05/10/18: CBS Sports, the AAC and Navy tied up a long-term deal to keep Navy on its platform

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2018 FRENCH OPEN – WILL NADAL’S DOMINANCE ON CLAY CONTINUE?
 
  The King of Clay has kept his crown on the dirt so far this season. Can he up his own record and make it 11 career French Open titles?
 
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Good morning. It’s Thursday May 10, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

 
CBS Sports, the American Athletic Conference and Navy committed to a 10-year media rights extension that spans through the 2027 season and keeps the CBS Sports Network as the home of Navy football. As part of the agreement, CBS Sports Network will continue to televise the majority of Navy home football games, including the Air Force/Navy game as well as showcase select Navy home athletic events, including basketball, baseball and lacrosse games.
 
“Navy is an incredible partner and our relationship with the institution and the American Athletic Conference continues to remain of utmost importance to CBS Sports,” said Dan Weinberg, Executive Vice President of Programming, CBS Sports. “We are thrilled to extend our partnership and showcase the best of Navy athletics and their student-athletes.”
 
 
ON THE AIR

Tuesday night’s Sports Emmy Awards scored five nods for CBS’ coverage of the 2018 AFC Championship Game, as well as the company’s production of the 118th Army/Navy Game. Other big honors among live event productions included NBC’s Sunday Night Football for Outstanding Live Sports Series, MLB Network’s MLB Tonight for Outstanding Studio Show – Daily, and Univision Deportes’ FIFA World Cup Qualifier between Mexico and USA, for Outstanding Live Sports Coverage in Spanish. Among overall company tallies, who drew multiple wins, the ESPN group of platforms drew 10 trophies overall, followed by CBS Sports at 8, FOX Sports and NBC Sports Group both picking up six, MLB Network at three and HBO Sports with two.
 
ESPN will reportedly tap the talents of Sage Steele and Kevin Negandhi to take over the 6p edition of SportsCenter. The Athletic reports that the pair will inherit the key seats, while The New York Post writes that the pair will begin their new duties on Monday.

Monster Energy AMA Supercross wrapped up its season with new highs, announcing season-long growth across live attendance, television viewership, digital engagement and international fandom. The 2018 season saw television viewership rise 5% year-over-year, including a 27% spike among males 18-34 to score its best performance since FS1 launched. Streaming on the FOX Sports GO app increased 68 percent year-over-year, while Race Day LIVE viewership grew by 700,000 viewers.

 
In international waters, Olympic Channel forged a deal with Brazil’s Grupo Globo, Brazil’s largest media group. Beginning August 2018, viewers in the country will be able to watch both Olympic Channel original programming and Olympic-related content from Globo during Olympic Channel-branded broadcasted programming hours, on Globo’s free-to-air TV shows and SporTV’s news program on pay TV, and also on a dedicated Olympic Channel digital portal on globoesporte.com.
 
NBC Sports Group offers live coverage of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California starting Sunday at 4p on NBCSN and running through the final stage on May 19 at 3p on NBC. Phil Liggett calls the action on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold joined by analysts Paul Sherwen and 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge winner Christian Vande Velde. NBCSN’s coverage will also feature analyst and reporters Jens Voigt and Bob Roll, and ‘Inside-the-Race’ correspondent Steve Porino.
 
On the local front, Tuesday night’s Red Sox/Yankees telecast brought YES its best TV ratings since 2014, and its best streaming numbers ever. The game averaged a 6.76 TV Household rating, 603,000 Total Viewers and 478,000 Households, to rank as its top game since October 2, 2012 (not counting Derek Jeter’s home finale).
 
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association unveiled its schedule for the 2018-19 season for the league’s 10 member institutions. The 140-game chase for the MacNaughton Cup will play out over 17 weekends, beginning with four WCHA sets the weekend of Oct. 26-27. The 2019 “WCHA Playoffs” will consist of four (4) best-of-three, quarterfinal-round series hosted by the league’s top four regular-season finishers the weekend of March 8-10, followed by two (2) best-of-three semifinal-round series hosted by the highest remaining seeds the weekend of March 15-17. The 2019 “WCHA Championship” will be a single game, hosted by the highest remaining seed on March 23.
 
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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

ESPN’s newest brand campaign is off and running, marking the first collaboration with Droga5 and titled Life Needs Sports. The campaign “celebrates the powerful role sports play in fans’ lives. The campaign acknowledges that all fans are unique, with their own vernacular, sense of humor, styles and traditions. From the inspirational to the emotional, to the offbeat and beyond, the creative executions tap into universal sports truths and forge genuine connections with distinct fan groups.” At launch, the marquee creative focuses on the NBA. Entitled “Smaller,” the campaign pays tribute to many of the NBA’s “small ball” players including Steph Curry, Chris Paul, Kyle Lowry and Terry Rozier, in addition to a MLB-themed execution titled True Love, tapping into the relationships MLB players have with their bats.
 
NASCAR and Camping World expanded their partnership to provide Gander Outdoors naming rights to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Beginning in 2019, the national series will be rebranded as the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. “Gander Outdoors’ customer base has an affinity to the outdoor lifestyle and will transition seamlessly as the title sponsor of our national series in 2019,” said Steve Phelps, NASCAR Chief Operating Officer. “The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has a consistent and dedicated fan base that will embrace the Gander Outdoors brand. This expanded agreement demonstrates our partners’ confidence in the on-track product and the power of our brand loyal fan base.”  
 
 
DIGITAL & STREAMING

Stadium is taking its 24/7 sports linear network to Twitch, adding over 250 live games and events to the Twitch service including college football, men’s basketball and Olympic sports from top college conferences including Conference USA, Mountain West Conference, Patriot League and West Coast Conference. Stadium will also live stream weekly American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) games and, on Wednesday evenings, feature Ring of Honor matches.
 
Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson will be among the players appearing in featured group coverage from THE PLAYERS Championship starting this morning on ESPN+. World No. 1 Johnson will tee off at 8:05a with 2017 U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka and two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson. On both Thursday and Friday, ESPN+ viewers also will be able to watch featured coverage from the iconic “Island Green” at TPC Sawgrass, the Par 3 No. 17, as well as the drivable Par 4 No. 12, beginning at 9a each day.
 
ESPN announced the end of the line for the Public Editor position, originally known as an Ombudsman. The company posted that “While ESPN has valued the input and dedication shown by everyone who held the position, we too have seen how access to the Internet and its social platforms has created a horde of watchdogs who communicate directly with us to share observations and questions. Beyond our users, our multi-faceted newsgathering operation is made up of a diverse collection of seasoned journalists who engage in spirited discussion and respectful disagreement to land in the best possible place. No one holds our journalists to higher standards than we do.”
 
 
ESPORTS

In this week’s edition of Cynopsis Esports & Gaming…   
  • Overwatch League invades Barclays
  • NBC Sports preps season two of Universal Open
  • NBA 2K League lays out season’s schedule
  • NASCAR debuting youth esports series
  • ESL/Square Enix team up
  • World Series of Poker bets on esports
  • The Consumer Snapshot: Esports fans and fast food
  • Engine Shop breaks down future of esports
  • WorldGaming gets a rebrand
 
  ROSTER MOVES

Big news from ESPN, which announced that ESPN EVP and CFO Christine Driessen would be retiring effective Jan. 2019. ESPN topper Jimmy Pitaro announced the decision to employees, writing that “When she started with the company as its Controller in 1985, ESPN was a mere 450 employees, two buildings joined by a catwalk and a small offering of sports content. Today, ESPN represents the most preeminent brand in sports media entertainment, and Christine has played a major role in this growth story.”
 
 
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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!
 

ON THIS DAY in 1970: Bobby Orr scores an overtime goal to hand the Bruins their first Stanley Cup since 1941.
 
In the Know: Who is Navy’s career leader in passing yards? (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 only person in NBA history to be named Most Valuable Player, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year? Answer: Larry Bird. Kudos: John Ferlazzo/London; Keith Marder-Halstead Real Estate/NY; Marc Wollis-Cadent Network/NY; Rob Casalaina-ITN/NY; Luke Tarby-A+E Networks/NY; Errol Da-Re-TLN Media Group/Toronto; Larry Kahn-Golf Channel/Orlando; Tom Wetzel-MMSI/Warwick; Matt Sautter-WideOrbit/Harrisburg; Kristin Staskowski-Spectrum Reach/Birmingham; John Ward-Tennis/Chicago; Creed Heilskov-ImOn Communications/Cedar Rapids; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner and Triathlete magazine/Houston; Matthew Shapiro-ATTSN Rocky Mountain/Denver; Rick Pike-InterMedia Advertising/Woodland Hills; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Anne Wettig-Fox Cable Networks S&P/LA

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