06/17/19: NBC Sports’ Mike McCarley discussed 2019, Hogan and the year ahead

Good morning. It’s Monday June 17, 2019 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Tonight sees the debut of GOLF Films’ newest documentary Hogan, a two-part series that debuts at 9p on GOLF Channel and telling the life and legacy of Ben Hogan, who remains as, arguably, one of the greatest sports comeback stories of all-time. Coming off the U.S Open, Cynopsis Sports caught up with Mike McCarley, President, Golf for NBC Sports Group, to talk about the always fascinating year in golf, the bio pic and what lies ahead.
McCarley on 2019: The media business is changing faster than ever and we’re seeing the benefits of our strategic approach to franchise development. There is a crystal-clear delineation between Live and On-Demand content and we’re pursuing both on parallel paths. This year, we’ve learned a lot as the pro golf calendar has improved with six tentpole championships in six straight months, starting with The Players now in March. So far, it’s a success and the biggest change is still to come with the PGA TOUR FedExCup Playoffs moving to August, away from September’s football competition. Live programming has been a focus for years, and GOLF Channel has doubled its live programming and is now one of the most live networks on TV with 42% of the annual schedule live, up from 18% since joining NBC Sports.
On Hogan: Internally we talk a lot about that clear delineation between Live and On-Demand content. So, while we’re building our live event portfolio for linear, we’ve also doubled-down production on high-quality, evergreen franchises. Golf Instruction, Feherty and GOLF Films are all examples of evergreen content that serve as the bulk of our On-Demand library. GOLF Films builds upon NBC Sports’ storytelling heritage and this week’s premiere of Hogan is the first of five GOLF Films projects we’ve announced for 2019 – their largest slate ever. Hogan is a two-part biopic that uncovers the mystique of Ben Hogan – a story so incredible it was made into a major studio picture and then adapted for radio in the 1950s. Fans and critics who’ve screened it have loved it. So yes, we’re expanding the GOLF Films documentary franchise, and we have more projects now in production, several in development and deals working with outside talent and producers attached.
On July’s Open Championship: What may surprise fans is the spectacular landscape of this year’s host course, Royal Portrush. The area around Belfast is a spectacular corner of the world. We’ve developed a special appreciation for the people and the area — and not just because Game of Thrones was shot there. We visit there a lot because our GOLFNOW business has an 80-employee office in Belfast that serves as our International HQ for that business. So, as we set up the stories of The Open and help tell the story of the complicated political history of the region, we’ll rely on people like David Feherty, a native of Northern Ireland, and Sky Sports producing GOLF Films’ Road to Royal Portrush. What won’t be a surprise is the comprehensive coverage from our live tournament group — we’re live on GOLF Channel and NBC from the first tee shot on Thursday through the final putt on Sunday, the most coverage for any golf tournament anywhere in the world. Following The Open, GOLF Films’ Tiger Woods: Chasing History debuts, chronicling Tiger’s pursuit of Sam Snead’s PGA TOUR record 82 wins.
On brands: As we build our golf lifestyle portfolio, we’re creating new ways for brands to engage with golf fans. A good example is our partnership with Bill Murray and his brothers with their Murray Bros. clothing line that sits alongside nearly 40 other clothing brands in our Shop with GOLF e-commerce and content platform. Our ad sales team also has been a leader in partnering with advertisers through our ‘Playing Through’ commercial model, which provides continuous coverage during split-screen ad breaks. Besides being a favorite because fans can see more of the action, research shows better engagement, recall and affinity for brands in those breaks.
On expansion: Our business has expanded well beyond a linear TV network. We now serve golfers through a variety of services and businesses. Most people are surprised to learn that we have more employees dedicated to our golf tech and lifestyle businesses than traditional media. We see ourselves as sitting at the intersection of golf and technology with GOLFNOW, similar to an OpenTable for golf; GOLFADVISOR, which functions like a Yelp of golf; GOLF Business Solutions, which provides technology to more than 7,000 golf courses worldwide; and GOLFPASS, which combines many of these business lines into a single, digital membership for golfers to Play, Learn, Shop, Travel and Watch.

The crowning of the Toronto Raptors saw the 2019 NBA Finals Game 6 against the Warriors draw an aggregate average audience of 26 million viewers in the United States and Canada, according to the league, for a rise of 11% over the 2018 NBA Finals between the Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, which drew 18.5 million viewers between the two countries. The game delivered a combined average audience of 8 million viewers in Canada across simulcast coverage on TSN, CityTV, ABC (in Canada) and RDS, making it the country’s most-watched TV program in 2019 and the country’s most-watched NBA game ever. 56% of the Canadian population (20.5 million viewers) watched all or part of the 2019 NBA Finals.
Meanwhile, FOX Sports drew gains for its first three days of coverage for the U.S. Open, with Saturday’s third round coverage averaging 4.243 million viewers from noon to 10p and ranking as the top third round performance wince 2013. The telecast was up 12% over its 2018 score. The First and Second Rounds also saw upticks with the Second Round averaging 2.096 million viewers and ranking as the best second round since 2012.
FOX Sports also saw coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup – through day 8 – make gains of 7% over the 2015 group stage average and 57% over 2011, which was the last time the tournament was played in a European time zone. Nielsen Metered market scores saw the England/Argentia matchup grow 22% from the 2015 non-US number.
Combate Americas saw its Cricket Wireless Presents Combate Americas: Tucson Unbreakable showcase draw in more than 420,000 viewers on Univision on Friday. In addition, Combate’s Tucson event viewership was nearly 10% higher (421,000 vs. 390,000) than the previous event which was held in Lima.
With competition underway for The Gold Cup, FOX Sports detailed its talent for the tournament, which runs through July 7. Broadcast teams include: John Strong (Play-by-Play), Stu Holden (Analyst), Rodolfo Landeros (Reporter); Mark Followill (Play-by-Play), Warren Barton (Analyst); Jorge Perez-Navarro (Play-by-Play), Mariano Trujillo (Analyst).
Major League Lacrosse is expanding its partnership with ESPN, announcing that ESPN Player acquired exclusive broadcast rights for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). Throughout the 2019 season the platform which is streamed through desktop, iPad, and mobile will feature a live game every week running from through September 21 in addition to the MLL All-Star game and the Championship game.
In collegiate news, ACC Network announced plans to kick off its men’s soccer coverage on Sept. 1, at 7p when Wake Forest hosts Creighton, with 28 men’s soccer games on deck in the network’s first year. In addition, the channel announced that Dalen Cuff will call ACC soccer games and serve as a college basketball analyst, along with anchoring in studio. Similar to other ACC fall sports, men’s soccer will have a dedicated night of live programming each week. ACC men’s games are slated for Fridays with additional matches on Tuesdays throughout the fall.
Meanwhile, SiriusXM unveiled its plans for the 2019 NCAA Men’s College World Series, running through the CWS Finals on June 24-26. In addition to the live play-by-play, ESPNU Radio on SiriusXM’s college baseball show, Perfect Game, will air live from Omaha during the first week of the tournament. Hosts Dani Wexelman and Patrick Ebert will broadcast a special edition of the show today from 7-9p.
RIP to Pat Bowlen, the Denver Broncos owner who passed away on Thursday at the age of 75. “Pat was driven by the will to succeed and his competitive spirit made him a tremendous leader. We all will greatly miss him and his kindness, passion and wisdom,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a statement. “Pat had a deep love for the game of football, the Broncos and the City of Denver. In the 35 years he owned the Broncos, he helped deliver a remarkable 21 winning seasons and seven Super Bowl appearances, including three titles.”
The future of AI is similar to the future of most every new technology, which in short is improvement, commoditization, and democratization. How do we make it better, cheaper and get it into the hands of more people? 
–David K, Sr. Product Mngr, Watson Video Analytics – IBM Watson Media
(Featured speaker at That Big TV Conference on Sept. 9 – 10 in NYC)
Sponsored by: Sinclair – NY Interconnect – Friend MTS – iSpot.tv – NCC Media – TV Time – Tubi


Univision Deportes unlocked its full roster of sponsors for its coverage of the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup with more than 20 brands from across categories signing on to be part of Univision Deportes’ exclusive Spanish-language coverage. Sprint returns to Gold Cup with a 360-sponsorship across linear and digital, while first-time supporters of the event are set to include Valvoline, Uber Eats, Jeep brand and AT&T. AT&T, Modelo Especial, Victoria Beer, Corona, Mazda, State Farm, Toyota, Bud Light, Walmart and Wells Fargo will activate around the tournament as part of Univision’s partnership with Twitter. “I’m thrilled to announce that we have surpassed all previous milestones with our Gold Cup inventory,” said Steve Mandala, President of Advertising Sales and Marketing, Univision. “The anticipation for this year’s tournament has been unlike any I can remember, and that excitement has extended to our valued partners who have lined up to be part of the summer’s premier soccer event. We look forward to delivering a best-in-class production and providing wall-to-wall, comprehensive coverage to the country’s most passionate soccer audience.”
Speaking of the Gold Cup, the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football unveiled several initiatives designed to deliver new and engaging experiences to fans following the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup. Initiatives include the ability to follow the tournament on mobile through an official app, access to interactive and behind the scenes content, and the “This Is Ours” campaign, which leverages fans’ love for the game. Other activations include the Futbol Fiesta Pre-game Fan Destination at the 15 U.S.-based stadiums, as well as the Gold Cup Station in the Great Hall of Chicago’s Union Station.
Meanwhile, Grey Argentina partnered with Telemundo to launch its promotional campaign for the Copa America Brazil 2019. Under the slogan, “The irresistible desire to watch the best in the world,” the campaign features soccer stars and celebrities as loyal fans faced with a difficult dilemma: deciding whether to watch the world’s best players in the Copa America or stay faithful to their national teams, which are playing in a different tournament at the same time. Those featured in the campaign include Mexican soccer legend Claudio “El Emperador” Suárez, Costa Rica’s Rolando Fonseca, Colombian actress Viviana Serna, and Larry Hernández, Mexican regional music figure and star of the Universo series Larrymanía.
In deal news, the Syracuse University Orange and Nike will continue their more than 30-year relationship through a new multi-year agreement that will see Syracuse teams, coaches and staff use Nike-provided products, including gear, uniforms, shoes and specified equipment and accessories for games, practices and clinics. “We are pleased to continue our longstanding partnership with Nike. This agreement benefits all 20 varsity sports and every student-athlete at Syracuse University,” said Director of Athletics John Wildhack. “The agreement increases the product we receive from Nike on an annual basis and will aid in our ongoing efforts to provide a tremendous experience for our student-athletes.”


Twitter served up its data wrapup for the NBA Finals, with @Raptors sporting 55% more Twitter mentions than @Warriors while #WeTheNorth had 385% more Twitter mentions than #DubNation. The player accounts with the most mentions during NBA Finals:
  • Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5)
  • Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30)
  • Kawhi Leonard (@kawhileonard)
  • Klay Thompson (@KlayThompson)
  • Kyle Lowry (@klow7)

League of Legends and Riot Games announced that Alienware signed on as a presenting partner for Rift Rivals, which runs June 27-29. “As an integral partner across the League of Legends and esports ecosystem, we’re delighted to have Alienware become the first-ever presenting sponsor of Rift Rivals,” said Matt Archambault, Head of Esports Partnerships & Business Development for North America at Riot Games. “Given their commitments to both the LCS and LEC leagues, in addition to Global Events, we’re eager to level-up the event as our own Ryder Cup, complete with unique activations for both onsite fans and our viewers.”
DreamHack announced plans to invite the winners of the all women’s CS:GO championship DreamHack Showdown to its next DreamHack Open stop in Rotterdam. In addition, the DreamHack Open Summer champions will receive a direct invite to CORSAIR DreamHack Masters Malmö in October later this year. “We want to improve the continuity of our tournaments, for both players and viewers by building a bigger connection between our events,” said DreamHack Co-CEO Marcus Lindmark. “Most recently, we announced that we’ll be hosting an all women’s CS:GO championship in Valencia, Spain with a prize pool of $100,000 USD, entitled ‘DreamHack Showdown.’ Today, we are taking things to the next level — by inviting the champions of DreamHack Showdown to our next DreamHack Open stop in Rotterdam, Netherlands. In addition, the DreamHack Open Summer champions will receive a direct invite to CORSAIR DreamHack Masters Malmö happening in October later this year.
The 2019 CWL Championship locked in on Los Angeles to serve as host from Aug. 16-18, taking place at Pauley Pavilionon UCLA’s campus. The venue marks the event’s return to Los Angeles after stops in Orlando and Columbus the past two years.

Rays/Yankees on MLB Network at 7p.

ON THIS DAY in 1960: Ted Williams hits his 500th home run.
In the Know: Other than Jackie Robinson’s #42, which number has been retired the most by MLB clubs (hint: 11 teams have retired this number)? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: In the NBA, who was known as The Microwave? Answer: Vinnie Johnson. Kudos: Kyle Helm-CBS Sports/NY; Russ Camlet-NBCU/NY; Mikael Johnson-Univision/NY; Cory Angerthal-AMC Networks/NY; Thom Hering-PSP Partner Marketing/NY; Roger FurmanLange Marketing/Greentown; Mike May-PHIT America/Wellington; Michael G. Hawkins-Francis Marion University/Florence; Joe Cassidy-Rowan University/Glassboro; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Barry M. Blyn-ESPN/Chicago; JT Ward-Spark Foundry/Chicago; Jake Mudlaff- Good Karma Brands/Milwaukee; Greg Molonik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Rich Wolfe-Lone Wolfe Press/Scottsdale; Rick Pike-InterMedia Advertising/Woodland Hills; Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo; Rich Greene-Casa Del Verde Entertainment/LA; Steve Scheer-FOX Sports/LA

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Kerry Smith
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Oversee/manage all aspects of the Direct Response (DR) business. Deep knowledge of DR marketplace. 8+ yrs of DR selling exp in media or a related field. 3+ yrs of exp managing people or leading a sales team. 

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DIRECT RESPONSE SALES, ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE/ION TV/NYC: Responsible for selling direct response air time for ION TV, and achieving quarterly and annual revenue goals. Min 5 yrs of DR exp. Excellent oral presentation, oral & written comm skills. Full info HERE (6/28)

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/A+E/NY: Perform acctg functions (i.e. monthly accruals, prod royalty statements, compile audit info, ensure financial reporting is accurate) within the Licensing Revenue & Digital Media divisions. BS/BA in Acctg, advanced Excel skills, familiarity w/Acctg software, detailed oriented, strong comm skills. Full info HERE (6/27)

SR ACCOUNT EXEC/VideoAmp/NYC: Unlock insights & value for Fortune 500 marketers & their agencies about their entire mktg investment portfolio to improve campaign efficiency & increase sales. 3-5+ yrs exp. It is fundamental to have industry exposure w/in Video, Digital, and/or TV exp is ideal OR AdTech exposure. Full info HERE (6/27)

SALES DIRECTOR/VideoAmp/Chicago: Unlock insights and value for Fortune 500 marketers and their agencies about their entire mktg investment portfolio to improve campaign efficiency & increase sales. Previous exp in one or more of the following: digital video, OTT, or TV advertising is a must. Full info HERE (6/27)

DIRECTOR, ENTERPRISE CLIENT SUCCESS/VideoAmp/NY: Client Success leader w/technical expertise in ad tech & TV to support the success of our clients on the platform to lead a team of Enterprise Client Success Mgrs. 6+ years of client services exp (3 yrs mng team of relevant tech acct support). Full info HERE (6/27)

CAMPAIGN OPTIMIZATION MGR/VideoAmp/NY: Mng portfolio of campaigns to ensure a timely launch, successful performance & full delivery. Strong knwldg programmatic industry & 2+ yrs working in Ad Tech. Video specific background pref’d. Expertise mngng campaigns of different sizes & goals in major DSPs, or working w/SSPs on publisher’s side. Full info HERE (6/27)

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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)

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