06/09/16: FS1 gets a Copa lift; Ali memorial goes national; Sports Illustrated loses a staple


Good morning. It’s Thursday June 9, 2016, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

A US blowout over Costa Rica in the 2016 Copa America handed FS1 with an average of 1.6 million viewers on Tuesday night, according to Nielsen, to rank as the most-watched men’s soccer match in the network history and besting the 2015 CONCACAF Cup. The rating marked a full 260% rise over the average to date of US Men’s National Team friendlies on FS1. Meanwhile, the channel also saw Argentina’s June 6 win over Chile score 862,000 viewers on FS1, setting a new record for the most-watched men’s soccer match in FS1 history that did not include the United States Men’s National Team.


ESPN announced that it would carry Muhammad Ali’s memorial service on Friday, bumping its coverage of the opening match for the UEFA European Football Championship, featuring France/Romania, to ESPN2. Ali’s memorial service from Louisville will see the likes of President Bill Clinton, Billy Crystal and Bryant Gumbel deliver eulogies during the service, which will take place in the 22,000-seat Yum! Center.

FOX Sports released its full broadcast schedule and programming plan for the US Open Championship. Programming will be highlighted by more than 40 hours of live golf action with 22.5 hours on FOX broadcast network. June 16-17 will be shown on FS1 from 10a-5p before moving to local FOX stations from 5-8p. FOX, meanwhile, sees coverage from 11a-7p on June 18 and 11a-7:30p on June 19. :00 AM ET to 7:00 PM ET on Saturday, June 18 and from 11:00 AM ET to 7:30 PM ET on Sunday, June 19. FOX Deportes televises 6.5 hours.

Tennis Channel scored its highest total in viewing during the French Open. In the Nielsen metered markets, the network had 115 million quarter-hour household impressions over the tournament to represent the greatest viewing in network history for the tournament and is a 7% rise from last year’s 107 million. Tennis Channel Plus saw an increase in paid subscribers of 130%. Tennis Channel’s highest rated match was achieved during the first week pitting Serena Williams/Kristina Mladenovic and drew a 1.24 household coverage-area rating in the Nielsen metered markets, representing 307,000 homes.

Everything you wanted to learn about eSports but were afraid to ask! Join brands, platforms, teams, leagues and players for the Cynopsis eSports Conference on June 23. Click here now for tickets.

FOX Sports made Jason McIntyre’s new job official, announcing that Jason McIntyre, the editor-in-chief of The Big Lead, will join Colin Cowherd and Jason Whitlock on FS1’s new series Speak For Yourself, premiering June 13 at 6p on FS1.

NBC Olympics is adding six new reporters to its coverage from Rio: NBC News correspondents Anne Thompson, Craig Melvin, Gadi Schwartz, and Jill Martin as well as NBC Sports Group’s Rutledge Wood and Dalen Cuff.

Conference USA announced its preliminary television schedule for the 2016 football season through its new deals with its four primary television partners in ESPN Networks, CBS Sports Network, American Sports Network and beIN SPORTS. The majority of games take place Saturday, with select Thursday and Friday night telecasts also being featured. Each of the four will carry at least one game during the opening weekend of the season. On Sept. 1, ESPN U showcases Indiana/FIU game, while CBS Sports Network carries the conference opener between Rice/WKU. On Sept. 3, ASN offers SMU/North Texas, while beIN SPORTS makes its Conference USA debut with New Mexico State/UTEP.

Meanwhile, the Sun Belt Conference will host its first ever football championship game in 2018. League presidents and chancellors voted unanimously for the game. “This is a historic moment that represents yet another step forward for the Sun Belt Conference,” said Commissioner Karl Benson.  “The membership of the Sun Belt has been engaged in a significant number of advancements for the betterment of the league – to an extent this is the culmination of those efforts.”

Golf Channel’s Feherty returns on June 20 for his summer run, opening with Rory McIlroy on June 20 at 9p. Other guests include Peter Oosterhuis (Monday, June 27); Paula Creamer (Monday, July 4); and a special episode featuring Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and McIlroy on July 11.

ESPN televises 20 CFL games this year, including the 104th Grey Cup Championship, with an additional 69 games available on ESPN3. The league’s regular season games begin June 23 at 7:30p on ESPNEWS. ESPN telecasts will utilize production and commentators teams from TSN.

Smithsonian Channel honors Muhammad Ali this week with encore presentations of Lives that Changes the World: Muhammad Ali (starting today at 8p) and Sports Detectives: Ali’s Gold Medal (tomorrow at 4p).

Meanwhile, Bounce TV’s PBC – The Next Round will include several special tributes to Ali on Sunday starting at 9p. The card features a battle between welterweights Phil Lo Greco/Joseph Elegele.


Cynopsis eSports Conference 
6/23 | NYC | Register here

With the growth of eSports, it’s becoming more important for brands to understand who these fans are, how they behave as consumers and how to engage with them. This brief presentation presented by Michael Flamberg (VP/GM, Nielsen Games) will review new data that will help brands + advertisers get a high level overview of the eSports fans, where & how can they be reached, and their purchasing habits.

Sponsors: Magid Sports + rEvXP


Rubicon Project unveiled the launch of its Olympics advertising marketplace, making available Olympics-specific inventory packages from publishers around the world, including Conde Nast and USA Today Network. The reach hits over 100 million monthly sports uniques and marks the first in a series of sports marketing initiatives the company will be rolling out throughout the rest of the year. The company also unveiled findings from a new survey on the changing ways consumers are engaging with content and found that while 87% of sports fans plan to watch the Summer Olympics, 79% of millennials plan to watch the Olympics live online and 7 out of 10 plan to watch on their mobile device.

Perform Media is launching a new digital soccer agency, dubbed Goal Studios. The new division will serve as “a fully resourced agency that benefits from Perform’s global scale, infrastructure and sports content expertise.”  UEFA is partnering with Goal Studios to develop the promotional campaigns for UEFA EURO 2016 and UEFA Europa League.
Alternative rock band, X Ambassadors will give a live musical performance at the 2016 NHL Awards on June 22 at The Joint, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s concert and entertainment venue. The Awards will be hosted by Will Arnett and broadcast live at 7p on NBCSN.

Sports Illustrated locked in an alliance with Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment to produce the first-ever Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Summer Music & Fan Festival, in conjunction with Live Nation, at Coney Island on Aug. 28. The festival will feature a series of free daytime activities, including model appearances on the beach and boardwalk with a concert will be held that evening at the new Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk.


Merrell and Tough Mudder are partnering with Snapchat to bring the action from Tough Mudder: Tahoe to Snapchatters around the country. Merrell will be encouraging Tough Mudder’s socially active participants and Snapchatters to submit their Snaps capturing their experience participating in Tough Mudder to the Snapchat team for possible inclusion in a Snapchat Live Story covering the event on June 11. Tough Mudder will also Snap a “Day in the Life” of Kyle “Coach” Railton preparing for a Tough Mudder on its Snapchat account.

ESPN Digital Media reached 104.1 million global unique visitors in April, to rank as the most-trafficked sports property in the world for the month. Overall, platforms scored 1.0 billion visits and 6.7 billion minutes of usage. ESPN’s digital content reached 80 million users in the US. 


In this week’s eSports & Gaming edition
·       Twitter breaks down its influence on gamers
·       Minecraft’s big milestone
·       Doritos, EA, Xbox go experiential at E3
·       Ultimate Media Ventures launches dedicated eSports lifestyle apparel brand
·       Nielsen’s sponsor tips


Paul Fichtenbaum is stepping down as Sports Illustrated Group Editor. His last day is June 30. “I have been with Sports Illustrated since I was a kid and after more than a quarter century, I decided it was time to explore new challenges,” said Fichtenbaum. “We have been talking about this for a while and now is the perfect time to make the change. I have been fortunate to be part of the team that has reinvented Sports Illustrated, especially over the last few years when we launched more businesses and content verticals than ever. The franchise has the wind at its back. There has been no better place to be a journalist and develop new media than Time Inc.”


Sharks/Penguins on NBC at 8p.



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ON THIS DAY in 1991: The first WLAF World Bowl sees the London Monarchs beat the Barcelona Dragons 21-0.

In The Know: Mintonette is now known as what sport? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: The Denver Nuggets were previously known by what team name? Answer: The Rockets. Kudos: Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Denis Barry-CBS/NY; Lewis Blaustein-GreenSportsBlogger/NY; Mike May-PHIT America/Wellington; Elizabeth Bergren-Turner Broadcasting/Detroit; Wayne "World B." Otto-Pro-Am Sports/Boone; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner and Triathlete magazine/Houston; David Hauptman/Denver; Scott Sarra-NBC Sports Group/Denver; Rich Greene-Casa Del Entertainment/LA; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions/Santa Monica; Joey Olson/Manhattan Beach; Alan Perris/Beverly Hills.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

Roberta Caploe: Publisher @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

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JOB OPENING: UNIT PUBLICIST/National Geographic Channel EXPLORER/NYC: Resp for driving communication & publicity efforts the franchise & associated talent. Min 10 yrs exp in TV publicity & public/media relations w/solid social media exp. Knwldg of current events a +. To apply send resumes to [email protected] (6/11)

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