07.22.16 Good morning. It’s Friday July 22, 2016, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
It’s official. ESPN and the ACC formally unveiled the launch of the ACC Network at the conference’s annual Football Kickoff media event in Charlotte. Backed by a 20-year partnership, the platform will run through at least 2036 and with the first part kicking off in Aug. with more than 600 exclusive live events from across the conference via a digital live-events channel ACC Network Extra for users who have access to ESPN3. Once the linear network begins, the channel will feature 450 exclusive live events including 40 regular-season football games, over 150 men’s and women’s basketball games, more than 200 other regular-season contests and tournament games from across the conference’s 27-sponsored sports, as well as news and original programming.
“We look forward to working with our longtime partners at the ACC to create a network that reflects the depth and quality of its athletes and teams, and serves the fans who passionately support them. We are proud and excited to add the ACC Network to our industry-leading college content offerings,” said John Skipper, ESPN President.
“On behalf of the ACC Council of Presidents, Faculty Athletics Representatives and our ACC Television Committee, we are tremendously pleased to further enhance our long-term partnership with ESPN that includes the creation of the ACC Network and ACC Network Extra, and positions the conference for the long-term future,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “This partnership continues to be a win-win for ESPN and the ACC.”
The NBA pulled the plug on Charlotte. The league announced plans to relocate the 2017 All-Star Game from the city “with the hope of rescheduling for 2019” due to the state’s controversial LGBT law aka the Bathroom Bill. "While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2,” the league said in a statement. “ Meanwhile, game broadcaster Turner Sports backed the decision, stating, “At Turner, and our parent company Time Warner, diversity in all its forms is core to our value system and to the success of our company. Laws to the contrary go against our fundamental belief of equality and inclusion for all individuals. We fully support the NBA’s decision to relocate the 2017 All-Star Game and all of the weekend’s events originally scheduled to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina.”
The 98th PGA Championship hits the networks next week on CBS and TNT. CBS Sports will carry the third and final rounds on July 30-1 from 2-7p each day. Jim Nantz serves e as anchor with Sir Nick Faldo as lead analyst. Ian Baker-Finch calls the action at the 17th hole, Gary McCord at the 16th hole, Frank Nobilo at the 15th hole, Verne Lundquist at the 14th hole and Bill Macatee at the 13th hole. Dottie Pepper and Peter Kostis will serve as on-course reporters. Production elements will include: a Smartcart to analyze and telestrate a myriad of data including golf swings and shots, difficulty of holes, and scorecards; Trackman; SwingVision; GolfTrax; 360 VR for the first time via CBS Sports’ Facebook page; 4K to air on DIRECTV; and aerial drone coverage.
TNT’s coverage, meanwhile, spans July 28-31 with 18 hours of exclusive live action, running from 1-7p on July 28-29 and 11a-2p on July 30-31. Hosts Ernie Johnson and Brian Anderson who calls his first PGA Championship join analysts Ian Baker-Finch and Billy Kratzert, on-course analyst Mike Weir and Amanda Balionis handling pre- and post-round interviews. PGA.com, managed by Turner Sports, tackles the event with live streaming via PGA Championship LIVE, presented by Mercedes-Benz, with four featured groups each day and direct access to the simulcast broadcast coverage of the tournament and media-room interviews. Production goodies include expanded analytics and virtual animation with Trackman technology and exclusive 4K content on DirecTV.
NBC Sports laid out its programming plans for the upcoming NHL season, lining up 106 NHL regular-season games to mark the most ever across NBC Sports Group heading into a season. Overall, 14 games will run on NBC with 92 on NBCSN. The action begins with an opening night doubleheader on NBCSN on Oct. 12, pitting the Blues/Blackhawks at 8p, followed by the Kings/Sharks at 10:30p. Highlights include the 2017 NHL Centennial Classic on Jan. 1, the annual Winter Classic on Jan. 2, the 2017 NHL Stadium Series on Feb. 25, the NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 29 and Hockey Day In America on Feb. 19.
FOX Sports is adding Charles “Peanut” Tillman to its Sunday morning pregame show, FOX NFL Kickoff, where he will now join host Charissa Thompson, and analysts Colin Cowherd and Dave Wannstedt. The series runs every Sunday from 11a-noon.
MLB Network hits the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday as Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza are enshrined in Cooperstown. Peter Gammons, Harold Reynolds, Al Leiter, and hosts Greg Amsinger and Brian Kenny host on-site coverage starting at noon with the ceremony set to begin at 1:30p.
Back to the ACC, Raycom Sports announced the ACC Network broadcast team for the 2016 ACC football season will include Tom Werme on play-by-play, teaming up with analyst Dave Archer, ad Roddy Jones as sideline reporter. In addition, Stan Norfleet will join Katie Witham and Tommy Bowden in the studio for the ACC Blitz powered by Ram Trucks.
Big Papa hosts SiriusXM’s coverage of the 2016 PGA Championship, running July 28-31 on Sirius channel 208 and XM channel 92 from noon-7p. He will be joined by Charlie Rymer with Mark Carnevale, John Maginnes and Dennis Paulson, while broadcasters Fred Albers, Doug Bell and Bill Rosinski will provide live commentary from around the course.
Azteca San Antonio inked an exclusive two year agreement to broadcast three live pre-season Dallas Cowboys games in Spanish on Azteca Stations KVDF San Antonio, KADF Austin, and KYDF Corpus Christi. Victor Villalba and Luis Fernando Perez will lead the broadcast team.
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Marriott International announced a partnership extension with the NBA in a move that will make the global hotel brand a partner of multiple league events, including NBA House Rio, NBA All-Star, and select NBA Global Games. In addition, Marriott International will become an official partner of USA Basketball. The partnership will showcase Marriott Rewards, with members able to redeem their Marriott Rewards points for exclusive NBA and USA Basketball experiences.
Johnsonville Sausage signed on as the newest Southeastern Conference and SEC Network official sponsor. Johnsonville now receives category exclusivity use of SEC marks and logos in all advertising and marketing, as well as promotional use of SEC Championship event tickets and on-site activation at the conference’s SEC FanFare events.
ESPN reports that the USOC sent letters to those who sponsor athletes but don’t have any sponsorship designation as a warning about stealing intellectual property. “Commercial entities may not post about the Trials or Games on their corporate social media accounts," the letter reads, according to the report. "This restriction includes the use of USOC’s trademarks in hashtags such as #Rio2016 or #TeamUSA." The letter continues by noting that a company whose primary mission is not media-related cannot reference any Olympic results, cannot share or repost anything from the official Olympic account and cannot use any pictures taken at the Olympics.
NASCAR reports that the number of Fortune 100 companies investing in it has grown 5% year-over-year and that more than one-in-four Fortune 500 companies integrate NASCAR into their marketing strategies. The organization also states that Repucom’s SponsorLink survey shows that NASCAR surpasses all other sports properties in fan sponsor consideration with seven out of 10 NASCAR fans loyal to a sponsor’s brand when it supports the sport, while three out of four NASCAR fans would consider a sponsor’s brand.
UFC 200: Tate vs. Nunes saw UFC social channels drum up 13.6 billion impressions across all platforms during the week UFC Fight Week. The promotion recorded 41,929,469 YouTube views during the period, including the most watched UFC embedded digital series of all-time. Meanwhile, UFC Fan Expo totaled more than 12,500 patrons during the three-day event, including over 4,300 participants competing in amateur tournaments.
Telemundo Deportes is poised to offer over 100 more hours of Olympic coverage in Rio than it did for London 2012, with digital activation that will include exclusive content, behind-the-scenes access, special reports and commentary. Highlights will include: Live events via NBC Olympics digital platforms with Spanish commentary as well as highlights of the top action; access to multiple options for following a favorite sport or athlete live on a range of digital platforms, with behind the scenes moments not featured on television; and a constant feed on Instagram providing the latest coverage of the games in collaboration with NBC Olympics.
Facebook picked up live-streaming rights to nine Team USA basketball exhibition games over the next two weeks. Simulcasts of the games, which are being played ahead of the Olympics, will be live-streamed on the Facebook pages of USA Basketball and NBA TV. Both the women’s and men’s games will be covered, beginning at 9p tonight, when the US men’s team plays Argentina. Verizon is sponsoring the simulcasts.
Yahoo Sports unveiled its new Fantasy sports app, available on iOS devices and coming soon to Android. The company posted that the new dashboard offers easier access to navigate and manage teams from full season and daily fantasy and acts as a homebase for relevant info. Content will include sumbissions from Andy Behrens, Brad Evans, Brandon Funston, Liz Loza, Dalton Del Don and Scott Pianowski with fantasy rankings and videos.
Audi of America and Major League Soccer revealed the live Audi Player Index experience within the MLS App and MLS Match Center to allow fans to track favorite players in near real time across all Major League Soccer matches using Opta data sources. The index tracks more than 80 unique components and 2,000 player actions in each MLS game to create one definitive score for every player.
Machinima is hitting China via a new exclusive licensing deal with the Chinese Internet company Sohu, Machinima will offer ad-supported programming available on the Online Video PGC platform, Sohu’s online video service. Content included in the licensing deal will range from original series to eSports content.
Electronic Arts saw fans select Marco Reus of Borussia Dortmund to become the global cover athlete of EA Sports FIFA 17. Over the past two weeks, fans voted on the official cover athlete with over 3.1 million ballots being cast.
Crytek announced that Warface is coming to ESL with the launch of the ESL Go4Warface online tournament series. The Go4Warface tournament series will launch with players joining together in teams to compete in weekly tournaments for cast and the eight top-performing teams becoming eligible for a monthly final tournament. The first tournament begins on Aug. 7 and is free to enter for players and teams of all levels of experience.
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association named longtime New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority executive Katie Million as its next VP and Women’s League Commissioner. Million agreed to a three-year contract and will begin her role on Sept. 2.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the Brickyard on NBCSN on Sunday at 3p.
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JOB OPENING: RESEARCH MANAGER/Science Channel/NY: Experienced researcher to utilize Nielsen ratings+ consumer databases to inform/develop network strategy and lead primary research. Skill to turn data into stories. Exp w/Nielsen, 5+ yrs TV rsrch exp. Full info/apply HERE (7/23)
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