02/27/18: CBS Sports HQ is open for business, serving as the company’s newest digital platform

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CynopsisSports
Good morning. It’s Tuesday February 27, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

CBS opened the doors to CBS Sports HQ, a 24-hour streaming sports news network offering news, highlights and analysis, and blending the resources of CBS Sports, CBSSports.com, 247Sports, SportsLine, CBS Sports Fantasy and MaxPreps. At launch, CBS SPORTS HQ is available on CBSSports.com; the CBS Sports app for key connected TV devices including Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Roku; the CBS Sports mobile app for iOS and Android; CBSN; and the CBS All Access subscription service.
 
“CBS Sports HQ is another key step in the evolution of the CBS Corporation,” said Leslie Moonves, Chairman and CEO, CBS Corporation. “From CBS All Access to Showtime OTT to CBSN, we are creating best-in-class direct-to-consumer streaming platforms that are positioning us to be leaders in the future of premium content distribution. Thanks to the collaboration of CBS Interactive and CBS Sports, I am confident that CBS Sports HQ will become our latest success story in that regard.”
 
CBS Sports HQ will be complementary to CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network programming. CBS Sports announcers and reporters will be involved in coverage, breaking news, analysis and previews.
 
 
ON THE AIR

The 2018 Winter Olympics wrapped up from Pyeongchang with NBC scoring a 10.0 rating for the closing ceremony, according to Nielsen. That marks a 5% rise over the 2014 Sochi Games. Meanwhile, the halo effect of NBC Olympics’ coverage of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic coverage saw NBC’s national news programming as well as local affiliate newscasts get bumps, as TODAY ranked as the top morning show for both weeks of the PyeongChang Olympics posting its best Winter Games advantage over GMA since Vancouver 2010. Meanwhile, NBC Nightly News was the top evening news program for the span. Local weekday newscasts on NBC-owned television stations and affiliate partners scored household ratings increases compared to the prior four weeks as household ratings for late local news jumped 56%, and local early morning news ratings increased 10%.
 
In other ratings action, CBS Sports coverage of The Honda Classic scored as the tournament’s best in four years, drawing a 2.9/6 average for a 38% markup over last year. That Nielsen score also ties the Farmers Insurance open on CBS as the highest of the PGA Tour season.
 
FOX Sports hits the mound for its 23rd consecutive season of MLB coverage with games running across the FOX broadcast network, FS1 and FOX Deportes. In addition to studio show, MLB Whiparound on FS1, FOX Sports locked in a programming lineup that will include 66 appearances by 2017 postseason participants with the World Series Champion Astros appearing a total of eight times, as will the Dodgers, while the Yankees appears nine times and the Cubs eight. In addition, the FOX Sports Regional Networks combine to offer more than 2,300 games and carry exclusive partnerships with 15 teams: Angels, Braves, Brewers, Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Indians, Marlins, Padres, Rangers, Rays, Reds, Royals, Tigers, Twins and Yankees. FOX Deportes carries 31 regular season game telecasts. The action begins on March 31 on FS1 with the Astros/Rangers at 4p, followed by the Brewers/Padres at 8:30p.
 
The CONCACAF Gold Cup is getting a new look, announcing that the regional championship tournament will expand to 16 teams starting in 2019. The confederation is “exploring a pan-regional footprint” for next year’s event with matches that could be played in Central America and the Caribbean. “The expansion of the Gold Cup and the upcoming launch of the CONCACAF Nations League are key steps in delivering on the ONE CONCACAF Vision, to make the region’s most competitive football more accessible to more of our confederation’s teams, players and fans,” said CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani in a press release.
 
BTN has its Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament plans booked, and will offer BTN Live: B1G Basketball Tournament Preview tonight at 5p. Studio coverage will continue before and after games all week, including seven live shows on Thursday and Friday, and features Dave Revsine, Mike Hall and Rick Pizzo rotating as hosts along with analysts Andy Katz, Jon Crispin, Shon Morris, Robbie Hummel, Stephen Bardo and Mike DeCourcy. Meanwhile, The Journey will be at the Garden to capture behind-the-scenes footage throughout the tournament.
 
YES Network reports that last Friday afternoon’s Tigers/Yankees game ranked as the network’s highest-rated, most-watched and most-viewed Weekday Afternoon Spring Training telecast ever. Friday’s telecast pulled a 1.36 average TV Household rating in the New York DMA, averaged 96,000 TV Households and averaged 120,000 Total Viewers.
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
**Early Bird Rates Expire on Wednesday**
Wednesday, March 7th | 4:45pm – 8pm | SVA Theatre, NYC
The festival will assemble business-focused panels and award-winning screenings in all aspects of this emerging market. Participating companies include Facebook, Under Armour, Volvo Trucks, Lyft, Subaru, PGA Tour, The Dodo, NBCUniversal, ATTN:, Time Inc., Viacom Velocity and CrowdTangle. Register your team to attend before February 28th to save $100/ticket.
 
 

SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Post Consumer Brands is dishing up a partnership with Major League Soccer. The multi-year deal will see Post serve as the league’s exclusive cereal sponsor and be visible in stadiums at more than 370 MLS games, including national-television broadcasts. Throughout June and July, select retailers will feature limited-edition MLS cereal boxes spanning the Post cereal portfolio, as well as a range of other MLS-related activations.
 
The FOX Sports House at the 2018 South by Southwest will open its doors from March 9-12 running 11a-8p each day of the event. Highlights will include: the South by Southwest Sports Kickoff Party on March 9 at 7p, “Women of FOX Sports” Present: The Art and Science of Social Media on March 10 at 11:30a and 24/7 Viewership and the World Cup at 4p; Nossa Chape Behind-the-Scenes: Connecting Community and Sport through Film on March 11 at 12:30p and The World Becomes the World Cup at 3:30p; among other activations.
 
Michelob ULTRA unveiled Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold in partnership with 11-time surfing world champion Kelly Slater. The launch marks the first time “a large light beer brand has developed a brew with organic grains” Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold will also serve as the presenting sponsor of The Founders’ Cup of Surfing, which will be the first public competition at Slater’s Surf Ranch from May 5-6.
 
The New York Mets and New Balance announced a long-term landmark agreement making New Balance the official footwear and apparel company of the Mets and Citi Field. The deal will include year-round New Balance presence throughout Citi Field beginning in 2018 including a significant sized sign above the Shea Bridge, below the auxiliary scoreboard, along with external signage outside the ballpark. The agreement will also include uniforms for a variety of staffing groups on event nights at Citi Field in the form of polo shirts, shoes and jackets. Additionally, Mr. Met and Mrs. Met will be decked out with New Balance footwear. The Mets and New Balance will collaboratively plan and execute a variety of marketing, advertising, community and promotional programs and platforms to maximize the impact of the partnership, including serving as the Presenting Partner of the Mets Future Stars Program.
 
 
DIGITAL & STREAMING

Major League Baseball is teaming up with Mitel, a specialist in business communications, to “power the league’s communications tools and connections across the 30 MLB ballparks” as Mitel transforms the existing 30 independent platforms for dugout, bullpen, video review rooms and press box communications into a common, unified system featuring enhanced security and call recording capabilities. This new system will also provide the capability to record and monitor all communications conducted on the phone lines to ensure compliance with all Major League Baseball rules and regulations.
 
Latin American soccer streaming service Fanatiz and MP & Silva finalized an agreement that will see Fanatiz live stream all Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana games carried in the US and Canada. The Copa Libertadores will begin with qualifying rounds from late January all through February, followed by the group stage from Feb. 27-May 24.
 
Today sees the New York Road Runners host the United Airlines NYC Half Kick Off Show on Facebook Live. The Kick Off Show will be used to announce the 2018 Pro Athlete Field and to provide a tour of the brand new course starting at noon.
 
At the conclusion of the Winter Games, Facebook examined the Olympic-related conversation over the course of the competition.

Most talked-about athletes on F
acebook (Globally):
  1. Shaun White
  2. Red Gerard
  3. Adam Rippon
  4. Chloe Kim
  5. Scott Moir
  6. Tessa Virtue
  7. Martin Fourcade
  8. Lindsey Vonn
  9. Nathan Chen
  10. Mikaela Shiffrin
Most talked-about sports on Facebook (Globally):
  1. Figure Skating
  2. Curling
  3. Snowboarding
  4. Bobsleigh
  5. Biathlon
Most talked-about sports on Facebook (in the United States):
  1. Curling
  2. Figure Skating
  3. Snowboarding
  4. Luge
  5. Speed Skating
 
ESPORTS

Lionsgate is partnering with Overwatch League’s Los Angeles Valiant to promote season three of the Starz Original Series Ash vs Evil Dead. The partnership will see the show become the Valiant’s sole and exclusive jersey sponsor through at least Stage 2 of the inaugural season of OWL. As part of the deal, Valiant fans will be given “unprecedented access to Ash vs Evil Dead experiences, including exclusive screenings at Lionsgate’s studios in Santa Monica, Q&A/AMAs with creative voices behind the franchise, meet-and-greets, and more.”
 
Gfinity announced that it has been tapped by Microsoft Studios’s Turn 10 Studios to serve as as the Global Tournament Operator for the 2018 Forza Racing Championship. Under the deal, Gfinity will oversee all league operations, including online qualifiers and local area-network-based events.
 
Esports Battle League and WHAM Network Inc. announced a digital media partnership that will deliver EBL’s inaugural season to WHAM content platforms starting in June. Co-founded by Scott O’Leary, with former National Lacrosse League Commissioner George Daniel, and former NBA Players Association Chief Counsel Bob Lanza, the EBL expects to field eight to ten teams in the upcoming season, each competing in a traditional league format with the team that has the best two out of three scores advancing in the competition.
 
In year two of their partnership, Events DC and NRG Esports are opening a new training home in Washington, DC that will house NRG’s developmental Overwatch Roster for the Contenders Series. “We are beyond thrilled that NRG has chosen the District of Columbia to locate a house for their Overwatch Contenders team. One of our priorities at Events DC over the last 18 months has been to create and execute an esports strategy to position Washington, DC as a leader in this important economic development and tourism space,” said Max Brown, Chairman, Board of Directors at Events DC.
 
 
THE MAIN EVENT

Kings/Golden Knights face off on NBCSN at 10:30p.
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
March 14, 2018| 8:30-10:30am | Espace, NYC

At a time when it is more important than ever to shine a light on the incredible accomplishments of women in every field, we are proud to honor excellence in digital, marketing, advertising, social media and online content. Support your colleague or friend and network with these digital innovators by registering now for our annual Awards Breakfast.
 

ON THIS DAY in 1987: The NCAA cancels SMU’s entire 1987 football schedule due to gross violations of NCAA rules.
 
In the Know: The Washington Capitals retired #11 in honor of which player? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
 
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Which school has the best winning percentage in the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament? Answer: Ohio State. Kudos: Traci Liner-Endeavor/NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Rich Packer-American Basketball Enterprises/Tampa; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station

 
Later – Chris
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JOB OPENING: SR ANALYST/MSG Networks/NYC: Assist insights dept w/all aspects of quant & qual rsrch analysis incl maintenance of large data sets, data prep & analysis of TV & digital viewership trends. 2+ yrs mkt rsrch exp pref’d. Strong knwldg of Nielsen data & some exp w/digital metrics. Full info HERE (3/3)

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