04/02/21: The NFL tied up Genius Sports to a data deal


Medias First Morning Read


Friday April 2, 2021

The NFL and Genius Sports Group locked in a new multi-year strategic partnership for Genius to become the NFL’s exclusive distributor of real-time official play-by-play statistics, proprietary Next Gen Stats (NGS) data, and the League’s official sports betting data feed to media companies and sports betting operators globally, including the U.S., where legal. In addition, Genius and the NFL will develop a jointly governed technology center/hub dedicated to driving the future of NFL betting through innovation of NFL’s data feeds, data products, and fan engagement offerings. In addition, Genius will represent the NFL’s legalized sports betting advertising inventory across the NFL’s owned and operated digital platforms in the US and international markets.


The Masters is on deck with CBS Sports set to broadcast the event from April 8-11 with its traditional 18-hole broadcast coverage beginning with the third round on April 10 from 3-7p, while final round action spans April 11 from 2-7p. In addition, highlights of early-round air on CBS on April 8 & 9 at 11:35p. Jim Nantz and Sir Nick Faldo are joined by CBS Sports’ golf team including analyst Ian Baker-Finch, on-course reporter Dottie Pepper, 2008 Masters champion Trevor Immelman, Frank Nobilo, veteran announcer Verne Lundquist, Andrew Catalon, and Amanda Balionis, contributing with interviews. Masters Live, featuring live, full-day, streaming video coverage of the 2021 Masters Tournament, will offer four channels of golf action available on CBSSports.com, the CBS Sports app for mobile devices, and Paramount+, offering more than 100 additional hours of live video along with in-progress highlights.

Around the dial, ESPN and ESPN+ will again televise live play of the first and second rounds of the Tournament from 3-7:30p on April 8-9 while ESPN+ will have live streams of two-hour practice round programs at noon on Tuesday and Wednesday, with Wednesday’s program also airing on ESPN. ESPN+ viewers also will be able to watch Featured Holes coverage on ESPN+ of Holes 4, 5 and 6, Amen Corner and Holes 15 and 16 for all four days of the Masters Tournament, and live streaming coverage also will include Featured Groups during Tournament play.

Meanwhile, NBC Sports presents 10 consecutive days of live coverage from Augusta National Golf Club beginning this weekend with the Augusta National Women’s Amateur on NBC, the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals at 8a on Sunday on GOLF Channel and Live From the Masters from April 5-11 on GOLF Channel. Mike Tirico handles play-by-play with analysts Paige Mackenzie and Trevor Immelman.

The Final Four sees Turner Sports and CBS Sports offer exclusive coverage with Gonzaga, Baylor, Houston and UCLA competing for the National Championship. CBS will televise the NCAA Final Four National Semifinals on Saturday, as well as the National Championship on Monday National Semifinal game coverage will begin this Saturday at 5p, with three hours of pregame coverage beginning at 2p. The three consecutive hours of live, on-site studio coverage from Indianapolis will begin with At the Final Four presented by Nissan at 2p.

The 2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Final Four coverage tips off today at 5:55p on ESPN with South Carolina/Stanford followed by Arizona/UConn at 9:30p. The national championship game will air live on ESPN on Sunday at 6p. Maria Taylor, Andy Landers and Carolyn Peck will provide pre-game, halftime, and post-game coverage from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. campus beginning pre-game on Friday leading into the first semifinal.

The WNBA Draft 2021 presented by State Farm is locked in for April 15, where WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert will announce the draft picks live on ESPN with exclusive coverage beginning at 7p. In line with their commitment to vaccine education during the off-season, the telecast will feature WNBA players discussing COVID vaccines with a focus on health equity and will provide previews of the league’s historic, upcoming 25th season.

AEG became the latest sports stalwart to sign on for the Cynopsis Sports & Esports Newfront presentations on April 21-22 as some of today’s hottest properties reveal some of the unique opportunities to brands and agencies to partner for this year and beyond. Brands are invited to attend this is a can’t miss event to engage with their elusive demos! Request an exclusive invite to the Cynopsis Sports & Esports Newfront now.

Combate Americas secured a new deal with Univision Communications for a new, five-year media rights agreement that calls for 30 live television Combate Americas events beginning April 9. The events will be available across Univision platforms, including on linear on Univision and TUDN, as well as via the TUDN Radio Network, TUDN.TV and the TUDN app. Additionally, fight fans will also be able to access Combate’s fight library on PrendeTV. In addition, Combate Americas has re-branded to Combate Global to reflect its international expansion that will include the addition of athletes from territories outside of the U.S. and Latin America.

SHOWTIME Sports and BELLATOR MMA will offer their inaugural event, BELLATOR MMA 255: Pitbull vs. Sanchez 2, live for free to non-SHOWTIME subscribers across multiple streaming services, online platforms and cable television tonight at 9p. The main card, in addition to airing live on SHOWTIME for subscribers, will be available for free to millions across the United States on industry-leading streaming services Pluto TV, Hulu, YouTube and FuboTV.

NBC Olympics delivers exclusive live coverage of every match of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Wrestling from Dickies Arena in Fort Worth today and Saturday across NBCSN, Peacock and NBC Sports digital platforms as 15 of the 18 winners at Trials will guarantee themselves the opportunity to compete for Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics this summer. Beginning at 7:30p on Saturday, NBCSN will present exclusive live coverage of the championship series, where 18 champions will be crowned across all weight classes in men’s freestyle, women’s freestyle, and Greco-Roman disciplines.

FOX Sports announced the additions of Jake Mintz and Jordan Shusterman, the minds behind the popular @CespedesBBQ social accounts, to its lineup this season. Mintz and Shusterman contribute original written and video content to FOX Sports digital and social platforms.

All Sports Television Network will begin airing the qualifying round of International Handball Federation team handball. These matches are the precursor to the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. Under an agreement with the IHF, ALL SPORTS will air a select number of matches played in Montenegro, Hungary, Spain, France, and Germany. The broadcasts will include both women’s and men’s teams and feature top handball players from around the world.

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Major League Baseball and Boys & Girls Clubs of America announced a five-year renewal, through 2025, to celebrate the partnership’s 25th anniversary. MLB committed $5 million to Boys & Girls Clubs to support grant funding toward growing participation of youth baseball & softball, workforce development & career readiness programs, a national public service announcement (PSA) campaign, and BGCA activations throughout the season. “Over the last 25 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has offered Major League Baseball and our Clubs the opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of young people throughout the country,” said Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred, Jr. “Together, we have introduced baseball and softball to young people, improved the Clubs where they learn and play, and provided unforgettable experiences to children in our communities. We hope our partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America will continue to inspire young people to dream big and help them recognize their unlimited potential.”

The PGA TOUR announced today that Fortinet will become the title sponsor of PGA TOUR’s Napa tournament, to be named the Fortinet Championship. The six-year agreement begins as the kickoff event of the 2021-22 FedExCup Regular Season at Silverado Resort and Spa, September 13-19, 2021. Net proceeds from the Fortinet Championship will benefit non-profit organizations in the areas of STEM, women and minorities in technology, as well as veterans reskilling programs.

St. Louis CITY SC named Purina as the team’s first founding partner and kit sponsor. As the club’s official kit partner, Purina will be prominently featured within the fabric of St. Louis CITY’s visual identity on-and-off the pitch when the club kicks off their inaugural Major League Soccer season in 2023.

Stanley Black & Decker announced partnerships with the Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, Miami Marlins, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, and Oakland Athletics for the 2021 MLB season. The company will also be the official tools sponsor for each team. “As a purpose-driven company which aims to honor ‘Those Who Make The World,’ we are excited to be back at the ballpark again in 2021,” said Jaime Ramirez, Executive Vice President of Global Tools & Storage for Stanley Black & Decker. “Our partnership with each of these six MLB clubs will enable us to engage with baseball fans and celebrate the makers and the iconic brands that empower them to make the world.”


Virginia sportsbooks hauled in more than $265 million in wagers in what was the Commonwealth’s first full month of legal sports betting, according to PlayVirginia, which provides news and analysis of the state’s gaming industry. Spurred by $19.6 million in Super Bowl betting, matching PlayUSA.com projections for the state, Virginia sportsbooks collected $265.8 million in wagers in February, according to official data released Thursday by The Virginia Lottery.

As part of its Student-Athlete Health & Well-Being Initiative, the Pac-12 Conference announced a research collaboration with Fitbit and researchers at Stanford Medicine that will invite student-athletes from all Pac-12 universities to participate in a new voluntary study using Fitbit devices to further investigate whether data from wearable devices can be used to help detect, track and contain infectious diseases such as COVID-19.

Buzzer, a mobile platform for watching short-form live sports, signed unique short form live content agreements with the PGA TOUR and for National Hockey League games. With PGA TOUR and NHL content, fans can instantaneously make a secure micropayment to buy only those moments they want to watch.

The Professional Fighters League, in partnership with fintech blockchain company Chiliz, became the first sports league in the world to launch a Fan Token to increase engagement with their global fanbase. $PFL Fan Tokens serve as collectible digital assets, minted on the Chiliz blockchain, that provide owners with access to voting rights in polls, VIP rewards, exclusive league and sponsor promotions, AR-enabled features, chat forums, games and competitions on Chiliz’ fan engagement and rewards mobile app Socios.com.

DDSports Inc. (ShotTracker) announced a new round of financing by Hearst Ventures, the venture capital unit of Hearst. The $2 million USD investment by Hearst Ventures is in addition to an $11 million USD investment led by Evertz Technologies Limited (Evertz) and Verizon Ventures.

New Orleans Pelicans All-Star Zion Williamson and basketball brand SLAM joined forces for a first-of-its-kind NFT drop, including two SLAM covers featuring Williamson. The SLAM x ZION collection will include four limited-edition versions of both covers — Basic, Gold, Gold Autographed, and a 1-of-1 Platinum Autographed, in addition to the first-ever digital basketball, created exclusively for this drop. The SLAM x ZION collection drops on OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace, beginning this Friday, April 2.


3BLACKDOT, an entertainment studio with a focus on gaming, signed an exclusive, one-year partnership with gaming talent management company BavaMedia. Through the partnership 3BD will provide Bava’s talent with a suite of services designed to maximize the talent’s creative and revenue potential in the marketplace. Resources include: Original programming deals; Brand partnerships; and Ecommerce development and support.

Esports tournament organizer BLAST Premier announced a sponsorship with cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase to sponsor their Counter-Strike Spring Season. As part of the deal, Coinbase branding will feature prominently across the Spring Showdown (April 13-18) and Final (June 15-20), including branded content opportunities and fan-led activations. The cryptocurrency exchange platform will sponsor BLAST Premier’s ‘The Economy Play’ broadcast segment, which sees analysts dissect and discuss economy rounds in between key matches.

The Houston Outlaws are partnering with Adamas Esports Performance & Training Ltd. Adamas will provide performance coaching and health & wellness expertise to Outlaws players and coaches as part of the partnership. Services will include sports psychology, coaching development workshops, and lifestyle coaching and recommendations delivered through online workshop sessions and one on one time with the athletes.

CSL Esports revealed that Esports at LSU will serve as the virtual host for the upcoming 2021 CSL Grand Finals on CSL Esports’ Twitch channel on May 1 and 2. “In a normal year we would have competitors gathering at LSU for the culmination of the league season,” said Rob Johnson, CEO, CSL Esports. “While this year we won’t be able to have a live event, we will have some exciting matches that will feature some of the best collegiate esports talent in North America. “We look forward to working closely with Esports at LSU as our virtual host and providing a terrific experience for the competitors and our viewers on our Twitch channel.”


Fenway Sports Group announced a significant investment into the company by RedBird Capital Partners. The investment by RedBird into FSG is based on an enterprise valuation for FSG of $7.35 billion. As part of the overall transaction, LeBron James, Maverick Carter and their longtime business partner Paul Wachter will exchange a previously held interest in Liverpool Football Club and become part of FSG’s ownership group along with RedBird.


A generation ago, each MLB team had about 3 broadcasters, now it’s up to 6! You need more than a scorecard. Here’s a directory to the 2021 announcers team-by-team including off-season changes.
Play Ball! Baseball is back; A full directory of team voices; including details of off-season changes

There’s a hullabaloo over the recent vote in Georgia to tighten voting requirements. How will it affect the coverage of the Masters? Martha Burk talks about her fight to get women to break through Augusta’s firewall almost 20 years ago.
Will the Masters, CBS and ESPN face significant threats if they fail to respond to Georgia’s new voting law

Final weekend of college hoops and it’s the first Final Four which has no representation of schools east of the Mississippi. CBS/Turner had some pretty good analysts and one in particular who was weak. Why wouldn’t networks reevaluate the work of the talent after the first couple rounds to determine who moves on to the Sweet 16?
Should CBS/Turner consider a merit based system for game assignments in the Sweet 16 and Elite 8?

For those who remember and even for those who don’t, there was an assassination attempt on the life of President Ronald Reagan, the afternoon prior to the national title game in 1981, 40 years ago. The Academy Awards that night were postponed until the following night. Whether the championship game would be played or not wasn’t decided until Reagan was out of danger. Billy Packer, who called the game for NBC, remembers.
Billy Packer recalls NCAA title game, played 40 years ago tonight, hours after President Reagan was shot

Happy Birthdays:
Matt Devlin, 4/2 Toronto Raptors TV
Ray Fosse, 4/4 Oakland A’s TV
Joe Bowen, 4/5 Toronto Maple Leafs
Stephen Brando, 4/5 FOX Sports
Clay Travis, 4/6 FOX Sports
Kay Adams, 4/6 NFL Network
Andy Katz, 4/7 CBS/Turner
Jim Lampley, 4/8 formerly HBO Boxing
Sports Broadcast Journal


Cynopsis wants to celebrate the women in media who make things happen.
Cynopsis Top Women in Media Gala is coming up this fall!

Nominate the women who are innovating and inspiring while navigating the day-to-day of our industry.

Nominate by 5/6
(sponsored by TurnkeyZRG)

On this Day
1985: The NCAA Rules Committee adopts a 45-second shot clock for men’s basketball.

Which MLB club has a mascot known as DJ Kitty? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Which MLB club used to play at Three Rivers Stadium? Answer: The Pirates. Kudos: John Ferlazzo/London; Phyllis McQuillan-MSG Networks/NY; Cory Angerthal-AMC Networks/NY; Matthew Willence-ITN Networks/NY; John Russo-INSP/NY; Matt Sautter-WideOrbit/Harrisburg; Sam Pittman-Juniper & Berkeley/Raleigh; Kerry Mulvey-AFC Urgent Care/Philadelphia; Bill Graff-beIN SPORTS/Miami; Bill Robertson-WCHA/Bloomington; Creed Heilskov-ImOn Communications/Cedar Rapids; Kyle Krebs-Limestone Minerals Inc/Dallas; Tom Doherty–Mobile Marketing Solutions/Chicago, Jack Neumann-University of Calgary Dinos 5th Quarter Alumni Development/Calgary’ David Hauptman/Denver; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Tara Aviel-Access media services/Redondo Beach; Andy Babb-Super League Gaming/Santa Monica; Gary Tarpinian-Morningstar Entertainment/Burbank; Dave Sikula-San Francisco State University/San Francisco

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Develop a unique, authoritative voice for CoinDesk products; write and edit quickly, cleanly and succinctly, and they must be a master of shaping copy and social-native content to match the voice of different social networks. 3-5 years of experience managing social media for a media company or comparable organization. Full info HERE (4/13)

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