06/24/20: Bleacher Report CEO Mittman is leaving the company

 

Medias First Morning Read
Wednesday June 24, 2020

Bleacher Report CEO Howard Mittman is reportedly departing the company, with Turner Sports President Lenny Daniels set to take over business control of Bleacher Report, according to Front Office Sports, which stated that there are no current plans to replace Mittman as CEO. In addition, Bleacher Report COO Alex Vargas and CMO Ed Romaine will directly report to Tina Shah, Turner’s senior vice president of business affairs while Shah and B/R Chief Content Officer Sam Toles will report to Daniels. On the revenue side, Bleacher Report CRO Stephanie Rapp will report to Turner Sports CFO Ade Patton. Mittman joined Bleacher Report as chief revenue officer and chief marketing officer in 2017.

PROGRAMMING

After the MLB Players Association turned down a 60-game season proposal that would have seen an expanded postseason, Major League Baseball opted to use the right to launch a simplified 60-game season that would begin around July 24 provided players sign off on a health-and-safety protocol and to pledge to arrive at home stadiums by July 1. According to ESPN, by selecting a season of 60 games, the league “will pack in about as many games as it can through Sept. 27, the league’s self-imposed cutoff for the regular season” and “serve as a buffer against a grievance by the MLBPA.” The league issued the following statement Monday night: “Today, the Major League Baseball Players Association informed us that they have rejected the agreement framework developed by Commissioner Manfred and Tony Clark. Needless to say, we are disappointed by this development. The framework provided an opportunity for MLB and its players to work together to confront the difficulties and challenges presented by the pandemic.”

NBC Sports released its 2020 NTT INDYCAR Series schedule through July 18, highlighted by the second race of the REV Group Grand Prix at Road America on July 12 at 12:30p on NBC. Pre-race coverage will begin at noon. Three of the first four races of the 2020 NTT INDYCAR Series will be showcased live on NBC. The first race of the REV Group Grand Prix at Road America on July 11, will air live on NBCSN at 5p, followed by the Iowa INDYCAR 250s doubleheader weekend, which will air live in primetime at 8:30p on the network on July 17 and 18.

In addition, NBC Sports will present live coverage of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery this Friday at 8p on NBCSN. Kathryn Tappen hosts and immediately following the 30-minute program, a special half-hour edition of NHL Live will be presented at 8:30p with reactions to the Draft Lottery as well as a preview of the NHL’s latest Return to Play plans. The show will be hosted by Liam McHugh alongside analysts Keith Jones and Patrick Sharp.

The US National Soccer Hall of Fame postponed its 2020 induction ceremony until 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s induction ceremony had been scheduled for Sept. 19-20 in Frisco, Texas. Now, members of the 2020 and 2021 classes will both be inducted together in a ceremony next year.

Adtech providers are a group that lives on the cutting edge of innovation, which is why we are celebrating their platforms, campaigns, and strategies with the Cynopsis Adtech Awards. Join us as we spotlight a group that has made enormous strides – during a pandemic no less. View categories here and submit your entry by tonight at 11:59 PM ET!

F1 will roll out six new real-time graphics during the 2020 campaign through its partnership with Amazon Web Services, according to reports. The first of these, which will be in place for the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, will offer fans a ‘Car Performance Score’ based on a number of statistics relating to the car’s strengths – including power, grip, downforce and drag. In the second half of the season, F1 and AWS will unveil three different graphics: one for Driver Skills Rating, one for Car/Team Development and Overall Season Performance as well as one for Qualifying and Race Pace Prediction Graphic.

A displaced Belmont Stakes handed NBC with the week’s most-watch sports event, despite dips from year-ago numbers, to average a TAD of 3.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen and Adobe Analytics. Louisville led local markets with a 5.8/14, followed by West Palm Beach, Baltimore, Fort Myers, and Cincinnati.

A retooled ESPY Awards averaged 482,000 viewers on ESPN and ESPN2 to mark the smallest audience ever for the event. Forced to pretape, rework its focus and go without a live audience as a result of the pandemic, the show primarily spotlighted social issues.

Combate Americas will return to live television an interactive MMA fight series from a closed set in Miami on Friday nights, beginning Aug. 28, and continuing with two special events on Sept. 11 and Sept. 25 in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. The events will air live on television in the US in Spanish on Univision and TUDN USA at midnight, and in English on AXS TV at 10p. In 2019, Combate Americas averaged over 417,000 live Univision viewers at midnight ET, and over 1.7 million live Televisa Canal 5 viewers.

Meanwhile, the PFL is launching a new weekly six-part series providing fans with a “unique, behind-the-scenes look into the life and career of MMA star Rory MacDonald.” Red King will debut June 30 at 10a across PFL digital channels and run through Aug. 4.

Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation and the YES Network are teaming up on Sunday, at 8p on the channel to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 2000 World Series, aka the “Subway Series.” YES’ Yankees play-by-play man Michael Kay will moderate the June 28 roundtable program, which will feature Joe Torre, David Cone, John Franco, Al Leiter, Jorge Posada, Bobby Valentine, Bernie Williams and Todd Zeile. Together, these participants of that Subway Series will relive the best moments and memories from the series.

The 8th Annual Cynopsis Digital Awards
Entries Due AUG 11th.

The Cynopsis Digital Model D Awards is looking for: Innovators. Inspirers. Creators of all kinds. For the 8th year in a row, we celebrate those in online video content and advertising who are at the forefront of the industry, elevating it with their state-of-the-art contributions to branded content, technology, ad campaigns, and original content.

ABOUT MODEL D

SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

New data from iSpot focused on the Premier League’s return this past week/weekend, estimating a total spend of $2.1 million, that led to 148.4 million impressions for its return to the airwaves. In total, about 90 brands advertised during Premier League games this past week/weekend.

Intel unveiled four athletes who will represent Team Intel on the road to Tokyo next summer for the Games with the quartet set to partner together with Intel and provide feedback on their sport technologies. Team Intel athletes include: Ashton Eaton – Decathlon; Nneka Ogwumike – Basketball; Noah Lyles – Track & Field; and Lex Gillette – Para Track & Field. “We have great respect for the commitment necessary to compete on the world’s biggest stage and so we are excited to welcome these athletes to Team Intel,” said Rick Echevarria, vice president and general manager, Intel Olympic Program. “Each member not only brings an impressive list of athletic achievements, but also, importantly to us, a passion for the role that technology plays both in their sport and in the world. We look forward to supporting them on their journey over the next year.”

Shaquille O’Neal and Rob Gronkowski are teaming up for Shaq’s Fun House vs Gronk Beach Presented by The General Insurance. The live streamed party with a purpose will feature epic SHAQ vs GRONK challenges & musical performances while raising money for The NAACP and Boys & Girls Clubs of America in an effort to help in the fight against social injustices. In addition, the official food delivery partner of the event, DoorDash, has pledged to donate one meal up to 1.25 million meals, to people in need for each viewer in the livestream through their partnership with Feeding America.

DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

Stats Perform won exclusive official rights by Football DataCo to collect and distribute detailed event data for the major English and Scottish football leagues, including the English Premier League, to the world’s media, fantasy, broadcast and professional teams. “Extending our partnership with Stats Perform was an obvious choice,” said Adrian Ford, FDC General Manager. “The opta data brand is strong and the business has a deep understanding of football, vital factors for our Leagues who want the best and most trusted data. Stats Perform will build on these strong foundations and continue to drive innovation through our FDC Labs partnership, using data to tell new stories for fans who have an appetite for greater insight into the beautiful game.”

FanDuel Group unlocked an exclusive gambling and fantasy content and distribution partnership with SportsGrid and will become the exclusive Sportsbook, Casino, Racing and Fantasy Sports Partner and grants FanDuel exclusive category access to digital distribution, broadcast, syndication, and radio assets across SportsGrid’s gaming and lifestyle network, including XUMO, PlutoTV, The Roku Channel, and STIRR. Additionally, select programming on TVG, America’s horse racing network and a subsidiary of FanDuel Group, will also be available across SportsGrid. Overall, FanDuel and SportsGrid will collaborate on over 50 hours of original video and audio content each month for daily fantasy and sports betting enthusiasts.

Betfred USA Sports announced a new partnership with U.S. Integrity
to help ensure sports betting integrity and fight betting-related fraud. Under this partnership, Betfred will provide U.S. Integrity with sports betting data, helping build the database of real betting information that allows U.S. Integrity to detect and report suspicious activity in the sports wagering market. Betfred will have access to U.S. Integrity fraud alerts, reporting and additional integrity monitoring services.

AEG and Mobilitie are expanding their alliance to bring next-generation wireless technology and state-of-the art connectivity to STAPLES Center and its adjacent 4 million square foot sports and entertainment district, L.A. LIVE, in downtown Los Angeles. As part of the expanded agreement, Mobilitie will bring next-level connectivity to STAPLES Center and L.A. LIVE with the development of “updated, state-of-the-art wireless infrastructure that will meet future wireless demands and enable 5G connectivity, allowing for expanded digital initiatives, improved venue operations and enhanced fan experiences.”

ESPORTS

It is the end of the line for Mixer, with Microsoft closing the door on its streaming platform next month, which hosted personalities such as Ninja and Shroud. Instead, Mixer executives announced Monday that Microsoft will now partner with Facebook Gaming. “The success of Partners and streamers on Mixer is dependent on our ability to scale the platform for them as quickly and broadly as possible,” Mixer said in a blog post. “It became clear that the time needed to grow our own livestreaming community to scale was out of measure with the vision and experiences that Microsoft and Xbox want to deliver for gamers now, so we’ve decided to close the operations side of Mixer and help the community transition to a new platform.” Facebook Gaming will assume the rights to the Mixer trademarks and associated domain names, but Microsoft will retain the intellectual property rights to the Mixer technology.

The Big 12 Conference and Learfield IMG College are launching of an esports tournament for all 10 member schools. The online-only event marks a first-of-its-kind for the Conference and “provides advertisers elevated sponsorship opportunities within a university-branded esports platform by Mainline.” Running July 13-16, each Big 12 member school will play host to a single-elimination qualifying tournament featuring Madden NFL 20. One winner representing each member institution will advance to the Big 12 Conference Championship tournament July 18-19. Big 12 Now on ESPN+ will carry the finals of each school tournament, as well as games from the Big 12 Championship rounds. Bill Pollock, the host of Big 12 This Week, the Conference’s syndicated weekly radio show, will call the action.

DreamHack is launching a new tournament series featuring Fortnite. The series — entitled DreamHack Open Featuring Fortnite will begin in July and consist of monthly online tournaments for the EU, NA East, and NA West Fortnite servers through all of 2020, and will be broadcast live on Twitch. A total of $1.75 million USD will be awarded in 2020, with a prize pool of $250,000 will be up for grabs every month.

Esports org Fnatic and Gucci are teaming up for an apparel drop taking place on June 25. A teaser for the Gucci X Fnatic collaboration was posted on Twitter. Meanwhile, Champion will also be revealing a collaboration on July 27.

Complexity Gaming announced a partnership with sportswear brand We Are Nations to launch The Lab. The duo will help to “enhance the pre-game, in-game, and post-game performance of professional esports athletes and casual gamers across the entire gaming industry.” Through direct access to Complexity players and controlled testing environments within Complexity’s headquarters, the GameStop Performance Center (GSPC), the two organizations will measure the impact that new training materials, like haptic technology, have on cognitive and physical performance. The Lab will leverage learnings to develop new products, equipment, and materials. In addition to The Lab, We Are Nations will also launch an esportswear line for Complexity players, streamers, and fans. The new product line will include jerseys, hoodies, shirts, joggers, hats, and more, and will feature various drops throughout the year, including Complexity Gaming, Complexity-Limit, individual influencer lines, and a branded capsule collection.

Manchester City unveiled a new limited-edition product collaboration with FaZe Clan in addition to extending their partnership into a second year. Nuria Tarre, chief marketing officer at City Football Group, said: “Manchester City’s partnership with FaZe Clan has strengthened our extensive esports offering and allowed us to further explore how fans are experiencing football beyond the pitch. Fans have embraced this partnership as it has allowed them to combine their passions for football and gaming in ways that have never been seen before in football.”

INDUSTRY & ROSTER MOVES

The National Basketball Association named both two-time NBA champion Malik Rose and NBA front-office veteran David Booth as Vice President, Basketball Operations. Rose and Booth will be responsible for interfacing directly with teams and players regarding league programs, rules, new initiatives and competitive elements.

The Cynopsis Sports Awards continue to recognize the passionate stories coming from both behind and in-front of the camera. We are honored to continue that tradition and thank the industry for their continued support.

– Chris Pursell | CYNOPSIS Director of Content

Virtual Awards Celebration: August 12th – Stay Tuned For Details!

View Finalists

On this Day
1922: The American Professional Football Association changes its name to the National Football League.

In the Know
Who performed the 1985 song “Centerfield”? (Email cpursell@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Which NFL team originally drafted Hall of Famer Bobby Mitchell? Answer Cleveland Browns. Kudos: Denis Barry-CBS/NY; Michael Dittelman-Dedicated Sports Marketing/NY; Michael Ritz-Lenox Advisors/NY; Willy Gibson-WTG Sports/Columbus; Michael Goodman-Radio One/Atlanta; Mike May-R2 Innovative Technologies/Wellington; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Joe Lyons-ESPN/Dallas; Rich Wolfe-Lone Wolfe Press/Scottsdale; Jack Neumann-University of Calgary Dinos 5th Quarter Alumni Development/Calgary; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG•AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank

Cynopsis Team

Chris Pursell
@VegasandVine
Kerry Smith
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Roberta Caploe
Publisher
@robertacaploe

Cynopsis Ad Sales
Mike Farina
203-218-6480

Albert Nassour
917-545-3129

Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
Trish Pihonak
203-899-8459
Director of Operations

CynopsisJobs
Check out more jobs in Cynopsis Classifieds »
Job of the day
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER PRIMETIME
Newsmax Media
NYC

Responsible for working with show hosts, preparing the rundown of new stories, identifying and integrating guests, overseeing and executing the prod of key video & graphic elements w/guidance from the EP. 3+ yrs EP exp or overseeing newscast production. Full info HERE (7/15)

Sr NEWS PRODUCER >>
Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for the production of live newscasts, news shows and recorded video segments for TV & digital platforms. Strong understanding of Newsmax brand and talent. Strong writing & organizational skills req’d as is the ability to produce content under heavy deadline pressure. Full info HERE (7/15)

DIRECTOR, DIGITAL AD >>
Ladders/NYC: Responsible for developing and executing new business opportunities. Sell digital inventory sponsorship to brands and advertisers (i.e. d aily newsletter, direct display, mobile and on-site). Min 10yrs exp; 5+yrs in a digital sales capacity. Full info HERE (7/15)

EXEC DIRECTOR, SCHEDULING & ACQUISITION >>
GSN/Santa Monica: 10+ yrs. Oversee day-to-day scheduling of channels. Mng linear & VOD closely ensuring brand integrity. Managing monthly content selection. Evaluating acquisitions for networks. Working w/content licensors & negotiating terms, deliverable, & windows. Full info HERE (7/10)

DIRECTOR, DEVELOPMENT >>
GSN/Santa Monica:
5+ yrs Help originate & develop show concepts. Contribute to show workshops. Identify cultural trends. Interact w/the prod community. Work on current productions in preproduction, in studio & during the post review process. Must have strong industry contacts and a love of game shows. Full info HERE (7/10)

COORDINATOR, ON-AIR SCHEDULING >>
GSN/Santa Monica: 1+ yrs. Schedule all promo elements under guidance. Perform data entry. Create tags and tune-in info. Execute log changes due to inventory changes. Coordination and revision of promo schedules. Attention to detail. Coordinate w/Ad Sales and Marketing on initiatives. Full info HERE (7/10)

PROMO PRODUCER/WRITER >>
Vice Media Group/Brooklyn NY:
Write and produce promos for VICE TV and all of its programming, including image spots, series trailers and cutdowns, episodic promos, tentpole/event promos, interstitials, brand spots. 5+ years of promo producing experience in a cable network. Full info HERE (7/10)

PRODUCER
>>
9 Story Media
Remote for now & eventually NYC office. Exp’d producer for an iconic, high profile preschool series that combines 2D, 3D and live action. 5+ yrs production exp, children’s content exp, animation req’d. Strong storytelling skills w/understanding of preschool audiences. Full info HERE (7/9)

VP GROWTH MARKETING >>
Jersey City, NJ:
Lead/develop, and deploy enhancements to PointsBet’s growth marketing strategies including performance media, SEO, Conversion Rate Optimization, MarTech, and more. 10+ yrs of exp in relevant growth marketing roles, ideally for digital/app based product(s). Full info HERE (7/9)

DIRECTOR OF SALES
>>
RNN/Rye Brooke NY: Responsible for growing and managing its Diginet business across all of its TV stations. Minimum of 5 yrs exp in sales in the TV industry and experience in Diginet/multicast/D2 business required. Exp’d networking & establishing new relationships with key players at agencies and advertisers. BA deg Full info HERE (7/8)

SR PODCAST PRODUCER
>>
Glass Entertainment Group/Philadelphia:
Story producer to help lead a new episodic podcast. You will be involved in episode dvlopmnt, rsrch, interview prep & prod episodes (both during actual record & in post). Background in storytelling & min 5yrs exp making audio, pref w/proven field reporting exp. Full info HERE (7/8)

PRODUCER, BROADCAST LIVE >>
AccuWeather/State College PA:
Produce compelling live video segments for the national network on a daily and as-needed schedule. Put together the rundown for each individual segment and work with a team. Entrepreneurial spirit & working knwldg of non-linear editing suites req’d. Full info HERE (7/8)

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