05/12/21: Networks are going all out on this year’s NFL schedule reveal


Medias First Morning Read


Wednesday May 12, 2021

Networks are shoring up plans for their NFL schedule reveal. ESPN serves up three primetime specials, all beginning at 8p across six platforms tonight with the unveiling of the Monday Night Football and entire NFL season. The primetime programming will provide a bookend to the day, which will begin with Good Morning America announcing Monday Night Football’s week 1 matchup. Meanwhile, ESPN2’s SportsCenter Special: 2021 NFL Schedule Release examines the key pressure points for teams throughout the season, as well as can’t-miss games in every week of the 2021 campaign. ESPN+’s Between the Lines: NFL Schedule Release will explore weekly and season-long team and player projections, while the ESPN App and digital/social channels see SportsNation provide an instant reaction to the NFL schedule from multiple personalities. ESPN’s SportsCenter Special production will be three hours (8-11p).

NFL Network, meanwhile, delivers the 2021 NFL Schedule powered by AWS with Schedule Release ’21 Presented by Verizon at 8p, a three-hour show which breaks down the 2021 NFL regular season schedule, division by division, analyzing the top matchups and primetime games. Featured guests on Schedule Release ’21 include play-by-play announcers Jim Nantz (CBS), Al Michaels (NBC) & Joe Buck (FOX). The 2021 NFL season will feature each team playing 17 regular-season games and three preseason games for the first time.

Finally, SBJ writes that FOX Sports will reveals its Week1 lineup on FOX News’ Fox & Friends, as well as on local FOX stations and on FS1 this morning. CBS will detail its Week 1 slate on CBS This Morning.


The NHL announced that the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs will begin in primetime on NBC on Saturday, immediately following live coverage of The Preakness Stakes, with the Caps hosting the Bruins on Game 1 of their First Round series The complete 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round schedule, as well as NBC Sports’ comprehensive coverage schedule across the networks of NBCUniversal, will be announced in the coming days.

Triller Fight Club clocks in for its next event with men’s and women’s undisputed title fights on the same card for the first time ever, with a boxing Pay-Per-View card co-headlined by the title fight between ‘The Takeover’ Teófimo López and ‘Ferocious’ George Kambosos Jr., which has four belts on the line—IBF, WBA, WBO, WBC and the prestigious Ring belt, and a four-belt title bout between Franchon ‘The Heavy-Hitting Diva’ Crews-Dezurn and Elin Cederroos. The four-hour show will kick off at 8p on June 19 with the live PPV main card starting at 9p.

On the ratings front, FOX Sports saw 3.091 million viewers tune in to watch the FOX NASCAR Cup Series race from Darlington on FS1 on Sunday. That ranks as the most-watched Cup Series race on FS1 since 2017. Viewership peaked at 3.76 million viewers.

MLS continues to kick it into high gear, as a slate of contests pushed viewership to viewership spikes, according to Nielsen. The May 8 El Trafico matchup between LAFC and the LA Galaxy drew 901,000 viewers to FOX and FOX Deportes, with the game ranking as the second-highest regular Season MLS match on FOX Deportes of all-time. Portland/Seattle, meanwhile, tallied 641,000 viewers across ABC and ESPN Deportes, scoring as the second highest regular season MLS match across Disney Networks since 2017. In addition, the Sporting Kansas City/Austin FC became the most-viewed regular season MLS match on FS1 since 2017, snagging 358,000 viewers. Overall, Major League Soccer 2021 regular season average television viewership is up 30% over 2020 numbers, with 356,000 average viewers.

In advance of its Inaugural Softball College Draft, Athletes Unlimited announced that CBS Sports Network, FOX Sports, FOX Deportes, Facebook and YouTube will be part of the distribution package to broadcast or stream all 30 games of its second softball season. Athletes Unlimited Softball will feature 60 of the world’s best softball players at Parkway Bank Sports Complex in Rosemont, Illinois from Aug. 28-Sept. 27. As the lead broadcast partner CBS Sports Network will air seven games, including each week’s matchup of the top two teams by draft order as well as the final game of the season on Championship Monday. FOX Sports will broadcast 15 games on a combination of FS1 and FS2 while eight games will livestream on Athletes Unlimited’s Facebook and YouTube channels. FOX Deportes will also air 15 games in Spanish either live or delayed.

A trio of major talent news items from ESPN, including the news that longtime ESPN personality and “SportsCenter” host Kenny Mayne will be departing the network after 27 years, with Mayne revealing his departure on Twitter and describing himself as a “salary cap casualty” while thanking the executives who hired him. Meanwhile, Chris Berman reached a new multi-year agreement with ESPN, with continuing roles for Berman set to include hosting NFL PrimeTime on ESPN+, as well as NFL PrimeTime on ESPN after the Super Bowl and NFL Conference Championship games. He will also continue to contribute commentary, features, interviews and perspective across ESPN shows and platforms, including SportsCenter and beyond. Finally, ESPN re-signed reporter and host Marty Smith to a multi-year contract extension. Smith will continue his work on a variety of sports and properties, including college football and basketball, a multitude of professional sports, the NFL Draft, motorsports and more.

For the first time this season, MLB Network Showcase – MLB Tonight style presented by Chevrolet will return with the White Sox hosting the Twins tonight at 8p. From MLB Network’s Studio 42, Greg Amsinger, Dan Plesac and Harold Reynolds will incorporate elements from MLB Tonight throughout their call of the game, including highlights, demonstrations and live look-ins to other games. MLB Network reporter Jon Morosi will also contribute to the telecast from Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago.

Conference championship week for college softball will see ESPN offer more than 130 conference tournament games and 16 conference championships over the next week across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SEC Network, ACC Network and ESPN+. Beth Mowins is set to host the NCAA Softball Championship Selection Show Presented by Capital One live from Tuscaloosa on Sunday at 9p on ESPN2.

The American Cornhole League begins its 2021 ACL Pro Shootout Series this weekend live on CBS, with the competition pitting eight singles and doubles qualifying events hosted across the US. The championship event also airs live on CBS on Sept 18. This will be the first time in the history of the ACL that the league will be profiled on network television with 16 hours of CBS Sports Network coverage and 4 hours of CBS coverage.



Nominations are still open for the Cynopsis Top Women in Media Awards! This fall, Cynopsis will honor the females in the industry who are blazing trails, breaking barriers, changing the game. Nominate a colleague! Nominate yourself!


[ Nominate by 5/20 ]
(sponsored by TurnkeyZRG)


Superstar Racing Experience, airing this summer on Saturday nights in primetime on CBS, locked in a deal with Progressive, to become the series’ exclusive car and home insurance sponsor. “We’re thrilled to be supporting SRX and proud to be part of the series’ inaugural season,” said Jay VanAntwerp, Media Business Leader at Progressive. “SRX is sure to appeal to a wide audience eager to see some of racing’s biggest names put their talents on display in a format unique to current motorsports. We’re excited for the season to get underway and look forward to seeing the action as it unfolds on the track.”

The NBA and HERSHEY Canada secured a multiyear partnership that designates HERSHEY as the Official Chocolate of the NBA in Canada.The duo will also partner with BGC Canada for “Sweeter Together,” a three-year community-driven initiative to grow basketball participation among young athletes, invest in new basketball infrastructure and improve access to the game nationwide.

Schwab revealed new details of this year’s Champion’s Prize for the Charles Schwab Challenge golf tournament in Fort Worth, from May 27-30. This year the prize will come with a new look, a new tune, and support from Bobby Bones, and country music singer/songwriter Travis Denning. The winner of the Charles Schwab Challenge will drive off with a new Champion’s Prize to complement the Colonial’s Leonard Trophy and Scottish royal tartan plaid jacket. “Not only will it be Texas-sized,” according to the release, but it was also the inspiration for an original song with Schwab partnering with Denning to write and perform a new, original song inspired by this year’s Champion’s Prize.

ESPN announced the roster of sponsors for The espnW Summit NYC presented by Toyota. The one-day virtual event will convene a compelling group of athletes, executives and agents of change for in-depth discussions at the intersection of sports, business, and culture. Toyota joins as presenting sponsor of the event, along with Google. Gatorade returns as the sponsor of the Summit Wellness Session and Summit Sweat Sessions with yoga instructor and trainer, Nicole Sciacca. New Balance will showcase its new brand spot within the Summit, featuring tennis star Coco Gauff and Olympic silver medalist hurdler Sydney McLaughlin.

As part of the NFL’s Inspire Change social justice initiative, the league today announced renewals of nine national grant partners that total $2.5 million. “Our grant partners are instrumental to the success of Inspire Change and the societal impact the NFL is striving to make across the country,” said Anna Isaacson, NFL Senior Vice President, Social Responsibility. “These organizations are rooted in their communities, working hard to provide necessary resources that create real change. The NFL family is committed to their missions, proud of their successes and inspired by their efforts to open up access to opportunity and equality in the ongoing fight for social justice.”


Sportradar entered into a definitive agreement to acquire InteractSport, a sports data and technology company with expertise in cricket. “This acquisition provides Sportradar with the opportunity to widen its data and content offering,” said Carsten Koerl, Sportradar Group CEO. “With cricket being one of the most popular sports in the world, we see this as a growth opportunity for the company, especially given the significance of the sport in the Asian region.”

Simplebet, specializing in global sports betting technology, announced the rollout of real money micro-betting products for NBA and MLB games, which will be made available in Washington DC and Montana via its partnership with INTRALOT Inc. Simplebet’s proprietary micro-betting pricing engine will enable users in those regions to bet on millions of individuals moments over the course of each game, through GambetDC and at licensed Sports Bet Montana locations, respectively.

Lax United Marketing and Plex revealed that the For The Fans network is now available to U.S. consumers on Live TV on Plex, extending the FTF network reach to nearly 100 million households. FTF events include mainstream and niche sports from Bundisliga basketball to Japanese baseball, poker to bare knuckle fighting, from the Women’s Football Alliance to pickleball, billiards and more. “FTF is excited to partner with Plex, one of the fastest growing streaming platforms, and we look forward to bringing more and more live sports, for free, to fans throughout the world,” said Dave Gross, CEO of LUM.


GameSquare Esports is adding skateboarder, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Tony Hawk as a special advisor to its roster. Hawk will act as a special advisor to CEO Justin Kenna and the GameSquare group of companies as the Company pursues its mission of bridging the gap between global brands and the large gaming and esports communities. “Tony is an amazing person that is an iconic brand by his own right,” said Justin Kenna, CEO of GameSquare. “We are humbled that Tony is willing to share his experiences in business, entertainment, sports, video games, and digital media with our leadership team as we grow GameSquare into an iconic esports company. We have incredible people with amazing professional experience, and I look forward to working with Tony to accelerate our growth and our progress. In many ways, Tony represents the best of what we do at GameSquare; he is highly sought after by global brands and resonates with an influential group of fans, enthusiasts and professionals, Tony bridges the gap between brands and fans in an authentic way and has been doing it successfully, and with integrity, for decades.”

The Apex Legends Global Series Winter Circuit Playoffs drew a cumulative average minute audience of over 100,000, surpassing the previously most-watched competition by more than 50% with competition running across player streams and the official broadcast. The title’s inaugural championship is approaching, with the Group Stage beginning May 22 in the APAC North, APAC South, and South America regions. Subsequently, the EMEA and North America regions will kick off their respective Group Stage on June 1-2.


The National Hockey League and WEAR by Erin Andrews inked a multiyear agreement to introduce a new women’s sportswear collection for all 32 teams. The officially-licensed collection of jackets, t-shirts, sweatshirts, leggings, crop tops, button down shirts, loungewear and sleepwear will be available online at NHLShop.com, Fanatics.com, NHL arena team stores and at select retail locations throughout the U.S. and Canada in fall 2021 to coincide with the start of the 2021-22 NHL season. “Having WEAR by Erin Andrews be part of the National Hockey League is a true homecoming for me,” said Andrews. “Hockey has been part of my family on and off the ice throughout my entire life. It is where I began my career, my husband is a two-time Stanley Cup® Champion, and the NHL was the original inspiration for the creation of WEAR. I am thrilled at the opportunity to give female hockey fans, like myself, more options to showcase their dedication to their favorite teams in a comfortable and fashion-forward way.”

The Washington Spirit of the National Women’s Soccer League announced that hockey star Alex Ovechkin and his wife Nastya Ovechkina joined the club’s investor group along with a remarkable group of 11 women and men who join a group of figures that includes Chelsea Clinton, Jenna Bush Hager, Briana Scurry and Dominique Dawes.



Check out the importance of single-market media buying in our 12-page report co-produced with our partners from New York Interconnect.



On this Day
1979: Chris Evert’s 125-match winning streak on clay comes to an end.
What was the name of the long-running SNL skit (pictured above) that once featured Michael Jordan? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Who was the last MLB player to hit an inside-the-park HR? Answer: The Dodgers’ Zach McKinstry. Kudos: Michael Ritz-Lenox Advisors/NY; Denis Barry-CBS/NY; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Stacy Adams-Apple TV+/Culver City; Dan Weiner-Conde’ Nast/LA; Mike Nielsen/LA

Cynopsis Team

Chris Pursell
Kerry Smith
Division President
Access Intelligence

Roberta Caploe

Cynopsis Ad Sales
Albert Nassour
Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
John Cox

Check out more jobs in Cynopsis Classifieds »
Job of the day


Responsible for the design, creation and execution of the NYI Trade Desk. Handle all hands-on programmatic media buying; design, launch and run trade platform and negotiate pricing for upcoming campaigns. 3-5 years’ experience in online Programmatic advertising min 1 year of hands-on programmatic buying experience required. Full info HERE (5/26)



Provide legal counsel to internal production groups on day-to-day production related matters. Pre-Broadcast and Production Counseling, Agreement Negotiation and Clearance Review, general Legal advice and Clearance review. 4-6+ years of legal practice required with preferred 2 years min of production firm legal experience. Full info HERE (5/24)

MY ENTERTAINMENT/NYC-REMOTE: NYC-based production company looking for a full-time Bookkeeper/Production Accountant to work both remotely and in office. Seeking candidate with 3-7 years’ experience and skilled in QuickBooks and Excel required. Full info HERE (5/19)



Positively impact revenue, especially renewals, by building and delivering effective advertising service. Create media proposals, compile campaign and coordinate between departments. 3+ years proven work experience in digital video media required, experience in the OTT/FEP environment preferred. Full info HERE (5/19)


Build, revise and maintain sales proposals, compile proposal requests and reweights and liaise with Sales, Pricing & Planning and Commercial Operations. 2+ years of industry related advertising experience required; college degree preferred. Full info HERE (5/19)


Build, revise and maintain sales proposals, compile proposal requests and reweights and liaise with Sales, Pricing & Planning and Commercial Operations. 2+ years of industry related advertising experience required; college degree preferred. Full info HERE (5/19)

AT&T/EL SEGUNDO, CA: Partner with content distribution business clients to develop strategy, deal structure, desired rights and protections. Critically evaluate complex agreements. Clearly identify issues and opportunities to optimize DIRECTV’s position. Strong academic credentials from a highly recognized law school required. Full info HERE (5/18)

INTERACTIVE ONE/NYC, NY: Concept and formulate both large- and small-scale ideas into innovative, marketable programs. Champion and help implement the vision and go-to-market strategy and digital sales positioning. Minimum 2-years of digital advertising sales marketing experience required. Full info HERE (5/18)

INTERACTIVE ONE/NYC, NY: Lead and implement the strategic and creative development as well as management of revenue-generating marketing. Oversee the day-to-day management of all digital pre-sales and post-sales responsibilities. Minimum 2-years of digital advertising sales marketing experience required. Full info HERE (5/18)

INTERACTIVE ONE/NYC, NY: help craft sales strategies and creative solutions in response to RFPs as well as help build a roster of off-the-shelf and custom program offerings to support and drive the sales process. Minimum 4-years of digital advertising sales marketing experience required. Full info HERE (5/18)

BROADWAY VIDEO ENTERTAINMENT/NYC, NY: Negotiating, reviewing and drafting production and distribution agreements. Traffic outside counsel workflow including maintaining overall counsel budget and shepherding invoices. Law degree or paralegal or business affairs experience with demonstrated interest in Entertainment industry. Full info HERE (5/17)

HEARST TELEVISION/WASHINGTON DC: Ideation, researching, booking, writing, field producing, script editing, studio producing, control room supervision, rights clearance, digital development and travel planning. Exceptional story-telling, conceptualization and visualization skills required. 7+ years of experience as a show or line producer. Full info HERE (5/17)

CLEAR CHANNEL OUTDOOR/NYC, NY: Translate technical product details into customer benefits in collaboration with the CCO RADAR and Programmatic teams. Achieve on-going fluency in the details and nuances of CCO Radar and Programmatic products and develop product marketing strategies. Deep understanding of Programmatic Buying & Planning, Product Marketing required Full info HERE (5/17)


Develop and maintain a detailed compensation budget file and fringe expense budget. Responsible for determining and recording all comp & benefit accruals/entries for the monthly close cycle. 6 or more years in accounting and or compensation/benefits with strong knowledge of the balance sheet and the income statement required. Full info HERE (5/16)

REELZ/NYC, New York: Create/revise upfront/scatter media plans, account stewardship & serve as agency liaison. Experienced candidate will have opportunity to carry an agency list. Should be comfortable presenting and cultivating agency relationships. A min. 5 years ad sales exp. Strong written and verbal communication skills, strong media math skills. Proficient in Wide Orbit, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint. Apply HERE. (5/16)

REELZ/NY, NY: Create/revise upfront/scatter media plans, account stewardship & serve as agency liaison. Deal maintenance of small list of accounts: order entry, flighting, allocations, revisions. A min. 2 years ad sales exp. Strong written and verbal communication skills, strong media math skills. Proficient in Wide Orbit, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint. Apply HERE. (5/16)

GRACE CHAPEL/LEXINGTON, MA: Creatively plan, execute, and produce content that meets the strategic goals of our Digital Ministry. Supervise and provide hands-on execution of videography, photography, and post-production processes. Strong proficiency with digital video cameras, audio recorder and computer editing on Premiere Pro required. Full info HERE (5/15)


Cutting trailers, TV campaigns, digital spots and campaigns, special content and in-house reels. Make producer decisions with creativity and decisiveness while paying special attention to sensitive content. Min 3 years of professional video editing experience; detailed working knowledge of Adobe Premier and Adobe After Effects required. Full info HERE (5/15)



Structure the optimal workflow between different platforms and systems in the ad serving ecosystem. Ownership of all supply related set up, configuration, trafficking and troubleshooting. 7+ years’ experience in digital advertising including video, CTV, OTT and Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent required. Full info HERE (5/15)


Manages the On-air Program Log construction process; the playlist delivery to Master Control and the reconciliation of such logs. Serve as the main point of contact for the promotions department and programming department. 2+ years of experience in Broadcast Cable Log Operations required. Full info HERE (5/14)


Strategizes and implements publicity plans that generate positive trade press and consumer coverage of the network and its assets. Generate publicity for network programming and branding in consumer, business, and trade press specifically. Minimum of 8 years related experience required. Full info HERE (5/14)


Create Upfront/Scatter media plans and prepare Pre & Post Analysis. Monitor performance of media schedule and assign ADU, update/Maintain/Validate internal reporting and develop professional client presentations. Strong written and verbal communication skills and Media Math skills required. Full info HERE (5/14)


Produce various tracking, trending, and competitive performance reports. Support strategies in the form of analyses and presentation materials from various syndicated and custom research resources. Maintain program databases including Nielsen systems. Experience working with audience measurement tools a plus. Full info HERE (5/14)


Utilizing internal computer system to fulfill sales orders through the execution of client schedules. Serve as the primary point of contact for ad agencies and TV One to resolve discrepancies, schedule changes and distribute post and pre-logs. Bachelor’s degree preferred or 2 years of experience in advertising sales. Full info HERE (5/14)


Carry out the entire sales process from initial contact to deal close. Build and maintain exceptional relationships with advertisers and agencies by communicating TV One and CLEO TV Network’s values and brand strength. Strong knowledge of the cable industry and in particular as it relates to African-American demographics required. Full info HERE (5/14)


Conceives, plans, and directs the full scope of communications and public relations strategies and works with senior management to develop positive messaging priorities about the company and its activity. Provides strategic direction, guidance, and input. Minimum 12 years of experience including senior-level PR required. Full info HERE (5/14)



Provide leadership for the daily editorial process working closely with Senior Executive Producers and planning managers in developing coverage plans. Assist and approve coverage plans and help decide which stories are newsworthy. Bachelor’s degree in journalism, Master’s Degree preferred, 3 + years Management experience required. Full info HERE (5/13)

Develop, plan and execute strategic integrated media campaigns including pitching story ideas to trade and consumer media outlets. Draft and distribute internal and external announcements and coordinate photo, print and broadcast media requests. 7+ years of progressive entertainment industry experience within communications required. Full info HERE (5/13)



Related Stories

Cynopsis 07/25/24: Mel Brooks doc in the works from Judd Apatow

Mel Brooks doc in the works from Judd Apatow

Thursday July 25, 2024 Today’s Premieres Disney: Primos at 8p Great American Pure Flix: Shadrach Netflix: Tokyo Swindlers; The Decameron Prime Video: Troppo IN THE NEWS Amazon Prime Video and the NBA announced an 11-year media rights agreement, beginning with the 2025-26 NBA season. Prime Video will present exclusive global coverage of 66 regular-season NBA […]

Cynopsis Esports 7/25/24: Comscore + Newzoo’s latest gaming reports; Game Pass price hikes; College Football 25 fever

Thursday, July 25, 2024 Good morning! It’s Thursday, and this is your monthly Gaming Brief. Around 62% of American adults play video games, according to Comscore’s 2024 State of Gaming report. The report, put together in collaboration with Anzu, also revealed that 49% of the U.S. gaming population is Millennials, more than both Gen X […]

Cynopsis Digital Out of Home 07/24/24: Global LED billboard market forecast to hit $7.3 billion by 2031; Amazon’s Audible launches massive AR campaign

Wednesday July 24, 2024 The “DPAA 2024 Omnichannel Decision-Makers Study,” conducted by Advertiser Perceptions and sponsored by Kochava, found that eight in 10 respondents will recommend digital-out-of-home to be part of their media plans over the next 12 months, with 96% of marketers and agencies planning to increase or maintain spending in the next 12 […]

07/24/24: Cynopsis Jobs


ASSOCIATE, GLOBAL LICENSING & DISTRIBUTION HEARST MEDIA PRODUCTION GROUP CHARLOTTE, NC Coordinate and execute asset delivery to content distribution partners and assist with ideation and execution of marketing campaigns with channel partners as well as capture, analyze, and report viewership data. You will also follow and report on industry trends and create weekly programming schedules […]