05/03/18: ESPN unveiled a lineup of digital content at its Newfront presentation

Good morning. It’s Thursday May 3, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

ESPN tackled the Newfronts on Wednesday, unveiled a lineup of shows for its digital platforms that will include a new daily edition of SportsCenter for its mobile app, along with series that include: Hoop Streams, featuring David Jacoby and Ryen Russillo; Fantasy Focus Live, with the fantasy sports podcast now live streamed daily on Twitter; The College Football Show, a weekly show that will recap the best highlights of the day and preview the biggest game of the week; Rankings Reactions, with Mike Golic, Jr. and Jason Fitz; and weekly late night series Always Late with Katie Nolan.

NBC Sports Group will dedicate nearly 90 hours of live programming surrounding the PGA TOUR’s THE PLAYERS Championship from May 7-13 in Ponte Vedra Beach, including 22 hours of live tournament action on Golf Channel and NBC. Production will cover every vantage point of the 17th hole and its island green, with a total of eight high-definition cameras, including a microscopic lens embedded in the lip of the tiny bunker fronting the green. The cable-suspended “Supra Cam,” camera system will return, providing unique angles through an ability to fly over the body of water between the par-5, 16th and 17th hole greens. Coverage also will utilize a Trackman three-dimensional follow, along with Toptracer technology on several holes throughout the golf course. Mike Tirico hosts from TPC Sawgrass, while Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller will rotate 18th tower duties with Terry Gannon and Nick Faldo.
ESPN will carry 35 bowl games this college football postseason, including all 14 of ESPN Events’ owned and operated events. Programming will span 17 days beginning Dec. 15: the Celebration Bowl (noon) and the Las Vegas Bowl (3:30p) on ABC, with the Gildan New Mexico Bowl (2p), the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (5:30p) and the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (9p) in a triple-header on ESPN. Following Christmas, ESPN will feature triple-headers on three consecutive days (Dec. 26-28) before airing three New Year’s Six games Dec. 29 – the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (noon), the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl (4p or 8p) and College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic (4p or 8p).
Anchored by the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs and Premier League matches, NBCSN scored its most-watched April in network history in both Total Day and primetime, according to live plus same day data released by Nielsen. NBCSN averaged 168,000 Total Day viewers in the month, up 11% from April 2017, with 515,000 primetime viewers, up 20% from last April. Year-to-date, NBCSN’s Total Day performance (271,000 viewers) is up 151% from last year at this point.
The first month of the 2018 MLB regular season handed MLB Network with year-over-year viewership gains for each of its weekday studio shows. Out of MLB Network’s eight weekday studio shows, High Heat With Christopher Russo saw the biggest spike at  with a 52% rise, followed by MLB Central, at 45%.
Rounding out the ratings news, Monster Energy Supercross saw its Salt Lake City race on April 28 ranks as the most-watched race in Supercross’ 44 year history, with over 836,000 viewers. Viewership was up 6% over last year, including a gain of 27% among males 18-34.
The Drone Racing League announced the launch of its 2018 DRL Allianz World Championship Season yesterday, unveiling new global partners, drone pilots, and worldwide race locations. Premiering on September 6, on ESPN, DRL’s third season will be broadcast in more than 75 countries. Locations this year will include: Woodward West, the world-class camp for pro skateboarders and BMXers in Tehachapi, California; University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2; The Adventuredome at Circus Circus Las Vegas; Allianz Riviera, a gigantic football stadium in Nice; BMW Welt in Munich; and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. “With more partners, more races, and more pilots, we’re incredibly excited to unveil our most thrilling series yet. Following a historic 2017 season that was watched by tens of millions of fans across the globe, our 2018 DRL Allianz World Championship Season will pit the best FPV pilots against each other through fiercely competitive drone races in new spectacular locations,” said DRL CEO & Founder, Nicholas Horbaczewski.
The Professional Fighters League announced talent team for its 2018 PFL Inaugural season. The team will provide in-depth analysis, play-by-play announcements, and fighter background stories and interviews with names that include Randy Couture, Bas Rutten, Yves Edwards, Caroline Pearce and Todd Harris. The season debuts June 7th from Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. Todd Harris will provide play-by-play announcement with Randy Couture providing color commentary. Bas Rutten and Caroline Pearce will conduct pre- and post-fight interviews, and Yves Edwards will offer video breakdowns and fight analysis.
ESPN will televise its first Division I Beach Volleyball Championship from May 4-6, with this year’s field of eight consists of No. 1 UCLA, No. 2 Pepperdine, No. 3 Hawai’i, No. 4 Florida State, No. 5 Southern California, No. 6 South Carolina, No. 7 LSU, and No. 8 Florida International. Day one of the double-elimination tournament will be carried on ESPNU beginning at 10a with up to eight consecutive hours of beach volleyball coverage. Day two will be available on ESPN2 beginning at 2p. Day three begins with the second semifinal at 11:30a on ESPN2, followed by the championship at 2p.
INSIGHT TV is ordering Season 2 of reality show THRU, due to air in December 2018. The series, which was originally unveiled at last year’s MIPCOM event in Cannes, sees teams of intrepid competitors’ trek through highly challenging terrain following a straight line from point-A-to-point-B.
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Utz is digging in for its first sports league sponsorship, inking a deal with Major League Baseball for a new multi-faceted sponsorship agreement that extends across television, digital media and retail locations and makes Utz the Official Salty Snack of MLB. Utz plans to promote its full assortment of snack products with integrated branding across MLB’s broadcast and digital platforms such as MLB Network and MLB.com. In addition, as part of its first professional sports league partnership, Utz will begin selling products that feature MLB branding at retail locations across the US.
Under Armour is launching the ‘Steph IQ app this week – a trivia game that will go live whenever Stephen Curry makes his first-three pointer in every game he plays in the playoffs. Therefore, it could go live Friday if he makes a three-pointer in Game 3 and people who downloaded the app can answer Curry-themed timed trivia questions for a chance to win prizes and Under Armour store credit.
San Manuel Casino and AEG locked in an extension that will l expand the casino’s presence across AEG’s Southern California assets, including L.A. LIVE, STAPLES Center, StubHub Center along with the LA Kings, LA Galaxy, and the Ontario Reign, professional sports franchises.
The Sportsman Channel Outdoor Fest will take place from July 20-22 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston this year with the channel announcing expert guests that include: Michael Waddell (Bone Collector, Outdoor Channel), Brian “Pigman” Quaca (Pigman: The Series, Sportsman Channel) and Tom McMillan (MCMILLAN, Sportsman Channel).

Oath’s pitch at the Newfronts saw the Verizon subsidiary unveil a new slate of original video series, documentaries and live programs that will premiere across its house of brands including HuffPost, MAKERS, BUILD Series, RYOT Studio, Yahoo Entertainment, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports, and more. On the sports front, content will include The  Rush, hosted by Jared Quay Campbell and featuring an array of  athletes and celebrities; as well as Soccer  Mom, in which Abby Wambach “destroys the archaic perception of station wagons and orange peels and tackles the modern-day issues that confront athletes and parents alike.” Partnerships are also set to include the LeBron James Family Foundation.
The WNBA announced the 20 games that will be live streamed on Twitter during the 2018 season as the platform returns for its second consecutive season of live game coverage with four games on May 20, followed by games each Tuesday and a season finale on Sunday, Aug. 19. Every WNBA team will make at least two game appearances on Twitter during the season
NBC Sports Group will surround the 144th Kentucky Derby with a social media blitz, including a tweet-powered brooch on the label of lifestyle correspondent Johnny Weir, initiatives with BuzzFeed’s “Tasty,” Refinery 29 and NBC Sports’ “On Her Turf,” Snapchat, and social media personalities for #KYDerbyParty.

In this week’s edition of Cynopsis Esports & Gaming…   
  • E3 upgrades esports’ presence at expo
  • Twitter talks gaming strategy
  • Riot prepares for Summer Split
  • Overwatch World Cup gets grouped
  • Examining the launch of NBA 2K League
  • Immortals and Microsoft get cozy
  • FlyQuest gets Fathead
  • MSG serves up Kicks Gaming show
  • Fnatic lands Best Buy deal

The NBA announced that Ben Morel will step down as NBA Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Europe and the Middle East at the end of July. Morel has been in his current role since July 2011.

Cavaliers/Raptors on ESPN at 6p.
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ON THIS DAY in 1936: NY Yankee Joe DiMaggio makes his major league debut.
In the Know: Easy one! Which Simon & Garfunkel song mentions Joe DiMaggio? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Who is the reigning two-time World Surf League champion? Answer: John John Florence and Tyler Wright. Kudos: Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank

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JOB OPENING: MGR, INTEGRATED MARKETING/IFC/NYC: Mng the daily sponsorship based mktg (RFP process) & ensure that IFC’s value proposition & brand voice is infused thru all. Create multi-plat sponsorship proposals meeting client campaign goals. 5 yrs exp project mngmnt & mktg. Digital/SM exp a must. Full info/apply HERE (5/10)

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JOB OPENING: SENIOR DIRECTOR CONTENT CREATION/Washington Nationals/DC: Set strategy, ideate & script content emphasizing video for TV/in-park/social. Highlight multi-faceted stories to drive sales & fan engagement. Lead internal/external creative teams & social channels. Min 7 yrs exp creating content to drive rev. Full info/apply HERE (5/9)

JOB OPENING: ASSOC EDITOR-PROD/iN DEMAND/NYC: Editing promos, trailers, social & long form. Writing scripts/producing projects. Expert in Adobe Premiere & familiar w/After Effects. Prof editing exp req in broadcast/entertainment. Resume & reel to: [email protected] (5/9)

JOB OPENING: BOOKER, VARNEY/FOX Business Network/NYC: Book dynamic and high-profile guests for top-rated business program daytime bringing in new guests. 4+ yrs TV news exp. Identify/pitch stories and guests appropriate for the show and each individual hour. Full info/apply HERE (5/8)

JOB OPENING: BOOKER, HANNITY/Fox News Channel/NYC: Pitch unique story ideas. Book top tier guests for show. Compile rsrch and pre-interviews from the guests. An extensive rolodex & ability to book everyone from high-profile guests, politicians & people at the center of major news stories. Full info/apply HERE (5/8)

JOB OPENING: ASSOCIATE PRODUCER/BOOKER, Hannity/Fox News Channel/NYC: creative and highly motivated Associate Producer to book top-tier guests. high interest in politics, current events & cultural stories that generate buzz on social media. 3-5 yrs exp in brdcst TV or the political world. Full info/apply HERE (5/8)

JOB OPENING: SR ANDROID DEVELOPER/Fox News Channel/NYC: play a key role in building our native mobile architecture, influencing our mobile development stack, and developing enterprise-level applications .Focus is phone, tablet & other OTT platforms. 5+ yrs android dev incl JAVA a must. Full info/apply HERE (5/8)

JOB OPENING: ASSOCIATE PRODUCER/Fox News Channel/NYC: Exceptional story teller & exp’d assoc prod/writer for fast paced daytime and weekend newscasts. Monitor constantly for major breaking news. 3+ yrs national or large market local news exp. Solid news judgement & grasp of politics a must. Full info/apply HERE (5/8)

JOB OPENING: ASSOCIATE PRODUCER/Fox Business Network/NYC: Highly motivated, creative & proactive  assoc prod to work closely with a reporter on daily stories and be asked to help do background reporting on those stories. 2 yrs exp TV background. Full info/apply HERE (5/8)

: MARKETING/EXECUTIVE ASST/Cause+Effect/NYC: Creative content agency seeks intelligent, driven & extremely organized candidate to mng social media & assist in the day-to-day operations of the studio. Prior exposure to ad/TV industry & extensive exp w/social media. PDF Resume to: [email protected] (5/5)

JOB OPENING: PROGRAMMATIC SALES PLANNER/NBCU/NYC: Partner w/Sales & internal constituents to achieve marketers’ objectives within our leading edge Audience Studio team; incl  pitch-to-pay workflow for programmatic guaranteed. Programmatic tech exp is a must!  2+ yrs dig media exp media plan’g or client service role. Apply HERE (5/5)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, SALES SYSTEMS ANALYSIS & DEVELOPMENT/The CW Network/NYC: For the Media Sales & Planning dept. Provide advance systems analysis, development, project management, and acts as liaison between business/technology areas. 5+ yrs related exp. Full info/apply HERE (5/4)

JOB OPENING: SR PARALEGAL/Sesame Workshop/NYC: Temp contract position. Exp’d detail-oriented person w/1st-rate comm skills to work w/a tight knit legal team on a variety of matters incl those related to TV dvlpmnt & prod. 5+ yrs relevant paralegal exp working in an in-house or prod co enviro req’d. Full info/apply HERE (5/4)

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