02/26/16: FIFA set for political tournament; Madness opens with a deuce; Red Bull hits redial


Good morning. It’s Friday February 26, 2016, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

With FIFA set to hold balloting today in a move to frame its future with a new president, the organization announced that FIFA.com and FIFA’s YouTube channel will stream the much-anticipated Extraordinary FIFA Congress list from Zurich this morning starting at 2a with coverage of the entire Congress as well as the press conference following it. Meanwhile, the FIFA Executive Committee unanimously urged the organization’s members to approve the full slate of reforms to rejigger FIFA’s recent reputation hits thanks to recent scandals. 

Meanwhile, US Soccer President Sunil Gulati Tweeted that he will be supporting Prince Ali of Jordan in Friday’s FIFA election.


The doors to March Madness just got a little larger, as CBS Sports and Turner Sports announced that The NCAA Basketball Championship Selection Show, featuring the first-time announcement of the pairings for this year’s championship would expand to two hours and now run on CBS at 5:30p on March 13. The supersized edition will serve up “more analysis, more discussion, more interviews and more reactions from teams as they learn their seed, region and opponent.” Ernie Johnson joins Greg Gumbel to host the show with Clark Kellogg, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Seth Davis and Doug Gottlieb offering analysis. The program will also be available via NCAA March Madness Live, the March Madness Live app via online, tablets and mobile devices.

Meanwhile, the NCAA, Turner Live Events, and Capital One unveiled their headliner for this year’s Capital One JamFest on April 3. Maroon 5 will take the spotlight for the celebration, which is part of the 2016 NCAA March Madness Music Festival, spanning April 1-3. The free three-day music festival takes place at Discovery Green in downtown Houston. For the first time, the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Awards will simulcast a live performance from the Capital One JamFest stage

The Federal Trade Commission has reportedly approved Sinclair’s purchase of Tennis Channel, opening the doors to wrap up the deal. B&C writes that the FTC included the deal on its list of transactions granted early termination of their Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust review.

Golf Channel reports that its call to fans to share their “Where Was I” stories commemorating the 30-year anniversary of Jack Nicklaus’ historic victory at the 1986 Masters saw more than 500 submissions from all over the world for the upcoming special, ’86. A sneak preview debuted during coverage of The Honda Classic on Golf Channel. The special airs April 5 at 9p.

Meanwhile, FOX Sports announced that FS1 will debut the 30-minute crowd-sourced 100,000 Cameras: Daytona 500 at 6p on Saturday, following the network’s live coverage of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

The Brooklyn Nets locked in an extension with CBS Radio for a multi-year broadcast rights agreement that will see WFAN-AM/FM continue as the team’s flagship radio station. The deal also including select college basketball games under the Brooklyn Hoops presented by Ticketmaster franchise and joint-programmed concerts and live events.

Pac-12 Networks is adding Barbara Jordan to its on-air talent roster for its upcoming coverage of the 2016 Pac-12 softball season. Jordan joins the channels as a softball analyst, having covered softball as an analyst for college and professional softball on ESPN, Fox Sports, RSN, CSS, the ACC Network, Cox Sports, CBS Sports Net and MLB.com. Pac-12 Networks will televise 80 softball games this season with aach Pac-12 team featured at least 10 times on the Networks.

BTN announced plans for the 2016 Big Ten men’s and women’s lacrosse seasons, lining up 24 games starting March 15, with Towson/Ohio State. The first Big Ten women’s lacrosse game will then come on March 20 pitting North Carolina/Northwestern. BTN will also provide live coverage of the 2016 Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse Tournaments.


The finalists have been announced for the
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Red Bull Racing announced an extension and expansion of its relationship with AT&T via a multi-year agreement. AT&T will continue to provide Red Bull Racing with global network and connectivity services while the new AT&T logo will be displayed on the rear wing of the RB12 and on the drivers’ racing overalls. "Our innovation partnership with AT&T provides an integral part of our race weekend set-up," says Team Principal, Christian Horner, "Being able to connect to the factory from wherever we’re racing has become essential to our operation. We’re delighted to take our long-standing relationship with AT&T forward in a multi-year agreement and look forward to growing our innovation partnership together."

Kevin Durant has a new game plan via his campaign as brand ambassador and partner for Sparkling Ice. Initiatives include a “Shoot to Win” interactive digital game featuring Durant, a Limited Edition Orange Mango bottle and a new partnership/support of the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation. The video game will allow consumers to play an interactive in-store point of sale display, mobile and online game for a chance to win exclusive Kevin Durant signed memorabilia, Sparkling Ice gear and more.


XFINITY tapped into virtual reality over the weekend from Daytona International Speedway, offering fans a film developed with creative VR agency Office of Baby and production company Groove Jones via the XFINITY Zone activation space. Filming began in November 2015 from Homestead-Miami Speedway and will be available to fans at every race the XFINITY Zone makes a stop this season with a 360 degree video accompanies it online.

ESPN.com shored up its baseball coverage, announcing that Scott Lauber joined the company as a new Boston Red Sox beat reporter, while Mark Saxon was named the new St. Louis Cardinals beat writer. Meanwhile, Doug Padilla returned California to cover the Los Angeles Dodgers for ESPN.com.


Capitals/Blackhawks on NBC on Sunday at 12:30p.




ON THIS DAY in 1973: Secretariat is bought for a record $5.7 million.

In The Know: Who is the NBA’s all-time leader in free-throw percentage? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Which NFL team did Tom Landry actually play for? Answer: The New York Giants. Kudos: David Kalan-MLB Advanced Media/NY; Art Salisch-Hearst Television/NY; Frank Costa-CBS Sports/NY; George L. Sauli-US International Media/NY; Tom Wetzel-MMSI/Warwick; Michelle B. Berg-Team Epic/Westport; Michael Goodman-Radio-One/Atlanta;Wayne "World B." Otto-Pro-Am Sports/Boone; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Steve McNair-KUBE TV/Houston; Gretchen Brady-KTVT/Dallas; Lucie Prann-The Richards Group/Dallas; David Hauptman/Denver; Bob Ramsey/Palm Springs; Jeff Mirkin-2:25 Engagement/Santa Monica; John Sutton-Charter Digital Media/LA; Richard Sindell-RSA Management/LA.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

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