03/29/17: NBC’s Winter workout; GGG lifts PPV numbers; MLB’s dog adoption



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Good morning. It’s Wednesday March 29, 2017 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

NBC Olympics is all-in on live broadcasts for the upcoming Winter Olympics, announcing that – for the first time ever at the event – NBC will broadcast all of its Olympic programming live across all time zones, allowing all US viewers to watch coverage from PyeongChang, South Korea, at the same time. On most nights, the primetime broadcast will begin at 8p (5p in PT, etc.), followed in all time zones by local news, and then a “Primetime Plus” program. A replay of the primetime program will follow “Primetime Plus.”

“Nothing brings America together for two weeks like the Olympics, and that communal experience will now be shared across the country at the same time, both on television and streaming online,” said Jim Bell, President, NBC Olympics Production & Programming.. “That means social media won’t be ahead of the action in any time zone, and as a result, none of our viewers will have to wait for anything. This is exciting news for the audience, the advertisers, and our affiliates alike.”


Gennady Golovkin’s rise is impacting his PPV buys, as his win over Daniel Jacobs on March 18 from Madison Square Garden scored around 170,000 buys on HBO PPV, K2 Promotions managing director Tom Loeffler told ESPN. That marks a rise from his first PPV headliner outing, which generated 153,000 buys in October 2015. "Going against the NCAA tournament wasn’t easy, but that was the date that worked for Madison Square Garden and TV and it was a great boxing weekend in New York," Loeffler said.

Cynopsis Sports congratulates the winner of the Vision Award, recognizing a league executive whose strategy and insights propelled their sport into record territory with fans, media and advertisers, with LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan receiving this year’s honor. He joins our fellow 2017 luminaries  Legacy Award winner Turner President David Levy, Navigator Award winner NextVR Executive Chairman Brad Allen, and Gem Award winner Monster Energy for Brand of the Year to accept the recognition at the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards. Join us for these and our other honors on April13 in NYC by clicking here for tickets now.

ESPN serves up a taste of college football this year with coverage of 21 spring games throughout April. Programming includes Clemson on April 8 on ACC Network Extra at 2:30p, Alabama on April 22 at 3p on ESPN, and Texas on April 15 at 2p on Longhorn Network.

NBC Sports Group is hitting the 2017 ISU World Figure Skating Championships with 22.5 hours of coverage from Helsinki, anchored by NBCSN’s live coverage of the ladies’ free skate on Friday at 1p and the men’s free skate on Saturday at 12:30p. Play-by-play announcer Terry Gannon calls the action on NBC, as well as the live ladies’ and men’s free skate competitions on NBCSN. He will be joined Tara Lipinski, Johnny Weir, and Andrea Joyce.

Tough Mudder is partnering with Sky UK Limited in a move to deliver a six-part docu-series Mission to Sky Sports this summer.  The series will follow six popular British Olympians who team up to create an ‘all-star’ team and together tackle the cycle of Tough Mudder events in the US and UK. Olympians include: Jade Jones, Perri Shakes-Drayton, Jess Varnish, Aimee Fuller, Ashley McKenzie and Anthony Fowler.

Toby Keith is set to topline the 2017 Concert for Legends on Aug. 6 at 8 p to close out the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week. The week kicks off with the Hall of Fame Game pitting the Cardinals/Cowboys on Aug. 3 with a class that includes Morten Andersen, Terrell Davis, Kenny Easley, Jerry Jones, Jason Taylor, LaDainian Tomlinson and Kurt Warner.


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The long-time marriage between baseball and hot dogs just got official as Nathan’s Famous locked in a deal to become MLB’s first official hot dog. Nathan’s was already the official hot dog of the Cardinals, Marlins, Mets and Yankees. "There is something special, wholesome, and uniquely American about spending a summer day at the ballpark, watching a baseball game, and enjoying a hot dog," said Noah Garden, MLB executive vice president, business, in a statement. "As a top brand in premium beef hot dogs, Nathan’s is a perfect partner for MLB, and we’re excited to have their support.”

LeanIn.Org is partnering with the NBA, WNBA and NBPA to launch a new public awareness campaign, highlighting the role that men play in achieving gender equality. Three vignettes will be released highlightng the personal stories of Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns), Jrue Holiday (New Orleans Pelicans), and Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors), and encouraging fans to share their stories with players and teams directly on social media using the hashtag #LeanInTogether This will mark the third #LeanInTogether campaign between the orgs.

The Atlanta Tipoff Club, administrators of the Naismith Trophy, locked in a multi-year agreement to make Citizen Watch the title sponsor of the Naismith College Player of the Year Awards. Additionally, Citizen Watch becomes an official marketing partner, with the designation as the “Official Watch of the Naismith Trophy.” The deal was structured by PSP Partner Marketing Executive Vice Pesident Thom Hering in New York, along with Atlanta-based Trenches Sports & Entertainment CEO Brad Olecki.
Discovery Communications held its upfront presentation in NYC yesterday, with President and CEO Michael Zaslav addressing the role sports plays for the company. "Sports is really about storytelling. You’ve got to care – who are these people, and why do I care? We’re really going to be able to drive that in Europe in a way that nobody ever has. At the Olympics, NBC does an extraordinary job. It’s their job for three weeks a year. But at Eurosport, 50% of our content is the Olympics, so we’re able to cover, all year long, and take you to the Olympics and tell those stories. But that’s not enough. We said, we want people to know who the great stories are at the Olympics so that when it starts, in South Korea in January, that people will know who to root for, country by country. So we enlisted Ben Lerer and Group Nine …Group Nine has aline with Eurosport, and they’re going to do hundreds of one-minute and two-minute streams about the athletes, about their stories, about their sports. Those will be hitting over the next several months and we expect to get several hundred mill streams across all platforms promoting the Olympics."


MLB.com At Bat is warming up to allow user to have access to customize the app icon, prominently featuring their favorite MLB team logos on the homescreens of their iPhones and iPads. At Bat, which also offers a similar functionality on Android, will be delivering fans its annual Opening Day update later this week.

Meanwhile, T-Mobile hits MLB’s opening week by offering customers a free one-year subscription to MLB.TV Premium and MLB.com At Bat Premium. The platforms will be available on April 4 on the carrier’s T-Mobile Tuesdays app.

Showtime serves up the sixth and final installment of Legacy: Bob Hurley, the digital documentary showcasing the Saint Anthony’s High School basketball program and Coach Bob Hurley, on April 10, in a move to capture the fate of the program. The ep was originally set for March 27, but a financial crisis has placed the team’s future in jeopardy.

Golf Canada and Stadium Digital announced the relaunch of golfcanada.ca. The platform’s facelift introduces the roll out of a responsive national website network across Canada’s provincial golf associations, and features new content hub to share Canadian golf news, information and highlights of Golf Canada’s slate of championships, programs and services for golfers and member clubs. The sites also feature original content to showcase the next generation of Canadian rising stars as well as informative articles for golf enthusiasts.

Speaking of golf, the PGA TOUR will begin testing the use of distance measuring devices during competition at select tournaments this year on the Web.com Tour, Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR Latinoamerica. Each tour will allow use of the devices by players and caddies at four consecutive tournaments, including Monday qualifiers.


Consumer tech brand Hisense is launching an extensive marketing partnership to become the exclusive TV provider of Evil Geniuses. The marketing sponsorship runs through 2017. Activations will include a slate of co-branded events, a presence at major tournaments and extensive digital promotions. “We are thrilled for Evil Geniuses to join the Hisense family and to be a part of one of the fastest growing entertainment segments in the world,” said Mark Viken, Vice President of Marketing at Hisense. “The competitive gaming community and larger amateur gaming community are essential target markets for Hisense, and we can think of no better way to get involved with this movement.” Hisense and Evil Geniuses will activate their partnership immediately through an expanded presence during major esports tournaments in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Las Vegas and Seattle. 
The International 7 locked in its dates for Valve’s Dota 2 Championship, announcing that this year’s event will run from Aug. 7-12 at Seattle’s Key Arena. Last year’s prize pool hit $20.4 million.

Overwatch League appears poised for a payday, according to a new report from Morgan Stanley. Dot Esports reports that the firm served up projections for the upcoming Blizzard esports league, estimating that the outfit could pull in revenues that reach up to $720 million a year with a base valuation of $100 million annually, comprised of $32 million from licensing and advertising, $30 million in sponsorships, and the rest coming from in ticket/merchandise sales.


Warriors/Spurs on ESPN at 6:30p.




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ON THIS DAY in 1982: Michael Jordan’s shot with 16 seconds remaining lifts North Carolina over Georgetown for the NCAA men’s basketball championship.

In The Know: Which two golfers share the record for longest LPGA winning streak, with each claming five in a row? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Which three teams did the Raiders franchise beat in the Super Bowl? Answer: Redskins, Eagles and Vikings. Kudos: Andreas Droste-Time Inc./NY; Kyle Helm-CBS Sports/NY; Steve Kantscheidt-THREE/NY; David Kalan-MLB Advanced Media/NY; Chris Schwartz-International Speedway Corporation/Charlotte; Tom Wetzel-MMSI/Warwick; Willy Gibson-WTG Consulting/Columbus; Mark J. Crepeau-Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame/Springfield; Steve McNair-KUBE TV/Houston; Tom Doherty-Starcom Media/Chicago; Lance Davis-ESPN Milwaukee/Milwaukee; Bill Robertson-WCHA/Edina; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank.

Later — Chris
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