05/01/19: YouTube picked up streaming rights for MLB

CynopsisSports
Good morning. It’s Wednesday May 1, 2019 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
 

YouTube and Major League Baseball cemented their first-ever exclusive live game distribution partnership that will see MLB games stream on YouTube and YouTubeTV during the second half of the 2019 MLB Regular Season. The 13-game package will be distributed on YouTube globally and includes exclusive distribution rights in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, running on MLB’s official YouTube channel and via a forthcoming channel on YouTube TV. All 13 matchups will include a pre-game and post-game show and contain MLB and YouTube themed content
 
“It’s incredible to team up with Major League Baseball for this first-of-its-kind deal together to provide both diehard baseball fans and our YouTube community with live games exclusively on YouTube and YouTube TV,” said Timothy Katz, Head of Sports and News Partnerships, YouTube.  “With Major League Baseball’s expanding international fanbase, we are confident YouTube’s global audience will bring fans around the world together in one place to watch the games and teams they love.”
 
 
PROGRAMMING

The price tag for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics is reportedly getting a bump, as the projected cost to stage the Summer Game is now hitting $6.9 billion, according to an updated budget released Tuesday, to mark a rise of $700 million over previous estimates. Organizers cite inflation as the reasoning for the rise, as the original budget had been for the 2024 Games, according to the LA Times.
 
NBC Sports reports that the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs are now boasting a Total Audience Delivery of 898,000 viewers across all networks through Sunday to rank as the most-watched through this point in seven years and up over the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs through the same point. Cable coverage of the Playoffs through Sunday has averaged a TAD of 733,000, up 17% from last year’s cable delivery (628,000) through the same point. NBC’s Saturday double-overtime Columbus/Boston Game 2 in primetime scored as the most watched Round 2 Game 2 on record, posting a Total Audience Delivery of 2.913 million, up 30% from the comparable NBC game last year.
 
Speaking of NBC Sports, Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller has been tapped to join NBC Sports’ 2019 Kentucky Derby coverage as a lifestyle correspondent this Saturday at 2:30p on NBC. Miller will document the “sights, sounds and pageantry on Derby Day” and join NBC News weather anchor and correspondent Dylan Dreyer for several segments. “As a fan of the Kentucky Derby, I am thrilled to be a part of NBC Sports’ coverage of this historic sporting event. I look forward to showcasing the excitement, fashion and enthusiasm at Churchill Downs,” Miller said.
 
The 2019 NBA Awards on TNT will see a new element to the broadcast this year, which airs June 24 at 9p. Turner Sports announced that this year’s ceremony will include the first-ever House of Highlights Moment of the Year, which will join the list of the league’s awards for the 2018-19 season.  Presented live from historic Barker Hangar in Los Angeles, HoH will recognize the game-winning shots, historic plays and unforgettable performances that will be in contention for the best Moment of the Year with users narrowing down the list each week through an Instagram story poll until the top five moments remain.
 
Bellator confirmed two title fights for the promotion’s return to Madison Square Garden on June 14, streamed on DAZN. Bellator 222: Machida vs. Sonnen will see current Bellator welterweight world champion Rory MacDonald  put his title on the line in the semi-finals of the Welterweight World Grand Prix against the unbeaten Neiman Gracie. In addition, Darrion Caldwell will defend his Bellator bantamweight world title against Kyoji Horiguchi.
 
Sports Illustrated TV’s SI Films group locked in a partnership with Mandalay Sports Media to produce a feature-length documentary, UFC 1: Origin of the Octagon. The film will air on SI TV in the fall of 2019 and be distributed internationally by IMG, tracing the multi-billion dollar organization back to its “tumultuous and electric first event in 1993, while simultaneously exploring the improbable story of Rorion Gracie and Art Davie, the two unlikely entrepreneurs who overcame innumerable obstacles to create the UFC.”
 
Next week sees World Long Drive host the Exchange Celebrating Service: Fort Jackson from May 5-7 at Fort Jackson and feature – for the first time – a division represented by military service members, in addition to the Open and Women’s Divisions. David Feherty will contribute to GOLF Channel’s on-site coverage of the event from Fort Jackson, as a passionate advocate for U.S. military service members.
 
Showtime is giving podcast host, comedian and former MMA fighter Brendan Schaub his first television comedy special, titled Brendan Schaub You’d Be Surprised, premiering May 17 at 10p. The program is produced by Malka Media.
 
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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Wells Fargo, the PGA TOUR and tournament host organization Champions for Education announced that Wells Fargo has extended its sponsorship of the Wells Fargo Championship through 2024 after signing a five-year extension. Quail Hollow Club, home to the Wells Fargo Championship since its PGA TOUR debut in 2003, will continue to host the event. “Since 2003, the Wells Fargo Championship has established itself as a premier event in the sports-rich city of Charlotte, with a supportive fan base, outstanding host venue and highly engaged title sponsor,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “It also continues to impact the community through the charitable efforts of Champions for Education, for which Wells Fargo has played a major role. The Wells Fargo Championship is a favorite stop among our players, and we are excited to announce that this relationship will continue for an additional five years.”
 
The United States Tennis Association inked a partnership with the Bermuda Tourism Authority to serve as the exclusive tourism partner for the US Open this summer in NYC. The island will have a significant presence at the US Open with on-court signage in Arthur Ashe Stadium, presence on US Open digital properties and social media channels and on-site activation space for consumer engagement. The Bermuda Tourism Authority is working to create a multifaceted event to take place in Bermuda in 2020.
 
GLORY announced an international partnership with House of Nutrition, one of Europe’s leading suppliers of nutrition and wellness supplements. As GLORY’s official nutrition retail partner, House of Nutrition and GLORY will develop a partnership across Europe and China, including a branded presence across all numbered GLORY events taking place in those territories. In addition to in-ring branding during the live event broadcasts, House of Nutrition will receive brand exposure at official GLORY weigh-ins and press conferences.

 
DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

FanDuel Group and Sportradar announced an extension of their partnership to bring live streaming to FanDuel Sportsbook’s industry-leading sports betting app. Following a trial of live streaming a major tennis tournament, FanDuel Group will now roll out a portfolio of live sporting events including tennis from around the world and European soccer via Sportradar’s Live Channel Online. Sportradar’s Live Channel will be included directly into the FanDuel Sportsbook interface, incorporating live events with betting lines and data, now with the added functionality to actually place a live wager on the event that sports fans are viewing.
 
Minute Media is touting that the company ranked at the top for the second month in a row within comScores Multiplatform Video Metrix in the US-only sports sector for March 2019. The company drew 46 million unique video viewers, 667 million total monthly video views with 14.4 videos per viewer.
 
That said, ESPN Digital ranked as top US digital sports property overall in March with a reach of 95.4 million unique visitors (up 23% YOY). ESPN Digital also was tops in total minutes with 6.1 billion and an average minute audience of 137,500.
 
 
ESPORTS

ESL is bringing ESL One New York powered by Intel back to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center for the fourth consecutive year on September 28-29. Following three days of competition, the two-day playoff event will feature the world’s top CS:GO teams battling for their share of a $200,000 prize pool, as well as the Season 2 finals for ESL Mobile Open presented by AT&T and the return of the MSI Gaming Arena. “ESL One is a flagship event for ESL, and we are thrilled to be back at Barclays Center for the fourth year in a row,” said Yvette Martinez-Rea, CEO, ESL North America. “Along with the world’s best CS:GO competition, we are bringing mobile gaming to the forefront with the Season Two Mobile Open Finals. ESL One New York promises to be one of North America’s most unforgettable esports events of the year.”
 
ESPN unveiled all 22 qualifying teams from 20 schools who will be participating in the first-ever ESPN Collegiate Esports Championship being held in Houston from May 10-12. In Overwatch, schools will include Maryville University, Carleton University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, Grand Canyon University, Orange Coast College, Rutgers University and University of Utah. Contending in Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition will be New Jersey Institute of Technology, UNLV, Lambton College and Sheridan College, Playing Hearthstone will be Georgia Tech, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities and University of Oregon. StarCraft II contenders include University of California – Berkeley, University of California – San Diego, University of Chicago, and University of Waterloo. Finally, California State Polytechnic University – Pomona and Rutgers University will square off for Heroes of the Storm.
 
DreamHack is rolling with tire brand BFGoodrich for its Dallas stop, signing the company to serve as the “Official Tire Partner” of DreamHack Pro Circuit at DreamHack Dallas. The event will make its debut on May 31 and run 24-hours a day for three days through June 2. DreamHack Pro Circuit showcases top Rocket League teams at four stops during 2019, with a $100,000 prize pool at each event. ($400,000 total). BFGoodrich will now be integrated into the broadcast, studio show, and present custom-highlight segments, including “Top 3 plays of the day,” in addition to presenting the MVP of the tournament to celebrate players and teams on the road to victory. The partnership will feature BFGoodrich branding taking over the set with a complete, custom-built podium designed with BFGoodrich product and brand alignment — using BFGoodrich tires, tire marks, neon lights, and contextual Rocket League themed-aesthetic.
 
Last week saw NBA 2K League serve up the first episode of a new content series entitled, “NBA 2K League Locked In powered by AT&T.” The series goes explores the lives of NBA 2K League players off the virtual court, focusing on the personal stories of the league’s 126 players and 21 teams. The first episode, which fans can view on the NBA 2K League YouTube Channel, is entitled “Building and Rebuilding” and focuses on two teams – NetsGC and Mavs Gaming – at different points in their development but facing the similar challenge of building new identities around a franchise player.
 
N3rd Street Gamers and Ultimate Media Ventures are teaming up to launch a new venue in southern California, with NSG bringing its branded Localhost Battleground to the region to open inside of UMV’s headquarters in Huntington Beach in June. The venue will host competitive gaming events, including solo tournaments, team-based tournaments, and esports boot camps in the 22,000-square-foot space. Localhost Battleground will be the West Coast destination for tournaments in the National Championship Series (NCS), the competitive esports circuit architected by NSG.
 
 
INDUSTRY/ROSTER MOVES

ESPN said on Tuesday that the company would be ending its run of ESPN The Magazine is September. The publication has been in print since 1998, with editorial staffers expected to stay with the company. “Consumer habits are evolving rapidly, and this requires ESPN to evolve as well,” the company said in a statement to Variety. “The only change here is that we are moving away from printing it on paper and sending it in the mail, following September’s release of ‘The Body’ Issue. Our data shows the vast majority of readers already consume our print journalism on digital platforms, and this approach will maximize our reach and impact. In the future, we will explore releasing tentpole collections such as ‘Body’ in special, differentiated print formats.”
 
 
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