07.28.16 Good morning. It’s Thursday July 28, 2016, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
The International Olympic Committee locked in a launch day for the new Olympic Channel, announcing a debut after the Closing Ceremony of the Rio Olympic Games on Aug. 21 via a mobile app for Android and iOS devices and at olympicchannel.com. The free platform will serve up original programming, live sports events, news and highlights with both short-form and long-form content. Following launch, the platform “intends to foster partnerships with other Olympic stakeholders, including rights-holding broadcasters and National Olympic Committees to develop localized versions of the Olympic Channel” that will include linear television programming options.
“The launch of the Olympic Channel on 21st August is the start of an exciting new journey to connect the worldwide audience with the Olympic Movement all year round,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “Fans will be able to follow sports, athletes and the stories behind the Olympic Games. The Olympic Channel will inspire us all and reach out to new generations of athletes and fans.”
AT&T and Dish are working with NBCUniversal for its coverage of the Summer Games to offer customers 4K telecasts of the events. AT&T’s DIRECTV and U-verse will offer multi-screen Mix channels, interactive services with in-depth event results and medal counts for customers with compatible 4K Ultra HD equipment and the DIRECTV Ultimate Package or higher. Dish viewers who have a Hopper 3 DVR or and 4K Joey set-top will be able to watch in 4K on linear channel 146, which will offer one event from the previous day’s competition.
The UFC renewed its broadcast alliance with the UK’s BT Sport, which will offer over 150 hours of live events from the promotion each year. The deal ends a bidding battle between BT and Sky for rights with BT keeping all exclusive live rights within the UK and Republic of Ireland while enhancing their content by offering every UFC event across the globe, including all US numbered pay-per-view events and all EMEA events live.
Meanwhile, UFC staple Joe Rogan will remain the company’s primary color commentator for "at least one more year," thanks to a new deal. Rogan announced on his podcast that the new agreement will see him work a reduced schedule that ends international travel and only PPV work.
In other talent news, Dhani Jones, host of the NBC primetime’s Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge, will serve as a reporter for NBC Olympics’ coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Jones will report at various venues and locations throughout the event, contributing features on a slate of platforms including The Olympic Zone.
NASCAR, FOX Sports and NBC Sports announced 2017 race start times and network coverage for the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with a schedule that will see 17 national series events begin closer to primetime. Overall, 17 NASCAR Cup Series points races will also air on broadcast television next year, including the Daytona 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on FOX; and the Brickyard 400 and the NASCAR Cup Series championship race, the Ford EcoBoost 400 from Homestead-Miami Speedway, on NBC.
The Mountain West Conference is reportedly on the verge of changing its system for television revenue distribution. The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that the league will look for its schools to evenly split revenue (with the exception of Boise State’s current agreement), with the other 10 schools dividing everything 11 ways. Currently, teams that play on ESPN or ESPN2 get a $500,000-per-game bonus for Saturday games and a $300,000-per-game bonus for a weekday game with other perks also in the mix.
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Target is ending its long run with IndyCar and will leave Chip Ganassi Racing after 27 years, according to FOX Sports. The departure comes as the brand reevalutes its marketing strategy under new chairman Brian Cornell. The company’s contract with Ganassi runs through next year.
Speaking of racing, ExxonMobile will celebrate its appearances on the hoods of Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 4, No. 10 and No. 14 Chevrolets with three Mobile 1 digital content plays includes an installment of the “Endless Road Trip” video series starring Kevin Harvick, Danica Patrick and Tony Stewart as they make their way to Pocono Raceway. The company will also roll out the “Mobil 1 | Three wide at the Tricky Triangle” time lapse video while Stewart will go head-to-head with eSports’ stock car drivers in the Mobil 1 Virtual Showdown.
NBCUniversal’s President and CEO Steve Burke told reporters that the company will pull in over $120 million from carrying the Summer Games in Rio. “We’re looking, I think, at a very profitable Olympics,” he said in Comcast’s second-quarter 2016 conference call. The company hit its ad sales goal three weeks before the Open Ceremony with its budget was 20% higher than London.
Twitter inked a deal with Sky Sports to show clips of key moments from Premier League matches on the platform this season. The AP writes that users in the United Kingdom and Ireland will be able to receive footage from matches that are broadcast by Sky, as well as some content from matches that kick off at the traditional 3p slot on Saturdays.
Major League Soccer and SeatGeek partnered on a new ticketing system that will allow fans to buy tickets on multiple e-commerce apps and ticketing sites as well as sell or transfer tickets on any resale platform of their choice. As part of the agreement, SeatGeek becomes the official ticketing partner of MLS.
US Club Soccer is working with CSM to develop and operate programming for the organization’s 500,000+ members that aims to create the best possible development environment for players of all ages. “CSM’s impressive portfolio of resources affords exciting, new opportunities for US Club Soccer,” said Phil Wright, Chairman of US Club Soccer’s Board of Directors. “Through this partnership, we will be able to accomplish our goals, provide even greater benefits to our members and fulfill our vision for the future.”
In this week’s edition of Cynopsis eSports & Gaming…
The 2016 AT&T MLS All-Star Game Presented by Audi on ESPN at 7:30p.
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Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: John F. Kennedy lettered in what sport while at Harvard? Answer: Swimming. Kudos: Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Phyllis McQuillan-MSG Media/NY; David Stern-BARD Entertainment/NY; Michael Narracci-NESN/Watertown; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Deerfield Beach; Brad Brown-Nevco, Inc./St. Louis; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions/Santa Monica; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Willie Price-American Forces Network/Riverside.
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