07/06/16: NBPA’s tech play; NBC’s Olympic record; Rio gets debugged


Good morning. It’s Wednesday July 6, 2016, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

The National Basketball Players Association announced plans to host the first-ever NBPA Technology Summit from July 19-21 in San Francisco. The event will look to offer current and former NBA players: educational content and presentations from executives of major media and technology companies; site visits to several media and technology companies in Silicon Valley; networking opportunities; and workshops designed to identify opportunities for players to pursue both during and after their NBA careers. “A key part of our mission at the NBPA is to help players maximize their opportunities on and off the court, and prepare for life after basketball,” said Roger Mason, Jr., Deputy Executive Director of the NBPA. “Emerging technology, such as wearables and new media content platforms, directly impact our players every day, so we felt the time was right to provide a stage for them to gather, share ideas, get more educated and interact with some of the leaders in these growing fields.”


NBC Olympics cemented its lineup of talent for the Summer Olympics, locking in a record 170 commentators for Rio across NBC, NBCSN, Bravo, CNBC, Golf Channel, MSNBC, USA Network, TELEMUNDO, NBC UNIVERSO, the NBC Sports app, and NBCOlympics.com. With the Opening Ceremony set to take place on Aug. 5, Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira and Hoda Kotb are set to host the event. Overall, more than 40 members of the team will be making their NBC Olympics debuts including Golf Channel’s David Feherty. The roster includes Olympians who have won a combined total of 59 Olympic medals including Ato Boldon, Nastia Liukin, Tim Daggett, Rowdy Gaines, Swin Cash, Apolo Ohno, and Tara Lipinski.

MLB announced that Jamie Foxx, Drew Brees, Andy Cohen, Mark Consuelo, Jennie Finch, Andre Dawson and Rickey Henderson will be among this year’s players for the All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game on Sunday at Petco Park in San Diego. Other names are set to include David Wells, Damaris Lewis, Kyle Mooney, Peyton Meyer, J.K. Simmons, Landon Donovan and more. ESPN carries that game after the Home Run Derby on Monday at 8p.

Speaking of ESPN, the company’s coverage of Wimbledon’s Gentlemen’s Quarterfinals today at 8a with a Centre Court doubleheader pitting Andy Murray/ Jo-Wilfried Tsonga  and Roger Federer/Marin Cilic on the flagship channel. On ESPN2, Sam Querrey/Milos Raonic and Tomas Berdych/Lucas Pouille square off. Thursday features Venus Williams/Angelique Kerber and Serena Williams/Elena Vesnina.

Be among winners such as Anheuser-Busch, Turner Sports, HBO, NBCUniversal, Fandango, Bravo & more by starting an entry for our Cynopsis Digital Model D Awards. Submit outstanding work in advertising and online video content by August 4: http://www.cynopsisdigitalawards.com/

Tennis Channel saw its claim that Comcast unlawfully discriminated against the network rejected by the DC Circuit, which denied the programmer’s petition for review, according to Cablefax. The lawsuit stems from a 2010 program carriage complaint filed with the FCC that claimed that Comcast discriminated against Tennis Channel in favor of its own networks, Golf and Versus (now NBCSN).

Outdoor Channel is shifting three of its series – Legends of the Fall, Whitetail Freaks and Hunt Masters  from Monday nights to Thursdays starting at 7:30p. “Now that we’re delving into third quarter, viewers should be aware that three of their favorite WildComm shows are now airing on Thursday nights,” said Outdoor Sportsman Group  Networks CEO and President, Jim Liberatore. “We believe the switch will create a successful evening of programs that include these WildComm shows.”


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With Zika continuing to make headlines ahead of Rio 2016, SC Johnson’s OFF! Brand of insect repellent locked in a deal to become the Olympics’ first-ever partner in the space. As a result, thousands of bottles of the product will be distributed to athletes, staff and volunteers as part of the agreement, according to Bloomberg. “To continue our support for the fight against mosquito-borne diseases, we will use our 60 years of expertise in mosquitoes to educate athletes, volunteers and spectators about how they can protect themselves against mosquito bites,” SC Johnson’s chief executive officer Fisk Johnson said in the statement to Bloomberg.

Cricket Wireless is partnering with WWE to send a winner and their guest to SummerSlam as part of its deal as co-presenting sponsor of the annual event on Aug. 21. “SummerSlam is one of the biggest sports and entertainment events of the summer. Thanks to our relationship with WWE, we’re offering a chance to experience the excitement in-person,” said Tiffany Baehman, VP and CMO at Cricket Wireless. “WWE provides their fans with some of the most epic events in the world. Together, we’re giving fans an opportunity to meet their favorite Superstar through in-store appearances or a chance to attend events.”


espnW debuted the first episode of its five-part docu-series, Run Mama Run, directed by Daniele Anastasion that follows Sarah Brown, a elite track athlete who makes the extraordinary decision to train for the 2016 Olympic Trials through an unexpected pregnancy. Anastasion is the winner of the first-ever espnW Film Fellowship program, which sought to find a female filmmaker who aimed to bring a woman-centric sports story to life on screen.


Another organization to help regulate competitive gaming is now up and running. The eSports Integrity Coalition will look to prevent cheating in eSports competition, with a focus on betting. The non-profit association already boasts members that include ESL, DreamHack, Intel, Sportradar and more. The organization’s code of conduct includes anti-corruption, anti-doping policies as well as an independent disciplinary procedure. “It has been eye-opening and a privilege to work in eSports these past nine months and to have gained sufficient trust within the industry to be appointed the first Integrity Commissioner,” said eSports Integrity Commissioner Ian Smith. “I have spent the last 20 years working across a range of sports, involved heavily in the protection of their integrity, so I am looking forward to applying all those insights and experience to the eSports ecosystem.”

MEASAT Satellite Systems is launching eGG, meaning Every Good Game, to serve as Southeast Asia’s first-ever fully dedicated 24/7 HD eSports channel. The network will feature gaming tournaments, walkthroughs, expert guides, documentaries, game house tours and other content.


Rangers/Red Sox on ESPN at 7p.


Honoring the best in online video content, advertising + talent

Choose from an extensive selection of categories such as:

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Deadline to enter: Thursday, August 4, 2016

ON THIS DAY in 1997: The Montreal Expos retire Andre Dawson’s #10.

In The Know: How high is the grass at Wimbledon during play? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: From what school was new Warrior Kevin Durant drafted? Answer: Texas. Kudos: Evan Noonan-MEC/NY; Mike Polvere-Optimum Sports/NY; Chauncey Wesley-ýUM/NY; Ed Flamos-comScore/NY; Ken Nice-TeamPeople/DC; Jeff Leinen-The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company/Philadelphia; Chris Schwartz-International Speedway Corporation/Charlotte; Lou Monaco/NJ; Suzy Shoup-Moroch/Dallas; Scott Norman-Cox Media/Tulsa; Kevin Micklo-Pinnacle Advertising/Chicago; Gretchen Brady-KTVT/Dallas; Michael Jaquet-US Ski and Snowboard Association/Park City; Brienne Chance-G/O Digital/Phoenix; Jack Neumann-University of Calgary 5th Quarter Football Alumni/Calgary; Scott Sarra-NBC Sports Group/Denver; Steve Scheer-Fox Sports/LA; -John Baghdassarian-Olympusat/LA; Scott Brofman-Critical Content/LA; Larry Hutchings/Nipomo.

Later — Chris
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