02/12/18: NBC continued a hot week as the Olympics brought tens of millions of viewers

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Good morning. It’s Monday February 12, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

NBC’s coverage of the Winter Games saw the Opening Ceremony blaze a Total Audience Delivery average of 28.3 million viewers, down slightly from 2014 but still ranking as the most-watched Friday night program on any network since the 2014 Sochi Olympics, according to live plus same day Nielsen fast national data with a 14.7/27 primetime household rating. That also ranks as the third most-watched Opening Ceremony off all time, behind only Sochi 2014 and Lillehammer 1994. Viewership peaked on NBC at 31.5 million from 9-9:15p as Team USA entered during the Parade of Nations. NBC Sports Digital’s Opening Ceremony streaming on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app delivered an average minute audience of 449,000 viewers – more than double the audience for the Rio Opening Ceremony.
Meanwhile, NBC Olympics’ primetime coverage of Saturday’s events posted a TAD average of 24.2 million viewers, topping the opening Saturday of the 2016 Rio Olympics, according to live plus same day fast national data released today by Nielsen, and digital data from Adobe Analytics. NBCSN also scored its best-ever afternoon rating and viewership for Saturday’s 2-5p telecast, averaging 4.5 million viewers and a 2.56 household rating.

Carlos Cordeiro was elected as the new president of the US Soccer Federation, as voters chose to turn inward in appointing the current org VP to the top role. “I’m a little overwhelmed,” Cordeiro said after clinching 68.6 percent of the vote on the third ballot. “Thank you to those of you who supported me today. Thank you very, very much. This is incredibly humbling. I want to thank all the candidates for a spirited campaign, all of you, thank you.
Meanwhile US Soccer also announced that if North America hosts the 2026 FIFA World Cup, the region would generate more than $5 billion in short-term economic activity, including supporting approximately 40,000 jobs and more than $1 billion in incremental worker earnings across North America, according to a study done by The Boston Consulting Group. Canada, Mexico and the United States are bidding to host the 48-team tournament in 2026, which will be the largest in FIFA World Cup history with the overall net benefit to the region running from $3-4 billion. Meanhile, individual host cities could expect to see approximately $160 – $620 million lift in incremental economic activity.
Speaking of bids, the USOC announced that any bid for the Winter Games would by for 2030, instead of 2026, with USOC Chairman Larry Probst noting that “It would make things extremely complicated from a financial standpoint with Los Angeles.” Among the cities thought to be considering a bid would be Salt Lake city, Denver and Reno.
NBC Sports can now lay claim to an addition 12 million viewers for its Super Bowl LII presentation, based on a new preliminary “out of home” viewing metric issued by Nielsen. With the Nielsen “out of home” figure added, the Super Bowl viewership tally now registers a TAD of 118.2 million viewers, across all platforms. “We know that the Super Bowl is watched in large groups by many at parties, on college campuses, and elsewhere, so we are pleased to be able to report a lift that is in the double digits percentage wise to our NBC broadcast,” said Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Broadcasting & Sports. “We will continue to utilize ‘out of home’ reporting throughout the Winter Games, as the Olympics is a communal event that brings people together.”
ESPN, ATP and ATP Media locked in a multi-year agreement for broadcast rights throughout Spanish-speaking Latin America and the Caribbean to all thirteen ATP World Tour 500 events. ESPN’s rights include full exclusivity for pay TV and co-exclusive digital rights alongside the ATP’s online streaming service in Spanish-speaking Latin America and the Caribbean with the deal launching with the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam starting today.
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The Crossover is coming back this week on ESPN with basketball doubleheaders on ESPN and ESPN2 on Wednesday that blend NBA and college basketball commentators on the call of each game. ESPN tip-off is at 8p with the Clippers/Celtics as Dick Vitale and Mark Jackson serve as analysts on the call alongside play-by-play announcer Ryan Ruocco and sideline reporter Lisa Salters. Later the channel features the Warriors/Trail Blazers with analysts Bill Walton and Doris Burke, along with Dave Pasch and sideline reporter Cassidy Hubbarth. The college basketball doubleheader begins at 7p on ESPN2 with Virginia Tech/Duke and Mark Jones, Hubie Brown, Jay Bilas and Maria Taylor on microphone dutires. 9p sees Kentucky with Adam Amin, analysts P.J. Carlesimo and Dan Dakich and sideline reporter Laura Rutledge calling the action.
The 2018 Cynopsis Top Women in Digital
Wednesday, March 14 th | Espace, NYC
Join us next month as we celebrate these incredible women in digital whose accomplishments have elevated the industry and inspired others to follow in their footsteps. Recognizing women whose roles span from Rising Stars to Game-Changers to Mentors to Directors who do it all to Industry Leaders and Corporate Visionaries, this event is not to be missed. Register your team today and check out 2018’s Top 100 Women in Digital!

Toyota detailed its activation plans for PyeongChang 2018, which will see the company shift its branding to one of a mobility company via “Start Your Impossible.” The campaign marks Toyota’s first-ever global marketing campaign, and is rolling out in 27 countries at the start of and through the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, highlighting real-life mobility stories of Olympic and Paralympic athletes as well as “everyday athletes who demonstrate the values of humility, hard work and never giving up.” “Toyota believes that ‘mobility’ goes well beyond cars and that movement is a human right. This campaign, and our worldwide partnership with The International Olympic and Paralympic Committees, are a reflection of our commitment to providing freedom of movement for all,” said Ed Laukes, Group Vice President, Toyota Division Marketing, Toyota Motor North America. “”Start Your Impossible” tells the stories of exceptional human strength and triumph.”
WIX Filters has joined Stewart-Haas Racing as the team’s official filter. WIX Filters will be outfitted on all of SHR’s racecars, with the team fielding four entries in the elite Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and two entries in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.

Fanatics reported strong upticks for Team USA gear ahead of the Games, reporting a 60% increase in Team USA merchandise sales for the three weeks leading into the Pyeongchang Opening Ceremony vs. the same period four years ago for the Sochi Opening Ceremony. Overall, Team USA fan gear has sold to 80 different countries since the 100 Days Out mark with US Hockey ranking as the top-selling sport.
Game developer Milestone announced that the Monster Energy Supercross mobile game is available now for download on the iTunes App Store. The freemium game sees gamers leap over jumps and wind around curves. Complete with a massive single player career, players can compete in four race types against AI riders as well as join online tournaments that match real-life championship weekends.

Vainglory is going big, as Super Evil Megacorp laid out plans for a new pro league after unveiling a new game mode for the world’s top international mobile esports title. The league is partnering with ESP Gaming to deliver the Vainglory Premier League out of Las Vegas, with an eye to make Vainglory the company’s flagship production title for its new, state-of-the-art studio. The inaugural season of the Vainglory Premier League will kick off in June and see a regular season with a double-round-robin format with midseason and end-of-season playoffs, along with a single relegation tournament and regional championships will qualify teams for the annual World Championship. Meanwhile, Razer entered into a strategic partnership to combine Vainglory with its gamer-first devices and peripherals.
The NBA 2K League unveiled player salary and prize pool figures, with the initial season, spanning May-August, offering a total $1 million prize pool for three tournaments and the end-of-season playoffs and league championship. In addition, players will be signed to six-month contracts ranging from $35,000 for first-round draft picks to $32,000 for later selections. In addition, the 2K League will offer perks that include housing, medical insurance, and a retirement plan.
704Games, NASCAR Team Properties’ exclusive console simulation-style video game licensee, and Esports Arena Drive, North America’s first mobile esports arena, are bringing NASCAR Heat Champions to Daytona International Speedway during the DAYTONA 500 race weekend. All fans in attendance will have the chance to compete in the free NASCAR Heat 2 esports competition for prizes as part of a multi-day tournament will take place on Esports Arena Drive as the mobile esports arena makes its competition debut. “NASCAR Heat Champions is a unique gaming tournament open to NASCAR and video game fans of all ages,” said Ed Martin, President at 704Games. “Fans will be able to experience the excitement of NASCAR Heat 2 on a one-of-a-kind stage at the biggest race event of the year.” Esports caster Bil “Jump” Carter will host the tournament and the finals will be streamed live on Esports Arena’s Twitch channel.

After fans saw the London Spitfire emerge victorious from the first-ever Overwatch League Stage Finals, ESPN reports that potential team owners who sat out season one, will pay for the privilege in season two. According to the story, franchise fees will grow from $20 million from the initial round, to $35-60 million moving forward.


Women’s Halfpipe Snowboarding Final on NBC at 8p.

Wednesday, March 7th | 4:45pm – 8pm | SVA Theatre, NYC
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ON THIS DAY in 2010: The 21st Winter Olympic Games open in Vancouver, Canada.
In the Know: Who was the last American male to win a gold medal for men’s singles in ice skating? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Name a country south of the equator that was won a medal (any medal) in the Winter Olympics. Answer: There are two, Australia and New Zealand. Kudos: Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Russell Sargeant-NBC Sports/NY; Lou Castellano-Turner Broadcasting/NY; Kyle Helm-CBS Sports/NY; John Miller-NBC Sports Group/Stamford; Mike May-PHIT America/Wellington; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Robert Teinowitz-Live Action Media/Chicago; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Miriam Aardahl-OMD/LA

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