04/04/19: ESPN and NBC led the pack of nominees for the Sports Emmys

Good morning. It’s Thursday April 4, 2019 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences unveiled nominees for the 40th Annual Sports Emmy Awards with ESPN’s slate of platforms topping the tallies among network nods, drawing 56 nominations, while NBC Sports took second with 38 nominations, followed by CBS Sports at 27, FOX Sports with 25, and HBO Sports rounding out the top five companies with 16. From an event POV, it was the XXIII Winter Olympics that led the pack, with NBC’s coverage drawing 12 nominations, while CBS’s coverage of Super Bowl LIII drew eight nominations to CBS, and the 2018 FIFA World Cup on FOX nabbed five.
“The multiplicity of opportunities for the enthusiast to become passionately involved with the teams and superstars of the sports universe boggles the mind,” said Adam Sharp, President & CEO, NATAS. “With this being the 40th anniversary of the Academy’s commitment to honoring the absolute best in sports coverage, we are anticipating a very exciting show celebrating these outstanding nominees.”

For the eighth consecutive year, NBC Sports is slated to present every NHL Stanley Cup Playoff game nationally across NBC Sports platforms/NBCUniversal networks with as many as 105 playoff games, and possibly more than 260 hours of programming, in the cards. Postseason action begins April 10 with NBC set to offer its most Stanley Cup Playoff games ever, up to 20 games from the first round through the Stanley Cup Final. Overall, coverage will be presented on NBC, NBCSN and NHL Network, as well as first- and second-round coverage on USA Network and CNBC, and will be available for streaming on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app in local markets alongside regional sports network game telecasts. NBCSN will be the primary home of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, offering coverage of one or two games virtually every night of the first round. NBC will present six exclusive first-round broadcasts during the weekends of April 13-14 and April 20-21, including a pair of Saturday primetime broadcasts April 13 & 20.
Meanwhile, NBC Sports is also revving up for its first Indianapolis 500, announcing that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will take part in coverage (and marking his own first Indianapolis 500O on May 26, where he will join other talent on tap, including Mike Tirico, Danica Patrick, Krista Voda and Rutledge Wood on microphone duties. Leigh Diffey (play-by-play), Townsend Bell (analyst) and Paul Tracy (analyst) will call NBC Sports’ inaugural Indianapolis 500 broadcast on NBC. Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, Kevin Lee and Jon Beekhuis will serve as pit reporters, along with INDYCAR Insider Robin Miller.
ABC picked up new extreme miniature golf competition series, Holey Moley. The 10-episode mini-golf competition will showcase self-proclaimed mini-golf lovers from around the country as they compete head-to-head. Stephen Curry serves as executive producer and will appear in every episode. Rounding out the on-camera talent is color commentator Rob Riggle, play-by-play commentator Joe Tessitore and sideline correspondent Jeanie Mai. In each episode, 12 contestants will put their miniature golf—and physical—skills to the test and face off in never-before-seen challenges on a larger-than-life course.
ESPN and Thirty Five Ventures’ show The Boardroom was renewed for a second season, with production and filming slated to begin in NYC this summer, and ESPN’s Jay Williams returning as host. in addition, episodes five and six of the series  featuring Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Rich Kleiman, and Maverick Carter are out now on ESPN+.
DAZN won exclusive rights in Canada to all Premier League matches in a three-year deal that kicks off in August. The new partnership will bring every single Premier League match to one platform for the first time in the country. In addition to streaming all 380 matches per season live, DAZN will offer Premier League highlights, preview and weekly magazine programs, as well as clips of archived footage.
CBS Sports HQ lined up pre- and post-game analysis from US Bank Stadium and the IDS Center in Minneapolis for Final Four coverage this weekend. Live programming begins Friday and will include: CBS Sports HQ Pregame Coverage at noon; and SportsLine from the Final Four at 6p, with CBS Sports HQ Postgame Coverage jumping in the mix on Saturday & Monday at 11:30p.
Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA celebrates Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn — with 40 hours of alpine skiing programming from April 8-19 that highlight Shiffrin’s record-setting 2018-19 season and Vonn’s historic 15-year career. Programming begins on April 8 at 7:30p with 25 hours of primetime coverage of Shiffrin’s historic 2018-19 alpine skiing season while Vonn’s retrospective begins April 16 at 8p with new series, “Lindsey Vonn: A Legendary Career.” The series spans 15 seasons, showcasing 15 hours of archival coverage and 12 of her most notable races.
FloSports, the NCAA and NCAA Digital announced live and on-demand coverage of two of the 2019 NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Regionals on FloGymnastics.com. Fans will have access to the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Regionals hosted by Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI on April 4-6. FloGymnastics will provide enhanced production, featuring every routine throughout all three days of competition, with dedicated streams for each apparatus at both locations.
The New York Racing Association and MSG Networks announced the 2019 broadcast schedule for MSG Networks’ thoroughbred racing coverage from Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and historic Saratoga Race Course. MSG+ will air 125 days of NYRA racing in 2019 with more than 250 hours of in-depth handicapping and analysis including all 40-days at historic Saratoga Race Course, and nearly every day of live racing from Belmont Park. Telecasts kick off with a special Wood Memorial Day edition of Saturday at the Races on April 6 at 3p.
Westwood One detailed plans for hole-by-hole coverage from the 83rd Masters Tournament from April 11-14. Mike Tirico joins Westwood One this year to anchor the network’s coverage from the 18th green at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, partnering with Charlie Rymer. In addition to complete coverage, Westwood One is broadcasting hourly updates and a nightly half-hour preview and recap show, The Masters Tonight.
Meanwhile, SiriusXM announced its audio coverage of the 2019 Masters Tournament at storied Augusta National Golf Club with live broadcasts of each day of Tournament play. In addition to play-by-play broadcasts produced by Westwood One, in the days before the Tournament, SiriusXM will present a Masters history special that will celebrate the anniversaries of three memorable Masters moments. SiriusXM will also feature several shows hosted by past Masters champions and top-finishers, who among them have won six Green Jackets and recorded more than 40 top-10 finishes at Augusta National. 
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The NBA is putting a call out ahead of the playoffs with its new promo, “Heroes Wanted,” which launches today during TNT’s doubleheader. The new Playoffs spot is narrated by Michael B. Jordan, and features “superhuman feats of heroic NBA athletes through comic-style illustrations and elements and focuses on the unpredictable nature of the Playoffs.” The spot uses a combination of live-action footage, 2D illustrations and camera movement, and features stars that include Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Jimmy Butler (Philadelphia 76ers), Kevin Durant (Golden State Warriors), Paul George (Oklahoma City Thunder), James Harden (Houston Rockets), Kyrie Irving (Boston Celtics), Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets), Kawhi Leonard (Toronto Raptors), Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers) and Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers).  The NBA Playoffs 2019 begin on April 13 on ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV.
Bristol Motor Speedway announced a multi-year extension of its partnership with Food City to remain a sponsor of the spring Cup race for both the short track Food City 500 as well as the fall Xfinity race, Food City 300. Food City first sponsored the spring Cup Bristol race and the fall Xfinity race in 1992. Bristol also announced multi-year partnerships with Alsco, Bush’s Beans, UNOH and Ohio Logistics.
Old Dominion Freight Line, a New York Mets partner since 2015, will showcase new three-dimensional in-stadium signage at Citi Field this season featuring a replica of an Old Dominion tractor-trailer. The three-dimensional sign is in the shape of an Old Dominion truck, spanning 9 feet, 9 inches by 44 feet, 6 inches. Chicago-based exhibit and event marketing company Czarnowski completed the project work.

  The Olympic Channel announced that it is now available on the Roku platform. “The launch of the Olympic Channel on the Roku platform provides fans and viewers with even more options to discover, engage and share in the power of sport and the excitement of the Olympic Games all year round as we look ahead toward Tokyo 2020,” said Mark Parkman, General Manager of the IOC’s global Olympic Channel.

In this week’s edition of Cynopsis Esports
  • ELEAGUE expands deal with AXE
  • Fortnite offers a taste ahead of its World Cup.
  • Nintendo’s E3 Tournament
  • Looking back at IEM Katowice
  • Misfits gets Milk It! partnership
  • ESPN lays Road to the Madden Bowl
  • Twitter breaks down gaming’s first quarter

Major League Baseball announced that Matt Bourne has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Communications. Bourne will be responsible for MLB communications across both baseball and non-baseball initiatives. “Matt has provided valuable communications guidance for many of our departments and been a trusted liaison to the public relations staffs of our business and media partners,” said Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. “I am looking forward to having Matt’s perspective and involvement across an even broader range of MLB affairs.”
ESPN signed senior writer Bill Barnwell to a new multi-year extension. Barnwell will continue to write his popular column for ESPN.com and host his ESPN Audio podcast, The Bill Barnwell Show, while continuing to contribute to ESPN Radio, television and digital platforms.
The New Jersey Devils announced that Tyler Dellow has been hired as Vice President of Analytics. In his new role he will lead a department that will work across all hockey operations departments to collaboratively enhance the planning and execution of focused initiatives.

Bucks/76ers on TNT at 8p.
Announcing Winners of the Cynopsis Social Good Awards
We’re thrilled to announce Winners and Honorable Mentions for the 5th Annual Cynopsis Social Good Awards, spotlighting the companies, programming, campaigns and people that are using media in innovative ways to help make the world a better place. Take a look at the projects, partnerships and people who utilized their position to make real change happen.

ON THIS DAY in 1997: The Braves officially open Turner Field against the Cubs.
In the Know: How many NFL teams call their state’s capital city home (at least in name and DC doesn’t count)? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: 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? Answer: The Denver Nuggets. Kudos: Michael Ritz-Northwestern Mutual/NY; Sean Walker-OmnicomMediaGroup/NY; Chris Schwartz-MRN/Concord; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Mike May-PHIT America/Wellington; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; David Hauptman/Denver; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Larry Hutchings/Nipomo
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SR ANALYST, SOCIAL MEDIA ANALYTICS/Viacom/NYC: Monitor/report/analyst performance of content across VIMN properties on digital media platforms, primarily social incl reporting and analysis across all key performance metrics. Exp providing digital/social research analytics and data to senior partners. Full info HERE (4/18)

/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)

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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 (4/13)

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 (4/13)

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