03/27/18: The NBA and YouTube are partnering for the NBA Finals

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Good morning. It’s Tuesday March 27, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

The NBA and YouTube are dishing up a multi-pronged partnership that will include making live TV streaming service YouTube TV the first-ever presenting partner of the NBA Finals, in addition to The Finals for the WNBA and the NBA G League. Throughout the partnership, “The Finals presented by YouTube TV” logo will be featured prominently during all Finals games, including on the court and in-arena.  Additionally, YouTube TV will be featured in ABC commercial spots and in-game call outs, along with having a major presence across the NBA’s digital and social media assets.
 “Our presenting partnership of The Finals marks another first in our longstanding and innovative history with YouTube,” said Dan Rossomondo, NBA Senior Vice President, Global Media and Business Development.  “The NBA Finals on ABC, as well as the WNBA Finals and NBA G League Finals, are pinnacle events, and with YouTube TV we are excited to provide fans with new ways to experience the excitement of these championship series.”
“Partnering with the NBA is a slam dunk for YouTube TV members, with more basketball content and the first-ever presenting partner of the NBA Finals,” said Angela Courtin, Global Head of YouTube TV & Originals Marketing.  “YouTube TV was built for fans, and we are excited to bring to life our cable-free live TV service during one of the most watched sports events of the year.”

Meanwhile, CBS Sports and Turner Sports laid out their gameplan for the final weekend of the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. TBS carries all remaining games starting Saturday with corresponding TeamCasts or team-specific coverage airing on TNT and truTV. At the Final Four presented by Infiniti begins Saturday’s coverage at 3p with Greg Gumbel as host alongside Candace Parker, Christian Laettner, Danny Manning and Kris Jenkins. The Final Four Show tips off at 4p with two crews for one hour each with Gumbel in the first hour and Ernie Johnson hosting at 5p. Monday sees the National Championship game with Capital One Championship Central pregame coverage starting at 7p and opening tip at 9:20p.
HBO Sports is partnering with IMG’s Original Content group for a five-part docu-series chronicling Serena Williams “at a pivotal moment in her personal and professional life.” “Being Serena” launching on May 2 on HBO with new episodes running on subsequent Wednesdays. The series will “provide viewers unprecedented access to Williams during her pregnancy, new motherhood and marriage, while documenting her journey back to supremacy on the court.”
NBCSN’s NASCAR America is revving up to debut “Wednesdays with Dale Jr.,” described as weekly episodes with NBC Sports’ newest on-air contributor Dale Earnhardt Jr. starting Wednesday at 5p. Each episode will feature in-depth discussions and free-flowing conversations about the latest news to come out of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series.
The LPGA Tour prepares for golf’s first major championship of 2018, the ANA Inspiration this week, with Golf Channel announcing plans to showcase more than 40 hours of exclusive coverage on the channel, including 20 hours of tournament action from March 29-April 1. Calling the action from the broadcast booth will be Terry Gannon and Judy Rankin who will rotate with Grant Boone and Karen Stupples during Thursday and Friday coverage. Joining them will be tower analyst Tom Abbott and course reporters Kay Cockerill and Jerry Foltz.
Join us on April 12 for the seventh annual Cynopsis Sports Media Awards Breakfast at the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan! In addition to our categories, we will be honoring Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer of SiriusXM; Katrina Adams, Chairman of the Board & President for the United States Tennis Association; Showtime Network’s President of Sports & Event Programming, Stephen Espinoza; and Intel Sports as this year’s luminaries. Tickets are going fast so get your seats now as this event always sells out!
Major League Wrestling inked a television deal with beIN Sports, according to SI. Action will be carried as part of the channel’s “Friday Night Fury” fight block at 8p starting April 20.
In ratings news, SNY’s 2018 New York Mets Spring Training coverage delivered the highest Nielsen household ratings score average ever for the network since inception. The channel carried 11 live Spring Training games in 2018, delivering a 26% increase over 2017 in HH average and a 65% increase over the previous five year average. In addition, SNY’s social media engagement on Facebook and Instagram went up 115% from 2017 to 2018 on game days this pre-season.
April 12 at the New York Athletic Club in NYC
Sponsored by Showtime
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. Click here to view our phenomenal category finalists, as well as recipients of our annual Luminary Awards. See you in April!


Major League Baseball and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment are teaming up to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of The Sandlot courtesy of a unique partnership that includes festivities at MLB ballparks and supported events all season long. Activation plans include The Sandlot-themed games at ballparks across the country, screenings of the film around MLB-supported events, co-branded merchandise available for purchase online and at retail stores, giveaways and appearances by members of the original cast. Currently, more than 20 MLB Clubs have designated themed games dedicated to “The Sandlot” and its 25th anniversary with more teams expected to add dates in the coming weeks.
Standard Media Index unveiled national advertising revenue figures for February 2018 that saw -excluding the Olympics – the total US national ad market grow 8% for the month. They report that Super Bowl LII, which aired on NBC, generated in-game television revenue of $337 million, which was 3.4% higher than the game last year. Incorporating both linear TV and Digital, ad revenue for all Super Bowl programming was over $400 million. The network reeled in $903 million of revenue on its platforms for the games, approximately 10% higher than the 2014 Winter Olympics.
The LA Galaxy and home stadium, StubHub Center, launched a marketing partnership with Kinecta Federal Credit Union. The multiyear agreement, brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, aligns the brands and establishes Kinecta as the exclusive financial services partner of the LA Galaxy and StubHub Center as well as a Founding Partner of StubHub Center and the first-ever naming rights partner of the LA Galaxy’s Torrance-based indoor soccer and recreational facility.

NeuLion is set to become the property of Endeavor, courtesy of a definitive agreement by which Endeavor will acquire the technology product and service provider in an all-cash deal valued at approximately $250 million. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018.

DreamHack announced plans to play host to a series of Hearthstone Grand Prix events, lining up six scheduled across the rest of the year. The Grand Prix launches in Tours, France on May 19, before hitting Austin, Montreal, Atlanta, and Jonkoping twice.
Australia’s OVO Mobile locked in an exclusive broadcast deal with the Australian Esports League. The five-year agreement will see OVO launch a dedicated esports channel on its OVOPlay platform starting next week with the AEL University Cup, which features teams from universities across Australia competing with each other. The first year of the deal will see OVO offer more than 140 hours of exclusive content.

Former Eurosport CEO Peter Hutton will officially join Facebook as Director of Global Live Sports Partnerships and Programming. Hutton will lead the company’s overall strategy to bring live sports broadcast to Facebook.

Cavaliers/Heat on TNT at 8p.

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ON THIS DAY in 1939: Oregon wins the first ever NCAA Basketball Tournament Championship.
In the Know: Which NFL team won the Super Bowl with its Doomsday Defense? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: The legendary Jerry Tarkanian once coached which NBA team for a grand total of 20 games? Answer: The Spurs. Kudos: John Ferlazzo/London; Keith Marder-Halstead Real Estate/NY; Marc Wollis-Cadent Network/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Joe Isabella-WCBS TV/NY; Chris Schwartz-ISC/Charlotte; Peter Lasser-Lasser Productions/Atlanta; John Langermann-WINK-TV/Fort Myers; Rich Dubroff-PressBoxonline.com/Baltimore; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Kevin Micklo-Pinnacle Advertising/Chicago; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Rick Blakely-Casa Del Verde Entertainment/LA

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JOB OPENING: DIGITAL SALES PLANNER/PROGRAMMATIC/NBCU/NYC: Team with Account Executive and internal constituents to understand client goals and objectives for programmatic guaranteed proposals to increase the effectiveness and scale of media buys. 2+ years of digital media experience in media planning or client service role. Full info/apply HERE (3/30)

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