07/15/20: FOX Sports is tapping Google Cloud for its services

 

Medias First Morning Read
Wednesday July 15, 2020

FOX Sports is tapping the services of Google Cloud to automate its logging, discovering and storing video assets. The system will utilize Google Cloud’s video search and advanced machine learning capabilities “to help the network unlock the full value of its vast sports content archive in a more effective way.” “We’re excited to team with Google on this project that will allow FOX Sports to take the next step toward the most state-of-the-art workflow for accessing all of our media,” said Brad Zager, Executive Producer, EVP/Head of Production & Operations at FOX Sports, who oversees all live event production, pre- and post-game shows, operations and creative services. “It’s been amazing to see all the different tools that Google Cloud will provide our network to transform the way we work, while also helping to make the way we create content so much easier for our production teams.”

PROGRAMMING

FOX Sports cemented its full slate of matchups on FS1 and FOX Deportes for the shortened MLB season, with play starting July 25 pitting the Diamondbacks/Padres at 9p. The network delivers more weeknight games than ever before as part of the slate with the programming lineup comes on the heels of the unveiling of the 22-game broadcast schedule, highlighted by the MLB at Field of Dreams event.

CBS Sports and Superstar Racing Experience, a new sports property created by The Montag Group, NASCAR Hall of Famers Ray Evernham and Tony Stewart, and investor George Pyne, entered into a multi-year partnership to produce a six-race, short-track series that will run on Saturday nights in primetime on CBS and CBS All Access in the summer of 2021. The series features short, sprint races with a total emphasis on head-to-head competition among elite drivers from diverse racing backgrounds. Each race will include a variety of drivers, courses, and elements of reality to bring fans new and exciting stories every week across every screen.

Saturday, July 25 sees the WNBA tip off with back-to-back days of national triple-header telecasts across ABC, ESPN, and CBS Sports Network with an opening weekend dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement. During the opening weekend, all 12 teams will be in action, and all aspects of the game and player outfitting will be designed to affirm Black Lives Matter and honor victims of police brutality and racial violence. WNBA Tip-Off 2020 presented by AT&T gets underway with the Seattle Storm meeting the New York Liberty at noon on ESPN. ESPN networks will present 24 regular-season telecasts during the first half of the season. CBS Sports will air 40 regular-season telecasts, including one on CBS Television Network and 39 on CBS Sports Network.

WAVE.tv entered into a strategic partnership with IMG in a deal that will see WAVE.tv’s portfolio of digital media brands distribute content from IMG owned and represented sports properties including Euroleague Basketball, Edge Sport and World’s Strongest Man, across Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and YouTube. In addition to distributing IMG sports content, WAVE.tv will take ownership of direct and programmatic sales related to the deal.

On the ratings front, Univision reports that its coverage of the first-ever Copa por México tournament is off to a strong start, led by a July 4 matchup between UNAM/Cruz Azul that saw 526,000 total viewers during the telecast and a July 11 battle between America/Cruz Azul that scored 726,000 Total Viewers during the telecast.

Turner Sports announced plans to debut The Arena presented by Tractor Supply on July 20 at 8p on TNT, offering a “storytelling franchise created to provide a thought-provoking forum for content on topics occurring on and off the court of play.” The cinematic features will examine the COVID-19 pandemic, Black Lives Matter, systemic racial injustices and the changing landscape of society since the NBA postponed play through the point of view of players, NBA teams, their fans and communities.

Collegiate fall sports saw the Patriot League become the latest conference to pull the plug on play as a result of the pandemic. “The league recognizes that any degree of non-competition this fall is deeply disappointing to our student-athletes, coaches, and fans. However, the health and safety of our campuses and communities must be our highest priority,” league officials said in a statement. That said the Army/Navy game will be allowed to continue and will be allowed to “continue to engage in competitive opportunities as considered appropriate by their respective superintendents.”

PBR released a revised schedule for resuming the 2020 Unleash The Beast season, with events in Bismarck, Salt Lake City, Ft. Worth and Des Moines and is introducing fan protocols for “safe and responsible ticketed events.” PBR will sell only up to 50 percent of arena seating capacity for the year’s 12 remaining Unleash the Beast events. Other fan separation and hygiene protocols will be put into place in line in accordance with arena policies and local guidance.

Cynopsis Sports Awards Breakfast
June 12, NYAC-NYC | Sponsored by: Twitch
Join your peers as we raise a glass to a year marked with intense competition, historic telecasts and exciting new ways to cover/view the games. Finalists will be announced next week (stay tuned), but we are excited to announced a few of our luminary honorees:
BRAND OF THE YEAR AWARD: Doritos
NAVIGATOR AWARD: Mark Silverman Fox Sports
SENTINAL AWARD: Titus O’Neil – WWE
HALL OF FAME: Andrea Joyce – NBCUniversal

SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

The Washington Redskins are no more. After multiple calls to change the team name, the NFL franchise announced that it would be retiring the Redskins moniker and logo, noting that “Dan Snyder and Coach Rivera are working closely to develop a new name and design approach that will enhance the standing of our proud, tradition rich franchise and inspire our sponsors, fans and community for the next 100 years.” A new name would be revealed in coming weeks.

On the activation front, SPORTFIVE and the PGA TOUR are tapping Michelob Ultra as a partner to launch a new digital content series focusing on golfers Keith Mitchell, J.T. Poston, Patton Kizzire, and Harris English, titled called The Sea Island Boys Presented by Michelob Ultra”. The six episode series serves as “an intimate and informal look into the comradery and community of these professional golfers, what their lives are like off the course, and the irreverent fun they have together, a side of these players that is not often seen in the formal, buttoned-up sport of golf” and live on Michelob Ultra’s Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and the PGA TOUR’s Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and YouTube channel.

To celebrate Busch Light’s first-ever flavor innovation, Busch Light Apple, Kevin Harvick will be running the first bright-red paint scheme for the product on the no. 4 car at the All-Star race in Charlotte today. Variants will then make appearances at the Kansas 400 at Kansas Motor Speedway on July 23 and at Michigan Motor Speedway August 8 and 9.

NASCAR and Mechanix Wear, a high-performance glove brand, announced a multiyear extension continuing the brand’s designation as a NASCAR Official Partner. “Sustaining our partnership with NASCAR provides the opportunity to reach consumer and commercial automotive, home improvement and outdoor customers while supplying NASCAR teams the best in hand protection,” said Michael Hale, CEO, Mechanix Wear.

DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

ESPN Podcasts reports 42.7 million downloads in June, the eighth month in the last nine with a total of 40 million or more and a 31% uptick over June 2019. Original podcast content enjoyed a 65% increase in downloads year-over-year, with 17.1 million. Among ESPN’s strongest performers were Jalen & Jacoby, The Lowe Post (NBA) and Bomani Jones’ The Right Time.

ESPORTS

The Call of Duty League locked in its official dates for the Call of Duty League Championship with the full double-elimination tournament set to launch on Aug. 19 at 3p. The weekend of Aug. 29-30, will see the final four teams square off for the crown. In addition, the league announced a Call of Duty League Challengers Last-Chance Qualifier that will take place Aug. 1-2, with a dedicated broadcast for the finals on Aug. 15-16. Online competitions will be held in North America, Asia-Pacific, and Europe for a $500,000 prize pool.

Superweek paid off for the LEC, returning for the first time since the 2014 Summer Split as Week 1 kicked off with 13,454,941 total hours watched across the three days, along with the league’s highest ever peak viewership for Europe, hitting 479,784, according to Riot. Overall, this Summer the Average Minute Audience swelled 81% compared to Summer 2019.

Meanwhile, Getty Images and Riot Games entered into a multi-year agreement that designates Getty Images as the official photo image and distribution partner for League of Legends Global Esports Events: The World Championship, Mid-Season Invitational, and All-Star Event. Getty Images will manage editorial photo and licensing requests for League of Legends Global Esports events through at least 2024. In addition to coverage of future global events, thousands of images from the past decade of League of Legends global esports tournaments, such as the first World Championship (Worlds) in 2011, the sold-out Madison Square Garden from Worlds 2016, and the packed Beijing National Stadium from Worlds 2017, also will be made available for license as part of the League of Legends Global Esports Collection.

DreamHack and Psyonix signed an agreement for DreamHack to be the production partner for Rocket League Championship Series X (RLCS). The RLCS revs up this month and continues through spring 2021. As part of the partnership, DreamHack will produce the entirety of the series. Broadcasts for RLCS X start on August 1.

VaynerSports co-founders Gary and AJ Vaynerchuk announced the launch of VaynerGaming, a new division dedicated to esports athletes and gaming personalities. Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf signed on as VaynerGaming’s first client. The team has also brokered a long-term, exclusive streaming partnership with Twitch and renegotiated Bugha’s existing team deal with the Sentinels. Darren Glover will serve as the division lead and work closely alongside Neligan and VaynerSports co-CEO AJ Vaynerchuk.

LCS and Overwolf teamed up to bring the 2020 Alienware Games to gamers in the United States and Canada, the event will feature several pros, athletes, and celebrities competing. Starting July 17 and running through Sept. 11th, participants will have the opportunity to rise in rank on the 2020 Alienware Games leaderboard by scoring points across multiple games. Last year’s challenge saw over 344K hours plays and 72 million total impressions across platforms with special streams that include Gordon Hayward of the Boston Celtics and Mike Evans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Additionally, actor Jerry Ferrara and Grammy-award nominated record producer Steve Aoki.

ESL named GG.Bet as an official global betting partner for select Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 tournaments. The partnership will cover all ESL One and Intel Extreme Masters tournaments through the rest of the year, in addition to the ESL Pro League Seasons 11 and 12.

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Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
How many cross stitches are there on a regulation NFL football? Answer: Eight. Kudos: Denis Barry-CBS/NY; Michael Ritz-Lenox Advisors/NY; Lexi Betcher-Home Team Sports/Chicago; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; Willie Price-American Forces Network/Riverside

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1+ yrs. Schedule all promo elements under guidance. Perform data entry. Create tags and tune-in info. Execute log changes due to inventory changes. Coordination and revision of promo schedules. Attention to detail. Coordinate w/Ad Sales and Marketing on initiatives. Full info HERE

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VENN/LA:
New 24/7 streaming network aimed at gaming and pop culture audiences is seeking a candidate to plan, schedule and analyze promos and graphics across linear platform. 5+ yrs in broadcast field, media scheduling and analytics perf’d. Full info HERE (7/24)

VP, TALENT ACQUISITION & CULTURE >>
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Leads all aspects of the recruitment function for the enterprise. Works in tandem with sr. mgmt to understand the company’s current and forecasted business priorities. 10+ yrs TA exp, pref within a media envir. Full info HERE (7/23)

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Ring2Media: Highly motivated & self-starter type candidate with guerilla mktg mentality & strong tech ability to fully mng/grow our outbound mktg efforts & dvlp new relationships. Strong comm skills are a must to fully understand our data-driven business model & communicate that to prospects. Full info/apply HERE (7/22)

CAMPAIGN OPERATIONS MGR >>
Ring2Media: Great opportunity for a passionate person to learn how TV advertising works from ground up. Having strong analytical skills, you will own the day-to-day operations of our insurance-focused TV ad campaigns airing nationally. Highly organized & able to multi-task in fast-paced environment a must. Full info HERE (7/22)

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ASSOCIATE PRODUCER >>
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Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for the production of live newscasts, news shows and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. BA Deg pref’d. Full info HERE (7/22)

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Identify, negotiate, and secure product placement and brand integration deals across The Weather Channel and Entertainment Studios live and long-form original programming. 7-10 years in Product Integration or Branded Content. Full info HERE (7/22)

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BRAND INTEGRATION SALES EXEC >>
Weather Channel: Identify, negotiate, and secure product placement and brand integration deals across The Weather Channel and Entertainment Studios live and long-form original programming. 7-10 years in Product Integration or Branded Content. Full info HERE (7/21)

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER PRIMETIME >>
Newsmax Media/NYC: Responsible for working with show hosts, preparing the rundown of new stories, identifying and integrating guests, overseeing and executing the prod of key video & graphic elements w/guidance from the EP. 3+ yrs EP exp or overseeing newscast production. Full info HERE (7/17)

Sr NEWS PRODUCER >>
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Ladders/NYC: Responsible for developing and executing new business opportunities. Sell digital inventory sponsorship to brands and advertisers (i.e. d aily newsletter, direct display, mobile and on-site). Min 10yrs exp; 5+yrs in a digital sales capacity. Full info HERE (7/17)

EXEC DIRECTOR, SCHEDULING & ACQUISITION >>
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GSN/Santa Monica: 1+ yrs. Schedule all promo elements under guidance. Perform data entry. Create tags and tune-in info. Execute log changes due to inventory changes. Coordination and revision of promo schedules. Attention to detail. Coordinate w/Ad Sales and Marketing on initiatives. Full info HERE (7/16)

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