08/01/19: FIFA announced plans to expand the Women’s World Cup to 32 teams for 2023


Good morning. It’s Thursday August 1, 2019 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

FIFA’s Council unanimously approved expanding the Women’s World Cup from 24 teams to 32 for the 2023 tournament. In addition, the organization reopened bidding to host the tournament, updating the hosting requirements and the timeline of the bidding process for 2023. Nine national associations had expressed interest in hosting, according to the AP, and were due to submit their formal bids by Oct. 4: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and South Korea, which could bid jointly with North Korea.
“The astounding success of this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France made it very clear that this is the time to keep the momentum going and take concrete steps to foster the growth of women’s football. I am glad to see this proposal – the first of several − becoming a reality,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. “The expansion reaches far beyond the eight additional participating teams; it means that, from now on, dozens more member associations will organize their women’s football program knowing they have a realistic chance of qualifying. The FIFA Women’s World Cup is the most powerful trigger for the professionalization of the women’s game, but it comes but once every four years and is only the top of a much greater pyramid.”

Speaking of soccer, NBC Sports will open the 2019-20 Premier League season on the road with the full announce team on-location in the UK from Aug. 8-11. Extensive Premier League coverage will be presented from match grounds over the season’s opening three days, featuring on-site studios for pre-match, halftime and post-game shows as well as pitch-side locations, beginning with Liverpool hosting Norwich City on Aug. 9. Rebecca Lowe will return to host pre- and post-match show on-site throughout the weekend, joined by a revolving combination of analysts, including the U.S.-based team of Robbie Earle, Kyle Martino and Robbie Mustoe. Arlo White will call the matches, and make pre-match and post-match appearances from NBC Sports’ pitch-side locations. On Aug. 8, NBC Sports will produce its first-ever telecast from Sky studios in the UK as it presents Premier League Live: Transfer Deadline Day at 11a on NBCSN.
ESPN reports that its second season of Formula One World Championship race coverage is seeing viewership growth for the race telecasts, scoring year-over-year audience increases in eight of the 11 live race telecasts so far this year. This past Sunday’s German Grand Prix averaged 688,000 viewers on ESPN, the largest audience for a cable television telecast of the race on record and an increase of 27% percent over last year’s telecast on ESPN2. Formula 1 races on ESPN networks are averaging 679,000 viewers through the first 11 events of the season, up 19%.
August sees NBA TV dedicate one day to each NBA franchise highlighting memorable moments and key figures via “Team Days” programming. The content begins today with the Miami Heat, and runs through Aug. 30, with the Atlanta Hawks, as different organization will be highlighted daily during the month with Hardwood Classics, interviews, documentaries, and other archived features. NBA TV’s programming lineup on today will include Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade’s 2006 NBA Finals-clinching Game 6 win for the Heat, along with the “Big Three” of LeBron James, Wade and Chris Bosh capturing their first title in 2012.
ESPN networks will televise The Basketball Tournament Championship Week through Aug. 6. live from Wintrust Arena in Chicago. The single-elimination, five-on-five, open-application tournament will crown the 2019 winner-take-all $2 million champion Tuesday at 9p on ESPN. ESPN’s commentator team features play-by-play voice Bob Rathbun, analysts Fran Fraschilla and Dan Dakich, and reporter Jen Hale.
Sunday’s MLB on TBS regular season game coverage will feature NL Central rivals – the Milwaukee vs. the Chicago Cubs at 2p. Brian Anderson and Ron Darling will call the Brewers/Cubs telecast, which will not be available locally in the Chicago market. TBS will then present a full national telecast showcasing recent AL MVPs – the Los Angeles Angels and Mike Trout vs. the defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox and Mookie Bettson Aug. 11, at 1p.  Ernie Johnson and Darling will provide commentary for Angels/Red Sox.

RIP to Nicholas Buoniconti, who died at the age of 78. The Pro Football Hall of Famer extended his talents beyond his playing years to serve as co-host of the HBO series Inside the NFL until 2001, among other endeavors. “Nick Buoniconti lived an extraordinary life,” said Rick Bernstein, executive producer, HBO Sports. “He accomplished virtually everything he set his sights on in life. He was a trailblazer. Pairing him with Len Dawson on inside the NFL for 23 years is an unforgettable part of football television history. And then having the blessing of Nick and his wife, Lynn, to chronicle his lifelong journey and produce a documentary earlier this year is an important part of our heritage at HBO Sports. It was vintage Nick Buoniconti : honest, raw and to the point. Everybody at HBO Sports is grateful to have had Nick as a friend, colleague and part of our family.  We send our condolences to the Buoniconti family.”
The 7th Annual Cynopsis Digital Awards
Entries Due TODAY (AUG 1 @ 11:59PM ET)
The Cynopsis Digital Model D Awards is looking for: Innovators. Inspirers. Creators of all kinds. For the 7th year in a row, we celebrate those in online video content and advertising who are at the forefront of the industry, elevating it with their state-of-the-art contributions to branded content, technology, ad campaigns, and original content.
ABOUT MODEL D      ABOUT “IT LIST”                   ENTER NOW


The PGA TOUR and Kingmade Jerky unlocked a new, multi-year marketing relationship that designates Kingmade Jerky as the “Official Jerky and Official Meat Snack of the PGA TOUR.” As part of the PGA TOUR’s Official Marketing Partner program, Kingmade Jerky will activate the partnership at key tournaments, including during the upcoming FedExCup Playoffs, and be featured on PGATOUR.COM, SiriusXM Radio and via the TPC Network.
Ford announced the inaugural class that will be honored as new members into the Ford Hall of Fans, “representing some of the most passionate fans in the NFL.” The 2019 Ford Hall of Fans includes class members Roger Avila (Miami Dolphins), Don Wachter (Chicago Bears) and Rick Holman (Pittsburgh Steelers). The ceremony will take place today at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton during Enshrinement Week where the Ford Hall of Fans exhibit will also be unveiled.
The National Lacrosse League, Alterna Savings and Alterna Bank announced a new partnership, making Alterna the official and exclusive financial institution for the NLL in Canada. “We’re excited to team up with yet another great brand to form this unique partnership with Alterna, which has proudly served its customers in Canada for more than a century.” NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz said. “The inaugural Alterna Cup will be an exciting competition amongst our five Canadian teams and bring an added twist of competition to delight our tremendous fans in the Great North. As we continue to expand our league, it’s essential that we align ourselves with successful organizations like Alterna to make our league even stronger.”
The NBA, National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) and Dapper Labs, a consumer blockchain company and creator of CryptoKitties, announced the development of NBA Top Shot, a new digital platform for basketball fans to “collect, trade, and own some of the greatest moments in league history on blockchain.” NBA Top Shot will feature a social experience built around digital collectibles as well as a complementary head-to-head game designed to create a accessible fan engagement on blockchain. Rosters are built by acquiring live in-game moments from the NBA season. “Dapper Labs’ innovation and expertise make them a perfect partner to introduce this groundbreaking game and what we believe will become coveted digital collectibles for basketball fans around the world,” said Adrienne O’Keeffe, NBA Senior Director, Consumer Products & Gaming Partnerships.
ESPN Digital reports that it reached 91.0 million unique visitors in June for a 21% rise. ESPN Digital also ranked atop the charts in total minutes with 5.3 billion.

In this week’s edition of Cynopsis Esports
  • Tempest Award finalists!
  • Epic breaks down Fortnite World Cup numbers
  • Evo hits start
  • Who is wrangling the Houston Outlaws?
  • ONE begins countdown
  • Hearthstone reshuffles
  • Overwatch Contenders faces Gauntlet 

NBA Canada executive Dan MacKenzie was named as the first full-time president of the Canadian Hockey League. MacKenzie has been managing director of NBA Canada the past eight years.

Falcons/Broncos in Hall of Fame Game on NBC at 8p.
September 9-10 / NYC
SESSION SPOTLIGHT > Measurement Matters
The holy grail of unduplicated, consistent measurement across platforms remains a hot point for the media sector. This conversation with A+E Networks, CIMM, AMC Networks, Spark Foundry and Viacom will dive into the emergent models around standards, research, and what our community needs to do in order to solve these challenges.
Sponsored by: Sinclair – NY Interconnect – Friend MTS – iSpot.tv – NCC Media – TV Time – Tubi

ON THIS DAY in 1974: The Virginia Squires trade Julius “Dr J” Erving to the New York Nets.
In the Know: Dr. J played basketball at which university? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your company and city).
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Kevin Garnett topped the NBA in defensive rebounds for five consecutive seasons. Who broke that streak?  Answer: Dwight Howard. Kudos: Curry Bloom-Horizon Media/NY; Greg Conner-Tennis Media/NY; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; JT Ward-Spark Foundry/Chicago; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; Larry Hutchings/Nipomo; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell
Kerry Smith
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Roberta Caploe
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NHNZ: Generate and maximize sales for NHNZ in the USA through proactive, business orientated, results driven client management. Self-starter with a clear creative vision and an understanding of all things TV. Full info HERE (8/15)

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Momentous/Remote: Responsible for building relationships with professional teams, colleges and universities, coaches, trainers and dietitians to sell our products on a long-term basis. 3+ yrs of team sales exp, preferably in food or supplements. Full info/apply 
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BECK Media/Santa Monica CA:
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Turner Sports/NYC: 
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Octagon/Stamford CT: 
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Fox Business Network/NYC: 
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Brian Graden Media (BGM)/Hollywood CA: Lead team’s ideation of program concepts, w/boundless enthusiasm for their own ideas, as well as others. Create sales strategies. Exp w/successful track record at production company/studio in a development role actively selling shows. Full info HERE (8/8)

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The Steve Wilkos Show/NYC:
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