06/05/15: FOX Sports makes its groupings; NBCU prepares for a Belmont blitz; DraftKings digs deep in the Garden


Good morning. It’s Friday June 5, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

As we hit the FIFA Women’s World Cup this weekend, FOX Sports revealed broadcast pairings for the Group Stage of the global tournament. Games begin on FOX Sports 1 on Saturday at 6p with Canada/China with JP Dellacamera, Tony DiCicco and Cat Whitehill on microphone duties before the trio joins the U.S. Women’s National Team for the squad’s Group Stage matches. Other broadcast teams will see Glenn Davis/Christine Latham; Jenn Hildreth/Kyndra de St. Aubin; Justin Kutcher/Aly Wagner; and John Strong/Danielle Slaton. In addition, Angela Hucles offers game analysis during the tournament, teaming with Davis and Hildreth for select Group Stage matches.


NBC Universal is putting in all its chips ahead of American Pharoah’s run for the Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. Build-up will include content that includes John Elway, Curt Schilling, Mark Messier and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., along with celebs offering good luck messages to the horse. NBC Sports’ ‘Big Event Strategy’ is once again in play and includes assets such as Today, CNBC, MSNBC, The Weather Channel’s AMHQ with Sam Champion, Nightly News, Late Night with Seth Meyers and more contributing content to the event.

Game 1 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final between the Blackhawks and Lightning generated a 3.34 household score for NBC, averaging 5.547 million viewers and setting the record for the most-watched Game 1 that did not require overtime in 18 years. It also marks NBC’s second-most watched Stanley Cup Final Game 1 ever. Viewership was up 16% versus Game 1 a year ago and the network won the night with a 1.8 rating in the A18-49 demo. Locally, Chicago delivered a 28.0 metered market rating, its third-highest ever for a Blackhawks game on NBC, while Tampa drew a 17.9 score, the highest rating ever in the market for a Lightning game on any NBC network.

Tennis Channel added live coverage of the second men’s semifinal match – Novak Djokovic/Andy Murray to its French Open lineup. The contest will run directly after the network’s already planned live coverage of the first men’s semifinal of Stan Wawrinka/Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at 7a. The Djokovic/Murray match will also be televised as originally planned on NBC.

Charter Communications will offer SportsNet LA to local fans starting Tuesday, according to the LA Times. The company, which so happens to be in the process of buying the channel’s parent company Time Warner Cable, previously announced its intentions to bring the channel to viewers as soon as possible.

NBC Sports Ventures punched its ticket for Nitro Circus, entering a multi-year strategic alliance that see Nitro Circus programming run across NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra. The content partnership will include the launch of a new series on NBCSN as well as two 90-minute specials that will air on NBC and NBCSN. Coverage begins on July 12, when NBC will broadcast Nitro Circus: Revolution Day, a 90-minute special chronicling the ongoing competition between BMX superstars Jed Mildon and James Foster.

What are the biggest challenges facing the sports industry? According to speaker Russell Silvers, SVP of Partnership Activation at AEG Global Partnerships, “The first is maintaining the prestige and equity in the live entertainment experience at a time when ticket prices can run high and home entertainment is more and more technologically sophisticated, and the programming available to watch and play is excellent. We need to continually reinforce the fact that live entertainment experiences are priceless and yield some of the most memorable and share-worthy moments of our lives to draw fans out of the home and into the stadium or festival grounds.” What is the second key hurdle impacting the business? Find out by attending the Cynopsis Sports Summit on June 16! We are down to 20(ish) tickets so hurry and register here!

Univision Deportes offers live coverage of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament across Univision Network, UniMss and UDN from July 7 to 26. Talent is slated to include Adriana Monsalve, Lindsay Casinelli, Pablo Ramírez, Jesus Bracamontes, Enrique Bermudez, and more as they follow the action of the 12 participating teams from cities throughout the United States: Chicago, Phoenix, Charlotte, Dallas, Boston, Kansas City, Baltimore, New York, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. UDN’s sport shows Locura Deportiva, Futbol Club, Contacto Deportivo and “Republica Deportiva will offer a special Gold Cup edition airing live from downtown Chicago, New York and Philadelphia, as well as participating stadiums.

FOX Sports revs up for the 83rd running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 13 starting at 8:30a. FOX Sports 2 and FOX Sports GO have the coverage with Bob Varsha leading a nine-member FOX Sports broadcast team. The digital platform will see continuous coverage through Sunday at 9:30a, while FOX Sports 2 will offer its first broadcast window from 8:30a-noon, with FOX Sports 1 joining in for the first time later that day at 7p.

CBS Sports Network brings back in-depth interview series ONE2ONE on Monday at 6:30p with Jon Rothstein sitting down with Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. Conversation will range from having three “one-and-done” players on his 2015 team, as well as the overall state of college basketball.

Motorsports channel MAVTV announced that it has been granted its broadcasting license by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission. “The fans of motorsports are extremely excited about the upcoming launch of MAVTV in Canada,” commented Mike Garrow, General Manager of MAVTV Canada. “We look forward to now finalizing our distribution plans for airing the network on cable, satellite, IPTV and other platforms as soon as possible.”



Speakers Include:
Joie Chitwood III  I  President  I  Daytona International Speedway
 Matt Higgins  I  Co-Founder & CEO  I  RSE Ventures
Russell Silvers  I  SVP Partnership Activation  I  AEG Global Partnerships
Brad Allen  I  Executive Chairman  I  NextVR
Bryce Townsend  I  CEO  I  GroupM Entertainment & Sports Partnerships 
2015 Sponsors I MP & Silva I espnW I Thuuz


The NBA is launching a multiyear partnership with Fanatics to operate the new 25,000-square-foot NBA flagship store slated to open at 545 Fifth Avenue ahead of the 2015 holiday season. The store’s design will “merge historical NBA memorabilia with state-of-the-art technology and interactive experiences.” “We are thrilled to build on our nearly decade-long relationship with Fanatics by using their expertise to enhance our flagship store,” said NBA Senior Vice President, Global Retail Development Chris Brennan. “Partnering with the market leader in sports retail provides a unique opportunity to grow our retail business and offer our fans a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience.”

Intersport announced it will become the new sponsorship agency of record for Cleveland-based KeyBank, which is looking to dive deeper into the sports space. Intersport will provide sponsorship and activation counsel for KeyBank’s sports portfolio which targets sports teams in MLB, NBA, NHL and NCAA in key markets across the United States. “Intersport’s expertise in the sports marketing industry starts with quality strategic counsel,” said Jason Langwell, senior vice president in Intersport’s Sponsorship & Event Marketing (S&EM) division. “Sponsorship strategy, negotiation, execution and measurement will be our focus  right in our wheelhouse. We will evaluate the portfolio, evolve it and make it work harder for them.”

Meanwhile, United Entertainment Group was named the communications agency of record for Speedo USA, a division of PVH Corp. The agency will be now responsible for strategic communications planning and execution and social community engagement and support the brand’s major events including athlete activations, new product launches and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.


Sportradar locked in a deal with Tennis Channel to offer an XML feed for tennis on their website. The technology will allow Tennis Channel to bolster its site with data that includes scores, statistics and tournament draws. “We are very pleased to be in business with Sportradar,” said Adam Ware, senior Vice President, head of digital, Tennis Channel. “Our fans expect the most up to date stats and information and having Sportradar power, that part of ourTennisChannel.com experience accomplishes that goal.”


The Madison Square Garden Company added DraftKings to its sponsor team, entering a long-term marketing partnership that makes DraftKings a Signature Partner of MSG with year-round brand exposure across the company’s set of sports, entertainment and media properties in New York. DraftKings will now also be the exclusive Official Daily Fantasy Sports Partner of MSG’s teams  including the New York Knicks, Rangers, Liberty and Westchester Knicks. DraftKings also becomes the Marquee partner of the New York Liberty and will have its logo appear on the team’s home and away uniforms and shooting shirts. Additionally, DraftKings will become the title partner of the “DraftKings Fantasy Lounge” on Madison Square Garden’s SAP Madison Concourse.

Global fantasy sports platform developer Mondogoal officially launched their daily pay fantasy game for the 2015 Women’s World Cup. The company will award $10,000 in a single fantasy contest involving the Women’s World Cup Final and the Copa America Final later this month and marks the first-ever daily pay fantasy game for any women’s sport. "The Women’s World Cup is a phenomenal platform for the game, and will draw not just passionate soccer fans but a casual audience interested in both women’s sport and the majesty of a global event,” said Shergul Arshad, CEO of Mondogoal. “By creating this game for a global audience we will provide a unique engagement platform for all, and we believe it will raise the visibility and the interest not just for soccer but for women’s sports as well. In North America, Daily Fantasy Sports has taken off, and interest in soccer is at an all-time high.”


Saturday will be historical on two fronts. First, NBC offers the 147th Belmont Stakes at 4:30p with a Triple Crown on the line. Then, FOX Sports 1 and Telemundo kick off the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup at 6p with Canada/China.

ON THIS DAY in 1989: The Toronto Blue Jays’ SkyDome (now Rogers Centre) opens its doors.

In The Know: Who portrayed jockey Red Pollard in the move Seabiscuit? (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 was John Wooden’s nickname?  Answer: The Wizard of Westwood. Kudos: David Weinberg-The Paley Center For Media/NY; Joel Lewin-Warner Bros./NY; Kevin McIntyre-Leverage Agency/NY; Rob Thompson-North American Sports Group/NY; Larry Kahn-Golf Channel/Orlando; Tim McGhee-MSP Sports/Summit; Dave Lucas-Newschannel 8/Arlington; Richard Packer-American Basketball Enterprises/Tampa; Chris Hartweg-Wunderman/Chicago; Gretchen Brady-KDAF/Dallas; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner and Triathlete magazine/Houston; Bill Robertson-WCHA/Edina; David Hauptman/Denver; Jack Neumann- University of Calgary/Calgary; John Baghdassarian-Olympusat/LA; Larry Hutchings/Nipomo; Bob Ware-CBS Local 2/Thousand Palms; John Mazur-KCET Studio and Production Facilities/Burbank.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for
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