03/09/18: MLB is expanding its partnership with YouTube TV in a new multi-year deal

CynopsisSports
Good morning. It’s Friday March 9, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

MLB and YouTube are expanding their partnership in a move that will allow baseball fans to watch the sport via the YouTube TV, where MLB Network has now joined the lineup. As part of the renewed partnership, YouTube TV will also serve as the presenting sponsor of the 2018 and 2019 World Series and – for the first time – partner with MLB on a brand new season-long sponsorship – “First Pitch” – that will “bring to life the YouTube TV brand during the first pitches of games” on MLB Network and MLB.tv, and will be amplified on MLB.com and MLB social channels. YouTube TV will again incorporate MLB players in its promotional efforts throughout the multi-year deal. In the future, YouTube TV members will also be able to add MLB.tv for an additional fee.
 
“YouTube brought tremendous creativity, marketing energy and innovation to the most exciting part of our year, the Postseason and World Series,” said Noah Garden, MLB Executive Vice President, Commerce. “Their engagement with our young fans, rising stars and Clubs showed that YouTube TV is a natural partner for our sport and we’re proud to build on this groundbreaking relationship. And with the addition of MLB Network and the upcoming launch of MLB.tv on the platform, our fans’ options to consume baseball continue to grow.”
 
 
ON THE AIR

ESPN is targeting Selection Sunday with more than 12 hours of bubble and bracket analysis as the network wraps up Champ Week coverage. A 6p showing of a special edition of SportsCenter will lead into four hours of Bracketology at 7p. Meanwhile, in the 5p hour of SportsCenter, NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Selection Committee Chair Rhonda Bennett will join SportsCenter to reveal, in alphabetical order, the final eight teams which will be considered for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. The 21st iteration of ESPN’s Tournament Challenge game will then be open for fans to submit up to 25 entries each for the Men’s and Women’s tournaments at ESPN.com/bracket or the ESPN Tournament Challenge App, with players helped by ESPN’s Tournament Challenge Marathon presented by Boost Mobile with a 25-consecutive hour run on Monday at 6p.
 
Around the dial, CBS Sports Network takes on the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship on the Road to the Final Four with studio programming featuring more live coverage than ever before. The channel serves up a lineup that includes guest coaches, press conferences, top analysts, game previews, highlights and more from the CBS Broadcast Center in New York, as well as San Antonio, Texas, the site of the Final Four starting Sunday via  NCAA March Madness Bracket Breakdown and NCAA March Madness 360. Studio programming throughout the tournament is anchored by Adam Zucker, Dana Jacobson and Brent Stover, who are joined by analysts Wally Szczerbiak, Pete Gillen, Steve Lappas, Brendan Haywood, Danny Granger, Jordan Cornette and Swin Cash, as well as insiders Seth Davis, Gary Parrish and Jon Rothstein.
 
FOX Sports reports that – through nine events in 2018 – Monster Energy Supercross is averaging 354,000 viewers, up 16% over last season and marking its best start since the 2013 launch of FS1, according to Nielsen. Additionally, the average-minute audience for Supercross races streamed on FOX Sports GO is up 68% versus 2017. Highlights include the Anaheim 1 opener growing 18% while the Tampa race ranked the most-watched race this calendar year, with 434,000 viewers.
 
Dale Earnhardt Jr. makes his debut as an analyst on NASCAR America on Monday at 6p on NBCSN, formally launching his role as a NASCAR on NBC analyst and offering in-depth expertise and insight to Monday and Tuesday’s episodes of NASCAR America. Leigh Diffey hosts the show throughout the week, and will be joined by Jeff Burton, Dale Jarrett and Kyle Petty.
 
Speaking of NBC, the company’s record-setting coverage of the Paralympic Games kicks off this morning at 6a on NBCSN as Andrea Joyce and Chris Waddell host the Opening Ceremony. Overall, NBC Olympics will feature more than 250 hours of comprehensive coverage, including 94 hours of television coverage, spanning 10 days across NBC, NBCSN, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, NBCSports.com, and the NBC Sports app.
 
Elsewhere in Olympic-land, the IOC laid out an overview of 25 recommendations from its Gender Equality Review Project yesterday, in a move to “focus on changing the conversation about women in sport holistically – from participation to representation and decision-making.” The recommendations cover five key areas – sport, portrayal, funding, governance and human resources.  “We are certain that, through the implementation of the 25 IOC Gender Equality Recommendations, we as the Olympic Movement – athletes, officials, commissions, federations and executives – can take real steps to enact effective change together,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “It is not just the right thing to do. It is in the interest of us all – the fans, the families, and every girl and woman who has been able to fully realize her dreams through athletic participation.”
 
Integrated Sports Media unveiled plans to distribute St. Patrick’s Day Clash 3 on Pay-Per-View, as well as on Super Channel in Canada, on March 17 at 10p. The card features a championship match between Danny “Bhoy” O’Connor and challenger Steve “The Dragon” Claggett.
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Registration is Open
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. Category finalists will be announced this week and – In addition to our phenomenal category finalists, we’ll be awarding these sports media leaders with the annual Luminary Awards. See you in April!
 

SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION
 
This year’s NCAA March Madness Music Festival – presented by the NCAA, Turner Live Events and official NCAA Corporate Champions AT&T, Coca-Cola and Capital One – will take place at Hemisfair in San Antonio as part of this year’s NCAA Final Four celebration. The three-day free music festival –features the return of Maroon 5 and Imagine Dragons with additional performers will be announced in the coming weeks. The festival opens on March 30 with the AT&T Block Party, while Imagine Dragons take the stage on March 31 as the Coca-Cola Music headliner. Maroon 5 then headlines the Capital One JamFest on April 1.
 
United Airlines and Special Olympics International unlocked an expansion of their relationship globally, with United launching plans to implement new employee training scenarios to make traveling “a positive experience for individuals with intellectual disabilities.” United will also support Special Olympics 50th Anniversary celebrations in Chicago and the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle.
 
Revolution Golf and Golf Channel Am Tour named True Spec Golf as their “Official Custom Fitter,” providing members with benefits for custom golf club fitting. The Golf Channel Am Tour will promote True Spec to its more than 6,500 members, including exposure at select regional majors and national championships.
 
 
DIGITAL & STREAMING

fuboTV is expanding to include new agreements to carry Lucas Oil Products’ MAVTV Motorsports Network; Outdoor Sportsman Group Networks – Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel and World Fishing Network; and Outside TV – America’s Premier Adventure Sports Network. These channels are now available as part of fuboTV’s new “Adventure Plus” package for an additional $4.99 per month.
 
FloSports and USA Wrestling announced that Lincoln, Neb. has been selected as one of three cities to host a Final X event, taking plance on June 9. The two other Final X events will be held on June 16 in State College, Pa. and June 23 in Bethlehem, Pa.
 
FanDuel opens the doors to its NCAA tourney plans, announcing “a simpler contest with a better chance at winning,” titled  Bracket Pick’em.  Fans will need to pick five teams at the start of the tournament, and the sum of the seeds of their selected teams must add up to at least 20 i.e. one #16 seed and four #1 seeds.
 
 
ESPORTS

The H1Z1 Pro League is off and running, announcing its lineup of franchises, a venue and a media outlet. At launch, 15 teams will take part with the season featuring two 10-week splits, including: Alliance, Cloud9, Counter Logic Gaming, Echo Fox, Epsilon Esports, Gankstars, Impact Gaming, Luminosity Gaming, Noble Esports, Obey Alliance, Rogue Gaming, SetToDestroyX, Team SoloMid, Tempo Storm and Team Vitality. The league partnered with Caesars Entertainment Group to produce the first battle royale league live from Las Vegas at H1PL Arena, with matches carried on Facebook.
 
Super League Gaming CEO Ann Hand has joined the Board of Advisors for the upcoming Esports Business Summit, produced by Cynopsis, Event Marketer and Chief Marketer from Oct. 1-3 out of Las Vegas.
 
Overwatch Contenders begins play in North America on Sunday at 7p with a battle pitting Last Night’s Leftovers/Grizzlys. Blizzard announced that casters for NA action would include Gina Theresa Williamson, Andrew “ZP” Rush, and James “Jamerson” Lee.
 
 
THE MAIN EVENT

Early risers should watch the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games on NBCSN today at 6a. Of course, don’t miss the NCAA March Madness Selection Show on TBS this Sunday at 6p.
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
The Cynopsis Top Women in Digital Breakfast | March 14th | Espace, NYC
Sponsored by Horizon Media
Now is the time to recognize women and the amazing work that they are doing in digital content, marketing, advertising, social media and on-line content. Guest presenters include: Alden Budill, SVP/Head of Distribution & Partner Marketing for Pac-12 Networks, Tiffanie Darke, Editor-in-Chief of A+E Networks and Puja Vohra, EVP of marketing and digital for TruTV.
 
[REGISTER]                                              [ VIEW HONOREES ]
 

ON THIS DAY in 1995: Major League Baseball awards the city of Tampa Bay and the state of Arizona with expansion MLB franchises.
 
In the Know: For which brand did Larry Johnson portray Grandmama? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
 
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Bob Uecker was once a spokesman for what beer brand? Answer: Miller Lite. Kudos: Tim Gardner-Endeavor/NY; Bruce Jackson-Disney and ESPN Media Networks/NY; Chris Long-DraftKings/NY; Deborah Kapetanakis-Universal McCann/NY; Brianne Maciejowski-Miles/Sarasota; Jon Miller-NBC Sports/Stamford; Sonia Durr-Carat/Atlanta; Kevin McIntyre-Amayse Inc./Boston; Dan Langert-MillerCoors/Chicago; Travis Wacker-Good Karma Brands/Milwaukee; Mark Stulberger-Stully’s Broadcasting School/Houston; Dory Petsrillo-CoxReps/Dallas; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Don Surath-CBS/San Francisco; Jeff Mirkin-Atari Studios/Santa Monica; Jack Simmons-US Army Reserve/LA; Bruce Trotter-CoxReps/LA
 
Later – Chris
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