06/10/16: Vitale’s streak grows; Heineken details plans for F1; NBC Sports Live Extra gets a rebrand


Good morning. It’s Friday June 10, 2016, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

ESPN extended Dick Vitale’s contract through the 2018-19 season, adding an additional year to his nearly 40-year run. Vitale will continue to be assigned to some of the network’s key games, including regular-season action primarily on ESPN and ESPN2, Champ Week coverage and the Men’s Final Four for ESPN International.

“Dick’s energy and love for basketball and life continue to be at the heart of his incredibly well-earned success,” said John Wildhack, ESPN Executive Vice President, Production and Programming. “Fans truly appreciate Dick’s engaging and entertaining style, and his continued work to fight cancer on behalf of The V Foundation is remarkable.”


ABC’s coverage of the 2016 NBA Finals still ranks as the second-most watched ever on the network through three games averaging 17,702,000 viewers. Wednesday night’s Game 3 blowout ranked as the second-most watched NBA Finals Game 3 ever on the channel, with an average of 16,465,000 viewers. 

Univision Deportes is seeing its coverage of the Copa America Centenario tournament swelling 7% among total viewers with a spike of 11% among Adults 18-49 over 2014 World Cup Group Stage, per Nielsen. Through 10 matches, Copa America Centenario is averaging 2.7 million Total Viewers 2+ and 1.5 million Adults 18-49 per match. Tuesday’s US win over Costa Rica on UniMas averaged 2.5 million viewers and 1.3 million Adults 18-49, while the Colombia/Paraguay matchup averaged 2.8 million with 1.6 million Adults 18-49.

Finally, ESPN serves up a minimum of nine-and-a-half hours of live presence and coverage of today’s day of remembrance for Muhammad Ali, with SportsCenter offering “the best viewing option” for those hoping to see the planned 19-mile procession and the ensuing memorial service. Coverage starts at 7a in Louisville with Hannah Storm and Jeremy Schaap outside the KFC Yum! Center, where the memorial service will be held.

Germany’s Bundesliga sold its international and domestic broadcasting rights for a record of at least 1.4 billion euros per season starting with the 2017-18 campaign. The announcement made in a press conference yesterday, who announced that Friday night matches  equating 43 Bundesliga matches per season – will be shown on Eurosport under the new deal, while Sky Germany will remain the leading broadcaster for the league with 572 live matches to be aired each season. Other rights, including China’s market, are still pending. The new deal marks a rise of 85% in national media revenues over the previous contract.

Speaking of soccer, Landon Donovan is set to join FOX Sports as a studio and game analyst for the network’s continuing coverage of the Copa America. He will contribute to FOX Sports’ pregame and postgame studio coverage and also serves as a game analyst for multiple matches. Donovan makes his first studio appearance on Saturday, ahead of the US/Paraguay showdown with coverage starting at 6p on FS1.

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HBO Sports serves up a special edition of The Fight Game with Jim Lampley on June 14 at 11:15p, exploring the achievements and legend of Muhammad Ali. The guest list for the special will be headlined by Hollywood icon Jack Nicholson.

The LA Rams have another new home, announcing a deal with KCBS to make the local channel the Official Preseason Television Home of the Rams. The station will offer three preseason games this summer, and will include a weekly half-hour show with Rams head coach Jeff Fisher and CBS 2 Sports Director Jim Hill.


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Heineken made its new partnership with Formula One official, with the sponsorship launching in September with title sponsorship of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza and runs for multiple year. Starting in 2017, the brand will be the F1 Event Title Partner of three Formula 1 Grands Prix and have a significant presence at several additional F1 Events while serving as the exclusive Global Beer Partner with substantial pouring, activation and access rights across the majority of F1 Events.

Shell Oil Company informed the PGA TOUR that it will not renew its title sponsorship of the Shell Houston Open beyond 2017, according to Golf Channel. Shell has sponsored the event since 1992.

American Express hits the 116th US Open Championship with a slate of interactive experiences focused on “the mental game of golf,” partnering with the USGA. The brand’s involvement includes the return of the American Express Championship Experience, offering card members the opportunity to “play” three signature Oakmont holes at the TrackMan Swing Zone, complimentary American Express radios for card members, a mind fame photo-op and more.

DFB-Wirtschaftsdienste GmbH, a fully owned subsidiary of the German soccer federation DFB, appointed One Entertainment to serve as its licensing agent for the German national soccer team in the US, Mexico and Canada. One Entertainment will develop a licensing program in key product categories across North America with the first slate of products hitting retail this Christmas.


NBC Sports Live Extra is getting a rebrand and will become known as the NBC Sports app. In 2016, the NBC Sports app, along with NBCSports.com and NBCOlympics.com, will live stream more than 10,000 events, including 4,500 hours of coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympics. In addition, the company is also re-branding its premium cycling app from NBC Sports Tour de France Live to NBC Sports Gold. “As digital consumption of live sports events continues to grow, NBC Sports Gold complements our linear and TV Everywhere offerings by making additional NBC Sports coverage available to cycling fans,” said Rick Cordella, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Digital Media, NBC Sports Group.

Digital sports media company Sports Perfecta announced the launch of Daily Fantasy Jockey, dedicated to horse racing. The newest addition to its roster of fantasy games sees a focus on the jockeys, with fans able to draft six from a list of the top 50 money ranking jockeys. The game is now available at www.fanxt.com/dailyfantasy/jockey and will soon be available as an iOS and Android app.

ESPN and KICK are launching an original 9-episode series tomorrow designed to engage a North American audience in the European Championship. Running on ESPN FC and Facebook, hosts will travel through 10 European cities over 35 days highlighting fandom and exploring the cultural impact.


The Russian government recognized eSports as a sport, with benefits of the acknowledgment kicking in on June 17. The move now allows for the country’s gaming community to seek sponsorship from the Sports Ministry and receive official recognition for their achievements.

Meanwhile, Manchester United Football Club is reportedly joining the ranks of clubs diving into eSports. The English Premier League team is in talks to pick up a professional European Overwatch team, according to eSports News UK. Meanwhile, heavyweight eSports brand Fnatic is also looking to sign the team.


Chris Stone was named Editorial Director for Sports Illustrated, Golf and SI Kids where he will oversee all editorial content and operations on a cross-platform basis for the three brands. “It is exciting to have Chris take the reins of Time Inc.’s sports brands at this time,” said Rich Battista, President, Time Inc. Entertainment & Sports Group and Video. “He brings great vision to the nexus of content and the digital, social, video and experiential ecosystem. He offers a fresh perspective, and the ambition to experiment and innovate at a time when we aretransforming these iconic brands into true multimedia, multi-platform businesses."


Warriors/Cavaliers on ABC tonight at 9p.


Winning at Producing & Selling Sponsored Content

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Find out on June 15 [REGISTER NOW]

ON THIS DAY in 1944: Joe Nuxhall, at age 15, makes his debut with the Cincinnati Reds.

In The Know: In MLB history, only once has a father simultaneously managed his two sons as players. Who was he? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Mintonette is now known as what sport? Answer: Volleyball. Kudos: Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Mark Darnell-Golf Services/Augusta; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Deerfield Beach; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Joe Lyons-Back Nine Productions/Dallas; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner and Triathlete magazine/Houston; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Willie Price-American Forces Network/Riverside.

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: SOFTWARE ENGINEER/PopCap Games/Seattle WA: Seek to ensure strong quality coding practices, supporting the team with the development of tools and analysis of their code. Full info/apply HERE (6/16)

JOB OPENING: SENIOR ENGINE PROGRAMMING/Insomniac Games/Burbank CA: Design and develop new engine technology for current and future games based on prioritized list of what other departments require. Full info/apply HERE (6/16)

JOB OPENING: SR UI DESIGNER/SAMSUNG/NYC: Problem-solver with excellent visualization, collaboration, and communication skills. Full info/apply HERE (6/15)

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Full info/apply HERE (6/15)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, BRANDED ENTERTAINMENT/Zenith Optimedia Group/NYC: Newcast, seeks exp’d dir. to develop and execute non-traditional, cross-platform solutions for key accounts that create incremental revenue opportunities and deepen relationships with our clients. Full info/apply HERE (6/12)

JOB OPENING: SR DIRECTOR FP&A/Discovery/LA: Strong leader to work closely w/network leadership of Discovery Channel, Science and Animal Planet to guide nets towards achieving all financial targets/metrics. Provide budgetary oversight of all ntwk controllable budgets. 10-12 yrs exp, familiarity w/SAP & BPC preferred. Full info/apply HERE (6/12)

JOB OPENING: HEAD OF PRODUCTION/MEGALOMEDIA/AUSTIN TX: Lead over large slate of series at proco/reality. Mng budgets/teams/schedules, coordinate w/all staff. Strong network relationships a must. [email protected] (6/11)

JOB OPENING: DEVELOPMENT EDITOR/MEGALOMEDIA/AUSTIN TX OR NY: Lead editor w/proven track record for growing dev slate. Sizzle Character POC versatility across multiple genres a must. Resume and reels to: [email protected] (6/11)

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)

JOB OPENING: PUBLICITY ASST/HISTORY/NY: Provide admin support to VP, Publicity; support dept w/awards submissions, booking talent, press appearances, etc. Seeking smart, self-starter w/interest in the PR field. Apply: HERE (6/11)

JOB OPENING: ANALYST/NCC/NY: Strong kwldg of TV prgrmmng. Nielsen data exp. Above avg Excel skills (Pivots, VLookUps). Role will involve data procurement, analysis, modeling, & positioning key insights. Resume to [email protected] (6/11)

JOB OPENING: SR RESEARCH ANALYST/FOX/NYC: Candidate to support quantitative/qualitative rsch for the syndicator’s off-ntwrk & orig prgrmng & competition. In-depth knwldg of TV/Media landscape & impact on TV viewing. Exp w/MS tools. BA deg. Full info/apply HERE (6/11)

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SITUATION WANTED ADS, POSTED BY THOSE LOOKING TO BE HIRED… There is no charge for placing your Situation Wanted ad… for more information contact Trish Pihonak at trish@cynopsis.com

SITUATION WANTED: 23-year finance rainmaker looking to transition to digital media sales & biz dev with a global media and entertainment brand with multi-channel platforms and opportunities. 7 figure closer, deep relationships, capable operator. Need a foot in the door. Contact: [email protected] (6/16)

SITUATION WANTED: 8yrs. ENT exp. w/research, guild, talent, cultivating relationships. Seeks NY work as contracts admin/rights analyst, paralegal, legal/executive assistant/coordinator p:347-740-6971e: [email protected] (6/15)

E-mail [email protected] or call Trish Pihonak at 203-899-8459 for rates and specs for Job Openings.

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