04/03/19: The AAF is closing shop just eight weeks into its inaugural season

Good morning. It’s Wednesday April 3, 2019 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

The clock’s apparently run out on the Alliance of American Football, and after eight weeks of games in its inaugural season, league owner Tom Dundon suspended all operations for the org. League co-founder Bill Polian confirmed the news to ESPN, noting “I am extremely disappointed to learn Tom Dundon has decided to suspend all football operations of the Alliance of American Football. When Mr. Dundon took over, it was the belief of my co-founder, Charlie Ebersol, and myself that we would finish the season, pay our creditors, and make the necessary adjustments to move forward in a manner that made economic sense for all.”
The AAF last month announced plans to move its title game from Las Vegas to Frisco. Through its eight weeks of telecasts across CBS, TNT and NFL Network, the league averaged just of half a million viewers per game.

Tennis Channel and the Citi Open tennis tournament in DC renewed their exclusive multimedia partnership through 2023. The five-year agreement will let the network remain the television and digital home of the annual summer men’s and women’s event, with the 2019 Citi Open main draw running July 29-August 4.  Last year Tennis Channel dedicated close to 170 hours to the week-long competition.
Turner Sports and CBS Sports laid out coverage plans for national semifinals of the 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship from Minneapolis with Auburn, Virginia, Texas Tech and Michigan State competing for the National Championship starting Saturday. The three consecutive hours of live, on-site studio coverage from Minneapolis will begin with At the Final Four presented by Infiniti at 3p with Greg Gumbel hosting with Candace Parker and Wally Szczerbiak, along with insider Seth Davis and Head Coach Jay Wright of Villanova.  The first hour will feature behind-the-scenes content for each of the four National Semifinalist teams, via the ongoing March Madness Confidential series. The Final Four Show tips off at 4p will feature special guests, pregame analysis and interviews with each of the National Semifinalist head coaches. Ernie Johnson will host with analysts Charles Barkley, Clark Kellogg and Kenny Smith.
ESPN2’s live telecast of the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday scored the largest U.S. television audience on record for the event, with an average of 711,000 viewers tuning in, up 3% over lat year’s numbers. The Bahrain telecast drew the second-largest U.S. cable television audience for a Formula 1 race on record.
Saturday night saw Univision’s live coverage of the Liga MX soccer match between American and Tigres UANL draw 1.2 million total viewers, propelling the channel to a first-place finish on Spanish-language television.
Celebrating the 20th anniversary of Manchester United’s historic 1998-99 season, NBC Sports will carry The Impossible Dream on April 28, looking back at the club’s run to the three most prestigious club trophies an English team can win — the Premier League, the FA Cup, and the Champions League titles. The two-hour movie is co-produced with Manchester United and runs at 2:30p on NBCSN, following the Red Devils’ match against Chelsea.
In other documentary news, Showtime announced the acquisition of rights to award-winning documentary Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story. Directed by Johnny Sweet the story is produced by Bleacher Report and will premiere on Showtime on May 31 at 10p. The film includes intimate interviews from the man now known as Metta World Peace, his former teammates and rivals, his loved ones and family.
NBC Sports Philadelphia is set to offer alternate, betting-focused live coverage of the Philadelphia 76ers/Atlanta Hawks game tonight at 7:30p on NBC Sports Philadelphia+. 76ers vs. Hawks Presented by NBC Sports Bet will feature betting-related commentary and analysis in real time, along with up-to-date betting data and information, led by host Marc Farzetta alongside sports betting expert Brad Feinberg and Anthony Gargano. The hosts’ commentary and analysis will be complemented by special on-screen graphics featuring betting data and information, including a glossary of gambling terminology.
Cynopsis Sports Media Awards
April 25 | 8:30AM – 10:30AM | NYC

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Celebrating 17 years since Pizza Hut launched the P’ZONE in 2002, the brand announced that it would give away a free Pepperoni P’ZONE to fans nationwide if a team overcomes a 17-point deficit to win during the Final Four or Championship games in this year’s men’s basketball tournament. This announcement caps off Pizza Hut’s third year as the Official Pizza of NCAA March Madness.
Anytime Fitness locked in a global partnership with Special Olympics, and will encourage the owners and staff members at nearly 5,000 gyms to voluntarily coach, train and support Special Olympic athletes worldwide. “We are thrilled to be embarking on a global partnership with Anytime Fitness,” said Special Olympics Chief Marketing & Development Officer Kelli Seely. “Anytime Fitness’ commitment to inclusion is truly inspiring.  By partnering with their gyms in communities around the world we hope to not only provide opportunities to improve the health and fitness of Special Olympics athletes, but to also create ‘unified’ moments where athletes with and without disabilities

With the Masters approaching, IBM announced plans to roll out a slate of new digital experiences designed to bring golf patrons even closer to the action, including: production og the IBM Round in 3 Minutes feature for The Masters app; the Masters Livestream, powered by IBM Watson transcoding live footage into 18 different formats, making sure viewers across virtually any device and bandwidth receive the most premium viewing possible.
SIDEARM Sports and Pixellot announced that they will collaborate to produce live college sports at scale using AI-powered automation. Universities will be able to stream unproduced live games including advanced graphics and commentary and leverage game and practice footage for highlights, students and alumni engagement, sponsorship activation, and other marketing content for its athletic department. The partnership creates the opportunity for SIDEARM and their partner schools to cover sports that have never been produced.

HyperX renewed its ties with the NBA 2K League ahead of its second season, which begins with THE TIPOFF, powered by AT&T, this week. The deal sees HyperX continue as the Official Gaming Headset Partner of the league and will provide gaming headsets for all league gameplay and events. HyperX gaming headsets will be used by players during all live gameplay, including weekly matchups, tournaments, the NBA 2K League Playoffs and the NBA 2K League Finals. Additionally, HyperX has partnerships at the team level with many NBA 2K League teams including HEAT Check Gaming, Mavs Gaming, NetsGC, T-Wolves Gaming and 76ers Gaming Club. The team practice facilities will also be equipped with HyperX gaming headsets.
ESL named Thomas Schmidt as Chief Commercial Officer of the company. Previously, Thomas Schmidt spent 16 years in developing the UEFA Champions League commercialisation and distribution and will be charged with managing the ESL Sales teams and expand all existing and new brand partners, as well as media distribution revenue streams.
Abrams Artists Agency inked an additional five new clients to its gaming department: Matt Cobuzio, Britanni Johnson, Meg Turney, Sam Seum and SayNoToRage. They will be represented under the Agency’s Alternative Programming, Licensing and Digital division. “The rapid growth of this division within our successful Alternative Programming, Licensing and Digital division has been incredible,” the company said in the announcement. “Our recent agent hires in the division have provided the department’s clients opportunities in all aspects of esports and gaming while exploring opportunities in more traditional forms of media. We are proud of the growth and look forward to helping this roster of new clients build their brands and presence in multiple mediums of gaming and entertainment.”
Formula 1 announced that the third installment of the F1 New Balance Esports Series will kick off onA April 8, extending the schedule to include more racing for double last year’s prize money, with a $500,000 prize pool up for grabs. The expanded season means that at the Pro Series, the official F1 teams and their drivers will now compete in four live events, compared to just three events last year, between September and December 2019. In addition, F1 renewed its partnership with Codemasters and Gfinity for the 2019 F1 New Balance Esports Series. New Balance, the footwear and lifestyle brand, will remain as Title Partner and will be fully integrated into the Series, with all drivers wearing New Balance socks and shoes whilst racing in the Pro Series. Fanatec also remain on board as Official Sponsor, supplying the championship with elite and advanced equipment.

The PGA of America acquired Nextgengolf, to enhance player development programming. The company conducts inclusive team golf tournaments and experiences for young adults, college students and high school students across the country and has three platforms: the National High School Golf Association (NHSGA), National Collegiate Club Golf Association (NCCGA) and City Tour, running more than 200 team-based golf tournaments nationwide.
Following the closure of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, the National Women’s Hockey League announced via conference call with the media on Tuesday that the league will look to add expansion teams in Toronto and Montreal, boosting the count up to seven franchises for the 2019-20 season. Both markets were previously in the CWHL. In addition, the NHL committed to become the biggest financial investor in the NWHL. More teams could be added after discussions with CWHL stakeholders.
Major League Baseball announced that Historic Dodgertown, the former Spring Training site of the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, will be renamed the Jackie Robinson Training Complex to serve as a year-round hub of amateur development initiatives and events designed to diversify and strengthen the talent pipelines of baseball and softball. Events taking place at the facility include the Baseball Breakthrough Series East, Girls Baseball Breakthrough Series, Softball Elite Development Invitational, Hank Aaron Invitational and RBI Baseball & Softball World Series.

Rockets/Clippers on NBA TV at 10:30p.
“2019 is the year the industry comes together around measurement.”
–Laura Molen, President, Ad Sales & Partnerships | NBCU
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ON THIS DAY in 1988: Mario Lemieux wins the NHL scoring title.
In the Know: The 1981-82 NBA season saw this team earn the record for highest average points per game (126.48), a record that still stands. Which team earned that honor? (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 player holds the record for consecutive seasons hitting 20 HRs or more, reaching 20 in a row? Answer: Hank Aaron. Kudos: Pete Gautieri-A&E Networks/NY; Brian Traynor-Endeavor/NY; Adam Friedman-Cadent/NY; Michael Ritz-Northwestern Mutual/NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Scott Running-Stafford Motor Speedway/Stafford Springs; Matt Sautter-WideOrbit/Harrisburg; John Kukla-KDFW/KDFI/Dallas; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burban.
Later — Chris
Chris Pursell
Kerry Smith
Division President
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Roberta Caploe
Cynopsis Ad Sales
Mike Farina

Albert Nassour

Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
Trish Pihonak
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CYNOPSISJOBS – For More jobs, please visit Cynopsis.com


Support Sr. Producer and overall office in small prodco. Phones, filing, supplies, calendars, inventory, bookkeeping, shipping, payroll. Some travel. Must be able to drive crew van in NYC. WORD/EXCEL a must. 2+ yrs. exp.

Resume and cover letter [email protected]

EXECUTIVE/PERSONAL ASSISTANT/OFFICE MGR/TWO CATS TV/NYC: Support Sr. Producer and overall office in small prodco. Phones, filing, supplies, calendars, inventory, bookkeeping, shipping, payroll. Some travel. Must be able to drive crew van in NYC. WORD/EXCEL a must. 2+ yrs. exp. Resume and cover letter [email protected] (4/17)

SOCIAL MEDIA PRODUCER/Fox News Channel/NYC: Help produce content for all of our social media platforms. Team player with a positive attitude a must & comfortable working under pressure in a fast-paced envir. Your passion for news is bar none! Exc writing skills & 3+ yrs of exp in news, TV or web. Full info HERE (4/17)

/Discovery Inc/NYC: Responsibilities include gathering, entering and disseminating scheduling materials. Assist the Program Planning team in maintaining programming schedules and timeliness of program delivery.  2 yr exp in area of responsibility. Full info HERE (4/16)

/Weigel NTWRKS/CHI – Responsible for maintaining all aspects of account management for the Chicago advertising sales team and providing timely and accurate info to the sales team and to the client. BA deg or previous media exp pref’d.  MS PP, Excel, word exp a must. Full info HERE (4/13)

/SYFY WIRE/NYC: Resp for the creative ideation & execution of longform & shortform video content across all platforms SYFY WIRE, SYFY’s genre news & lifestyle brand. Take projects from dvlpmnt thru post-prod. Support one-off creative needs as they arise. Own prod process, mng projects. 3+ yrs related exp. Full info HERE (4/10)

Ideal candidate will develop strategic sales positioning for ION Television’s unique value proposition. This position will help the sales organization drive revenue growth on existing accounts in new business categories. Min of 5yrs exp at a media co, expert in MS Office Suite and PPT. Full info HERE (4/5)

ACCT EXEC, SALES DEVELOPMENT (Consumer Tech)/ION MEDIA/NY: Seeking sales professional to generate new advrtg accts and revenue for ION’s linear television platform.  Dedicated category focus on companies which specialize in consumer technology, social media, e-commerce and OTT. Self-starter with 8-10yrs of TV selling or related adv sales exp. Full info HERE (4/5)

Ideal Candidate will work closely with sales managing client relationships and processing requests, inputting order and traffic.  Be able to create mktg sales decks and promotional materials. Manage internal process for credit applications, monthly billing and weekly budget reports. Full info HERE Send resume and salary requirements to [email protected] (4/5)

/Discovery Inc/NY:
Responsible for analyzing data and trends across media and developing key audience analysis across Discovery’s linear and non-linear platforms. Must have 5+ yrs exp in media research and knowledge of Nielsen data and systems. Ability to work in a fast-paced high-pressure environment without sacrificing accuracy to detail. Full info HERE (4/4)

/A+E Networks/NY:
Serve as ad sales partnerships resource and thought leader in the sales department, managing ideation and response to RFPs, creating product knowledge one sheets based on assigned network and disciplines, knowledgeable in digital/social marketing products & tools, effectively demonstrating how they can be leveraged in strategic 360 campaigns. Full Info/Apply:  http://www.aenetworks.com/careers (4/4)

SR. NEWS DESK ASSOC/E! Entertainment/NYC: Resp for newsgathering for all E! platforms, should be a multi-tasker, have proven editorial judgment, be a forward thinker with a strong work ethic. Passion for pop culture is a must. Self-starter who can work independently and quickly in a fast-pace news environment. Must have newsroom exp and able to handle breaking news while working under tight deadlines. Full Info/Apply HERE (4/4)

Endemol Shine North America/North Hollywood:
Ideal candidate must have a strong interest in TV ratings & research and comfortable working with numbers/large data sets with a strong focus on accuracy & attention to detail. Must have 1+ yrs as an assist, coord or analytical role at TV studio, broadcast or cable network. Excel and PowerPoint required. Job training provided. Full Info/Apply HERE (4/4)


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