03/15/21: FOX Deportes’ Sanchez breaks down his vision for the channel

 

Medias First Morning Read

 

Monday March 15, 2021

As FOX Deportes glides toward its 25th anniversary in November, the network is taking this year to fuel an aggressive push on its production strategy, bringing in a new executive and building three new studios at its West LA headquarters. The channel also saw spikes for its coverage of Liga MX and FIFA Club World Cup and as its prepares for the return of MLS and MLB games, Cynopsis caught up with Carlos Sanchez, Executive Vice President and General Manager of FOX Deportes, to discuss lessons learned from the pandemic, upcoming changes audiences will see and its approach to advertisers for the upfronts.

Sanchez on lessons learned from the pandemic: This pandemic has taught us many things, but what has stood out the most for me about our team is that they truly are the definition of teamwork. No one had a guidebook for the pandemic, we were learning along the way, but I can honestly say, everyone came together quickly with ideas and suggestions and it was a true collaborative effort to get us on the air despite all the challenges.

When the pandemic hit and networks had to adjust production efforts, several of our production staff moved all live productions to a temporary Production Control Room built inside the garage of our director of operations, Ruben Rocha. Because of that, we were able to debut a brand-new daily show, “El Entretiempo,” two weeks after we were forced to close our studios. “El Entretiempo” was the first new Spanish-language sports television show to be produced during the pandemic.

On production: Yes, I’m thrilled to announce that we have a new VP of Production – Sergio Verdu. He has an amazing track record with more than two decades of experience as a media executive. He is joining the company at an exciting time as we are about to unveil three new studios that will enhance our production capabilities. I’m confident that he will continue to raise the bar and lead our production efforts in this ever-evolving landscape.

On upcoming changes: More new innovative technology. Just two weeks ago, we became the first Spanish-language network in North America to use the much-talked-about Megalodon, which FOX Sports unveiled during the NFL season in our Liga MX productions. And we’ve been utilizing drones in our soccer broadcasts. We’re the only network producing games live from Mexico without the use of satellites, in addition to producing games exclusively via LiveU technology, which had never been done before in this region in Spanish.

On the pitch to advertisers: FOX Deportes offers the most comprehensive portfolio of sports properties and studio programming to satisfy your needs – Liga MX, NFL, MLB including the World Series, PBC, NASCAR, WWE and top-rated talk and news shows including “La Ultima Palabra,” “Central FOX,” “NFLeros,” and “FOX Deportes en Vivo.” FOX Deportes is the perfect vehicle to reach the Hispanic consumer.

On celebrating #25: As the first Spanish-language sports network in the United States, FOX Deportes has been leading the way by bringing viewers unparalleled coverage and top-notch content to viewers. As we get ready to celebrate our 25th anniversary in November, I am proud that we continue to pave the way in the industry and I’m extremely excited about the future of the network. During my tenure, we’ve been able to expand our portfolio to include new properties such as LigaMX, WWE and PBC and four new shows – “FOX Deportes En Vivo,” “NFLeros,” “Gamers Elite” and “El Entretiempo” – while setting viewership records along the way. The network’s presentation of Super Bowl LIV ranks as the most-watched Super Bowl in Spanish-language history (757,000 viewers) to date. On the MLB front, we’ve had year-over-year growth.

PROGRAMMING

After missing a year due to the pandemic, it is finally Cinderella season once again as 68 teams head to Indiana for this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament/ Play begins this year on Thursday with the First Four starting at 4p across TBS and truTV, pitting Norfolk State/Appalachian State, Wichita State/Drake, Mount St. Mary’s/Texas Southern and Michigan St./UCLA. We’ll dive deeper into the programming in the next issue.

Meanwhile, tonight sees the 64-team bracket for the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament unveiled live on ESPN during the NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Show Special Presented by Capital One at 7p. The show, hosted by Maria Taylor, includes analysts Andy Landers and Rebecca Lobo, bracketologist Charlie Creme and reporter Holly Rowe. On Tuesday, the conversation continues with NCAA Women’s Bracket Special at 7:30p on ESPN.

FOX Sports reports that its coverage of the 2021 BIG EAST Tournament continued its upticks into day two, highlighted by the most-watched full day of BIG EAST Tournament quarterfinals since 2014, viewership up 35% through the quarterfinals. First round games were up 49% over comparable 2020 two-game averages.

ESPN is beefing up its NFL programming through Friday, as the NFL transitions into a new league year and the NFL Free Agency period gets underway. NFL Live runs each weekday at 4p and be live when NFL Free Agency officially begins on Wednesday. Today through Wednesday, SportsCenter Special: NFL Free Agency Countdown at 3p will lead into NFL Live, providing a two hour dedicated block during a marquee week in the NFL’s offseason calendar. On Friday, the extended programming resumes as SportsCenter Special: Free Agency Recap at 5p will follow NFL Live.

Network like nowhere else! Play Beat the Bomb at the Esports Business Summit University which runs March 23-24, and team up with colleagues throughout the industry as you take on challenges as well as other teams from EBSU. The 2-day virtual conference focused on the business of collegiate esports. We’ll go inside topics such as sponsorships, scholarships, recruitment, funding, and so much more. Hear from the Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft, the West Coast Conference, CSL Esports, EGF, Learfield IMG, Skillshot Media, WWSEF/NASEF, Mountain West Conference, BoomTV/AVGL, NIRSA, NACE, FACEIT, Nerd Street Gamers, Twitch and more! It’s going to be an incredible learning opportunity and we hope you’ll join us. Register now!

For the first time in English-language television history, FOX Sports will offer a full slate of matches and extensive studio coverage of the Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship from March 18-30 on FS1 and FS2. The tournament features eight teams from North America, the Caribbean and Central America with the two semifinal winners securing a berth to the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Alexi Lalas and Maurice Edu join host Rob Stone for studio coverage in Los Angeles. John Strong and analyst Stu Holden lead the network’s game coverage.

NBC Sports EDGE is delivering its first-ever NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament betting show, titled Brackets and Bets: Tournament Preview today at noon and streaming live on NBC Sports’ YouTube channel, @NBCSportsBet on Twitter, and NBC Sports EDGE’s Facebook page.The live show will feature bracket breakdowns and betting analysis with Sara Perlman as host, joined by analysts Drew Dinsick, Vaughn Dalzell, and Corey Parson.

The Portland Trail Blazers are departing NBCSports Northwest and moving to Root Sports for the 2021-22 season, according to Forbes. NBCSports Northwest has carried the Blazers since 2007.

Friday saw the NFL inform teams that they will be allowed to physically present in the draft room this year provided they follow mandated social distancing and mask guidelines, according to multiple reports. The draft will run from April 29-May 1 this year in Cleveland.

SPORTS + ESPORTS NEWFRONTS
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Wednesday, April 21 – Thursday, April 22

The event is back by popular demand & expanded to 2 days to feature sports and esports companies! If you’re from a Fortune1000 company or an agency which supports a Fortune1000 brand, join us for a virtual experience on how to activate your brand with the highly-prized fanbase watching and engaging in sports & esports.

 

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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

 

ESPN unlocked brand-new creative campaign for this year’s coverage of the Masters Tournament, featuring a rendition of “Georgia On My Mind” by Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia Records and duo Chloe x Halle. ESPN and ESPN+ will have live coverage of the Masters Tournament April 8-11, including the first and second rounds as well as featured hole and group coverage. “Chloe x Halle’s rendition of ‘Georgia On My Mind’ captures the sensibility and beauty of Augusta National,” said Laura Gentile, senior vice president, marketing & social media. “These talented sisters bring a modern, fresh approach to the classic track, and the final product is an ode to the Masters.”

Washington State University Athletics and Gesa Credit Union announced a partnership to provide Gesa the naming rights to the playing surface at Martin Stadium, now named Gesa Field. The 10-year agreement is valued at a minimum $11 million, and was inked with the assistance of Learfield IMG College, ISE Properties and Leona Marketing Group.

DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

Catapult and the Big 12 Conference are launching a new highlight service for student athletes that will see all men’s and women’s basketball players who competed in this year’s tournaments receive personalized highlight packages. Packages will be distributed to each team and schools will be able to share with student athletes for use on social media channels.

ESPORTS

The 2021 NBA 2K League Draft was held over the weekend, as the 23 NBA 2K League teams selected 63 players to complete their six-person rosters ahead of the league’s fourth season, which will tip off this spring. Highlights included Lakers Gaming selecting Arshia “Krazy” Karimi with the first overall pick, while Alaina “DjLayyy” Haney and Ziah “ziah” Minor became the second and third women, respectively, to be drafted in the NBA 2K League. Five international players from four countries were selected. In addition, NBA 2K League President Brendan Donohue told news outlets that the league will likely look to expand once again in addition to adding more global media partners.

Data collected by The Associated Press revealed that male gamers held 90.4% of collegiate esports roster spots and received 88.5% of scholarship funds in a sample of 27 public American schools surveyed by the AP during this school year. The AP requested roster and scholarship data from 56 public U.S. schools identified among the 192 participants in the National Association of Collegiate Esports.

INDUSTRY & ROSTER MOVES

The University of Connecticut division of athletics named Taymar Sales U. as its new outbound ticket sales partner, becoming the company’s first client from the Big East Conference. “There is a great deal of excitement surrounding many of our programs and it was clear that Taymar was best equipped to both leverage that interest and, more importantly, help us provide the best customer service possible to our loyal fans,” Director of Athletics David Benedict said. Taymar Sales U. will retain Craig Cugno as the General Manager who has over eight years of experience in both collegiate and professional sports ticket sales.

Cynopsis’ Measurement & Data

Virtual Conference CYN June 15-16


Over the course of two days, our team and panel of experts will present the freshest thinking on buying and selling for the holistic video marketplace.

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On this Day
1869: The Cincinnati Red Stockings become the 1st professional baseball team.

IN THE KNOW
Which team in this year’s NCAA Tournament is known as the Dragons? (Email cpursell@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
The Spurs drafted David Robinson from which NCAA team? Answer: The US Naval Academy. Kudos: John Ferlazzo/London; Daniel Laub-Premion/NY; Greg Conner-Sinclair Sports Group/NY; Frank Costa-CBS Sports Research/NY; John Lappas-Play Fly Home Team Sports/NY; Shana Nalitt-NBC Sports Group/NY Art Salisch-Nielsen/NJ;
Michael Goodma-Radio One/Atlanta; Matt Sautter-WideOrbit/Harrisburg; Kevin McIntyre-Collegiate Sports Management Group/Boston; Timothy Burke Sullivan-B.A.S.S., LLC/Birmingham; Lance Davis-Good Karma Brands Milwaukee/Milwaukee; Tom Doherty- T-Mobile Marketing Solutions/Chicago, Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; David Hauptman/Denver; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Nick Monroe-Monroe Photography/San Diego; Jim Himmel-TCB Media/San Clemente; Willie Price-American Forces Network/Riverside; Jack Simmons-US Army Reserve/LA

Cynopsis Team

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SAG-AFTRA/NY or LA: Conduct financial statement and operating analyses of publicly-held companies. Research, analyze and identify the implications for internal clients. Comprehensive understanding of micro- and macro-economics principles and have an understanding and awareness of worker rights impacting SAG-AFTRA members. Full info HERE (3/26)

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COMMUNITY MANAGER
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