06/15/18: FOX to broadcast Spain vs Portugal World Cup match on Times Square’s “Mega-Zilla” video board

Good morning. It’s Friday June 15, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

FOX Sports will simulcast Friday’s Portugal vs. Spain World Cup match in one of the world’s most highly-trafficked locations — New York’s Times Square. The game, scheduled to air at 2 PM on the FOX broadcast network, will be shown using the feed from local FOX 5 NY on Silvercast’s 78 by 330-foot HD screen known as “Mega-Zilla,” located between 45th and 46th Street on Broadway. FOX Sports’ lead play-by-play announcer John Strong and lead game analyst Stu Holden make their 2018 World Cup debut calling the match.


NBA TV will present live coverage of NBA Draft 2018 on Thursday, June 21, at 7 p.m., with pick-by-pick player evaluations throughout both rounds, roster analysis, and offseason forecasts for all 30 teams, as well as post-selection interviews, from Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The network will air commercial-free coverage of the top 14 picks. Commentators will include David GriffinSteve SmithSeth Davis and Bleacher Report “capologist” Eric Pincus, along with drop-ins from NBA personalities throughout the telecast. Casey Stern will host, with Jared Greenberg reporting, and The Starters’ Trey Kerby serving as a social media correspondent. Ros Gold-Onwude will report from Phoenix, where the Suns hold the top pick, while Kristen Ledlow will be in Atlanta covering the Hawks. 

In more World Cup news, FOX Sports and SiriusXM are making all 64 matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup available on FOX Sports’ SiriusXM channel (channel 83). Games will air on FOX Sports on SiriusXM on satellite radios and the SiriusXM app. In addition, select matches can be heard on channel 157. Listeners will hear FOX’s broadcast team of John Strong and Stu Holden, as well as Tony Meola, Cobi Jones, Aly Wagner, Mariano Trujillo, Warren Barton, Glenn Davis, JP Dellacamera, Derek Rae, Jorge Perez Navarro, and Mark Followill during game broadcasts.       

NBCSN will air a new 30-minute show, the Dale Jr. Download, on Thursday, June 21 at 5:30 p.m. The show will take viewers couch-side for the taping of a weekly podcast with Dale Earnhardt Jr., NBC’s NASCAR Cup Series analyst. Dale Jr. Download will air each Thursday at 5:30 p.m. ET, following NASCAR America. Earnhardt co-hosts the show, which is produced on-site at Dirty Mo Media Studios in Mooresville, N.C., with Mike Davis.
NBC Sports will provide live coverage of the Royal Meeting in Ascot, Berkshire, England, one of the world’s most prestigious horseracing meets. The network’s coverage will include the first-ever NBC broadcast of the race on Saturday, June 23, at 9 a.m. ET. Live coverage of the event begins Tuesday, June 19, at 8:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN, with daily telecasts of the full five-day Royal meeting on NBCSN through Friday, June 22. The event features 30 races, including eight at the world championship “Group One” level. NBC News’ Dylan Dreyer makes her Royal Ascot debut on Friday and Saturday, alongside Nick Luck, who will host coverage for all five days. On Friday morning, June 22, Dreyer will report live from Berkshire on TODAY.
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Hyundai and Italian soccer club Atletico Madrid signed a new partnership in which the South Korean car manufacturer will sponsor the La Liga club, replacing Alfa Romeo as the team’s automotive partner. For the deal’s duration, which will run until 2021, the company will provide cars for the club, while their logo will be placed on the team’s shirt sleeves. The agreement comes two days after Hyundai signed a similar partnership with English Premier League club Chelsea.
Comcast and Activision partnered to provide gamers with a chance to play the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Multiplayer before its official release on October 12. As of yesterday and continuing through the end of August, gamers can enter an online sweepstakes for a chance to play Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Multiplayer at select Xfinity stores in Washington D.C., Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, Seattle, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Atlanta. As part of the promotion, Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward, an avid gamer, will join players at a new Xfinity location in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to play alongside the city’s sweepstakes winners. Hayward will also partner with Xfinity on other gaming and Esports initiatives throughout the year.
The Players’ Tribune and SELF are partnering to create a series of original content focused on women across a wide range of sports. Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, who was the first Muslim-American to wear a hijab while competing in the Olympics, will serve as executive producer of the multi-episode video series. Content will include video and personal essays celebrating the triumphs and struggles of women in sports. Titled The Playing Field, the program will premiere this fall on SELF’s and The Player’s Tribune’s channels.

The New York Jets will debut their first all-access Facebook Watch Series on Tuesday, June 19.  One Jets Drive: The Road to Training Camp is a six-episode series offering an inside look at the seven months between the end of the 2017 season and the beginning of the team’s 2018 Training Camp. Airing every Tuesday through July 24, the series can be viewed at facebook.com/onejetsdrive. In addition, segments will be featured on newyorkjets.com, the team’s YouTube page and on Twitter. 
Oculus is streaming a handful of FIFA World Cup matches in virtual reality (VR) for free. Starting with Sunday’s face-off between Mexico and Germany, Facebook-owned Oculus will stream four games via its social co-viewing app Oculus Venues. Other matches to be streamed via Venues include Portugal vs. Morocco on June 20, Brazil vs. Costa Rica on June 22 and England vs. Panama on June 24. Games can be viewed via the Venues app on Oculus Go and Gear VR.


The NBA 2K League, which began its inaugural season on May 1, has set a deadline of June 29 for NBA teams looking to participate in the league’s 2019 season. There are 30 teams overall and currently, 17 are participating, Esports Insider reported. The league’s first 17 teams have paid $750,000 and committed to a three-year participation. No further details on whether the buy-in will be larger going into the second season, according to the report.

GAMURS says it has raised $2.2M in funding from angel investors and Allium Capital. The Esports media network plans to utilize the new influx of capital to target a series of initiatives, including the expansion of Dot Esports, the website it operates for coverage of competitive gaming.

World Cup: Spain/Portugal – on FOX at 2p
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On This Day in 1938: Reds beat Dodgers 6-0 in the first night game at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field. Cincinnati’s Johnny Vander Meer throws second consecutive no-hitter for the win.

In the Know: The last time the U.S. Open was held at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in New York, Retief Goosen won over Phil Mickelson by two strokes. How many times has Mickelson finished as the runner-up at the U.S. Open, the only one of golf’s four major tournaments he hasn’t won? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies hit his second grand slam of the season in Tuesday’s 8-2 win over the Mets. Since 2012, only one other Atlanta player has hit two grand slams in a season. Name the other player. Answer: Brian McCann. Kudos: Andrew Feingold-Fox News/NY; Troy Perlowitz-ESPN/Bristol; John Koon-Vidalia Communications/Vidalia; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/Los Angeles; David Westberg-SAG AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank
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