05/12/16: UFC’s big decision; Sports Emmys spread the love; Whistle Sports works up programming


Good morning. It’s Thursday May 12, 2016, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Are they or aren’t they? The potential for UFC to hit the open market has bubbled for years, heating up in recent weeks and capped by ESPN’s report that the company was officially for sale with four companies believed to have submitted bids for the organization, including WME/IMG, China Media Capital, The Blackstone Group and Dalian Wanda Group and the winning bid expected to hit somewhere between $3.5 billion and $4 billion. President Dana White quickly refuted the report, with the latest news being that the UFC will actually sell a small percentage of the business (between 11-15%) to aid global expansion, specifically in China, according to FloCombat.

White stated on the Dan Patrick Show that “"Yeah, we’re not up for sale," adding, "We’re always working on deals and our expansion globally. I’ve been saying since this thing came out: No, we’re not for sale. But let me tell you what: If somebody shows up with $4 billion, we can talk. We can definitely talk."


The 37th Annual Sports Emmy Awards saw wins for the likes of NBC’s Bob Costas and Doc Emrick, TBS’ Bill Raftery, CBS’ Verne Lundquist and Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and Katie Nolan in their categories with Costas taking home "Outstanding Sports Personality-Studio Host" while Emrick won for play by play and Raftery took one for best game analyst. Bill Ripken won for best studio analyst, Rosenthal was named best reporter while Nolan notched a win for outstanding social TV experience. Lundquist, meanwhile, was presented the lifetime achievement award.
Group Winners:
·       10 FOX Sports Media Group (FOX, FS1, FOXsports.com)
·       9 ESPN (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Goal Line, ESPNU)
·       7 NBC Sports Group (NBC, NBCSN)
·       5 CBS (CBS, Showtime)
·       5 HBO Sports
·       3 Turner Sports (tbs, TNT, truTV)
·       3 MLB Media (MLB Network)
·       1 Univision (Univision, Univision Deportes)

NBCUniversal takes on “Championship Sunday,” with all 10 matches presented live simultaneously on 10 different NBCUniversal television networks on Sunday at 10a. Telemundo and NBC Universo will also carry one match in Spanish, and all matches will be streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra. Other networks are set to include NBC, NBCSN, USA, CNBC, Syfy, MSNBC, Bravo, E!, Esquire, Oxygen.

The NHL will see Game 1 of the 2016 Eastern Conference Final between the Penguins/Lightning begin on Friday at 8p on NBCSN.

April pushed beIN SPORTS en Espanol to rank as number two in Total Day among Spanish Language cable sports networks year-to-date, according to Nielsen. Daytime telecasts ranked at the top among its competitors so far this year with a markup of 29% over April, 2015.

Bounce TV’s Premiere Boxing Champions  The Next Round hit Sunday night with 1.2 million viewers. The 9p live telecast Household average was up 6% over the previous edition of the franchise with a rise of 15% in African-American Homes.

ESPN tips off its 14-game regular-season schedule of the WNBA’s 20th year on Saturday at 7:30p with the Mercury/Lynx. Ryan Ruocco returns as the lead play-by-play voice beside analyst Carolyn Peck and reporter Holly Rowe.

Fight Network locked in a deal with Mexico-based AAA Lucha Libre that will see a weekly 90-minute program run across Canada and globally in over 30 countries across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The series, AAA: Lucha Libre Worldwide, will run on Thursday nights in the same timeslot every week.

NBC carries the Red Bull Hart Lines from Detroit on June 26 at 1p. The event comes from Detroit’s Hart Plaza and takes place May 14-15 and will see six local Detroit skate shops each comprised of two local athletes battle it out for a chance to earn two scholarships to the famed Camp Woodward. Sal Masekela hosts the Red Bull Signature Series show. Red Bull Hart Lines hits NBC in partnership with Pennzoil Synthetics and BFGoodrich.


Honoring the best in kids programming & marketing

Like the market it serves, the kids content business emanates creativity. From the most outstanding achievements in programming to the marketing and promotion that supports it, Cynopsis Kids !magination Awards honor the best in kids & tweens media. Review the list of categories, read the eligibility rules and enter today



Buffalo Wild Wings is offering customers a new UFC Takeout Pack that offers UFC fans around the country a new takeout offer during the weekends of UFC 198, 199 and 200. The promotion starts May 13 and features 60 boneless or traditional wings and chips and salsa and the option to upgrade to Chili Queso dip. To launch the promotion, the company released a new hidden camera video entitled “Takeout Fakeout” that features an unsuspecting UFC fan arriving at a local Buffalo Wild Wings in Las Vegas and ends up greeted by UFC Hall of Famer Forrest Griffin and current UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold to view some of the UFC 197 preliminary fights before moving to the MGM Grand Garden Arena to meet UFC President Dana White.

After being named the Kia NBA MVP, Stephen Curry saw his NBA partners activate in celebration of the honor. Under Armour congratulated #30 on its channels and introduced fans to an upcoming ‘Back 2 Back’ MVP shoe pack. 2K maxed out Steph’s overall rating (99) on NBA 2K16 for 30 hours. Harman congratulations with a special motion graphic social post, while Kaiser Permanente ran OOH celebratory creative in the Bay Area.


Whistle Sports returned to the Newfronts armed with an aggregated social reach of 185 million across platforms and a slate of new shows announced during its presentation. Programs are set to include: Battlegrounds, a competition series in which creators compete in epic feats to win a $50,000 prize; Legends of Dunk, a slam dunk competition; Fifty Large, featuring a host traveling the country to 50 sporting events in 50 states on a budget of $50,000; Crushing History, featuring fresh takes on famous moments from sports history; Hall of Gamers, showcasing athletes vs. gamers; and #WorldTrickshotDay, a new holiday featuring Whistle Sports creators doing trick shots around the world.


In today’s eSports & Gaming weekly edition…
·       A conversation with Machinima CEO Chad Gutstein
·       ELeague captures Arby’s, Credit Karma and Buffalo Wild Wings as its inaugural partners
·       Ramifications of Disney’s decision to pull out of console gaming
·       eGames partners with M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment


Spurs/Thunder on ESPN at 8:30p.



Programmers, TV marketers, and consumer-facing brands are always on the lookout for creative ways to engage with audiences beyond on-air promos. At the Cynopsis Out-of-Home Marketing webinar, you’ll learn how to craft cross-platform marketing campaigns that combine OOH and digital to drive awareness, tune-in, and social amplification.

Questions?  I  Register Now..

ON THIS DAY in 1985: The Knicks win the first-ever NBA draft lottery.

In The Know: What brand was the primary sponsor of Dale Earnhardt’s legendary #3 car? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What was the name of Reebok’s “Office Linebacker”? Answer: Terry Tate. Kudos: Nello Pesci- Kinetic Consulting Intern/ Geneva; Chris Long-FloSports/NY; David Kopelman-MLBAM/NY; Andrew Feingold-Fox News/NY; Joe Brucia-NBC Universal/NY; Tim McGhee-MSP Sports/Summit; Tim Buckman-NBC Sports Group/Stamford; Adam Samrov-New England Newspapers/Bennington; Mike Antolini-Tiger Woods Foundation/Boston; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner and Triathlete magazine/Houston; Lucie Prann-The Richards Group/Dallas; Alex Georgiou-MLB/Chicago; Bob Chasse-Professional Bull Riders/Pueblo; Chris Kuhrt-DISH Network/Englewood; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Willie Price-American Forces Network/Riverside; Bruce Trotter-CoxReps/LA; Mike Bridges-New West Broadcasting/Hilo.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

Roberta Caploe: Publisher @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

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JOB OPENING: SR COORD PRODUCER – PROG & PROD/Discovery/NY or LA: Producer w/creative audience engagement ideas to prod/manage multiplatform content. Manage reversion/reloads to bring fresh eyes to linear. Partner cross-departmentally to oversee strategic vision/direction of ntwk programming. Full info/apply HERE (5/14)

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