07/31/20: Nielsen measures quality attitude of sports fans

 

Medias First Morning Read
Friday July 31, 2020

Nielsen released findings from its first ever “Promoting Racial Equality in Sports” study, surveying U.S. sports fans’ attitudes on racism and finding that sports fans outpace the general population in terms of support for racial equality and related movements. Nearly 7 in 10 sports fans indicated support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Additionally, nearly 1 in 3 sports fans have personally contributed either time or money to Black Lives Matter. NBA, MLS and NFL fans exhibit the highest level of support for Black Lives Matter among the six leagues tracked. Other findings:
· 72% of sports fans believe athletes are an important influence on Black Lives Matter
· 59% expect athletes to help advance the Black Lives Matter cause
· 70% indicate teams and leagues should support athlete protests and initiatives on race
· 70% believe teams and leagues should develop marketing campaigns supporting diversity
· 64% expressed increased interest in brands engaged in the fight against racial inequality
· 77% believe brands are more powerful when they partner with sports organizations to drive social change

“While the problems of racial inequality and systemic injustice are difficult and sensitive, it is critical to tackle them,” said Lyndon Campbell, Senior Vice President, Head of Sports Leagues and Rights Holders at Nielsen Sports. “Brands and rights holders that authentically align with these critical issues as they engage sports fans can drive positive social change while also achieving business objectives. This is the definition of a win-win situation.”

PROGRAMMING

The SEC firmed up its football schedule changes as a result of pandemic concerns, as presidents and chancellors from the collegiate conference on Thursday approved a 10-game, conference-only football schedule for the fall that begins Sept. 26. The full schedule will be announced at a later date. The SEC title game is now scheduled for Dec. 19, two weeks later than planned, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

The ACC previously revealed that the league would use an 11-game schedule for the upcoming season, with Notre Dame playing a full schedule within the league. Games would include 10 conference games as well as one nonconference game

CBS Sports cemented programming plans for the PGA Championship, running live from TPC Harding Park in San Francisco on on the network in primetime on Saturday from 4-110p ad Sunday from 3-9p. CBS and ESPN will partner to provide live, full-field, wire-to-wire coverage for the first time ever during the PGA Championship. CBS Sports, working closely with ESPN, will lead the production efforts with the health and safety of all involved paramount. Among the production elements, CBS will feature multiple state-of-the-art drones as a live camera source, Fly Cams that stretch nearly 700 feet, 4D Replay on the 14th hole, Toptracer broadcast technology on and more. Jim Nantz, CBS Sports golf anchor, will host the network’s coverage from the 18th tower, joined by lead analyst Sir Nick Faldo. Ian Baker-Finch will call the action from the 17th hole and Frank Nobilo at the 16th hole; with Dottie Pepper, Mark Immelman and Trevor Immelman serving as on-course reporters. Amanda Balionis will handle interviews.

ESPN and ESPN+, meanwhile, offer PGA Championship coverage from Aug. 6-9 with first tee shot to last putt coverage across all four days, totaling 134 hours of live play covered across its platforms during the four days of the championship. On Thursday and Friday, 12 hours of live play will run each day from the first and second rounds of the championship. ESPN+ will open the coverage with the first tee shot both days at 10a while ESPN will pick up the coverage heading into East Coast prime time, from 4-10 p.m. both days. On Saturday, traditional coverage will stream live on ESPN+ from 11a-1p with ESPN continuing the coverage from 1-4p. On Sunday, ESPN+ will stream traditional coverage of final round action from 10a-noon, followed by three hours on ESPN from noon-3p. Scott Van Pelt will anchor ESPN’s coverage,

FOX Sports added Super Bowl champion and three-time Pro Bowler Jonathan Vilma to its crew as an NFL game analyst. Vilma makes his NFL analyst debut Sundays on FOX this fall. Prior to FOX Sports, the three-time Pro Bowler spent four years at ABC and ESPN, serving as a studio analyst for ABC’s college pregame, halftime and postgame shows in 2018 and 2019, and as an ESPN college football analyst beginning in 2016.

The Los Angeles Dodgers 5-2 win over Houston in FS1’s Tuesday night MLB matchup that scored 612,000 viewers, up 68% from last August’s MLB average on the network (364,000) and the most-watched MLB game on FS1 since 8/24/19 (734,000 for NY Yankees-LA Dodgers). The game helped push FS1 to #1 among cable sports networks in primetime — E

BT Sport partnered with Insight TV to co-produce Ultimate Goal, a six-part reality competition format. Premiering on BT Sport in the UK and on Insight TV worldwide in late 2020, Ultimate Goal will capture the journey as 28 women compete for the chance to take part in a one-off match in front of scouts from women’s teams around the world. Eniola Aluko, the former Chelsea, Juventus and Lionesses player, will host the show.

With the NHL season returning this weekend, NHL Network will feature seven 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers matchups across four days, beginning with the Columbus Blue Jackets at Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday at 8p. In addition to its live game schedule, hosts Jamison Coyle, Lauren Gardner, Jamie Hersch, Tony Luftman, Stephen Nelson and Adnan Virk will be joined by analysts Ken Daneyko, Scott Hartnell, E.J. Hradek, Billy Jaffe, Mike Johnson, Brian Lawton, Dave Reid, Mike Rupp and Kevin Weekes on “NHL Tonight” airing throughout the entire 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

FOX Sports and FOX Deportes welcome back Premier Boxing Champions on Aug. 8 with four hours of live coverage across the FOX Sports family of networks from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. FOX PBC Fight Night: Jamal James vs. Thomas Dulorme rings the bell to begin action on FOX at 8p. “FOX Sports is thrilled to welcome PBC back into the ring Aug. 8 with a fantastic matchup,” said Bill Wanger, Executive Vice President, Head of Programming and Scheduling, FOX Sports. “This outing is the first in a long line of great fight nights coming for the remainder of the year on FOX, FS1, FOX Deportes and PPV.”

Tennis Channel will have live daily coverage of the WTA’s Palermo Ladies from Aug. 3-9 – the first professional tour-level event since the sport shut down in March due to the global pandemic. The initial telecast will begin at 10a and run until 6:30p. Steve Weissman and Russ Thaler will announce the 31st Palermo Ladies Open for Tennis Channel.

CBS Sports firmed up its talent roster from the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League tournaments. Analysts Roberto Martinez, Jamie Carragher and Micah Richards and host Kate Abdo joined CBS Sports to lead its pregame, halftime and postgame studio coverage of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League tournaments in August across multiple ViacomCBS platforms, with every match on CBS All Access and select matches on CBS Sports Network. Peter Schmeichel and Alex Scott will provide analysis both in studio and on-site from Portugal. Ruud Gullit will serve as the lead studio analyst for UEFA Europa League coverage and as a contributor for UEFA Champions League. Clive Tyldesley and Peter Drury will handle play-by-play duties for 10 matches, including the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Final as well as the UEFA Europa League Final.

Meanwhile, TUDN offers coverage of the concluding chapter of the UEFA Champions League 2019-20 season beginning with the concluding matches of the Round of 16’s second leg on Aug. 7-8. Fútbol Central pre-game show will precede all UEFA Champions League matches, while TUDN’s flagship program Misión Europa will provide highlights and post-game analysis.

In honor of National Sisters Day, ESPNU will spotlight memorable sisters in recent college sports history beginning at 12:30p on Sunday for a full day of programming. Included in the lineup will be women’s beach volleyball, basketball, gymnastics, indoor volleyball and softball an kicks off with a look at Kylie and Briana Perez, softball student-athletes for the UCLA Bruins.

FANAI INSIGHTS
The NBA restarted its season yesterday! Did you know that the NBA has the largest collective Twitter following among any of the major sports leagues? 52.6 million people, to be exact! For more sports insights, click here: https://fanai.io/fanai-news/

Cynopsis Sports Media Awards …are going virtual!
HONORING TOP SPORTS PROGRAMS, CAMPAIGNS & PEOPLE
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In addition to award finalists (see who made the cut), we’ll spotlight this year’s Luminary Award Honorees being recognized for their stand out work in improving the space while executing successful campaigns + initiatives during a time when the sports industry has been turned on its head.

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[Supporters] WWE, BLOK Sports, SiriusXM, NBCSports, Showtime

SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Little Caesars and the National Hockey League announced a new North American partnership, naming Little Caesars the Official Pizza Delivery of the league. The multiyear deal offers Little Caesars a slate of exclusive marketing rights and designations that will connect the brand with the NHL and its events. Fans will see the Little Caesars brand displayed in a corner in-ice ad position during every game of the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers and 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, as well as all exhibition games. “As we continue to add stores and customers across the globe, our partnership with the NHL will connect us with millions of consumers around the world in a new way,” said Dave Scrivano, president and CEO of Little Caesars. “The Little Caesars brand has had a deep relationship with the incredible sport of hockey for a long time, and we’re thrilled to take our love of the game to the next level. This season, fans will be cheering their teams on from home, and what better way to watch the games than with a delicious pizza that can now be delivered right to your door.”

In addition, Nestlé Canada and the NHL inked a multiyear partnership, naming KITKAT as the Official Chocolate of the NHL in Canada. The partnership kicks off with the Big Breakaway Contest where fans will have a chance to win a 2021 Stanley Cup® Final Ultimate Experience and daily prizes. As part of the partnership, Nestlé Canada has the ability to create content and activate at marquee NHL events in the seasons ahead, including the NHL Winter Classic, NHL All-Star Weekend, Stanley Cup Playoffs, Stanley Cup Final, NHL Awards and NHL Draft.

The return of the UEFA Champions League sees Lay’s launch a new activation that will include a new global sport showcasing the hobbies that fans have taken up to fill the football-shaped void over the past few months, from gardening and baking to finishing puzzles of their GOAT.

MLS and partner Heineken teamed up to conduct a #CheersFromHome campaign on Twitter where fans can win a stadium in a box “Each unique prize features what fans are missing from the stadium experience including an authentic stadium chair from their favorite team, iconic stadium food and a custom Heineken 0.0 beverage fridge,” the announcement reads. The sweepstakes runs through Aug. 11.

DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

Yahoo Sports and the NBA are teaming up to enhance the at-home fan experience with a multiyear relationship that designated Yahoo Sports as an Official Marketing Partner of the league and RYOT as a live virtual reality production partner during the NBA Restart in Orlando. The relationship will allow Yahoo Sports to engage fans through fantasy and sports betting in new ways, including the right to create sports betting content and expanding Yahoo Sports’ existing distribution of NBA League Pass, the league’s premium live game subscription product, to include gaming integrations.

Notre Dame Global Partnerships is partnering with Skyview Networks, an audio solutions leader, for its full suite of broadcast services and products. The new partnership will give NDGP end-to-end network management, services, including distribution, production, AdView inventory management software and affiliate sales.

Pandora is launching UNINTERRUPTED Radio, a new and exclusive station that features music selected by top NBA and WNBA players, including LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, Trae Young, A’ja Wilson, Draymond Green, Lonzo Ball, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Tobias Harris, Angel McCoughtry and others. “We are proud of how SiriusXM and Pandora continue to creatively innovate and find new ways to connect people through our range of audio programming,” said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer of SiriusXM. “With live sports returning, UNINTERRUPTED Radio on Pandora will give fans an even deeper way to experience the game they love by capturing the essential connection between music and sports.”

2K unveiled a partnership with the NFL Players Association and will be able to put the numbers, names, images and likenesses of over 2,000 NFL players in their respective team jerseys on the pixelated field. “2K has a proven track record of high-profile and successful business relationships with other sports leagues, professional athletes and their collective fans,” Steve Scebelo, interim president of NFL Players Inc., the marketing and licensing arm of the NFLPA, said in a press release. “The label makes some of the best sports video games in the world, and we look forward to working with 2K, our players and OneTeam on future projects.”

ESPORTS

After receiving criticism for a partnership with NEOM, a Saudi Arabian state-sponsored city development initiative, the League of Legends European Championship announced late Wednesday that it is ending the deal. Multiple commentators and team members expressed dismay after the deal was announced. “As a company and as a league, we know that it’s important to recognize when we make mistakes and quickly work to correct them,” Alberto Guerrero, director of esports EMEA at Riot Games said in a statement, per ESPN. “After further reflection, while we remain steadfastly committed to all of our players and fans worldwide including those living in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, the LEC has ended its partnership with NEOM, effective immediately.”

NHL player Mitch Marner joined the ownership group of OverActive Media, where he will, “become the latest ambassador and an important part of OverActive’s brand building efforts.” “With roots in the city of Toronto, our entire organization is thrilled to welcome a hometown hero and hockey superstar like Mitch Marner to our investor family,” said Chris Overholt, CEO and President of OverActive Media. “Mitch’s authenticity within the Call of Duty scene and his interest in growing the esports industry will be such great additions to our fanbase and to each of our franchises.”

INDUSTRY & ROSTER MOVES

The Olympic Channel reached agreements with the international governing bodies for teqball and wheelchair basketball to collaborate on content for the International Olympic Committee’s global media platform. The two new cooperation agreements bring the number of the Olympic Channel’s federation partners to 95.

SPORTS BROADCAST JOURNAL w/David J.Halberstam

After challenged calls or replays in the recent past, NBA officials rushed to the broadcast table and gave a hurried, whisper-toned explanation to one of the announcers. A candid Marv Albert once kidded on-air after one of those occasions, “I have no idea what he (the ref) said.”
With NBA network voices moved upstairs for the ‘Restart,’ officials will now talk directly into a camera when explanations are warranted. We’re told that viewers will hear what they’re saying live. The progressive NBA is the last of the leagues to keep game officials silent. We’ll see what it sounds like this unusual season and if the NBA continues the practice.

ESPN ready for an ‘NBA Restart’ in the Bubble with innovations and TV friendly enhancements

MLB is back. See the list of the local team announcers and the oddities they face. Baltimore’s veteran TV crew is being sidelined for the season. Jim Palmer, 74, Gary Thorne, 72 and Tom Davis, 71 won’t work, likely as a precaution not to expose older voices to the pandemic.

Shortened MLB season starts; List of local radio and TV voices; All face awkward sets of circumstances

In this most bizarre year and the NHL starting again tomorrow, NBC’s lead voice Doc Emrick will call games from his home studio in Michigan.

NBC, USA and NBCSN present 120 hours of NHL starting Saturday; Profiles of all talent + schedule

Kevin Harlan and Ian Eagle are Turner’s first two play-by-players in Orlando. Brian Anderson will get deep into the act as the schedule progresses.
So far so good. ESPN’s baseball trio Matt Vasgersian, Alex Rodriguez and Buster Olney and Fox’ Joe Buck, John Smoltz and Ken Rosenthal broadcast from separate and scattered locations and have done a nice job of not stepping over one another.

Halby’s Morsels: MLB, NHL and NBA broadcasts; KC’s Matthews shares royal tales; Fox’ Adam Amin -Amen!

Happy Birthday and many wonderful returns:

Mike Emrick, August 1 Voice of NHL on NBC
Dale Hansen, August 2 Legendary Dallas TV sports anchor
Mike Giminski August 3 ACC commentator
Mike Parker, August 3 Voice Oregon State F/B
Dave O’Brien, August 3 TV Voice Red Sox, ESPN
Mike Pratt, August 4 U of Kentucky basketball analyst
Ryan Russillo, August 5 The Ringer, ex-ESPN

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On this Day
1981: The Major League Baseball Players’ strike ends after 42 days.

In the Know
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Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Dom-Jot is a fictional sport set in what television universe? Answer: Star Trek. Kudos: Roger Furman-Sports Marketing Communications/Greentown; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank

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