03/05/18: David Feherty talks season eight of his Golf Channel series

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Good morning. It’s Monday March 5, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

One of the most popular personalities in golf, David Feherty just returned from PyeongChang where he worked as a correspondent on NBC’s Olympics coverage and now turns his attention back to golf, where he will play a key role in NBC Sports’ coverage of the PGA Tour over the next four weeks leading up to the Masters. Meanwhile, his Emmy-nominated Feherty series returns tonight with the launch of season eight in its familiar 9p slot on Golf Channel, with the premiere episode featuring Rickie Fowler, Jack Nicklaus and tennis doubles champion Bob Bryan – as the show debuts a new multi-guest format in 2018. Cynopsis Sports asked Feherty about PyeongChang, what we can expect this year with NBC and his dream guest…
Feherty on his experiences in PyeongChang: Much colder than the Summer Olympics as it turns out. I fell in love with a few of the sports seeing them up close for the first time: short track speed skating, ski jumping and the sliding sports. The people of South Korea were very kind and helpful. What little English they spoke was still better than my Korean.
On season eight: We surpassed 100 episodes last year and since the show wasn’t broken, naturally we decided to fix it anyway by introducing a multi-guest roundtable format in 2018. We’ve shot four episodes using this new style so far and while it’s taken some getting used to, I’m most surprised by the unique moments it allows for. Like if former NBA champ Ray Allen asks World Series champ Jon Lester a question amidst crosstalk on the couch, it’s just as relevant as a question I might ask, and probably more interesting.
On being a host: I do my best to stay out of the way and let the guest offer insight on what makes them stand out amongst their peers. They’re guests, not victims. I’m not here to skewer anybody, and hopefully it helps for them to know that going in.
On his dream guest: Probably Tiger Woods – but only provided he’s in a place where he feels like he can be himself and be vulnerable. He’s been suffocated by media for so long and because of it, he’s offered the same canned responses to every reporter sticking a microphone in his face. I’d like for others to see the side of Tiger that I’ve known for 20+ years since he was a young kid on the PGA TOUR. 
On the state of golf: Golf is in a great place at the moment with kids like Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler leading the way and making the sport cool again. When you add Tiger to that mix if he continues his recent good form, the effect could really be something to behold. The game is so much better with him in it.

Speaking of Golf Channel, the network reports that – despite competition with the Winter Olympivs during the month – is saw audience growth of 7% over its ‘most-watched January ever’ to match its most-watched February since 2013. The network averaged 124,000 viewers per minute in Total Day, matching the previous February’s numbers. Meanwhile, Golf Channel Digital in February was up 23% year-over-year for total minutes streamed (26.9M), led by all four PGA TOUR events during the month recording their highest live stream minute totals on record. Consumption of Golf Channel Digital content across its website and mobile app also grew 4% for page views (80.0M) vs. 2017.
In other ratings news, Friday’s Braves/Yankees game ranked as YES’ highest-rated and most-watched weekday afternoon spring training telecast ever, in addition to being the highest-rated live game telecast in the New York DMA. The game drew a 1.38 Nielsen household rating with 98,000 TV Households in the New York DMA.
The potential NHL franchise in Seattle has stopped taking season ticket deposits after reeling in 33,000 as it tested the market for interest and viability in hockey. “A waitlist will open Saturday at 8am PT for those still looking to be part of this historic sports moment,” the marketing agency Green Rubino said in a news release. The group is looking to launch the team for the 2020 season.
The IndyCar Series is bracing for a big year, speaking with Indianapolis Business Journal, as the series revs up for its 17-race season on March 11. The series is now looking for a title sponsor to replace Verizon in addition to locking in a long-term partner for its media package asABC is in the final year of a six-year renewal, while NBCSN is in the 10th and final year of its deal with the org. With the next television deal, IndyCar officials said that they are looking to sign a single partner to broadcast the entire season.
WWE landed a deal with France’s L’Équipe, a leading French free TV channel dedicated to sports, that will see WWE’s flagship program Raw run on free-to-air television. The deal kicks in on March 10 with a one-hour version of Raw at 10a local time on Saturdays with an additional re-air on Saturday nights, all with French commentary.
The Cynopsis Top Women in Digital Awards Breakfast
Sponsored by Horizon Media
Wednesday, March 14th | 8:30am – 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 content, marketing, advertising, social media and online content. Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with digital’s game changers, rising stars, corporate visionaries and industry leaders!


NCAA President Mark Emmert told the AP that – following the recent slate of recruiting scandals – he expects a commission to reform college basketball with proposals to modernize NCAA rules governing player-agent relationships, as well as suggest new ways to handle high-profile enforcement cases as well as take on the NBA’s one-and-done rule. In addition, Emmert said that a proposal to allow athletes to earn money for things such as endorsements from outside sources, similar to Olympic athletes, is another tactic that would be considered.

The Winter Olympics saw 63% of Hulu’s subscription base watch NBCU’s coverage from PyeongChang, either live or on-demand, according to Multichannel News. The company said that the event averaged 15 hours per viewer, and that Hulu live TV subscribers streamed a total of 6.5 million hours of Olympics coverage and content during the 18 days of the Games.
With the MLS season underway, the league locked in multiple streaming deals for its slate of content overseas. One deal will see the league partner with U.K.-based live-streaming service DAZN in a three-year deal to bring its direct-to-fans streaming service — MLS Live —to DAZN platforms. A minimum of 262 regular season games will be available on the platform.
In China, MLS announced that it would see live streaming of select league games for the first time in China courtesy of a two-year partnership with China Sports Media, a leading sports marketing agency, that will see games made available on K-Ball and PPTV. K-Ball will stream a minimum of three MLS regular season games every week, while PPTV will air one regular season game per week, plus the MLS All-Star Game, Decision Day, the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs and MLS Cup.
Statewide, MLS announced that MLS LIVE, its direct-to-consumer streaming service, and MLS Direct Kick, MLS’ cable and satellite out-of-market package, will return for 2018. MLS fans in the U.S. will enjoy free access to MLS out-of-market streaming games via MLS LIVE until the launch this spring of ESPN+, the direct-to-consumer streaming product from ESPN and BAMTECH Media. Following the spring launch, MLS LIVE will be available to fans exclusively on ESPN+ as part of the $4.99 monthly subscription.

Overwatch Legaue’s London Spitfire are partnering with Logitech G for a one-year deal that will see the PC and console gaming gear brand serve as the official gear provider for the team. This marks the first major sponsorship for London Spitfire. The deal adds the Logitech G logo imprinted on the London Spitfire jersey. “We’re proud to begin a partnership with the Overwatch League’s London Spitfire. As major Overwatch fans, we’re excited to supply the gear to help them win big,” said Ujesh Desai, vice president and general manager of Logitech Gaming.
The National Association of Collegiate Esports is teaming up with gaming furniture maker Respawn Products to serve as the official gaming furniture provider for the 71 collegiate institutions with varsity esports programs across the United States that NACE supports. “Our partnership is the first step for us in providing a whole end to end ecosystem with trusted partners who our member institutions can rely upon to provide top-notch equipment,” said Michael Brooks, NACE Executive Director. “Just like traditional athletics, your facility is an important component for recruitment. More so, as students and administrators on campus continue to push for greater recognition of competitive gaming as a varsity sport, your arena is where your legitimacy begins.”
Poland’s soccer league Ekstraklasa is teaming with Lagardere Sports Poland to launch an esports presence for the organization. “We see a huge potential in esports, that’s why we want to approach this topic professionally, and maximize the promotion of the league through virtual competitions,” said Ekstraklasa President Marcin Animucki. That’s why we chose to partner with one of the main world players in terms of eSports, and one with extensive experience. Together we want to create an attractive product for clubs, fans, but also for sponsors, advertisers, and broadcasters.”

WWE named Brian Flinn as Chief Marketing & Communications Officer for the company. Flinn will now oversee all marketing and corporate communications functions, including global consumer marketing, WWE Network marketing, creative services, special events, publicity, media relations and corporate communications. He will continue to report directly to WWE Co-President Michelle Wilson.

New season of Feherty tees off on Golf Channel at 9p.

Announcing Luminary Award Honorees!
April 12 at the New York Athletic Club in NYC
We’re ready to celebrate the work of the most talented producers, hosts, sponsors and executives in the sports industry, saluting the initiatives that drove audiences and turned sports viewers into fans. In addition to our phenomenal category finalists, we’ll be awarding these sports media leaders with the annual Luminary Awards.
So, mark your calendar – We’ll see you in April!

ON THIS DAY in 1982: Gaylord Perry signs with the Seattle Mariners.
In the Know: Before moving to Safeco Field, the Mariners played at what venue? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Who did Hulk Hogan team up with (forming the Mega Powers) to battle the “Mega Bucks” at Summerslam 1988? (Slight typo on Friday.) Answer: “Macho Man” Randy Savage.  Kudos: Michael Frank-Endeavor/NY; Michael Strauss-CoxReps/NY; Scott Jenkins-Gracenote/NY; Matthew Willence-ITN Networks/NY; James J. Pepe-American Cancer Society/Bethlehem; Jay Goslee-FOX17/MYTV30/CW58/Nashville; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Paul Barrere-FOX Sports/Playa Vista; Daniel Glenn-Glennco/LA; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank
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JOB OPENING: VP SALES/Newsy/NYC: Resp for providing strategic leadership & direction for building the Newsy brand as a leader in cable & over-the-top news ecosystems. If you enjoy setting revenue targets & leading a team to meet (or exceed!) those goals apply. Full info/apply HERE (3/13)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR OF GROWTH/Mashable/NYC: Drive growth/monetization strategies across commerce, SEO, newsletters & FB. Oversee team of growth producers. Work closely w/our SR editorial leaders & video team to grow audience. 6-8 yrs exp leading a growth team. Strong familiarity w/Mashable. Full info/apply HERE (3/10)

VP, CONSUMER MARKETING/The First Tee/East Coast: Oversee mgmt & dev of mktg plans & advertising from ground up. Sprvs creation/delivery of: live events, co. initiatives & projects connected to its affiliate ntwk. mktg the brand to generate exposure & increase engagement. 10+ yrs exp. Full info/apply HERE (3/10)

JOB OPENING: VP, CONSUMER RESEARCH/The First Tee/East Coast: Lead team to support quantitative/qualitative rsrch to help org understand lifestyles & behaviors of our target aud to inform bus strat. Resp for conducting rsrch & relevancy of our brand, its affiliates among kids & key insights about golf. Apply HERE (3/10)

JOB OPENING: SALES PLANNER/MUSIC CHOICE TV/NYC: Resp for development/fulfillment of integrated media plans & proposals across all Music Choice television platforms for advertising clients. 1-2 yrs media or sales plan’g/assistant at an agency or ntwrk. Solid understanding of media math. Full info HERE (3/10)

Manage the communication, design, implementation & administration of A+E Networks’ comp prgms inc: job evals, salary surveys, merit plng & yr end process. 3-4 yrs comp exp with emphasis on Workday exp. Apply HERE (3/9)

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JOB OPENING: SALES PLANNER/FUSETV/NY: Create proposals in Ad Sales sys, monitor/steward accounts, support Nat’l Account Exec w/mktg and rsrch projects. BA, 2+ yrs media/sales plan’g req’d. Click on our career page HERE (3/8)

JOB OPENING: MANAGER, PROGRAMMING ANALYTICS/Spectrum/Stamford CT: Designed to strategically inform decisions surrounding prgm choices & costs in support of contract negotiations while also serving the long range analytics & data strategy needs as they relate to programming. Full info/apply HERE  #213478 (3/8)

JOB OPENING: COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR/World Golf Hall of Fame/FL: Develop/implement a high-impact comms to build profile, strategy and reputation.  Oversee dept including creating content, media relations, digital/social distribution channels to elevate awareness of the Hall of Fame. Apply HERE (3/8)

NON-SCRIPTED DEVELOPMENT SALES EXEC/JUMA ENTERTAINMENT/Bucks County, PA: Lifestyle & Ent Specs Prodco expanding east coast  operation. Position will lead creative process from concept development to sale. Multiple years experience necessary w/track record and sales results. Apply HERE (3/7)

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