07/16/15: Was All-Star Game a relief for FOX?; NBCSN sees ratings race; NBA looking for new phone carrier


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Good morning. It’s Thursday July 16, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

MLB’s All-Star Game handed FOX with a 6.6/12 fast-national household rating/share, reeling in an average audience of 10.9 million for the game, according to Nielsen. That is off-pace from last year’s numbers at 11.34 million but remains the most-watched All-Star Game in American sports. The game also notched year-to-year gains among younger demos including: Male Teens 12-17 (up 19% to a 2.5); Men 18-34 (up 3% to a 3.4); and Adults 18-34 (up 4% to a 2.6). Top 5 Markets: Kansas City 31.4/50; Cincinnati 22.8/37; St. Louis 17.9/27; Pittsburgh 13.2/22; Dayton 11.4/19.


NBCSN reports that its first-ever live NASCAR Sprint Cup race led the network to multiple milestones over the weekend. The race handed the channel with a total day average of 428,000 viewers, marking a 224% spike over the same weekend a year ago. In addition, NBCSN’s Sunday afternoon Verizon IndyCar Series showcase averaged 532,000 viewers, making it the network’s most-watched IndyCar race since 2011. 

FOX Sports reports that the U.S. Men’s National Team’s draw with Panama as part of its CONCACAF Gold Cup coverage registered 1,085,000 viewers. That ranks as the most-watched non-FIFA Women’s World Cup soccer match in FOX Sports 1 history. The contest also set records for Gold Cup matches on FOX Sports GO, as the match was streamed for over 2.1 million minutes, the most of any Gold Cup match to-date. Through Monday, all Gold Cup Group Stage matches on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 are averaging 343,000 viewers, up 90% over the full Group Stage average for the 2013 Gold Cup on FOX Soccer and FOX broadcast network.

Tonight’s Kids’ Choice Sports on Nickelodeon will open with an homage to the U.S. Women’s soccer team for their victory in the World Cup. Carli Lloyd, Hope Solo and Alex Morgan will be among the players set to appear in the 90-minute show. The telecast airs tonight at 8p.

CBC announced that Canadians will now be able to catch more coverage of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games, as the company is launching extended coverage of the events. Pan Am Afternoon with host Andi Petrillo will now expand to a three-hour program each weekday from 2-5p local time across Canada while weekend programming will be augmented with an additional hour of prime time coverage on Sunday.

ESPN is bringing back its My Wish series. The segments will see sports-themed wishes fulfilled on SportsCenter starting Sunday at 11p through a partnership with Make-A-Wish. Chris Connelly hosts.

Longhorn Network is getting in on The Open. ESPN announced that the channel will offer viewers a dedicated feed of Longhorn Jordan Spieth as part of a “Featured Players” feed. First round coverage begins today at 4:30p. While at The University of Texas, Spieth lead the Longhorns to a 2012 NCAA Golf National Championship.


Judging is in, and we have announced the finalist for the
Cynopsis Kids !magination Awards

The complete list of finalists can be found here. They include: 7ate9 Entertainment, Amazon Studios, Cartoon Network, Cupcake Digital, Disney, DreamWorks Animation, Food Network, JetBlue, Litton Entertainment, National Geographic Kids, Nickelodeon, PBS KIDS, Random House, Saban Brands, Steve Rotfeld Productions, The Jim Henson Company, Thirteen/WNET, Time Inc. and more.



Another opportunity just opened up for brands looking to partner with the NBA. Ad Age writes that the league is splitting with Sprint, which will see a four-year deal expire at the end of the Summer. "After careful evaluation, Sprint and the NBA have decided not to extend their marketing partnership," the two said in a joint statement. "We are proud of our four-year relationship and our joint efforts to leverage technology to bring the game of basketball closer the fans. Sprint’s focus will remain squarely on its core business and in delivering consumers the best possible wireless experience."

The ITF locked in a deal Rolex to continue as an international sponsor of Davis Cup by BNP Paribas. The sponsorship will see Rolex remain as the Official Timekeeper of Davis Cup through 2018. “All of us at the ITF are very pleased that Rolex has decided to continue as an international sponsor of Davis Cup by BNP Paribas for an additional three years,” said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti.

Tottenham Hotspur inked a multi-year licensing deal with Fanatics that allows the company to sell a “bespoke range of apparel and headwear through its online stores in USA and Canada, alongside an existing Tottenham Hotspur/Under Armour range.” Tottenham Hotspur is the first football club in Europe to sign a licensing deal with Fanatics. “We are proud to become the first European football club to be working with Fanatics. Our North American fan-base is hugely important to us and this relationship will give our fans in the region greater access to our product,” said Gary Jacobson, Brand Licensing Manager at Tottenham Hotspur. “For a company like Fanatics to come on board is a testament to the growth of our licensing portfolio in North America during recent years as we strive to continue to take Club product into new and exciting areas of retail.”

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series renewed its tied with Travelers as an official sponsor of four events in 2015. The partnership will activate with a “My Drive Comes From” campaign, which kicks off July 18-19 at the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon and continue throughout the year at the Virginia Beach (Sept. 5-6), Philadelphia (Oct. 31), and Las Vegas (Nov. 12-15) events as runners share their own “My Drive Comes From” motivation at the Travelers footprint at the two-day Health & Fitness Expo.


120 Sports added a quartet of new partnerships to its repertoire, lining up deals with the Open Championship, Arena Football, AUDL (American Ultimate Disc League) and AVP. The new tied will allow more dedicated coverage of events and access to exclusive, timely interviews, according to the company, along with in-studio guests across each league/entity.

The Topps Company announced a new digital offering for fans designed to give the masses a chance to create his or her “authentic looking” and customized trading card on Topps.com. Fans will initially be able to choose a design from 2015 Topps MLB Series 1, 1952 Vintage MLB or 2015 Topps MLS series. “We have tried for years to come up with a way for fans to create their own official product that looks and feels exactly like what we create for leagues like MLB and MLS, and we are pleased to say that the time has come,” said Jeff Heckman, Brand Manager for Topps.


The Open tees off on ESPN at 4a.


Join us on October 15 to network with like-minded executives!

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ON THIS DAY in 1941: Joe DiMaggio extends his hitting streak to 56 games.

In The Know: Who has the all-time homerun record as a Dodger? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What was Brooks Robinson’s nickname?  Answer: The Human Vacuum Cleaner/Mr. Hoover. Kudos: Marc Wollis-NBC Sports Group/NY; Joseph Tafuri-Haversack Consulting/NY; Matt Meachem- Gracenote, Inc./NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Tim Overmyer-20th TV/Atlanta; Randy Ingram- WBTW-TV/Myrtle Beach; Tim McGhee-MSP Sports/Summit; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Steve McNair-KUBE TV/Houston; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner and Triathlete magazine/Houston; David Hauptman/Denver; Matt Sautter-Imagine Communications/Denver; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions/Santa Monica; Rick Pike-InterMedia Advertising/Woodland Hills; Larry Hutchings/Nipomo; Don Surath-CBS/San Francisco.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for
Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

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