06/09/21: NBC Sports locked in its hosts for USA Network’s coverage of the Olympics

 

Medias First Morning Read

 

Wednesday June 9, 2021

NBC Sports announced that commentators Ahmed Fareed, Liam McHugh, and Kathryn Tappen will serve as NBC Olympics’ hosts on USA Network for this summer’s Tokyo Olympics coverage. “We are excited to have veteran NBC Olympics voices in Ahmed, Liam, and Kathryn, anchoring our coverage on USA Network this summer,” said Rebecca Chatman, Vice President and Coordinating Producer of NBC Olympics production.

The announcement comes after NBCUniversal announced plans to present an unprecedented 7,000 hours of coverage of the Tokyo Olympics this summer by utilizing two broadcast networks, six cable networks, and multiple digital platforms, serving both English- and Spanish-language viewers, making it the biggest media event ever. In addition to NBC, five English-language NBCUniversal cable networks – USA Network, CNBC, NBCSN, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, and GOLF Channel – will present 1,300+ hours of Tokyo Olympics coverage this summer, while over 5,500 hours will be streamed.

PROGRAMMING

ABC saw coverage of the LA Clippers victory over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 7 of their first round series drum up an average audience of 5,489,000 viewers to rank as the most-watched first round game of the 2021 NBA Playoffs, according to Nielsen. Overall, ESPN and ABC combined to average 3,389,000 viewers for its first round NBA Playoffs coverage, up 49% vs. the 2020 first round and up 4% over the 2019 first round.

With TNT reporting its most watched NBA Playoffs First Round coverage since 2018, up 49% over last year and up 5% when compared to 2019 and averaging 2.9 million viewers, while NBA TV garnered a 42% increase in viewership for this year’s NBA Playoffs, according to Nielsen, the league is averaging 3.06 million viewers across its partners.

Meanwhile, Univision’s TUDN saw its telecast of the Concacaf Nations League Final featuring US and Mexico score big on Sunday night to rank as the most-watched soccer match since the 2019 Gold Cup. The contest averaged 4.2 million Total Viewers and 2.3 million Adults 18-49.

NBC Sports laid out its plans for live coverage of the 2021 U.S. Open across NBC, GOLF Channel and Peacock, running June 17-20 from Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. In total, NBC Sports will provide more than 45 hours of live championship coverage Thursday-Sunday – as well as 100-plus hours of live coverage from Torrey Pines including featured groups and featured holes coverage. As part of NBC Sports’ first tee to last putt effort, coverage of the final hour of play on Thursday and Friday evening will shift to Peacock at 10p each night. In addition to Peacock’s exclusive, free streaming coverage of the early and late portions of the first and second rounds, live coverage on GOLF Channel will also be available to stream for Peacock Premium customers. NBC Sports will also complement its comprehensive U.S. Open coverage with live featured groups Thursday-Sunday, showcasing two morning groups and two afternoon groups each day of the Championship. There will also be a featured holes feed highlighting holes 11, 12 and 13.

The Professional Fighters League announced that its 2021 Playoffs will be held at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL. The PFL Playoffs will take place over three nights beginning Aug. 13 at 7p. All the fights can be seen live on ESPN (August 19), ESPN 2 (August 13 & 27), ESPN Deportes (all events) and streaming on ESPN+. “We are excited to bring the intense playoff atmosphere that only the PFL can provide to Hard Rock Live this August,” said PFL CEO Peter Murray. “Every fighter has the chance to become a world champion and bank the $1 million top prize that comes with it. Let’s get ready to crown the champions!”

Speaking of fights, the upcoming Tribute to the Kings, a special night honoring the first family of Mexican boxing – Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr., Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., and Omar Chavez – will run across cable, satellite, digital Pay-Per-View, and in sports bars, restaurants, movie theatres, and drive-in theatres on June 19 at 9p. Joe Hand Promotions in partnership with Integrated Sports Media will distribute the event across North America via DirecTV, iN Demand, Vubiquity, DISH, SaskTel, Rogers, Shaw PPV and the FITE.TV website and app in the U.S., Canada, and select markets worldwide.

August sees Paramount+ become the exclusive home to stream all four matches of The Women’s Cup, the four-team international soccer tournament that features the NWSL’s Racing Louisville and Chicago Red Stars, Frauen-Bundesliga champion FC Bayern Munich and Division 1 Féminine champion Paris Saint-Germain. The action kicks off on Aug. 18 at 5p with FC Bayern facing PSG. “Paramount+ is committed to showcasing the world’s top clubs across both the men’s and women’s games, and these four clubs only further elevate the quality of our soccer programming,” said Jeffrey Gerttula, Executive Vice President and General Manager, CBS Sports Digital. “Paramount+ continues to be a year-round, must-have soccer destination for fans of the game and we’re excited for The Women’s Cup to be a part of our growing lineup at CBS Sports.”

Facebook and Religion of Sports announced that Simone vs Herself, the Facebook Watch Original docuseries, will premiere on June 15. The seven-episode series offers a unique look into the life of superstar gymnast Simone Biles. New episodes will air on Tuesdays. The first five episodes will run in the lead-up to this summer’s Games, with the final two episodes airing later this summer.

Major League Baseball revealed its list of celebrities slated to participate in the 2021 MLB All-Star Celebrity Softball Game on July 11 at Coors Field. Named include Quavo, JoJo Siwa, Steve Aoki, Ross Butler, The Miz, Kane Brown, Karamo, Jennie Finch and more. The Celebrity Softball Game is the second game of a doubleheader on All-Star Sunday.

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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

 

Karate Combat announced a partnership with Anheuser-Busch light beer brand Natural Light for the upcoming Karate Combat: Season 3 with the deal set to include branding inside The Pit, Karate Combat’s trademark fighting arena, and in CGI elements created using the Epic Games Unreal Engine. Fans will also catch Natty Light’s branding during televised fights. “Natural Light is all about creating epic memories for our consumer and this new partnership with Karate Combat will help amplify their unique fan experience,” said Daniel Blake, Group VP, Budweiser & Value at Anheuser-Busch. “Natty Light will be intertwined in Karate Combat: Season 3, bringing even more energy and action to their passionate fan base and intense karate competition.”

Speaking of beer, the Molson Canadian Stanley Cup Batch is being brewed with some fresh Molson Canadian from a limited batch passing through the top bowl of the Cup during the brewing process so that this Playoffs season, “Canadians can have the chance to celebrate like their hockey heroes – getting their own small taste from Lord Stanley’s Cup.” The Molson Canadian Stanley Cup Batch is available in specially designed 6-pack bottles reminiscent of the Stanley Cup and its flight case at select local beer and liquor stores across Canada, excluding Quebec.

Continuing the theme, Michelob ULTRA celebrates summer’s return to live sports via a sweepstakes that will see lucky fan win 2 tickets to the Super Bowl, Miami Open, NBA Finals, President’s Cup, and the FIFA World Cup. The winner will also get MVP treatment with a private jet to the games and “top-tier” hotel accommodations. Info comes with the new Team ULTRA Limited Edition Pack which includes signed bottles from six athletes: NBA players Anthony Davis and Jimmy Butler, WNBA star Nneka Ogwumike, US soccer star Alex Morgan, golf champion Brooks Koepka and tennis superstar Serena Williams.

Notre Dame Global Partnerships announced a partnership with Deserve, leading to the launch of the new Notre Dame PRO Mastercard for alumni and fans. The new card program will help support the student scholarship funds of local Notre Dame clubs.“Our alumni and fans are some of the best and most supportive in the world, and we’re thrilled to partner with Deserve to offer them a credit card with benefits and perks that matter to Fighting Irish Fans,” said President of Notre Dame Global Partnerships, Theodore Loehrke.

DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

NBC Olympics selected Sony Electronics to provide broadcast and production equipment for its production of the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, which take place in Tokyo, Japan. NBC Olympics’ crews will use nearly 100 Sony cameras to capture footage at event venues and record athlete interviews, press conferences, and other assignments that require studio and portable recording and capture in addition to several of Sony’s production switcher models.

ESPORTS

Kia and Rogue renewed ties for their creative content relationship where the duo will continue their digital-first campaign supporting the global car manufacturer’s new “Movement that inspires” brand narrative. “We are thrilled to showcase our unique esports brand in a joint campaign with Kia,” said Anna Baumann, EVP of Esports at ReKTGlobal. “We both believe in innovation and inspiration as the driving force to be the best. We cannot wait to dive deeper into the stories of our esports athletes, which we hope will inspire all esports enthusiasts.”

Super League Gaming and agency Rumble Gaming entered into an extended partnership that will see some of the agency’s biggest creators collaborate with top-tier brands from across the globe through Super League’s in-stream Sponsored Live Break viewing experience. The initiative offers creators who use the Mobcrush live streaming software a way to entertain their audience even when they have to step away from their device while broadcasting live with the ability to share recaps of the top moments from the segment of their broadcast just completed. A highlights reel full of instant replays is built and delivered in real-time.

Movie theater chain Cinemark locked in a deal with Mission Control to bring esports and gaming events to movie theatres across the country under the brand Cinemark Esports. The deal sees the brand’s theatres set to being hosting public gaming events with titles on deck that include Rocket League, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Mario Kart 8.

Esports Stadium Arlington unlocked new partnerships with ESPAT AI, Quadraclicks and JLab Audio. Under the terms of the new one-year deal, ESPAT AI will work with ESA to capture images and video from esports events that run at the venue and distribute it through its media licensing platform.

INDUSTRY & ROSTER MOVES

GoFan promoted Stuart Granger to Chief Operating Officer and added David Greiff as Chief Revenue Officer. “As we approach the fall of 2021, high schools will be at the forefront of their communities welcoming fans back to live events. GoFan is committed to continuing to deliver a first-class experience,” says BJ Pilling, GoFan’s CEO. “To continue executing against our growth plans, we are committed to adding top talent to the GoFan leadership team. Stuart and Daves’ background and capabilities exemplify this strategy.”

The World Chess Hall of Fame unveiled two new exhibitions – Pawns & Passports: Chess Sets from Around the Globe and Check, Please! Chess Dining & Decor— showcasing how the game has been influenced by people and cultures. In addition, WCHOF is continuing its exhibition Masterminds: Chess Prodigies. Pawns & Passports and Check, Please! will be on view through January 30, 2022, while Masterminds: Chess Prodigies will end on November 7, 2021.

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On this Day
1960: ABC and the American Football League lock in a five-year deal.

IN THE KNOW
What was the name of the LA team in the original USFL? (Email cpursell@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
In 1994, this famed volleyball player became Nike’s first female athlete to design a shoe. Who was she? Answer: Gabrielle Reece. (For those that answered Sheryl Swoopes, she was the first to have a signature shoe in 1995, not the first to design one.) Kudos: Phyllis McQuillan-MSG Networks/NY; Louis Lewow-FITE/Atlanta; David Westberg-SAG•AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA

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