05/23/14: Sunday Night Football hits the trifecta; FA Cup Final boosts FOX; ESPN unveils full slate of World Cup posters


Good morning. It’s Friday, May 23, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

NBC’s Sunday Night Football has now claimed the ratings crown for the 2013-14 television season, ranking as the top primetime show in household rating, viewership and the Adult 18-49 demographic, based on live plus same day data from Nielsen from September-May. That marks the third season in a row for the franchise, pulling a 12.8 score with 21.7 million viewers. The slate of games also ranked at the top for Adults 18-49, 18-34, 25-54 as well as Men 18-49, 18-34 and 25-54 and Women 18-34 and 18-49. In fact, SNF’s win in the Women 18-49 category marks the first time ever that a sports series has ranked No. 1 among the broadcast networks in this demo for a full TV season.


Saturday’s 2014 FA Cup Final on FOX reeled in 880,000 viewers, according to Nielsen, up 13% compared to last year’s contest, which was also on FOX. Tulsa led all markets with a 1.7/4 followed by Dayton (1.6/4) and Milwaukee (1.4/4).

FOX Sports officially named Adrian Wojnarowski as the company’s NBA insider for FOX Sports 1. Wojnarowski, who continues to serve as the NBA columnist for Yahoo Sports, will contribute immediately on Fox Sports 1’s flagship FOX Sports Live and will also make regular appearances on America’s Pregame.

ABC will bring back Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night for the seventh consecutive year in conjunction with the NBA Finals. The special edition episodes will run air in primetime every night of the NBA Finals beginning with Game 1 on Thursday, June 5 and feature basketball editions of Kimmel’s comedy bits "Mean Tweets" and "Lie Witness News."

Univision Deportes laid out plans for a full week of test matches leading up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. Starting on May 27, the games will be broadcast live on Univision, UniMas and Univision Deportes Network, with pre and post-game coverage beginning with the US/Azerbaijan on UDN at 10p.

Save the date! The 2014 Cynopsis Sports Summit is set for NY on Aug. 19-20 this year. Don’t miss out on some of the industry’s most dynamic and influential speakers breaking down the most important issues of the industry. Details coming soon…

Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Hammond will both be absent from NASCAR on FOX’s coverage from Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday as each will be marrying off their daughters on the same in a wild coincidence. Both analysts are slated to return in time for FOX’s live broadcast of Sunday’s COCA-COLA 600 at 5:30p. Congrats to both.

Speaking of which, FOX Sports will honor the men and women of the United States Military this Memorial Day weekend with a slate of vignettes entitled Warriors Among Us. The clips will run across a variety of FOX Sports networks including FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports Regional Networks. The stories will looking into the personal lives of a select group of young soldiers who passed away, either giving their lives while serving in the military or who died tragically upon returning to civilian life.


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ESPN’s X Games Austin will see three days of concerts with Myspace Presents: Holy Ghost! hosted by Dos Equis a free show at Austin’s famed ACL Live at Moody Theater venue. The show will mark the beginning of all X Games Music performances running June 68, streaming live on Myspace hosted by Dos Equis. In addition, starting May 26, ESPN will debut its national campaign for the X Games with six different spots featuring athletes riding in and around iconic Austin locations. Athletes featured include Nyjah Huston, winner of four of the last six Skateboard Street gold medals; Curren Caples, the defending Skateboard Park gold medalist; Josh Hansen, defending Moto X Best Whip gold medalist; Nate Adams, most-medaled Moto X athlete in X Games history and defending Moto X Speed & Style gold medalist; Ken Block, five-time Rally medalist and star of popular viral Gymkhana video series.

ESPN also released the full series of 33 international posters for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The images were designed exclusively for ESPN by Brazilian artist and graphic designer Cristiano Siqueira. And created in collaboration with creative agency Wieden + Kennedy New York. The countries represented in the new posters include: Algeria, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, England, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Honduras, Iran, Japan, Netherlands, Nigeria, Russia, South Korea, Switzerland, United States and Uruguay.  Previously, ESPN had released the portraits for Argentina, Belgium, France, Italy, Ivory Coast, Mexico, Portugal and Spain. Click here to view the artwork.

Sunoco inked a deal to become presenting sponsor of the Rookie of the Year award at the Indianapolis 500. The award will be announced Monday, the day after the 98th running of the Indy 500.

Daytona International Speedway hosts the 2014 Sports Career Summit on Wednesday, June 11, offering info on how to break into the sports industry and the chance to network with executives. Speakers include Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III, Jacksonville Jaguars Vice President of Communications Dan Edwards and Orlando City Soccer Club Owner/President Phil Rawlins.


Time Warner Cable is now offering their customers as well as Bright House Networks subscribers access to FOX Sports GO, as well as FOX NOW, FXNOW, and Nat Geo TV apps. "We’re thrilled to bring customers even closer to the FOX, FXX, FXM, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD and FOX Sports programming they love across multiple screens," said Mike Angus, SVP & GM, Video for Time Warner Cable. "Whether its entertainment, sports or news, Time Warner Cable is always on the cusp of having customers experience content front and center through new apps, devices and platforms."


MLB Network named Rob McGlarry as Executive Vice President of Content, where he will report to President and CEO Tony Petitti. McGlarry has been an executive at MLB Network since its launch in 2009, will now oversee the network’s production department as well as the network’s programming department.


Sunday is racing day. NBC opens it up with the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix at 7:30a. ABC then carries the Indianapolis 500 for the 50th consecutive year with the green flag waving at 12:12p. FOX wraps it up with the Coca-Cola 600 at 6p.


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Speakers Include:
Erin Dippold – VP, Consumer Products {DHX Media}
Kirk Bloomgarden – SVP, Global Consumer Products {Saban Brands}
Greg Economos – SVP, Global Consumer Products {Sony Pictures}
Marty Brochstein  – SVP Industry Relations and Information {LIMA}
Manuel Torres – SVP Global Toys and Publishing {Nickelodeon}

ON THIS DAY in 1983: The running of the first Preakness as Survivor wins in 2:43.

In The Know: What tandem won the Olympic gold medal in beach volleyball three times in a row? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What position must a college football athlete play to receive the Davey O’Brien Award? Answer: Quarterback. Kudos: Mark McDonald-ESPN/NY; Tom Buffolano-LTN Global Communications/NY; Keith Marder-Halstead Property/NY; Lewis Blaustein-Lewis Brand Solutions, Inc./NY; Ken Nice-Yoh/Silver Spring; Christopher Doyle-Twitter/Toronto; Tim Overmyer-20th TV/Atlanta; Chris Faulds-Bell Media Digital/Toronto; Steve Hebel-Continental Television Sales/Chicago; Ron Salcedo-Zimmerman/Nashville; Warren Weideman-Producer/LA; Alan Perris/Beverly Hills; Jack Simmons-Fox Sports/LA; Adam Deverell-Cox Reps/LA; Paul Gygli-NBCUniversal Television Distribution/Universal City.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for
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