03/19/18: Turner and CBS report gains for the opening games of the NCAA Tournament

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Good morning. It’s Monday March 19, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

As history was made over the weekend amid unprecedented upsets in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, Turner Sports and CBS Sports reports that the event has drawn an average minute audience of 8.2 million viewers across all of their platforms, up 4% over last year’s numbers, which hit 7.9 million viewers. Through Friday, digital platform NCAA March Madness Live scored new highs, recording 9.4 million live hours of consumption (up 7%), as well as marking the most live streams for an individual game and the most concurrent streams for an overall game window.

Speaking of NCAA action, the org unveiled the contenders for this year’s NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship, led by top seeds St. Cloud State University, Notre Dame, Cornell University and Ohio State. Overall, 16 teams will vie for the title with ESPN offering regional action starting Friday, leading into the Frozen Four in Saint Paul on April 5.
Morocco laid out its bid for the 2026 World Cup, taking on the joint bid between the US, Canada and Mexico, according to the AP. The nation’s proposal will hit $3 billion, with nine stadiums to be built, while five others would be refurbished, along with 130 training grounds. Investment also includes hospital services being upgraded in 20 cities and improved transportation options, along with new hotels containing around 30,000 rooms.
Meanwhile, FIFA also approved video review to aid referees at the World Cup beginning with this summer’s tournament in Russia. The org will also hunt for a sponsor to for the video assistant referees (VAR) platform.
In Olympic news, the International Olympic Committee approved the qualification system for surfing’s Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020. The International Surfing Association applauded the rules, which stated the qualification would be given to 20 men and 20 women, with a maximum of 2 surfers per gender per National Olympic Committee. Qualification spots will be earned on an individual basis, by name and all surfers selected by their respective National Federations for their national teams must participate in 2019 and 2020 ISA World Surfing Games in order to be eligible for Olympic qualification. The hierarchical order of qualification will be led by the 2019 World Surf League Championship Tour with the first 10 eligible men and first 8 eligible women; in addition to the 2020 ISA World Surfing Games; 2019 ISA World Surfing Games; 2019 Pan American Games and the host nation slot.
Cynopsis Sports announced the finalists for its sixth annual Sports Awards program on April 12 – honoring the top sports programs, campaigns and people. Among the finalists are AT&T, Big Ten Network, CBS Sports, DraftKings, El Rey Network, ESPN, FOX Sports, GMR Marketing, Golf Channel, Houston Astros, InStadium, Intersport, Lagardère Sports, LeadDog Marketing Group, MSG, Mandt Media, MELT, MLB Network, MSG, NASCAR, National Lacrosse League, NBA, NBC Sports Group, NY Jets, NFL Media, OMNIGON, Optimum Sports, Pac-12 Networks, Paramount Network, Philadelphia 76ers, Red Bull, Riot Games, Showtime Networks, SiriusXM, Stadium, The Atlantic, The Players’ Tribune, Time Inc., Troika, Turner Sports, USOC, Univision Communications, Uproxx Media Group, Viacom, Whistle Sports, WorldGaming, WWE, YES Network and more. Congratulations to our finalists and be sure to get your tickets here before the event sells out.
RIP to Tom Benson, the longtime owner of the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans, who died March 15 at the age of 90. In statements, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that “Tom Benson’s contributions to New Orleans and the National Football League were legendary,” while NBA Commissioner Adam Silver noted that, “Big-hearted and gracious, Tom topped off a distinguished business and sports career by acquiring the Pelicans in 2012. During his tenure, he hosted two highly-successful All-Star Games, rebranded the franchise and installed a first-class organization. He was a dear friend to me and so many others in the sports world, and the loss of his authentic and unique presence will leave an enormous void.”

2018 Cable Hall of Fame Celebration
Presented by The Cable Center
April 4, 2018 at the Ziegfeld Ballroom, NYC
2018 Honorees
“Breaking Bad,” Vince Gilligan creator, AMC
Nomi Bergman , Senior Executive, Advance/Newhouse
John Bickham , President and COO Charter Communications
Balan Nair , President and CEO, Liberty Latin America
Richard Plepler , Chairman & CEO, HBO
Neil Smit , Vice Chairman, Comcast Corporation


NFL CMO Dawn Hudson told The Wall Street Journal that she was leaving her post, which she has held since 2014, in April and a search for a replacement is underway, according to the report. “Dawn provided refreshing insights and perspectives on how to portray our game, players and the special bond fans have with the NFL,” the league said in a statement. “The league’s multi-platform campaigns have further deepened the connection with fans throughout the year, culminating with exciting and engaging Super Bowl messages.”
Longtime Jimmie Johnson sponsor Lowe’s will ending its partnership his team and Hendrick Motorsports., according to USA Today, leaving at the end of the NASCAR season. The company said in a statement that it had shifted its sponsorship strategy and would not sponsor any car next year. 
BNP Paribas extended its title sponsorship of the BNP Paribas Open through 2023. BNP Paribas began its title sponsorship of the tournament in 2009, and over the course of this agreement, the bank will become the longest running title sponsor in the event’s history.
Papa John’s extended its sponsorship agreement to be the Official Pizza Sponsor of the NHRA for the 2018 drag racing season. Papa John’s involvement in NHRA drag racing began in 2016 with its sponsorship of Top Fuel drag racer Leah Pritchett and Don Schumacher Racing.

Formula One locked in a multi-year extension of its partnership with Snapchat to bring ten races to the platform. On race days, Snapchat’s in-house production team will curate snaps posted by drivers, teams, journalists and fans, and add race footage.
March 22, 2018 |9am-3pm| SVA Theater – NYC
Don’t miss out! Begin your morning with several valuable panels. Listen to speakers from Facebook, Limbik, NBCU, Viacom Velocity, State Farm, Subaru, Time Inc., Under Armor and more. Finish the day by recognizing the very best in Short Form Video at our awards presentation ( click here to view finalists). 


Capcom unveiled a slate of deals, including partnerships with for the Capcom Pro Tour, which will return to Twitch in addition to – for the first time – Capcom Fighters on YouTube and on Street Fighter on Facebook, where they will be streamed live. In addition, the company announced that Vertagear was returning to the Tour as the official chair partner, the Razer Panthera would be the official arcade stick of the CPT and Victrix would be joining the CPT as the official headset partner.
The International is packing its bags and moving north of the border, locking in Rogers Arena in Vancouver to host this year’s tournament from Aug. 20-25. Publisher Valve had held The International at Seattle’s KeyArena for the past four years, with last year’s event offering a $24.7 million prize pool.
Razer announced a deal with Spanish Team Queso, the first mobile-only esports team. The two-year deal will see Team Queso using the Razer Phone in their competitive games, as well as other Razer peripherals and equipment with the team focusing on  Clash Royale, Vainglory, Arena of Valor and Hearthstone.

Warriors/Spurs on ESPN at 9:30p.

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ON THIS DAY in 1991: Brett Hull becomes only the second player in NHL history to score 80 goals in a season.
In the Know: Brett Hull won a Stanley Cup with two different teams. Name one. (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: With the NCAA women’s tournament underway, who is the all-time leading scorer in women’s basketball? Answers: Lots of ways to dissect this one! NCAA Div I only – Kelsey Plum. All-time college basketball (including pre-NCAA)– Lynette Woodard. NCAA (any division) – Pearl Moore. Kudos: Justin Karp-NBC Sports/Stamford; Michael G. Hawkins-Francis Marion University/Florence; Maureen Lindsey-MoMedia/Cheshire; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank
Later – Chris
Roberta Caploe
Diane K Schwartz
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JOB OPENING: TECHNICAL WRITER/WO PROGRAMMATIC/WideOrbit/Seattle: Mng creation of our online end user documentation & ensure all customers understand & use the new features we are releasing; help prod stellar end-user content. 2+ yrs of translating technical/development specifications. Full info/apply HERE (3/24)

BROADCASTING CLIENT SPECIALIST/WIDEORBIT/San Fran or Birmingham AL: Engaging communicator to help launch our groundbreaking local media buying platform. 2+ yrs exp media buying for local TV or ad agencies. Exp using new web-based applications & web or phone based training support. Apply HERE (3/23)

JOB OPENING: VP, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & GROWTH INITIATIVES/Fox Deportes/LA: Exp’d Sr exec w/sports & media background to dvlp strategic relationships w/TV media entities, ad agencies, digital streaming services, radio, etc., to drive non-traditional revenue streams. 12 yrs related exp. bilingual: Spanish/English Apply HERE (3/23)

DIGITAL SALES DIRECTOR/Tennis Channel/NYC: Focus on leading all aspects of ad revenue derived from website, other interactive, mobile and emerging digital media properties related to Tennis Channel. 6+yrs exp in a results-driven digital sales/mktg or promotion role. Full info/apply HERE (3/23)

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SR ANALYST, MULTI-PLATFORM ANALYTICS/NYC: responsible for analyzing and reporting of Universal Kids linear and digital performance. BA Degree. 2+ yrs exp in research at a media or advertising organization. Knwlg of Omniture/Adobe Analytics incl tagging conventions. Full info/apply HERE (3/22)

JOB OPENING: MGR, PROGRAM SCHEDULING/Nat Geo Mundo/DC: Create daily schedule. Enter it into the programming database on a quarterly basis. Determine availability of Spanish language versions, contributing to the long term strategy. Bi Lingual w/fluency in Spanish req’d. TV exp & US Hispanic mkt recommended. Full info/apply HERE (3/22)

PRODUCER/MORNING JOE/NYC: Join the Morning Joe team as a Segment Producer and contribute daily to pitching, writing and producing exceptional and impactful political discussion. 3 yrs of exp in live television. Full info/apply HERE (3/22)

JOB OPENING: SEGMENT PRODUCER/AM Joy/NYC: We are looking for a segment producer to write and produce segments with speed and accuracy for MSNBC’ AM Joy weekend team. 3+ yrs experience in live television as well as tape & desktop editing. Full info/apply HERE (3/22)
JOB OPENING: PRODUCER/MSNBC Weekends/NYC: We are looking for a Segment Producer to write and produce segments with speed and accuracy for weekend news programming. 5+ years of experience in live television. 3 years in both tape and desktop editing. Full info/apply HERE (3/21)
JOB OPENING: AD SALES PLANNER/Tennis Channel/Santa Monica: Provide support for all aspects of ad sales process. A team-player mentality & ability to work under pressure meeting deadlines to fulfill client requests. Familiarity w/media sales terminology. 1-2 yrs exp in media sales plann’g or agency buying is req’d. Full info/apply HERE (3/21)

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