Good morning. It’s Monday, February 24, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

And thus begins the new era for WWE, as WWE Network goes live today at 9a, partnering with MLBAM. The 24/7 streaming network grabbed headlines at CES this year and has since gone on to lay out programming that will showcase all of its PPVs, including WrestleMania (to the detriment of some PPV distributors), as well as content that includes the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony; pre-show and Backstage Pass for both Raw and Smackdown; reality series WWE Legends’ House (starting April 10); WWE Countdown (starting tomorrow); multiple shows for its NXT brand; and a home video library offering matches and biographies for stars from WCW, ECW and WWE.

Cynopsis Sports spoke with Perkins Miller, WWE’s Executive Vice President, Digital Media, about the decision to go digital with the new platform, expectations and how it will impact the company.

Miller on going digital: When we looked at the media landscape, and this was a few years ago, we examined what our fans wanted to consume in terms of content. We have incredible reach with our PPVs every year and we have this rich archive of more than 100,000 hours of content, so we looked at what would be the best way to serve that to our fans. About a year ago, we saw 1) a meteoric rise for our mobile application that now has more than 10 and a half million downloads, 2) we saw the success of people in the OTT space like YouTube and Hulu and we discovered that not only were our fans engaged in our content, but they way over-indexed in terms of using technology, particularly over-the-top delivery technology. So we put that together and thought that this was a great recipe for our own over-the-top service and here we are today.

On fans: Our fans are consuming five times as much digital content than the average consumer, and were twice as likely to be an OTT subscriber, whether it be Netflix or Hulu Plus, etc. If we looked at that notion that our fans are passionate and are engaged in the technology already, then all we had to do was look at the value proposition. We’ve got 12 PPVs a year, with price points between $45 and $60 a PPV, and fans are paying more than $600 a year to watch them. So we wanted to price this properly and our research said that at $9.99 a month for the six month commitment, we could really get our fans to not only watch our PPVs, but watch more.

On content: Obviously, the most critical content that our fans look forward to is WrestleMania and our PPVs, which goes without saying. We also recognize as a 24/7 linear network that we have to keep people engaged week in and week out so there are a series of original programs we’ve developed to watch. We’ve got WrestleMania Rewind, which shows so many iconic moments and is a big one for us. WWE Countdown blends our social reach with our programming as we ask our fans to rank anything from the top ten moments, catchphrases, moves, etc. We also have Legends’ House, which will debut right after WrestleMania and features the likes of Rowdy Roddy Piper, Tony Atlas and Hacksaw Jim Duggan, who will come in a live in this house and go through crazy scenarios after, in some cases, 20 years apart. We will be marrying those traditional entertainment shows with in-ring action and news.

On expectations: We are looking at a lot of demand across our social platforms. The last time I looked, our network Facebook page had around 2 million likes on it. We’ve had a tremendous amount of demand in the media. In fact, at CES, in spite of all the announcements from Yahoo, Sony, etc., a study showed that WWE Network had the greatest impact by a factor of two, compared to any other announcement coming out of CES. So we feel that we’ve got a lot of excitement around our launch. If you look at the way our fans buy right now, we have anywhere from 800,000 to a million fans buy our PPVs on any given year, so our estimate right now is that by the end of this year, we could get to around a million subscribers. Our goal, over time, is that this model across the country could attract between two and four million subscribers.

Of course, we are extremely global at this point, and we are planning to launch our network internationally over the next 18 months or so, ranging from the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc. So we have a good road map to go outside the borders.


With the Winter Olympics wrapping up, NBCSN still managed to pull one more record out of its hat, with the USA/Canada matchup in the men’s hockey semi-final on Friday guiding the channel to record weekday daytime viewership. The game generated a 2.7 household rating/8 share to rank as the highest-rated hockey game in NBCSN history, according Nielsen fast nationals, besting even the rating for any Stanley Cup Playoffs and Stanley Cup Finals games on the channel. Meanwhile, the live stream of the game delivered over 2.1 million uniques, the most unique users ever for any NBC Sports Digital stream, and even topping NBC’s non-authenticated Super Bowl XLVI stream. NBCSN wraps up its weekday daytime Sochi Olympic coverage with its 10 live telecasts ranking as the 10-most watched weekday daytimes in network history.

Across the border, CBC’s coverage of the Games on Friday was seen by more Canadians than any other day of the Games so far, with a daily reach of 25.5 million viewers as almost half of the population of Canada tuned in to at least some part of CBC’s live coverage of the Canada/USA game. Of those 15 million viewers, about 3.8 million watched via online stream, representing the highest digital reach for any event to date.

TNT’s Thursday night NBA telecast featuring the Heat and Thunder averaged a 2.8 overnight rating to become the highest-rated NBA regular season game on cable this year outside of the network’s opening night coverage. That number is up 33% over last year’s comparable telecast.

The high-speed pile up that concluded Thursday’s Duel at Daytona provided a nice boost for FOX Sports 1 as the event averaged 3.122 million viewers, making it the most-watched NASCAR "Duel" event since 2000, and ranking as the channel’s second most-watched program since launch. That also helped propel series FOX Sports Live to a new audience high, drawing 2.272 million viewers, and demolishing by 335% its previous record of 522,000.

Meanwhile, FOX Deportes’ coverage of the Copa Libertadores group stage match ranked as the highest-rated and most-watched sports program on Spanish-language television on Wednesday, drawing 359,000 total viewers. Afterward, coverage of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 match between Arsenal and Bayern Munich delivered 318,000 total viewers.

Speaking of FOX, FOX Sports and Daytona International Speedway inked a five-year, multi-platform agreement to carry the Daytona Supercross by Honda on FOX Sports 1, beginning with live coverage on Saturday, March 8 at 7:30p.

FOX SportsErin Andrews is set to cover a new type of competition. Multiple reports state that Andrews is set to replace Brooke Burke-Charvet as co-host of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars.

WWE announced that Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan is returning to the company, where he will host WrestleMania 30 on Sunday, April 6 in New Orleans. Hogan makes his long-awaited return to WWE tonight on Raw at 8p on USA Network. His last WWE appearance was in December 2007, where he appeared at the 15th anniversary of Monday Night Raw.

Frank Thomas is reportedly joining Team FOX, where he will serve as a studio baseball analyst for FOX Sports 1, according to the AP. Thomas had worked the past three seasons for Comcast in Chicago.

Great on-air chemistry between Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski at the Olympics had apparently landed them more screen time with NBC. USA Today reports that the pair will critique fashion at the Oscars for Access Hollywood.

This week’s balloting will see NBA TV’s next NBA Fan Night presented by Sprint feature the Lakers visiting the Pacers tomorrow night at 7pThe NBA Fan Night presented by Sprint game selection was based on fan voting via NBA.com, the NBA Facebook page, NBA TV’s Facebook page, Yahoo.com, NBA.com mobile web, mobile NBA Game Time App, the NBA Game Time from Sprint App and Twitter.

CBS reports that Michael Robinson, fullback of the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, will make his acting debut on CBS’s The Young and the restless on Thursday, March 13.


The Exploding World of Kids’ Tablets: The New Way to Build Your Brand

Thursday, March 20, 2014 ||| 1:30 – 3:00pm ET ||| Sign-Up Now

Speakers Include:
Moderator: Cathy Applefeld Olson  Editor {Cynopsis Kids!}
Abby Jenkins
– Director of Content {PBS KIDS Digital}
Graham Farrar
– Co-Founder {IStoryTime}
Caroline Fraser
– VP, Digital Products & Production
{Scholastic Media}


Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank took to the airwaves Friday to address the criticism of the U.S. Olympic speed skating team’s "Mach 39" uniforms, made by Under Armour, which were replaced with an older model after the U.S. failed to medal in their first six events. Plank told the CBS This Morning co-hosts, "We gave the athletes every advantage… It didn’t translate to the success we wanted but you know, there’s lots of things that lead to that." Plank added that Under Armour is "already looking forward," with a new eight-year deal to renew its sponsorship.

The Association of Surfing Professionals announced that Samsung would take on title sponsorship of the ASP World Championship Tour. The 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour will begin its 21-event international series on March 1 with the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast.

Amid Daytona news, Fuhu locked in a deal to sponsor NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Landon Cassill. The agreement will see the company serve as the primary sponsor in approximately 18 full seasons Sprint Cup races with Cassill opening the season in a nabi-branded car.


NASCAR unveiled the new 3M Mobile Innovation Center at Daytona over the weekend, showcasing how 3M technology, innovation and products benefit users in their home, life and company. The four displays feature Microreplication Technology, Film Technology, NonWoven Technology and Adhesive Technology. The 3M Mobile Innovation Center will be on display at 11 NASCAR events during the season, including Texas (April), Richmond (April), Talladega (May), Kentucky (June), Bristol (August), Chicago (September), Dover (September), Kansas (October), Charlotte (October) and Phoenix (November).
Don’t Miss Out… The call for entries in the third annual Cynopsis Kids !magination + People Awards is now open. The Awards honor the best children’s and family multiplatform programming and marketing, plus the outstanding execs in kids entertainment. This year, we will also be honoring an elite group of Animation Innovators. Entry deadline is Friday, March 14, and we will salute all winners on June 11, 2014, at the !magination Awards ceremony in NY. Please visit the awards website for info:


Golf Channel sees the premieres of two series tonight with Big Break Florida at 9p, followed by In Play with Jimmy Roberts at 10p.


Are you part of a team that works on a groundbreaking kids series, an addictive game or app, an infectious children’s entertainment campaign?


Entry Deadline: March 14, 2014
Late Submissions: March 21, 2014
Awards Event: June 11, 2014 (NYC)

Visit our website for additional information

ON THIS DAY in 2002: The XIX Winter Olympics closes in Salt Lake City, Utah.

In The Know: Not counting Johnny Manziel, name one Heisman Trophy winner not to be selected in the NFL draft since the debut of the Super Bowl? (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: What sportscaster is famous for using the phrase "Oh My!"? Answer: Dick Enberg. (Although Florida’s Mick Hubert does as well, so I will count it.) Kudos: James Stuart-NBC Sports/Sochi; Jon Miller-NBC Sports/NY; Bret Mactavish-LeadDog Marketing Group, Inc./NY; Eric Newman-Bleacher Report/NY; Lewis Blaustein-Lewis Brand Solutions, Inc./NY; Juan Delgado-Telemundo/Hialeah; Gordon Beck-Beck Communications LLC/Northeast Harbor; Renee Gork-ESPN 850 WRUF/Gainesville; George Finkel-MegaSport Productions/Myrtle Beach; Jim Dittemore-I Will Race You MotorSports Management/KC; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; John Mazur-KCET/Burbank; Alan Perris/Beverly Hills; Nick Monroe-Monroe Photography/San Diego; Steve Morrow-Eclipse TV/Mill Valley.


Reaching Today’s U.S. Hispanic Connected Audience Through
Digital, Social Media and Web Video Webinar

Date: March 27, 2014 | Time: 1:30 – 3:00 PM EST

Featured Speakers:
Daniel Eilemberg, Chief Digital Officer (Fusion)
Virginia Lennon, SVP, Client Partnerships (Ipsos MediaCT)
Carlos Restrepo, VP, Business Development (Outrigger Media)

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for
Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

Roberta Caploe: Editorial Director @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

Cynopsis Ad Sales: Mike Farina | VP, Sales | 203-218-6480
Classifieds Sales: Trish Pihonak | Director of Operations | 203-899-8459

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JOB OPENING: RESEARCH MANAGER/LA: Produce analysis & presentations. 3 yrs exp in TV rsrch related to synd TV pref’d. – brdcst & cable exp a +. Bach deg. Galaxy Explorer and WRAP a must. Resume to: [email protected] (3/1)

JOB OPENING: SYNDICATION AD SALES INDY PRODUCER/DISTRIB/Philadelphia PA: seeks exp’d broadcast, cable, or syndication ad sales specialist w/strong marketing relationships for sponsorship/general ad sales. Send resumes to [email protected] (3/1)

JOB OPENING: SR PROMO WRITER-PRODUCER/OWN/Oprah Winfrey Network/LA: Funny unsinkable creative producer wanted! Min 5 yrs exp in promo at a network or agency. Must have strong reel & work ethic. Apply at: http://careers.own.tv/ (2/28)

JOB OPENING: EDITORIAL DIR/Comedy Central/NYC: Write/oversee daily editorial content promotions. Great sense of humor! (Literally & figuratively) Min 5yrs relevant ent/promot’l Creative writing exp. w/in ad agency. Full info apply HERE (2/28)

JOB OPENING: CORP COMMS SPECIALIST/THE WEATHER COMPANY/NYC: Promote Weather Channel prog, digital cont, ad sales comms, int comms. Skilled w/Cision, TV Eyes, Meltwater News, intranet. 3 yrs exp. Apply HERE or email [email protected] (2/28) 

JOB OPENING: ASSOCIATE PRODUCER/Disney ABC Television Group/Burbank: to ensure high quality and timely delivery of EM content. To apply http://bit.ly/1eBYRIo (2/28)

JOB OPENING: SR WRITER/PRODUCER ON-AIR PROMOS/ABC TV Comedy/LA: Write/produce on/off air; Strong writer + visual; supv all prod phases. 5 yrs+ exp w/cable/network/agency. BA in TV/film/creative to Apply – http://bit.ly/1eVicmA (2/28)

JOB OPENING: SVP, CONSUMER INSIGHTS RESEARCH/NICKELODEON/NYC: Overseeing rsrch monitoring brand perceptions and affinity for key brands within the Nickelodeon Group arsenal. A min 10 yrs exp in applied rsch. Full info/apply HERE (2/28)
JOB OPENING: ONLINE MNGNG EDITOR/Univision-Flama/NYC: Resp for scouring online to find the best vids, writing catchy headlines & working to make Flama top online destination. 3+ yrs as online editor or dig media position. Apply HERE (2/28)

JOB OPENING: RESEARCH ANALYST/Music Choice: Prgm/Ad Sales research. NPower exp a must. MRI/Rentrak a plus. Standard reports, custom requests & competitive analysis. BA/BS, plus 1-3 yrs relevant research exp. Required. Apply HERE (2/27)

JOB OPENING: DIR, RETAIL MKTG/Nickelodeon/NY: Resp for dvlpmnt/execution of customized mktg prgrms that drive placement & sell-thru of Nick consumer products at key retail accts. BA deg+ 8yrs exp mktg retail/ent. Full info/apply HERE (2/27)

JOB OPENING: DIGITAL SALES EXEC/NCC/Chicago: Be forward facing to Online Media & Interactive Advrtsng decision-makers at the Digital Agencies. Min 5 yrs dig media sales exp, w/knwlg online & advanced Advrtsng space. Resumes: HERE (2/27)

JOB OPENING: TVONE/ACCOUNT EXEC/NY: Achieve national ad. Revenue. Carryout entire sales process.Communicate TV1 ntwork to advertisers. 20-30% dom. Travel. BA+ 8 yrs nat’l advertsing sales exp. strg cable industry knwldg. Resumes: HERE [email protected] (2/27)

JOB OPENING: SR ANALYST, DIGITAL ANALYTICS/NY: 3+ yrs Digital Analytics/Research exp. Exp w/cross-platform media research online, mobile, & on-air a plus. Apply HERE contact: [email protected] (2/26)

JOB OPENING: MGR, BUSINESS DEV/AMC NETWORKS/NYC: generate business across all networks, ability to build targeted sales presentations for clients. Photoshop, Custom Show, PowerPoint skills. Must be creative. APPLY HERE (2/26) 

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR AD SALES RESEARCH/UP TV/NYC: Excellent researcher & seasoned storyteller who’s looking to join a team that’s on its way UP. Apply: http://www.uptv.com/careers (2/25)

JOB OPENING: SALES PLANNER/Discovery/LA: Team oriented sales professional to support AE/team. Help to deliver proposals, create presentations, ensure campaign’s success, and meet client’s needs. 2+ yrs media ad sales exp. Apply HERE (2/25) 

EXPERT SERVICES ADS: These ads are for companies or people who offer an expertise in the field of media by way of production, voice over artistry, writing, set development, etc. For information on rates and specs for posting an Expertise Service ad email Trish at [email protected]

INTERNSHIPS – These positions are for credit only – nobody gets paid here. These ads are always posted for free, and students work for school credit only. For more information on the specs for posting an Internship ad, email Trish at [email protected].

SITUATION WANTED ADS, POSTED BY THOSE LOOKING TO BE HIRED… There is no charge for placing your Situation Wanted ad… for more information contact Trish Pihonak at [email protected].

SITUATION WANTED: BROADCAST MEDIA PRO w/10+ yrs exp in Tech Operations & Prod/Admin support seeks F/T or P/T position in NYC. From Behind the Camera to On-Camera & Voice Over. Plz contact: [email protected] (3/1)

SITUATION WANTED: SUMMER PROD/BRDCST INTERN/NYC: Exp’d & hardworking student concentrating in media, comm & journalism, w/mult prior internships currently searching for summer internship. Ent related prod pref’d. Email: [email protected] (2/26)

SITUATION WANTED: Experienced historian for research, writing, editing, archive & collection development. Harvey Abrams, Olympic Games & Sport Historian, BS, MAT, Ph.D/abd. POB 732, State College, PA 16804. [email protected] (2/26)

SITUATION WANTED: SUMMER INTERN (NYC/West.): Outgoing college student w/strong credentials. Bus/Psych Maj. exp. mktg, promotion, team mgmt. Seeks position w/possible career potential. Resume on request [email protected] (2/25)

E-mail [email protected] or call Trish Pihonak at 203-899-8459 for rates and specs for Job Openings.

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