06/23/17: Amazon prices Prime time; NHL lays out regular season; NBC takes aim with World Archery

Good morning. It’s Friday June 23, 2017 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

With a Thursday Night Football in its arsenal, Amazon is looking to charge advertisers $2.8 million for ad packages that include 30-second spots during the games it will stream to its Prime customers, according to Reuters. Amazon takes over from Twitter, which carried the package last season and is able to sell 10 30-second spots as part of its deal. “We are offering a range of options at various price points, depending on advertiser objectives,” Amazon representative Kristin Mariani told Reuters in an email, declining to discuss specific ad prices.

The NHL laid out its full 2017-18 regular season schedule with play set to begin on Oct. 4 with a four-game slate that will include the Penguins raising their fifth Stanley Cup championship banner before facing the Blues at PPG Paints Arena, while other games include the Maple Leafs/Jets, Flames/Oilers and Flyers/Sharks The 1,271-game regular-season schedule – 82 games per team – will conclude Saturday, April 7, 2018. Meanwhile, the NHL’s 31st franchise, the Vegas Golden Knights, will play its first regular-season game on Oct. 6 against the Stars at American Airlines Center. Other highlights include the Avalanche/Senators facing off in Stockholm, Sweden on Nov. 10-11, the 2017 Scotiabank NHL100 Classic on Dec. 16 with the Senators/Canadiens, the 2018 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Year’s Day between the Sabres/Rangers and the Maple Leafs/Capitals on March 3 for the 2018 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series.
World Archery and NBC Sports Group partnered up for a four-year media rights agreement that hands the network exclusive rights to televise and stream the federation’s international archery events to audiences in the US. The agreement runs through 2020, covering four Hyundai Archery World Cup seasons, and World Archery Championships in Mexico City in 2017 and the Netherlands in 2019. NBCSN will feature coverage of the Archery World Cup from Salt Lake City on Monday at 7p. In addition, NBC will work with World Archery to promote the sport through its far-reaching linear and digital properties across the United States.
ESPN reports that – through the June 18 edition of its Sunday Night Baseball franchise – the total live audience (television plus streaming) for the franchise is up 13% compared to the same period last year. Sunday Night Baseball is averaging a total live audience of 1,956,000 viewers, up from 1,737,000 viewers in 2016, according to Nielsen.
Meanwhile, Telemundo Deportes reports that its multi-platform coverage of the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 reached 7.1 million total viewers through Wednesday, according to Nielsen. Coverage is averaging 1.1 million total viewers and 553,000 adults 18-49, with Mexico’s comeback against New Zealand on Wednesday averaging 1.7 million total viewers and 818,000 adults 18-49.
Turner and the NBA announced a lineup of celebrities appearing at the first-ever NBA Awards on TNT on Monday at 9p. Presenters will include Chadwick Boseman, Nick Cannon, Vince Carter, Kevin Garnett, Bryshere Y. Gray, Grant Hill, Monica, Dirk Nowitzki, Candace Parker, Paul Pierce, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Jussie Smollett, John Wall and Jesse Williams. Additional celebrities attending the show include: Baron Davis, Hill Harper, Reggie Miller, Von Miller, Isiah Thomas, Chris Tucker and Donnie Wahlberg. Model Damaris Lewis will serve as the trophy presenter for this year’s event.
Saturday sees NBC Sports present Nitro World Games, for its second year and showcasing the world’s best athletes in the sports of FMX, BMX, Skate and Scooter at 8p. Todd Richards will return to Salt Lake City to host the broadcast and will be joined by Tony Hawk, TJ Lavin and Travis Pastrana.
Outdoor Channel announced that it had picked up National Geographic Channel’s Wicked Tuna and will serve as the new syndicated cable home of the original series.  The deal was locked in via Twentieth Television with plans to air the first seven seasons – including 95 episodes – of the show.
FOX Sports is adopting Ray Lewis as part of its family, where he will serve as NFL contributor to several key studio shows across FS1 and FOX Sports’ digital platforms in 2017. He will appear regularly on FS1 daily studio shows including Skip and Shannon: Undisputed; The Herd with Colin Cowherd, Speak for Yourself, and more.
Olympic gold medalist and MLB Youth Softball Ambassador Jennie Finch will be featured on MLB Network’s Play Ball on Saturday at 10a. The episode will mark he first edition of the show to focus specifically on softball.
Sony Pictures Networks India and WWE announced the launch of a new weekly show in Hindi, WWE Sunday Dhamaal starting Sunday on Sony MAX. The series will be presented by Salil Acharya and Madonna Tixeira and include exclusive features giving Indian fans a unique, localized WWE experience beyond Raw and SmackDown each week.
Good News – There is still time!
Didn’t have enough time to enter Cynopsis Rising Star Awards? You’re in luck!  The submission deadline has been extended through Wednesday, June 28  at 11:59pm. This is a great opportunity to salute the accomplishments of media’s up-and-comers and celebrate their enormous potential. Finalists will be honored at the annual awards reception on  September 15 in NYC  
you now have  6 DAYS left  to complete your nominations and join in on the fun!

The NHL is teaming with USA Hockey and the United States Hockey League to unveil a long-term agreement designed to provide financial support and other resources in furthering development of players, coaches and officials participating in the nation’s top level of junior hockey. The agreement establishes cooperation in the following areas: both on-ice and off-ice player development, coaching, officiating, playing rule development, and cross-promotion, in addition to marketing, communications and community engagement.
Guinness Blonde American lager is set to take on Tough Mudder as the “Official Beer Partner” for the Tough Mudder 2017 event season in the US. Guinness Blonde American lager will be available beginning at the Tough Mudder New England event, presented by Merrell, on June 24 and 25.
IMG College Licensing reached an agreement with Saint Mary’s College of California to manage its domestic trademark licensing program through July 2027. “We are excited to partner with a well-respected institution like Saint Mary’s that is committed to growing its brand through licensed product,” said Brian White, VP Regional Brand Marketing of IMG College Licensing. “We look forward to working closely with Saint Mary’s to leverage the rapidly growing exposure of the Gaels unique brand to increase availability and sales of licensed product.”

Electronic Arts unveiled the first look at EA SPORTS NHL 18 to hockey fans at the 2017 NHL Awards and NHL Expansion Draft on Wednesday, revealing that Oilers center and Art Ross Trophy winner Connor McDavid will serve as the athlete on the game’s cover. “Representing NHL 18 as the cover athlete is an incredible honor,” said Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers®. “I’ve played EA SPORTS NHL every year since I was kid. To appear on the cover, something that has been done previously by so many players that I respect and admire, is very exciting. I can’t wait to play NHL 18.”
Twitter and Sela Sport announced that they will partner to live stream matches during the 2017 Arab Championship to a global audience. This marks the first live streaming deal for football on Twitter with a partner in the Middle East and North Africa region. The matches streamed by Sela Sport on Twitter will be broadcasted in Arabic and also include analysis, highlights, interviews with players and behind the scenes coverage.
Linacre Media and ULTRACAST are teaming up to stream this Friday’s Fightnight Live Rosemont Rumble in HD on Facebook as well as in Facebook 360˚ and in ULTRACAST 360˚ Virtual Reality. Fans can experience ULTRACAST 360˚ VR by downloading the ULTRACAST app and subscribing to the PPV feed for $2.00.

Intel and ESL announced that the Intel Extreme Masters circuit will return to Oracle Arena for the second year in a row on Nov. 18-19 as serve as the fourth stop on the Intel Grand Slam tour. The line-up of the top eight CS:GO teams invited to compete at IEM Oakland includes FaZe Clan and Astralis. Four additional teams will qualify through a series of online and offline qualifiers that are open to European and North American teams.

Speaking of Astralis, the team announced a partnership with Turtle Beach that will see its CS:GO squad use the brand’s Elite Pro headset as their official gaming headset. In addition, the team will be involved in the future development of a new line of PC gaming headsets.
Red Bull Media House is reportedly ending its sponsor ties with Cloud9 and Team SoloMid due to a conflict of interest with Riot Games regulations, according to from ESPN. Riots’ sale of sponsorship rule states that a company cannot own and operate a League of Legends team and sponsor another at the same time, with Red Bull GmbH owning and operating the European Challenger Series squad Red Bulls.

The 2017 NHL Draft on NBCSN at 7p.

Entries are NOW Open!
The 5th Annual Cynopsis Digital Model D & It List Awards:
Honoring the best in online video, content, advertising, talent, and digital media’s movers and shakers.

ON THIS DAY in 1894: The IOC is founded.
In the Know: In which city were the first modern Olympics held under the IOC? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Which team selected Eric Lindros with the first overall pick in the 1991 NHL Draft? Answer: Quebec Nordiques. Kudos: Keith Marder-Halstead Property/NY; Howard Shimmel-Turner/NY; Nate Finkel-NBC Sports/NY; Holli Sarner-Home Team Sports/NY; Lou D’Ermilio-LOUD Communications/Old Bridge; Jim Snider-jVISION/Toronto; Bram A. Maravent/Boynton Beach; Alexis Fazio-Suddenlink Media/Altice USA/Parkersburg; Joe Lyons-SOS Global/Dallas; Matt Fumagalli-Levy Restaurants/Chicago; Ron Salcedo-Zimmerman/Nashville; Lance Davi-Good Karma Brands/ESPN/Milwaukee; David Hauptman/Denver; Matt Sautter-Imagine Communications/Denver; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions/Santa Monica; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank

Later — Chris

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JOB OPENING: SR DIRECTOR MARKETING /NBCU/NYC: Lead strategic development & mgmt. of division wide initiatives & tent pole events. Full info/apply HERE (6/30)

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