03.10.17 Good morning. It’s Friday March 10, 2017 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
Comosa AG is getting into the ring with the launch of the World Boxing Super Series, a bracket-style elimination tournament designed to showcase the world`s best boxers with $50 million in prize money, along with the Muhammad Ali Trophy. The tournament will kick off in September 2017 and take place on an annual basis with the inaugural season showcasing feature two weight classes, 16 fighters and a total of 14 main events. The weight classes for the inaugural season of the World Boxing Super Series as well as the respective participants will be announced at the Draft Gala, a live-televised kick-off event in June 2017. Comosa signed an agreement with MP & Silva, which is the exclusive sales agent of World Boxing Super Series tournaments for the next 3 seasons.
Las Vegas continues to build up its sports presence, as the Las Vegas Motor Speedway announced that it will now host two NASCAR weekends in 2018 and beyond. The speedway made the announcement at a joint news conference with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority at Cashman Center to make Las Vegas Motor Speedway will become the first facility on the NASCAR schedule to host two annual event weekends with all three national touring series. Official race dates will be announced later by NASCAR as part of the full 2018 schedules. "Las Vegas and Las Vegas Motor Speedway have become great destinations for NASCAR fans," NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell said. "The experience is unique to any other in our sport. We look forward to having NASCAR racing there for two race weekends in 2018."
The Univision Deportes Network reports strongest start to a year in UDN history, as well as the fourth straight year of growth during the first two months of the calendar year. Anchoring growth is Liga MX on UDN, which is averaging 398,000 Persons 2+ and 236,000 Adults 18-49 in the Mexican soccer league’s current Clausura 2017 season, improving 8% and 6% over year ago.
CBS Sports Network is hitting the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. With a slate that includes game previews, post-game highlights, team press conferences, exclusive access to encore showings of select 2017 NCAA Tournament games and in-depth analysis. Studio programming throughout the tournament will be anchored by Adam Zucker, Dana Jacobson and Brent Stover who are joined by analysts Wally Szczerbiak, Pete Gillen, Steve Lappas, Brendan Haywood, Danny Granger, Swin Cash, Seth Davis, Gary Parrish and insider Jon Rothstein. College coaches also will join as guest analysts throughout the Tournament. Programming highlights include: Tournament Rebound, Tournament Rebound, NCAA March Madness 360, Final Four Friday and a special episode of We Need to Talk.
ESPN served up plans for the MLB Little League Classic on Sunday Night Baseball on Aug. 20, at 7p, featuring the Cardinals/Pirates in a special regular-season game celebrating youth baseball and supporting MLB’s PLAY BALL initiative. Overall, ESPN and ABC will once again combine to televise all 32 Little League World Series games from Williamsport this August, culminating with the Little League World Series Championship Game on ABC, Sunday, Aug. 27.
According to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, any hope of the US hosting the 2026 World Cup will rest on assurances that the country would guarantee full access to the country for players, officials and fans. The statement comes after President Donald Trump’s newest executive order preventing new visas for people from six countries and as well as its refugee program. "It’s obvious when it comes to FIFA competitions as well, any team, including the supporters and officials of that team, who qualify for a World Cup need to have access to the country, otherwise there is no World Cup," Infantino said, per the AP. "The requirements will be clear. And then each country can make up their decision, whether they want to bid or not based on the requirements. Nothing to do with the U.S. or not, it’s general sporting criterion."
Golf Channel and NBC Sports Group are honoring the impact of Arnold Palmer through a series of dedicated tributes and remembrances surrounding its weeklong coverage of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard from March 13-19. Nearly 50 live hours of tournament and news coverage across Golf Channel and NBC will originate from Bay Hill, with both Morning Drive and Golf Central on-site beginning Monday. Coverage includes the Arnold Palmer Statue Unveiling, Player Registration Process to Incorporate Palmer’s Office, the Opening Ceremony, and more. Arnold Palmer’s Life & Legacy will air March 18 at 2p on NBC.
ESPN unveils the 64-team field for the 2017 NCAA Division I Women’s College Basketball Championship during the NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Special Presented by Capital One on Monday at 7p before shifting to ESPNU at 8p. Host Maria Taylor will be joined by analysts Andy Landers, Kara Lawson and Rebecca Lobo, as well as women’s bracketologist and espnW reporter Charlie Creme to reveal the 64 teams.
The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced that Brent Musburger will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Sports this year. “As a sports fanatic, I have followed Brent Musburger from when we were both starting at CBS and throughout his illustrious career at ESPN,” said Bob Mauro, President, NATAS. “From his iconic call of Doug Flutie’s Hail Mary pass to his coverage of the Rose Bowl and his work on ‘The NFL Today,’ and many other championship games, he has been a guiding force and a constant staple in the sports broadcast field for nearly 50 years. It is with great pleasure that we honor him at the 38th Annual Sports Emmy Awards on Tuesday, May 9, with our Lifetime Achievement Award.”
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Projections from Zenith Media state that programmatic advertising will rise by 31% in 2017 – faster growth than any other digital channel, including social media & online video. And you can throw programmatic TV into that mix as well: According to eMarketer, it’ll be a $4.43 billion industry by 2018.
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The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament generated $1.24 billion in national spend in 2016, according to Kantar Media, on CBS and Turner networks continues to score steady gains in national TV revenues. That marks a 4.7% rise over the previous year and includes game programming and studio shows on CBS and the Turner networks. General Motors ranked at the top of brand investment with $93 million, followed by AT&T at $80 million; Coca-Cola with $47 million; Capital One Financial spending $46 million; and Volkswagen at $39 million.
The NCAA and Turner Live Events, alongside official NCAA Corporate Champions Coca-Cola and Capital One announced the lineup for the 2017 NCAA March Madness Music Festival in conjunction with the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four. The three-day, free music festival, with The Chainsmokers playing on April 1, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis at the Capital One JamFest on April 2 and Aerosmith headlining the Capital One JamFest on Sunday.
The Holiday Bowl has a new title sponsor, with the upcoming 40th annual game locking in San Diego County Credit Union for the role. SDCCU had been the title sponsor the past 12 years for the Poinsettia Bowl, which was discontinued in January.
Les Moonves, CBS Corp. Chairman, President and CEO, told attendees at the Deutsche Bank 2017 Media & Telecom Conference that although the current NFL broadcast rights package isn’t due to expire until 2022 he is expecting the next bidding war will pit the networks against the likes of Google and Facebook, according to Ad Age. "Look, the tech giants all want to be involved in the NFL. It’s the best product in television," Moonves said. "There’s going to be a lot of activity. As we head toward that large deal, I think these companies are going to be part of it, [but] I think the NFL still believes in the sanctity of broadcasting."
The NCAA and Getty Images agreed to a five-year partnership that will designate the photography company as the NCAA’s exclusive photo distribution and licensing partner through the year 2021. The partnership, which is effective immediately, will provide the world with real-time photography from all NCAA championships, and licensing opportunities for all media and NCAA corporate partners.
Blizzard detailed plans for the 2017 for World of Warcraft’s 2017 Arena season, which pits two teams of three players against the other. The new year will see Blizzard offer open signups instead of minimum rating in order to register with teams able qualify for Regional Championship events by earning points from victories at qualifier cups and approved fan competitions. The Region Championships and World Championships will feature a dozen teams from North America and Europe each, up from eight last year. Qualifier events will have $6,000 prize pools, Regional Championships will dangle $100,000, while the World Championship will have a $280,000 prize pool.
Funimation signed on for the esports space by sponsoring Panda Global. "We’re incredibly excited about working with Funimation," Panda Global chief financial officer David Wu told ESPN in a statement. "Almost everyone on the team grew up watching anime, and we think our audience loves the titles that make Funimation great so there is plenty of synergy. If I were to rate this sponsorship, it would be over 9000."
Alex "Machine" Richardson has been announced as the host of the ESL Premiership CSGO and League of Legends UK & Ireland finals taking place later this month. "I am incredibly honored to be able to return to where a lot of this started and host the 2017 spring season
NCAA Selection Show on Sunday at 5:30p on CBS.
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ON THIS DAY in 1941: The Brooklyn Dodgers announce that all of the team’s players would start wearing batting helmets permanently.
In The Know: In honor of IndyCar starting its new season on Sunday, what is the name of the garage area at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway? (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 won the Big Ten Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament the most times? Answer: Michigan State. Kudos: Aymon DeMauro-Discovery Communications/NY; Barry G. Waldman/NY; Mike Polvere-Optimum Sports/NY; Alex Randall-FOX /NY; Mike May-PHIT America/Wellington; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Deerfield Beach; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Steve McNair-KUBE TV/Houston; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank.
Later — Chris
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