcoming, season-long initiatives, and it will be a great opportunity to showcase our integrated broadcast technology.”


Cinco de Mayo weekend will see Canelo Alvarez battle Amir “King” Khan on May 7 in a battle produced and distributed by HBO PPV. Golden Boy Promotions will promote the fight, which is expected to take place at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. "We are committed to putting on the biggest and best fights in boxing," said Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO, Oscar De La Hoya. "Canelo is the biggest star in the sport and as he demonstrated against James Kirkland and Miguel Cotto last year, he is only getting better. Those who predicted that he would take an easy fight for his first defense have been proven wrong once again. As for Amir, he has won his last five fights including an incredible performance against Devon Alexander, and now that he is back where he belongs at Golden Boy Promotions, his future is very bright, once again."

The Big 12/SEC Challenge handed ESPN with a spike thanks to the Kentucky/Kansas matchup on Saturday, which generated 2,984,000 viewers to rank as the all-time most viewed matchup in the third annual event. The OT game grew 40% over the event’s previous high-mark and saw Louisville rank as the highest-rated market to tune in for the game with a 19.9 overnight score. Across all ESPN networks, viewership for the Big 12/SEC Challenge grew 46% over the previous event in 2014.

Round two of NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC once again took the evening on Saturday across several demos. The Cavaliers’ win over the Spurs handed the channel with 3,316,000 average viewers and a 2.1 household rating, according to Nielsen, with outright wins among P18-34, P18-49, M18-34, and M18-49. San Antonio scored a 13.7 for the contest, while Cleveland generated a 17.7 rating.

Lady Gaga will step up to sing the National Anthem as part of Super Bowl 50 pregame festivities at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday. The performance will be televised live on CBS prior to kickoff. In addition, on behalf of the National Association of the Deaf, Marlee Matlin will perform the song in American Sign Language.

After seeing Discovery snag rights to the Olympics for Eurosport, the BBC announced that it will keep its broadcast streak alive for the Games through 2024, after locking in a sub-license agreement with Discovery. The company agreed to sell the British free TV rights on to the BBC for the 2022 Winter Games and 2024 Summer Olympics. According to the AP, Discovery will also sub-license from the BBC the exclusive pay TV rights in Britain for the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed team relocation in an interview on The Rich Eisen Show yesterday, noting that while “relocation is painful” and he was hopeful for stadium solutions in San Diego and Oakland. He went on to acknowledge that the prospect of a team in Las Vegas was ultimately the decision of the owners, noting “Obviously there are specific issues that would need to be discussed in the context of Las Vegas. But I think it’s way premature at this point to be speculating on that. There’s no proposals, there’s nothing firm in any way. So I think this is something that at some point it may come up. But for right now we’re not focused on that.”

ESPN announced that reporter Holly Rowe is stepping aside to take care of a medical situation. “I wanted to share some personal news as I face a new challenge ahead,” said Rose in a statement. “In May, I had a tumor in my chest removed and I have recently learned that there is a new tumor, which needs to be removed via surgery today. In the coming days, I will know more about what potential additional steps I may take to address this situation.”

On the radio front, Monday will see ProFootballTalk Live with Mike Florio shift to its new morning show timeslot on NBC Sports Radio, running live each weekday from 6-9a. The final hour of ProFootballTalk Live with Mike Florio, will be simulcast on NBCSN and streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra through mid-April. Other changes in the lineup will see The Newy Scruggs Show move into the midday slot from noon-3p, followed by the Chris Mannix Show from 3-7p. In addition, Under Center with Mark Malone moves to 7-10p and will be followed from 10p-1a by Going Deep with Amani Toomer and Dan Schwartzman. The new Scott Seidenberg Show makes its debut in the overnight window (1-3a).



Our awards show continues to spotlight the groundbreaking work created by sports media, don’t let your 2015 efforts go unnoticed!

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Awards Event: April 21, 2016 (NYC)

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Budweiser is turning to the Oscars for its Super Bowl campaign, announcing the Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren would anchor a 60-second spot that takes on the issue of driving drunk. The ad, dubbed Simply Put, calls out drivers to #GiveADamn and “protect their lives and the lives of others, in a tone that only Mirren can deliver,” according to the company. In addition, Budweiser is launching StandWithBud.com, to offer people the most convenient transportation options based on their locations, from taxis to car services (including discount codes).
Nissan is turning toward college basketball for its newest promotion, and will take to 26 colleges and universities for Nissan’s College 100 program. Designed to serve as the brand’s first large-scale "Ultimate Access" sweepstakes, the campaign will look to offer super fans the opportunity to access insider privileges at college basketball games in late February and early March. The sweepstakes kicked off Feb. 1 and runs for about three weeks, with activations on campuses where consumers can meet with Nissan and register to win. "Nissan’s marketing strategy is about leveraging cultural moments, like the passion that fans have for college basketball each spring," said Jeremy Tucker, vice president, Marketing Communications and Media, Nissan North America.


The Professional Bowlers Association renewed its ties with NeuLion, and will launch a major upgrade to the PBA Xtra Frame OTT video streaming service ahead of the PBA Firelake Tournament of Champions this week. The all-new Xtra Frame service includes enhanced mobile and tablet apps, interactive event replays, and advanced  video player that can support video qualities that include 4K Ultra HD, along with slow motion live streaming in addition to behind-the-scenes footage, select coverage of World Bowling Tour, PBA regional and special events, exclusive live commentary, interviews and features with PBA professionals, and archived ESPN telecasts. “With NeuLion’s help, the PBA has delivered a one of a kind digital home for fans of bowling from all over the world, and we look forward to enabling more access to the professionals and competitions that drive this hugely popular  sport,” said Tom Clark, Commissioner of PBA.

Fanatics locked in the acquisition of Kitbag, a UK-based international sports eCommerce company in a move to grow the licensed sports merchandise business both in soccer and across all sports globally. Kitbag runs its own site and also operates the online and retail business for more than 25 partners across European soccer, motorsports, rugby, tennis and golf with relationships that include the likes of Manchester United, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Chelsea, Everton, Leicester Tigers, Borussia Dortmund, French Open at Roland Garros, Wimbledon and Formula 1. Kitbag also operates the eCommerce businesses for the NFL, NBA and NHL in Europe.

With a boost from MLBAM, the NHL’s new suite of digital products are officially out of the gate, including a brand new NHL.TV streaming subscription service for out-of-market games, official NHL App and NHL.com. NHL.TV taks the place of NHL GameCenter LIVE and will be powered by BAM Tech’s streaming video infrastructure. Subscribers only will need to update their current applications on supported devices to access features that include HD video, the media payer, NHL Premium, extended highlights, and more. Meanwhile, the redesigned NHL app will see new features such as NHL Premium, 60fps HD streaming, team homepages as well as multitasking and Picture-in-Picture capabilities.

ESPN added five more names to its editorial staff of The Undefeated, reeling in two writers, Lonnae O’Neal and Clinton Yates of The Washington Post, and three editors  Latoya Peterson, an editor-at-large at Fusion, Crain’s Chicago Business managing editor Steve Reiss, and Danyel Smith, former editor-in-chief at VIBE magazine.


Red Wings/Lightning on NBCSN at 8p.

ON THIS DAY in 2008: The Giants shock the undefeated Patriots 17-14 in Super Bowl XLII.

In The Know: Which team has the record for most points in a single 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: Who is the only Canadian to be named Super Bowl MVP? Answer: Mark Rypien. Kudos: David Stern-BARD Entertainment/NY; Thom Hering-PSP/NY; Tim Overmyer-20th TV/Atlanta; Nick Casanova-NBC Sports/Stamford; Mark Darnell-Golf Services/Augusta; Alan Maynes-Bell Media/Toronto; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Carly Salczynski-Genesco Sports Enterprises/Dallas; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner and Triathlete magazine/Houston; Harry S Vested Jr-GCSN/Denver; Jack Neumann-University of Calgary Dinos 5th Quarter Alumni Development/Calgary; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions/Santa Monica; Louis DiCenzo-LD Media/LA; Doug Kelly-Foster Farms Bowl/South San Francisco; Willie Price-American Forces Network/Riverside.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

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