04/27/18: The NFL locked in a multi-year renewal for TNF on Amazon Prime

Good morning. It’s Friday April 27, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Hours before Baker Mayfield was selected by the Browns and became the first pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, the NFL announced a renewal of its exclusive partnership with Amazon Prime Video to deliver a live OTT digital stream of Thursday Night Football, Presented by Bud Light to a global audience across devices during the 2018 and 2019 NFL Seasons. Amazon Prime will stream the 11 matchups carried by FOX and simulcast on NFL Network and distributed in Spanish on FOX Deportes.
“Amazon was a tremendous partner for Thursday Night Football in 2017 and as we continue our mission of delivering NFL games to fans whether they watch on television or on digital platforms, we are excited to work with them again for the next two seasons,” said Brian Rolapp, Chief Media and Business Officer for the NFL.  “Having over 100 million Amazon Prime members provides a massive platform to distribute Thursday Night Football digitally, not only to our fans in the United States but also around the world.”
“Our customers love to stream football — last year, we successfully debuted NFL Thursday Night Football on Prime Video in the U.S. and around the world,” said Jeff Blackburn, Senior Vice President Business Development & Entertainment at Amazon.  “We’re thrilled to continue our relationship with the NFL and offer Prime members another two seasons of Thursday Night Football.”​

With the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs now underway, NBC Sports reports that it coverage of the first round averaged a Total Audience Delivery of 769,000 viewers, marking the best First Round viewership in six years. Game 7 between the Maple Leafs and Bruins averaged a TAD of 1.484 million viewers, marking best First Round game ever on NBCSN. Viewership is up 4% over last year (743,000), and up 8% vs. 2016 (714,000).
Combate Americas continues to pack a punch for Univision, as Combate Estrellas II on Univision and UDN on April 13 & 20 respectively, saw part one nab a total of 583,000 persons 2including 296,000 adults in the coveted 18-49 age group, while the UDN-only telecast of Combate Estrellas II delivered another 200,000 total viewers.
Horse racing network TVG and VSiN, America’s first network dedicated to sports gambling information, locked in a content partnership to bring VSiN’s Las Vegas perspective to the horse racing audience. VSiN will create a 30-minute special previewing the Kentucky Derby with exclusive insights from Vegas insiders who handicap horse racing for a living and will also collaborate with TVG’s experts to publish three special digital magazines dedicated to the Derby, Preakness and Belmont.
In talent news, FOX Sports announced that former multiple-division world champion Robert Guerrero will join blow-by-blow announcer Sean Grande to call Premier Boxing Champions: Lopez vs. Cruz on FOX on Saturday at 8:30p. Jordan Hardy serves as ringside reporter, while Ray Flores handles ring announcing. On FOX Deportes, Jaime Motta joins blow-by-blow announcer Jesse Losada to call the action in Spanish.
Meanwhile, FS1’s Kristine Leahy from The Herd will part her role for a new show. She said goodbye to The Herd and host Colin Cowherd on-air Wednesday, noting, “I’m really excited. I’m going to be having a new show, at the end of the summer beginning of the fall, I’ll be hosting it.”
Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan placed a bid to buy London’s Wembley Stadium, prompting mass speculation that a relocation to the city may be in the cards. However, he quickly shot down the speculation. The Jaguars have played a match at Wembley each season since 2013.
Univision unveiled the schedule for the 2018 Copa Univision, its series of local amateur soccer tournaments and family events. Hosted in 14 communities throughout the U.S., the first Copa Univision kicks-off with a two-day event in Los Angeles on May 19 and 20. Gatorade signed on as a supporter of Copa Univision, serving as the event’s Official Sports Fuel Partner, while Hummel Sport USA is providing support as the event’s Official Apparel and Ball Partner.
The Drone Racing League announced global expansion plans with a 2018 race in France at the Allianz Riviera stadium in addition to a media partnership with Groupe AB and the extension of the Allianz title partnership of the DRL Championship Race Series. Allianz will extend their global title sponsorship of DRL’s high-speed race circuit to five years and will also bring the first pro drone race to the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice on Saturday, June 16, 2018.
In local news, FOX Sports Southeast saw big numbers for the debut of Atlanta Braves prospect Ronald Acuna on Tuesday. The Braves/reds matchup drew a delivered a 3.24 HH rating in Atlanta, marakin the second highest-rated Braves telecast this season on FOX Sports South & FOX Sports Southeast and also marked the most minutes streamed and most unique number of streamers for a Braves game on FOX Sports GO since the 2016 launch of MLB games on the app.
Uniting media’s most philanthropic teams 
The Cynopsis Social Good Awards
Tuesday, May 22nd | 8:30am – 10:30am | The Yale Club, NYC
Join us for the  Cynopsis Social Good Awards as we celebrate the companies, programming, campaigns and people who have made the most of their role in media to benefit the community. Take a look at the finalists who continue to wow us with their philanthropic approach and be sure your team is there to accept the recognition you deserve!


The University of Notre Dame athletics department tapped the services of Legends and JMI Sports to oversee Notre Dame’s sales, marketing, hospitality, media rights and branding services on a local and national level. “Both Legends and JMI Sports not only demonstrated superior appreciations of our culture and our mission, but also their willingness to creatively pursue features that are 100 percent Notre Dame-centric,” said University Vice President and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarwick. “Each company has unique and specific strengths to offer, so we asked them to combine those strengths to create something transformational for Notre Dame.”
The PGA of America inked a multi-year partnership with Jim Beam Black to serve as the official bourbon of the PGA of America and the PGA Championship. “The PGA of America and PGA Championship are delighted to align with top products and brands for our members and spectators to enjoy,” said Luke Reissman, senior director of partnerships at the PGA of America. “We welcome Jim Beam to our portfolio of partners, as we begin the countdown to the historic 100th PGA Championship.”
Speaking of golf, The First Tee, the youth sports organization that introduces kids to the game of golf and its inherent values, will debut The First Tee Experience at THE PLAYERS Championship from May 8-13. The 5,000-square-foot, air-conditioned venue located in The McKenzie Noelle Wilson Foundation Kid Zone will feature “golf-themed games, golf-inspired social media activities and fun, interactive ways for fans to show off their skills and practice their trick shots.” 

The NBA is partnering with Perform Media in a multiyear deal that will see Perform manage the league’s official websites in more than 15 international markets, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Mexico and Spain. Perform will leverage its global editorial and commercial teams to manage the NBA’s official online destinations in select international markets that together reach more than 15 million unique visitors each month. 
The Players’ Tribune and Twitter are bringing live series #VERIFIED back for a second season. The new season will once again be presented by American Family Insurance and will feature some of the top prospects in both the NFL and the NBA drafts, along with expanded content formats and enhanced creative treatments. 
Chris Stroud debuted his Player Channel today on SecretGolf.com. Stroud become the 16th member of Team Secret Golf to have exclusive, live video of his instructional content on the website and golf fans are now be able to see and learn the “tricks of the trade” from the 2017 Barrucuda Championship winner.
The Vegas Golden Knights launched their own channel on Twitch. The club will offer fans regular exclusive content, led by Shane’s House, hosted by commentator and former NHL player Shane Hnidy as he interacts with guests that include players, celebrities, management and Golden Knights fans as they play video games. Viewers will be able to chat directly with Hnidy and his guests while watching live.

The Season 5 RLCS World Championship is London bound with Psyonix announcing that the season will wrap up at the Copper Box Arena from June 8-10. The Rocket League championship pits ten teams fighting for a $250,000 prize pool.
ESL locked in a deal with global telecommunications giant Vodafone that will span a variety of ESL’s flagship events, including the Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One and the ESL Pro League. Vodafone will also work with ESL to support a series of initiatives that promote diversity and female participation in historically male-dominated esports activities. Vodafone will become a Premium Partner of the female esports challenge held during the IEM Sydney, and will collaborate with the world’s top female esports personalities to highlight the opportunities for women to participate professionally in esports or pursue a career in the esports industry.
Just ahead of its debut next week, the NBA 2K League launched a tip-off spot titled It’s Our Time. The promo showcases a variety of players participating in the new league, which debuts on May 1. Narrated by Yeah I Compete, a member of the inaugural class, the spot introduces viewers to the players and combines visuals of the players with in-game moments, alternating between the two as the league’s new players proclaim that, at last, “it’s our time.”

Cavaliers/Pacers on ESPN at 8p.

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ON THIS DAY in 1956: Rocky Marciano retires undefeated from boxing.
In the Know: Name three active teams who have never had the very first pick of the NFL Draft. (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Only one school has seen its athletes selected with the very first overall pick in the NFL Draft in consecutive years. What is that school? Answer: USC. Kudos: Denis Barry-CBS/NY; Alexandra Randall-FOX Networks Group/NY; Ken White-KWTV/Charlotte; Mike May-PHIT America/Wellington; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner and Triathlete magazine/Houston; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank

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