04/01/20: NBC and CBS will be the recipients of two new NFL playoff games



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Wednesday April 1, 2020

NFL clubs voted to expand the postseason by two teams beginning with the 2020 season, with new games landing at NBC and CBS. The expansion comes as part of the new NFL-NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement and now sees the top seed in each conference receive a bye in the Wild Card round. The remaining division champions in each conference with the best records will be seeded 2, 3, and 4, followed by the next three teams per conference with the best records seeded 5, 6, and 7. Wild Card Weekend for the 2020 season will consist of three games on Saturday, January 9, and three games on Sunday, January 10, 2021. CBS will now carry one additional Wild Card game on January 10 with kickoff at approximately 4:40p, while a separately produced telecast of the game will air on Nickelodeon, tailored for a younger audience. NBC, along with its new streaming service Peacock, as well as Telemundo will broadcast an additional Wild Card game on January 10 with kickoff at approximately 8:15p.


ESPN is moving up the premier of The Last Dance, the 10-part documentary series that will air on ESPN in the US on Sunday nights over five weeks from April 19 through May 17, while the series will also be available outside of the country on Netflix. The series, directed by Jason Hehir (“The Fab Five,” “The ’85 Bears,” “Andre the Giant”), chronicles Michael Jordan and the 1990s Chicago Bulls, and features never-before-seen footage from the 1997-98 season as the team pursued its sixth NBA championship in eight years. “As society navigates this time without live sports, viewers are still looking to the sports world to escape and enjoy a collective experience,” ESPN said in a statement. “We’ve heard the calls from fans asking us to move up the release date for this series, and we’re happy to announce that we’ve been able to accelerate the production schedule to do just that. This project celebrates one of the greatest players and dynasties ever, and we hope it can serve as a unifying entertainment experience to fill the role that sports often play in our lives, telling a story that will captivate everyone, not just sports fans.”

FOX Sports announced that it would be teaming up with WWE to offer a new slate of programming to viewers, including the network’s first-ever pay-per-view presentation of WrestleMania on the FOX Sports App and FOXSports.com. Viewers can live stream two nights of the WRESTLEMANIA pay-per-view for $59.99 on the FOX Sports and FOX NOW Apps via mobile and connected devices with coverage this Saturday and Sunday night at 6p on FS1 and FOX Deportes. FOX Sports will then present 22 hours of WWE content to air on Tuesday nights this spring. Content also includes WWE’s brand-new series titled “Best Of WWE” featuring “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Triple H, John Cena, Charlotte Flair, Ric Flair, Brock Lesnar, Becky Lynch, Shawn Michaels, Roman Reigns and The Undertaker.

The International Olympic Committee’s vision for 2021 is locked in, with the Summer Games in Tokyo now slated to run July 23-Aug. 8 next year after this year’s games were postponed as a result of the pandemic.

ESPN, in conjunction the NBA, announced it will debut NBA Wednesday Nights presented by State Farm this week, starting today. Each week throughout the month of April, ESPN will televise NBA doubleheaders featuring the most iconic games and legendary performances in league history. Games will air at 7p and 9:30p on ESPN and stream via the ESPN App.

In addition, ESPN, with Major League Baseball, is now televising MLB Encore Tuesdays. The series will feature several of the greatest and most memorable Major League Baseball games ever played every Tuesday throughout April at 7p or 8p on ESPN and the ESPN App.

Use this time to get ahead of the curve! Cynopsis Sports, Esports Business Summit and the Nevada Esports Alliance are teaming up to offer our latest webinar, The New Opportunity: Esports Betting, taking place Tuesday, April 7 at 1:30p ET. All eyes on are this industry, and hear from the drivers who will break down the state of the business, pros and cons of esports wagering, what titles could be next to hit the sportsbooks, who publishers and leagues will benefit, and more! Click here to sign up.

FOX Sports launched a new 30-minute digital show across the FOX Soccer platforms – Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. The show is being done remotely and features FOX Sports soccer talent Alexi Lalas, Stu Holden and John Strong with special guests that include Tyler Adams, Benny Feilhaber, Jozy Altidore, Abby Dahlkemper, Becky Sauerbrunn and US Soccer CEO Will Wilson.

SiriusXM and JAKIB Media Partners announced today that Tony Bruno is re-launching The Tony Bruno Show on SiriusXM. Bruno will co-host with Harry Mayes, with a debut on April 6 and air every weekday at 3p on SiriusXM’s exclusive Dan Patrick Radio channel. “I want to thank all of my fans who have followed and supported me through the years,” said Bruno. “I am grateful to everyone who has encouraged me to return and who still wants to hear my daily fun approach to sports and current affairs, which has been my forte’ for over four decades in broadcasting. I can’t think of a better platform than SiriusXM and reuniting with my former ESPN colleague on the Dan Patrick Radio channel, and I am thrilled to be able to return to the airwaves with my good friend and co-host Harry Mayes. There is no doubt that we will provide an exciting, fun, sports talk radio program that joins a sea of great content on SiriusXM.”

Today sees MLB Network debut #WalkoffWednesday with a marathon of memorable Postseason walk-off games beginning at 10a. Following fan voting via @MLBNetwork this past weekend, the lineup includes the Yankees/Mariners from the 1995 ALDS Game Five the Braves/Twins 1991 World Series Game Seven, Rangers/Cardinals 2011 World Series Game Six and the Astros/White Sox 2005 World Series Game Two.

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Visa informed its sponsored Olympic athletes that contracts could be extended into 2021 following the delay of the Summer Games in Tokyo. “We elected to stand behind our roster of Team Visa athletes and make sure they knew affirmatively we were planning to do so and that we were going to offer to extend our relationship with them into 2021,” Chris Curtin, chief brand and innovation marketing officer at Visa, told the AP.

The National Hockey League is launching two new fan engagement initiatives as part of the League’s commitment to help hockey fans stay connected to players and the game. Greatest Moments of the 2019-20 NHL Season…So Far fan vote program and Live NHL Player Q&As will offer hockey fans daily interactive experiences via the NHL’s Twitter and Instagram social media channels. The six rounds of voting begin today, with fans casting their votes daily via the NHL’s Twitter and Instagram Stories channels. The bracket-style interactive format features 64 video moments that are divided among the Eastern Conference and Western Conference. Head-to-head matchups will be unveiled daily at noon.

Major League Soccer unveiled MLS Unites, a league-wide platform that highlights all of the efforts that MLS players, coaches, clubs and the league are doing to address the important messages and programs taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new initiative was launched in partnership with the Major League Soccer Players Association. As part of MLS Unites, the league will have a series of programs involving MLS clubs, players, coaches, staff, partners and fans, that will include: educate and inform fans on the importance of key health and safety messaging; provide some fun and engaging content featuring MLS players that will keep them connected to our fans and drive relevance during the postponement of the season; showcase and celebrate community “heroes,” those who are fighting the pandemic on the frontlines.

Panini America, the exclusive trading partner of the NFL and NFLPA, released the first episode of its “Road to Rated Rookie” docuseries, which will follow five NFL prospects as they prepare for the draft. D’Andre Swift (Georgia), Jerry Jeudy (Alabama), Jordan Love (Utah State), Eno Benjamin (Arizona State) and Antonio Gandy-Golden (Liberty). The will each be featured in a three-part series beginning at the NFL combine, continuing through the draft and culminating with their pro debuts. The players will share their individual “Road to Rated Rookie” series on their own social media platforms.

DICK’S Sporting Goods unleashed its #LongLiveSport video across its social media channels. The initiative encourages people to share how they’re playing at home while celebrating examples of how others across the world are still enjoying sport at home. Content can be found on its YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook outlets.


Sportradar announced the launch of Simulated Reality, an AI-driven product for professional sports matches, which will be made available to customers within its existing portfolio of events. The company tapped into its AI and machine learning capabilities to deliver a sports betting experience which is as close to real life as possible, seamless and with no integration needed. The simulated reality games will offer a comprehensive range of pre-match and live (in-play) betting opportunities.


2K, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association are rolling out the “NBA 2K Players Tournament,” an NBA 2K20 gameplay tournament between 16 current NBA players. Competition starts Friday on ESPN and ESPN2, with players – who include top seeds Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks –competing in a single-elimination, player-only tournament on Xbox One. The winner will be crowned champion and select a charity beneficiary to receive a $100,000 donation “We are excited to tip off the first ‘NBA 2K Players Tournament’ in partnership with the NBPA and 2K, continuing an ongoing effort to stay connected with NBA fans around the world, while also giving back in this time of need,” said Matt Holt, NBA SVP of Global Partnerships.

FOX Sports continues to double down in esports racing, announcing the launch of World of Outlaws iRacing from the virtual Dirt Track at Charlotte stating tonight at 8p on FS1. The race marks the beginning of a weekly FS1 series of iRacing events across multiple disciplines and various virtual racetracks. This week’s World of Outlaws iRacing event features stars from multiple series, including Brad Sweet (WoO), David Gravel (WoO), Bobby Pierce (DIRTcar Racing), Scott Bloomquist (WoO), Kyle Larson (NASCAR), Christopher Bell (NASCAR), Cruz Pedregon (NHRA) and Ron Capps (NHRA). For Wednesday’s first event, Adam Alexander hosts, with Johnny Gibson, “The Voice” of the World of Outlaws, calling the action. NASCAR Hall-of-Famer Jeff Gordon and NASCAR CUP SERIES driver Clint Bowyer, who owns a Dirt Late Model race team, provide commentary.

Meanwhile, the weekend’s eNASCAR Pro Invitational iRacing Series event from a virtual Texas Motor Speedway, drew 1.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen, breaking the record for eSports TV viewership set bv the previous week’s race. The previous record for eSports viewership on TV was 903,000 for the March 22 race from a digital Homestead-Miami Speedway. That race also exposed NASCAR to new viewers, bringing in 255,000 viewers who hadn’t yet watched a NASCAR Cup Series race in 2020, according to Nielsen.

Continuing the racing theme, FloSports announced that it will exclusively live broadcast an all-new iRacing competition series each week throughout April featuring some of the top drivers in dirt racing. Debuting this week exclusively on the FloRacing platform starting Thursday, at 9p, the 2020 AMSOIL USAC iRacing Challenge Presented By NOS Energy Drink will see the stars of USAC Racing competition going head-to-head against one another on the world’s leading online racing simulation platform.

Psyonix unveiled a $300,000 Rocket League Series tournament for April, held entirely online with each of the four regions participating – North America, Europe, Oceania and South America. Eight teams overall will take part.

Due to the coronavirus, a trio of new events have now been cancelled in the Pokemon World Championships, QuakeCon and ComboBreaker. They will not be rescheduled this year. “The COMBO BREAKER team is gutted to announce that, following government guidance and our own judgment regarding COVID-19, COMBO BREAKER 2020 is cancelled. We recognize the significant impact this decision has on our attendees, partners, sponsors, staff, venue, and community, but believe it is currently the only move to make. May we collectively make it through this difficult time as passionately as when we all began.”

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On This Day
1992: NHL players strike for the first time in the league’s 75-year history.

In the Know
What is the name of the villainous former Dolphins kicker in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
In golf, what is a “snowman”? Answer: Scoring an 8 on a hole. Kudos: Tori Gallarello-Alcock-Little Roosters, Inc./NY; Jim Bono-NBCUniversal/NY; Barry Katz-NEP Studios/NY; Tom Buffolano-LTN Global/NY; Richard L. Mann-Mann Marketing/Dumont; Matt Deprey-C-SPAN/DC; Christian Matthews-Washington Redskins/DC; Kathi Gillin-effectv/North Wales; Joe Lyons-ESPN/Dallas; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Travis Wacker-ESPN Chicago/Chicago; Jean Edhlund-Cooperative Network Services/Menahga; Rich Wolfe-Lone Wolfe Press/Scottsdale; Willie Price-American Forces Network/Riverside; Jim Himmel-TCB Media/San Clemente; Bob Ware-NBC/Palm Springs; Andy Babb-Super League Gaming/Santa Monica

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Deliver rich media content that is enthusiastically viewed by diverse North Carolinians. At least 6yrs of related experience as a respected leader in content development, curation and delivery. Masters degree journalism/prod/comm. Full info HERE (4/10)

UNC TV/RTP NC: Lead production, management and reporting for UNC-TV’s email marketing campaigns which includes content development, design and deployment for regular content emails, engagement and fundraising campaigns and ongoing marketing automation. Strong knwlg email mktg practices. Full info HERE (4/10)

leader on the Digital Marketing team, supervising one permanent position, and is responsible for UNC-TV’s social media strategy w/ the goal of building & sustaining an engaged audience and member base across social media platforms. BA deg in discipline related to area. Full info HERE (4/10)

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Motivated PR exec for Sr mgr or above position to dvlp strategies & implement publicity/comm campaigns for content-creators/producers. 5-7 years minimum of publicity and communications exp. Full info
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Lead a team of Campaign Specialists responsible for setup, trafficking and optimization of Ad sales campaigns across all NBCU News properties. Min 5 yrs ad ops exp. Knwldg industry tools incl DFP, Operative, Canoe and Freewheel. Full info HERE (4/7)

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Affiliate (Client) Relations specialist w/ a unique distinction seeks role in broadcast, cable or other. Worked in local broadcast AND at the network level for The WB, The CW and CBS. I know stuff. Over 15+ years PLUS Client Relations for a major Comic Con company. Los Angeles/818 area. [email protected] (4/5)

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