03/11/20: CBS Sports & Turner Sports locked in their talent lineups for the NCAA Tournament

 

 

Wednesday March 11, 2020

Turner Sports and CBS Sports locked in their talent lineup for the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. This year’s NCAA Final Four National Semifinals on April 4 and National Championship on April 6 will be called by Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery and reporter Tracy Wolfson on TBS, with “TeamCast” presentations returning on TNT and truTV. Gene Steratore is back as rules analyst throughout the Tournament. New commentator roles include: Dwyane Wade joining studio coverage; Wally Szczerbiak moving into a game analyst role; Adam Zucker hosting the Atlanta studio show for the first week of Tournament action; Lauren Shehadi serving as a game reporter through the Round of 32; and Adam Lefkoe joining televised coverage for the first time.

Ernie Johnson and Greg Gumbel will again host studio coverage from the CBS Broadcast Center in New York during the first full week of the tournament, joined by Charles Barkley, Clark Kellogg and Kenny Smith. Johnson will host studio coverage from Atlanta during the second week of tournament action on Thursday and Friday, while Gumbel will anchor coverage from CBS Studios. Other broadcast teams will include:
· Brian Anderson / Chris Webber // Allie LaForce*
· Ian Eagle / Jim Spanarkel // Jamie Erdahl*
· Kevin Harlan / Reggie Miller / Dan Bonner // Dana Jacobson*
· Brad Nessler / Jim Jackson // Evan Washburn
· Spero Dedes / Steve Smith / Wally Szczerbiak // Lisa Byington
· Andrew Catalon / Steve Lappas // Lauren Shehadi
· Carter Blackburn / Debbie Antonelli // John Schriffen

PROGRAMMING

A new season of the FIA Formula One World Championship launches this week in Australia, with ESPN expanding its lineup of offerings, including a new availability for Spanish-speaking fans and a continuation of commercial-free race telecasts. The Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix from the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit will air Sunday at 1:05a on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. Once again in 2020, the race telecasts will be presented commercial-free with sponsorship from Mothers Polish, which recently signed a new, three-year agreement with ESPN. The expanded new deal also includes presenting sponsorship of practice and qualifying telecasts. ESPN is again teaming with Sky Sports and Formula 1 to bring Sky Sports’ presentation of Formula 1 racing to American viewers. Sky’s Welcome to the Weekend program, which will air on ESPN3 leading into the weekend’s first practice session, returns this year. ESPN will also continue to air Sunday Social (formerly Pit Lane Live), a one-hour program airing on race day.

More event casualties as a result of the coronavirus. Tuesday saw the Ivy League opt to cancel its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments in response to the threat. The conference will now award its automatic NCAA Tournament places to regular-season champions Princeton women and Yale men. Meanwhile, MotoGP’s Grand Prix of the Americas was pushed from April until November13-15 after the Austin declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus outbreak.

BTN delivers week-long coverage of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament presented by SoFi, carrying the first 10 games of the Big Ten Tournament. The broadcast pairings feature talented play-by-play voices and analysts, including a Friday evening trio of Brian Anderson (play-by-play), Bill Raftery (analyst) and Andy Katz (sideline). Brandon Gaudin (play-by-play), Stephen Bardo (analyst) and Mike Hall (sideline) will handle duties for opening night in the Bankers Life Fieldhouse, with the first game tipping off at 6p tonight. BTN’s Studio coverage continues before and after games all week, including four live shows on Wednesday, eight live shows on Thursday and Friday, three shows on Saturday and two on Sunday. Dave Revsine and Hall will anchor BTN’s studio presence, along with a combination of Ben Brust, Brian Butch, Mike DeCourcy, Tim Miles, Jess Settles, Bardo and Morris.

FOX Sports announced that Julian Williams and Steve Cunningham will join Chris Myers to call FS1 PBC Fight Night: James Kirkland vs. Marcos Hernandez live on FS1 on Saturday at 8p.

FOX Sports also carries the 51st running of the AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals from Gainesville with FS1 delivering the final rounds on Sunday at 9:30p. Analyst Tony Pedregon is joined in the FOX NHRA booth by play-by-play voice Brian Lohnes and reporters Bruno Massel Jr. and Jamie Howe.

Quibi and SpringHill Entertainment unveiled I PROMISE, an original documentary series featuring an in-depth look at the first academic year inside the groundbreaking I Promise School that opened its doors in 2018 and telling the story of LeBron James’ efforts to close the achievement gap in his hometown of Akron. Quibi launches on April 6.

SiriusXM is expanding its coverage for the 2020 INDYCAR season. In addition to delivering live turn-by-turn broadcasts of every race all season long, SiriusXM will debut a new weekly show featuring current and former INDYCAR drivers. Brick by Brick will debut on March 11 and air every Wednesday at 6p on SiriusXM’s exclusive Dan Patrick Radio channel. The show will be hosted by former INDYCAR driver A.J. Allmendinger and veteran motorsports broadcaster Jack Arute.

FINALISTS ANNOUNCED
The 9th Annual Cynopsis Sports Media Awards
Awards Breakfast: Thursday, April 23rd at the New York Athletic Club in NYC

The judging is finished and we are happy to report that our finalists are a talented group of professionals, crossing the spectrum of television, radio, and online platforms. View finalists here and join the industry’s most influential executives and content creators for the 9th Annual Sports Media Awards in NYC.

REGISTER BY APRIL 2
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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Formula 1 locked up a new long-term Global Sponsorship deal with Saudi Aramco, the global integrated energy and chemicals company. Aramco will become Formula 1’s sixth Global Partner alongside DHL, Emirates, Heineken, Pirelli and Rolex and the pair will combine their expertise to identify opportunities for the advancement of sustainable fuels, enhanced engine efficiencies and emerging mobility technology.

A new fan-driven campaign sees MSG Networks and PepsiCo designate one individual from “everyday fan to sports television star. “The two brands hunted for the ultimate Rangers fan, who will serve as the network’s first-ever “Pepsi Zero Sugar Chief Fan Officer” with Queens native Ricky Diffendale winning the honor and awarded the full-time position with MSG Networks. As the fan face of the network, Ricky “will be given a significant on-air platform and start to be regularly featured across the MSG Networks’ linear, digital and social channels. He will have a presence during Rangers games bringing fans closer to the team, as well as conduct off-site interviews with various players, coaches and celebrities.”

Speaking of hockey, the puck dropped on Great Clips’ new digital campaign – “Legendhairy Lineup” –celebrating the best #HockeyHair styles from across the NHL. Running through May 10, fans can visit www.NHL.com/HockeyHair and build a weekly fantasy lineup of six NHL players – both past and present – that best represent each week’s distinct hairstyle category. The campaign will be featured in Great Clips salons across the U.S. and Canada and will also be promoted on live game broadcasts on NHL Network leading up to and during the 2020 Stanley Cup® Playoffs, and on the NHL, National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and NHL Alumni Association social media channels.

The University of Nebraska and Opendorse announced the launch of the first-ever program designed to help student-athletes build their individual brands. The program will provide all 650-plus Nebraska student-athletes social media solutions with proven effectiveness at the highest levels of professional sports, launching the Ready Now Program. The program offers three core pillars to student-athlete success: Assessment, Education, and Performance – tailored to assist each individual athlete.

DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

The NFL has entered into a new multiyear partnership with video game publisher 2K Games to develop multiple titles, described as “non-simulation football game experiences.” Current projects are already in early development and are expected to launch sometime in 2021. “We’re thrilled to be back in business with the NFL in a partnership that will span multiple video games centered on fun, approachable and social experiences,” David Ismailer, president of 2K, said. “It’s exciting to bring together 2K’s expertise in creating award-winning sports games with the NFL’s renowned status as a world-class entertainment and sports organization.”

ESPN once again opens the doors to the annual Tournament Challenge game offering fans the opportunity to compete by predicting the winner of each tournament game from the Round of 64 through the championship final. This year’s challenge offers updated features that make it faster and easier to fill out multiple brackets, and unique tools and content to help fans make picks. The ESPN Men’s Tournament Challenge brackets will be available Sunday at 7p, while the Women’s Tournament Challenge brackets will be open on Monday at 8p. ESPN is also introducing its first ever Champ Week Challenge, giving fans a chance to earn points and win prizes by predicting 20 conference tournament winners beginning this Thursday.

Westwood One and Google will collaborate once again to integrate Westwood One’s exclusive live NCAA March Madness programming directly on smart devices with the Google Assistant. Beginning on Selection Sundayconsumers will be able to hear Westwood One’s live coverage of NCAA March Madness on Google Assistant-powered smart speakers and Smart Displays.

Loop Media inked a partnership with Pac-12 Networks to serve as its first sports content provider. The partnership gives viewers across Loop’s business content platform access to the Pac-12 Networks’ premium short-form content offerings as they become available, including game previews, highlights, recaps, postgame reports, interviews with student-athletes and more for all of its universities’ sports teams.

ESPORTS

Riot Games is shifting the 2020 Mid-Season Invitational from May to July while also moving dates for the League Summer Split due to coronavirus concerns. MSI will now run July 3 to 19. The Summer Split will begin before MSI in May. Meanwhile, the virus also caused the delay of the SMITE Pro League’s new season by at least three weeks, according to organizers.

TSM entered a new partnership with Stream Hatchet in a move to access insights to video game streaming analytics. Stream Hatchet’s cross-platform measurement technology will help TSM to optimize their live streaming campaigns, providing comprehensive and critical reporting to brand partners and sponsors. “We couldn’t be more excited to work with TSM. Their key influencers and esports teams rank as some of the highest amongst competitive game streaming properties globally,” says Jake Phillips, Chief Revenue Officer of Stream Hatchet. “Stream Hatchet will report on KPIs, providing TSM with the solid performance measurement and metrics the need and want to strategically guide, differentiate, and optimize their business.”

Kronoverse locked in a deal with ESL to develop and scale Kronoverse’s upcoming CryptoFights game and the entire Kronoverse gaming platform. “ESL knows what it takes to succeed in the ever-growing esports industry as the oldest and most successful esports company in the world,” says Adam Kling, CEO and founder of Kronoverse. “We’re confident our partnership with ESL will enable us to fully develop the Kronoverse platform. This includes everything from attracting more indie game developers to solving problems in competitive gaming such as cheating.”

FaZe Clan is expanding its partnership with energy drinks brand G FUEL in a move that will see the pair continue to collaborate on content creation, merchandise, and retail distribution of collaborative drink, FaZeberry. The expansion will result in “deeper integration” of FaZe Clan’s personalities for the energy drink brand, with Soleil “Ewok” Wheeler, Kyle “Mongraal” Jackson, Josue “Sway,” and Nate Hill acting as exclusive G FUEL brand ambassadors.

Misfits Gaming named Matrix Keyboards as its official keyboard and keycap provider for 2020. The deal also includes the company’s Overwatch League franchise Florida Mayhem and Call of Duty League franchise Florida Mutineers.

INDUSTRY & ROSTER MOVES

The National Football League Players Association elected J.C. Tretter, the center for the Cleveland Browns, as its new president. He will succeed the retiring Eric Winston.

La Vida Baseball announced two strategic hires to help lead the platform’s expanded efforts in advance of the 2020 baseball season. Trevor Mikus has been named to the newly created position of Vice President, Business Development and Jesse Menendez has been elevated into the fulltime position of Senior Content Producer for La Vida Baseball Live and the show Being Guillén.

THE MAIN EVENT

Nuggets/Mavericks on ESPN at 8p.

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On This Day
1986: The NFL adopts instant replay.

In the Know
Which baseball Hall of Famer is known as “Little General”? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Dick Motta won an NBA Championship as coach for what team? Answer: Washington Bullets. Kudos: Denis Barry-CBS Stations/NY; Michael Ritz-Lenox Advisors/NY; Mike Doyle-National CineMedia/Madison; Willy Gibson-WTG Sports/Columbus; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Mike May-R2 Innovative Technologies/Wellington; Michael Goodma-Radio One/Atlanta; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Rich Wolfe-Lone Wolfe Press/Scottsdale; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Larry Hutchings/Nipomo; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA

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