06/12/19: Oh Canada: Combining viewing from north of the border with U.S. watching boosts NBA Finals audience above 2018 levels

Good morning. It’s Wednesday June 12, 2019 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

While ABC’s U.S. ratings have been hampered by the absence of Toronto as a Nielsen-measured market, the NBA Finals have netted an advance when viewing from north of the border is factored in. Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals between the Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors, in which the two-time defending champions, staved off elimination, scored an aggregate average audience in the United States and Canada of 25 million viewers.  Through five games, the aggregate average audience of 19.3 million viewers was up 4% vs. the 2018 NBA Finals between the Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers averaged 18.5 million watchers over Golden State’s four-game sweep.

In Canada, Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals delivered a combined average audience of 6.9 million viewers across simulcast coverage on Sportsnet, CityTV, ABC (in Canada) and RDS, making it the country’s most-watched TV program this year and the country’s most-watched NBA game ever. 

All told, 14.5 million people – some 40% of Canada’ population – watched all or part of Game 5 in Canada.  The 2019 NBA Finals now accounts for five of the top eight programs of 2019 in the nation.

ESPN will shutter its ESPN Deportes radio business in September as the company looks to shift resources into mobile and podcasts, according to the Sports Business Daily. The division, which debuted in 2005, has 44 terrestrial affiliates in 15 states, as well as a SiriusXM channel. The Sept. 8 move, which follows the company’s April announcement that ESPN The Magazine will print its last issue that month, is expected to results in staff layoffs.
When Fox Sports cuts from Fox Sports 1 coverage of the first round of the U.S. Open on June 13 to the broadcast network at 7:30p, the cable channel will remain on course, following the action of two top group. Fox Sports 1’s feed will provide extensive coverage of one group comprising Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Justin Rose, as well as the trio of Francesco Molinari, Victor Hovland and PGA champion Brooks Koepka, who is looking to add a third consecutive U.S Open crown to his bag.

WNBA action is off to a solid ratings start. ABCs coverage of the Los Angeles-Minnesota on Jun8 scored a 0.6 rating, marking a 200% jump from a 0.2 for last season’s comparable telecast of Seattle-Los Angeles on ESPN2. Through the first three telecasts, the WNBA contests have averaged 413,000 viewers on ABC and ESPN2, a 64% gain from four telecasts on ESPN through the same date in 2018. Seattle-Connecticut tangle June 16 at 3 p on ABC.

CBS Sports’ June 9 presentation of the final round of the RBC Canadian Open – Rory McIlroy shot a nine-under 61 to win by seven strokes — averaged 2.63 million viewers. That stands as 27% improvement over the event’s final round in 2018 and its best mark since the broadcaster began airing the tournament in 2007.
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Jacksonville University has inked a multiyear deal with Van Wagner Sports Entertainment as the school’s exclusive agent for strategic business partnerships, athletic sponsorship and media rights deal. In addition to building exposure for the university’s athletes across 20 sports, Van Wagner is charged with executing corporate partnerships, encompassing facility signage, in-game promotions and corporate hospitality.

MLB.TV wants to give dad the gift of out-of-market hardball this Father’s Day. During the league’s Father’s Week Sale, it is offering the package at a 50% discount, offering dads (and all other fans) the opportunity to watch the balance of the 2019 schedule for $49.99.


Global publishing platform Minute Media has raised $40 million in its latest funding round, with an eye toward more acquisitions around more content verticals. Minute Media owns and operates five media brands powered by its proprietary technology platform: 90min, DBLTAP and 12up, and its two recently acquired brands As well as Mental Floss and The Big Lead. Combined, Minute Media’s properties reach more than 140 million monthly and feature original content in 12 languages. In the U.S. specifically, Minute Media reached #1 in Comscore’s Video Metrix across the sports sector for unique multi-platform viewers in February, March and April 2019.Combined with the with investments from Hamilton Lane and Maor Investments, the company has raised some $120 million to date, including earlier contributions include Battery Ventures, Goldman Sachs, ProSieben, Dawn Capital, Qumra Capital, Vintage Investment Partners and Gemini Israel Ventures.

“With the commercial momentum we’re experiencing as an organization, growing at 100% year-on-year, we’re purposely focusing investment on the deepening of our publisher product and tech offering — a part of our business that is rapidly expanding. Additionally, the new capital enables us to continue to be aggressive on the M&A front, constantly looking to acquire premium publishing brands across new content verticals and within new markets,” said Asaf Peled, Founder & CEO.

The league’s logo is the subject of the latest installment of podcast, Building a Champion. Over two installments, former NBA player and executive Dave Wohl will delved into Jerry West’s career as Mr. Clutch and his post-playing days in various teams’ front office. The pair discuss the state of today’s game and his opinions on such notables as Magic Johnson and Lebron James.



Tunity has added former ESPN research executive Artie Bulgrin to its advisory board, which provides the TV analytics company insights about  industry best practices, measurement advancements, consumer behaviors, and client feedback. Bulgrin, a 21 year veteran of ESPN until 2017, is currently executive vice president of insights and strategy at lab-based research firm MediaScience.


Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final sees St. Louis looking for its first NHL title as the Blues visit the Boston Bruins on NBC at 8p.

ON THIS DAY in 2011, the Dallas Mavericks won their only NBA championship, beating the Miami Heat 4 games to 2.
  In the Know: Who was the Conn Smythe winner the last time there was a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: In 2015, this US player in the Women’s World Cup made history that included scoring the fastest goal from kickoff in a final, scoring in the third minute. Answer: Carli Lloyd. Congrats: Anne Wetlig-Fox Sports, Los Angeles; David Westberg-SAG AFTRA Federal Credit Union, Burbank; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group, Boca Raton; Bradon Morales-NYU, New York; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions, Los Angeles; Art Salisch-CBS-TV, New York; Dan Weiner-Conde Nast, Los Angeles; Joe Lyons-ESPN, Dallas; Traci Liner- Endeavor, New York; and Mike May-PHIT America, Wellington, Fla.

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Responsible for the project management of all marketing and creative promotion for Nickelodeon animated properties. Min 7-9 yrs of project mngmnt or prod mngmnt experience in a TV network capacity. Prior exp working in animation a +.

Full info HERE

SENIOR ANALYST RESEARCH/Sony Pictures Entertainment TV/Culver City CA: Create and maintain regular reports, from start to end. 3 to 5 yrs of exp working in media research and analysis. Fluency in Spanish is pref’d. Exp w/Nielsen NNTV, MediaView, NPower. Full info/apply HERE (6/26)

ANALYST/Sony Pictures Entertainment TV /Culver City CA: Operate within a cross-functional research team in LA, as part of the greater US and Worldwide Research team, as it supports of all lines of SPT Businesses. 1+ yr professional exp in media & ent. Strong comm skills w/ability to and work well with others; flexing between lead and support roles as necessary. Full info HERE (6/26)

MGR, PRODUCTION RESEARCH & STRATEGY/Sony Pictures Entertainment TV /Culver City: Provide support to the research team, primarily in its efforts to conduct test screenings, in addition to commissioning/distributing brand positioning and creative testing studies. 4+ yrs exp ent mkt research and/or prod. Full info HERE (6/26)

/NBC Sports/Stamford CT: Resp to collaborate on the creation of promotional content. Candidate to bring an exciting, vibrant approach to the content creation team. Min 5 yrs broadcast or cable network editing exp. Firm technical grasp on the editing process a plus. Full info HERE (6/26)

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR/Nickelodeon/NYC: Review most scripted brand creative content. Provide copywriting direction to writer/producers. 5+ yrs of exp editing/writing on-air promotional/brand content. Able to handle a large volume of different projects at one time. Full info HERE (6/26)

/Tennis Channel/Culver City CA: Freelance position. Serve as liaison between Prod, Master Control, Traffic and Ad Sales to ensure Airtime and Separation compliance. 5-7 yrs operations or traffic exp. Exp w/broadway or sintec exp pref’d. Full info HERE (6/22)

SR COUNSEL DIRECT TO CONSUMER & DIGITAL ENTERPRISES/NBCU/NYC: Serve as a legal point of contact & provide legal support for all aspects of content acquisition by the Direct-To-Consumer prgrmng team. 7+ yrs relevant legal exp in digital/new media, incl understanding of & demonstrated proficiency w/the tech & dist agreements. Full info/apply HERE (6/21)

SR COUNSEL DIRECT TO CONSUMER & DIGITAL ENTERPRISES/NBCU/Universal City: Serve as a legal point of contact & provide legal support for all aspects of content acquisition by the Direct-To-Consumer prgrmng team. 7+ yrs relevant legal exp in digital/new media, incl understanding of & demonstrated proficiency w/the tech & dist agreements. Full info/apply HERE (6/21)

/REELZ/NY: Maintain/grow business, input & maintain orders. Act as a liaison for the Sales team in key areas of sales development – marketing, traffic, finance and research. BA/BS req & Min 2 yrs exp. Digital &  VOD exp preferable. Apply HERE (6/20)

SR PROJECT MGR, ANIMATION/Nickelodeon/NYC: Responsible for the project management of all marketing and creative promotion for Nickelodeon animated properties. Min 7-9 yrs of project mngmnt or prod mngmnt experience in a TV network capacity. Prior exp working in animation a +. Full info HERE (6/20)

SR TALENT BOOKER/The Paley Center/NYC: Identify/invite/secure talent for exclusive screenings, unique exhibitions, A-list premieres & star-studded events. Proven track record & 10+yrs prgrmng exp securing high profile talent for ent/sport & media programs & other special events on time & within budget. Full info HERE (6/20)

SR PRODUCER, PROGRAMMING/The Paley Center for Media/NYC: Responsible for all aspects of producing live productions which includes securing and producing NY Public Programs. 10+ yrs of producing live productions within ent, sports and other media.  Exp producing exhibits or other special events. Full info HERE (6/20)

CREATIVE DIRECTOR/Science/NYC: CD w/ strong eye for branding to oversee creative dev of promo cmpgns, branding and cross-promo mktg initiatives for Science Channel. Create viewer loyalty & build ratings through brand character and personality. Inspire staff and freelancers to strengthen ntwrk voice. 10+ yrs promo/mktg exp req’d. Full info/apply HERE (6/20)

ACCOUNT COORDINATOR, ACCOUNT DIRECTOR/VP, SAE ACCOUNT SUPERVISOR/Beck Media/Santa Monica: All positions are open and looking for qualified candidates. Please click on each title for full job description and how to apply. Account Coord  Account Director/VP  SAE Account Supervisor (6/19)

AD SALES- SALES PLANNER/Crown Media Family Networks/CA: This position is responsible for providing support to the Ad Sales team by working with Account Executives to service clients on a daily basis. BA/BS req & Min 2 yrs exp. Apply HERE (6/19)

/Viacom International Media/NYC: Plan & mng trade events. Mng Viacom’s international B2B branding. Min 7 yrs mktg exp within Product Licensing, Trade Marketing or Business to Business (B2B) mktg. Full info HERE (6/18)

DIRECTOR, TALENT DEVELOPMENT/PAC-12/SF: Identify, evaluate, and recruit on-air talent for the Pac-12 Networks. Full info/apply: HERE (6/18)

MARKETING RESEARCH MGR/ION/NYC: Arm the sales team with network performance metrics, competitive advantages, and thoughtful research stories. The ideal candidate for this role has a hybrid skill set of both data analysis and storytelling ability. Exp w/Nielsen research & other research tools. Full info HERE (6/18)

/YES Network/Stamford: Resp for writing/producing daily topical promo & image spots for all YES Network properties. Candidate must have 5+ years’ experience in On-Air Promotions or similar agency/production company. Full info HERE (6/14)

MOTION GRAPHICS DESIGNER/Yes Network/Stamford CT: Seeking a highly-creative, passionate and curious designer who will constantly strive to stay ahead of relevant design and communication trend. 3+ yrs broadcast design and animation exp. Full info HERE (6/14)

DIRECTOR, BUSINESS & LEGAL AFFAIRS/Discovery/NYC: Looking for an experienced business and legal affairs exec to provide network support, responsibilities include handling deal negotiations & drafting/review of agreements for development, production & acquisition of docs and nonscripted TV programs. Full info HERE (6/14)

RESEARCH MANAGER/Discovery/LA: Strategic mind to utilize Nielsen ratings to inform prgmming, mktg, press, biz strategies. Turn data into stories w/actionable/valuable. Find consumer insights/trends to support aud building initiatives, Expert on changing TV landscape. 4+ yrs TV rsrch req. Full info HERE (6/13)

MGR, DIGITAL AUDIENCE ANALYTICS/BET/NYC: Resp for a portfolio of media platforms (incl linear TV, video, VOD, social media, etc.) using primary & syndicated research tools/methods. Min 2+ yrs of digital media rsrch exp. Exp working w/cross-platform rsrch incl VOD and OTT/Advanced TV platforms. Full info HERE (6/13)

AD SALES – ACCOUNT SERVICE REP/Crown Media Family Networks/NY: This position is responsible for maintaining and growing business on the assigned agency list, training and mentoring Sales Planners and Sales Assistants in the company and acting as liaison for the Sales team in key areas of sales development, marketing and research. BA/BS req & Min 2 yrs exp. Apply HERE (6/13)

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