08/14/20: The NCAA announced that there would be no fall championships this year


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Medias First Morning Read
Friday August 14, 2020

NCAA president Mark Emmert announced that the organization won’t award fall NCAA championships because enough schools are not participating as they deal with pandemic, with the decision affecting 22 championships, including FCS football. He went on to note that fall sports should still turn to the winter and spring and try to create a legitimate championship for all of those students, according to ESPN.

“The Board of Governors also established if you don’t have half of the schools playing a sport, you can’t have a legitimate championship,” Emmert said in a video posted on the NCAA’s Twitter feed. “We can’t in any Division I NCAA championship sport now — which is everything other than FBS football that goes on in the fall. Sadly, tragically, that’s going to be the case this fall, full stop.”


Broadcast plans for the 2020 NBA Playoffs – First Round are locked in, with play beginning Aug. 17 at 1:30p with Denver/Utah on ESPN. The day continues with Toronto/Brooklyn (ESPN) at 4p, Philadelphia/Boston at 6:30p (ESPN) and Dallas/LA Clippers (ESPN) at 9p. The next day begins on TNT, which serves up Milwaukee/Orlando at 1:30p, Miami/Indiana at 4p, Oklahoma City/Houston at 6p and concluded with the Lakers facing the Play-In winner. Overall, TNT carries more than 40 NBA Playoff games, with NBA TV on deck for up to nine.

NBC Sports opened hot for the first day of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, anchored by a legendary Columbus/Tampa Bay five-overtime thriller that drove the company to its most-watched first day of the playoffs on record, according to Nielsen and Adobe Analytics. NBCSN coverage of two First Round Game 1s averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 689,000 viewers, surpassing all other Stanley Cup Playoff first days on record and up 33% over last year’s coverage of four games across NBCSN/USA Network (519,000 viewers). The 5OT Columbus-Tampa Bay game, which began at 3p and concluded roughly 6.5 hours later, averaged a TAD of 755,000 viewers. In the late game, Chicago-Vegas averaged a TAD of 526,000 viewers, up 23% vs. last year’s comparable Vegas-San Jose First Round Game 1.

Elsewhere in ratings, Univision saw the Paris Saint-Germain/Atalanta quarterfinal match on UniMás and simulcast on TUDN deliver 753,000 Total Viewers 2+ and 366,000 Adults 18-49. That ranks as the #2-rated UEFA Champions League match this season on any network, regardless of language and is the most-viewed UEFA Champions League match ever on UniMás.

Meanwhile, the Premier Lacrosse League scored year-over-year viewership growth for the PLL Championship Game on NBC on Sunday. The match brought in a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 340,000 viewers on NBC, outperforming the 2019 Championship Game (276,000 viewers) by 23%. With NBC and NBCSN coverage for the PLL Championship Series now complete, all 14 combined broadcasts averaged 153,000 Total Viewers, an increase of 33% over the 2019 inaugural PLL season.

Mike Tirico and Danica Patrick return to NBC Sports’ coverage of the Indianapolis 500 when the Greatest Spectacle in Racing drops the green flag on Aug. 23 at 1p on the broadcast channel. They will first appear together for practice coverage on Aug. 21, on NBCSN. “My first Indy 500 last year exceeded my very high expectations in every way,” said Tirico. “Although this year’s race will take place under unprecedented circumstances, I can’t wait to get back to Indy. I’m confident that our team at the Brickyard will provide viewers with as exciting a viewing experience as possible. I am also thrilled that Danica Patrick is along for the ride again this year. We had such a great time last May and look forward to bringing Indy home for the viewers again.”

ONE Championship announced the addition of ONE Championship athletes and World Champions who will join ‘The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition’ as special guest stars on ONE’s unique version of the reality television series. ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera leads a superstar ensemble that includes ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee, ONE Flyweight Grand Prix World Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, Indian wrestling champion Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat, “Super” Sage Northcutt, and ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan.

Big news for the NFL in the UK as that league and pay-television broadcaster Sky locked in plans to jointly launch a new dedicated channel in the UK and Ireland as part of a new five-year rights agreement. The deal, which sans 2020 to 2024, marks the first time that the league has launched a channel with an international broadcaster. Sky wil also look to boost NFL coverage on its Sky Sports News channel, as well as on digital and social platforms.

Five-time Major League Baseball All-Star Adrian “El Titan” Gonzalez is landing at FOX Deportes as part of its talent lineup where he will serve as an MLB game analyst for the 2020 season. He makes his debut when the Dodgers face the Angels tonight.

The Big East Conference became the latest NCAA conference to clear out fall sports plans, announcing that it would be joining the Pac-12, Big Ten and MAC in postponing fall sports. Conference officials said the decision was made in consultation with the Big East COVID-19 Task Force, a group consisting of doctors, administrators, infectious disease specialists and other experts. The Big East will attempt to play out its fall sports schedules in the spring.

ACC Network’s The Huddle will return Sept. 5 with a new host – Jordan Cornette. The ACC Network personality will host the weekly, two-hour program throughout the fall on its new day and time, Saturdays at 10a. He will join analysts Eric Mac Lain, EJ Manuel and Mark Richt to preview and breakdown the ACC’s slate of football games each week.

In local news, FOX Sports South and FOX Sports Southeast will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues from August 16-22 with a weeklong series honoring the history and lasting impact of the Leagues and its players on baseball and culture. The series will air inside of Braves LIVE pregame shows ahead of Atlanta Braves telecasts throughout the week and will be hosted by FOX Sports’ Mike “Stinger” Glenn, Nick Green and Jerome Jurenovich.

Bleacher Report will debut its newest animated series this Saturday in Role Players sponsored by State Farm. The parody series is written by Family Guy alum Alex Carter, and “drops the best NBA players into your favorite TV shows and video games.” The first episode, premiering this weekend, will feature a cheeky twist on Black Mirror with Kevin Durant at the center of the drama. New episodes run Saturdays at 11a across the B/R app and social channels.

Athletes Unlimited and WAVE.tv announced a content distribution partnership that will bring game highlights and short form video content to WAVE.tv’s 200 million viewers throughout Athletes Unlimited’s 30-game inaugural softball season, which runs Aug. 30-Sept. 29. Game footage and behind-the-scenes video clips will be distributed across WAVE.tv’s portfolio of media brands, with programming being prominently featured on baseball/softball media brand “Dingers”, female athlete-focused media brand “Phenoms”, and parent brand “WAVE.tv.”

The Ways You Can Include Us & Build Long Term Partnerships

Thursday, AUG 27 | 1:00-2pm ET

“Black owned media is not supported by many companies and that is the very definition of systemic racism. Let’s use this opportunity to work together and achieve a positive change.” –Byron Allen, Chairman & CEO, ALLEN MEDIA GROUP

(Sponsored by TheGrio/ES Networks)


Sports drink brand BodyArmor entered into a multi-year deal

with the United States Tennis Association, with BodyArmor Lyte becoming the official sports drink of the US Open. As part of the partnership, BodyArmor products will be made available to players during US Open matches and practices, in locker rooms and in training facilities throughout the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. In addition, the brand will also activate through digital and social integrations, mass-awareness media and retail activity with Team BodyArmor athletes and partners, including 2018 US Open champion Naomi Osaka.

Major League Baseball named Spectrum Solutions, LLC as a partner in its COVID-19 testing program for the 2020 season. Spectrum supplies MLB and its Clubs with its SDNA-1000 saliva collection kits for all player and staff testing. “We would like to thank Spectrum Solutions for playing such an integral role in Major League Baseball’s return to the field in 2020,” said Jon Coyles, MLB Vice President, Drug, Health and Safety Programs. “We needed a safe, reliable, and non-invasive way to regularly test and monitor players and Club personnel this season. Spectrum has proven to be the best option available for our ongoing needs. We appreciate Spectrum’s support, collaboration and assistance during this challenging time.”

Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Wines entered into an agreement to become the Official Wine of the Los Angeles Dodgers as part of a multi-year partnership. “The Los Angeles Dodgers are one of the most storied franchises in sports and we’re thrilled that Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi is now the Official Wine of the team,” said Jaymie Schoenberg, Vice President of Marketing, Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Wines. “As two iconic brands with deep roots in California, we see this partnership as a tremendous fit and look forward to a successful future together sharing the award-winning quality and exceptional value of Woodbridge Wines with baseball fans.”

beIN SPORTS launched a global media campaign in 43 markets titled “Love It Like The First Time” – following the abrupt halt in sports caused by COVID-19. As soccer returns around the world, “Love It Like The First Time” encourages fans to share their first soccer memories and relish in the brand new upcoming seasons of soccer on the channel across its entire international network of 43 countries and 5 continents, including the Middle East & North Africa (MENA), Asia-Pacific, France, Turkey, and North America. The concept was created in partnership with beIN SPORTS North America’s creative agency of record, VMLY&R Miami.

Speaking of soccer, the Major League Soccer expansion team in St. Louis will officially be known as St. Louis City Soccer Club with the the franchise’s name, colors and logo officially introduced. St. Louis City will join MLS in 2023 where they will sport four primary colors are City Red, River Blue, Energy Yellow and Arch Steel Gray, which represent a nod to the city’s official flag. Meanwhile, the logo pays tribute to the city’s Gateway Arch as well as the meeting of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.


The Washington Football Team rolled out a fan engagement site that will offer a comprehensive and ongoing view into the organization’s rebrand efforts. The immersive hub is designed to bring fans along for the ride and provides a platform for their voices to be heard as the franchise ushers in a new era at www.washingtonjourney.com. The site will feature official team announcements pertaining to the branding update, unique behind-the-scenes access to the work-in-progress blueprints, and several ways for fans to weigh in on what the organization hopes will be a collaborative and inclusive process.

Topgolf is spreading its wings through a deal with Rovio Entertainment in a first-of-its-kind partnership to bring an Angry Birds themed golf game to Topgolf venues this fall. Angry Birds at Topgolf will utilize Topgolf’s Toptracer ball-tracing technology, and allow Guests to demolish virtual structures based on the velocity the ball travels, just like in the mobile version of Angry Birds.


The Overwatch League unveiled plans for its Grand Finals Weekend as the regular season wraps up, serving up a double-elimination bracket from Oct. 8-10 that pits the four teams that survive the playoff tournaments (with regional playoffs wrapping up on Sept. 13) in Asia and North America. The two teams from North America will travel to Asia for the event. The 2020 champion will take home a $1.5 million prize and the championship trophy. Blizzard is hosting two all All-Stars events before Grand Finals Weekend with All-Stars Asia on Sept. 26, followed by All-Stars North America on Oct. 3.

FaZe Clan and Invisible Narratives announced that content creator FaZe Rug will star in his first-ever feature movie. FaZe Rug. The film is set to be directed by Gregory Plotkin, (“Game Night,” “Get Out,” “Happy Death Day,” and the “Paranormal Activity” franchise). Simon Boyes is set to write the script. “It’s his time and it’s our time,” says FaZe Clan CEO Lee Trink. “This is the moment where YouTube and Hollywood finally collide. Not only do we have an incredible team and thoughtful concept to take the leap from the smallest screen to the largest screen, FaZe Rug is also the perfect lead actor to kick it off.”

Turner Sports’ ELEAGUE will present new episodes highlighting matches between the world’s best EA SPORTS FIFA 20 players starting tonight at midnight on TBS. The ELEAGUE FIFA 20 Ultimate Team (FUT) Champions Cup Stage IV was held Feb. 21-23 at Studio Rouchon in Paris and featured 64 of the world’s top competitors facing off in ELEAGUE’s third EA SPORTS FIFA 20 major championship.

Guild Esports, the esports company co-owned by David Beckham, appointed MediaCom Sport & Entertainment to serve as a consultant to bolster its global partnerships strategy. MediaCom will support Guild on developing its commercial proposition, with an eye to lock in global brand partners.

Immortals Gaming Club named ALL33 as its official chair partner, with the deal impacting Immortals, Brazilian brand MIBR, Overwatch League franchise Los Angeles Valiant, and Call of Duty League franchise OpTic Gaming Los Angeles. The deal sees the organization work with ALL33 to conduct research and development sessions that leverages its players to provide insight and feedback on gaming chairs in a move to “build the world’s best and ergonomically optimal gaming chair.”


Voices respond to college football cancellations; Veteran Tim Brando: “Darkest day of my time in college football”
Paul Finebaum of ESPN: It’s utterly unimaginable how bad this sport looks, how dysfunctional it is, but they are getting what they deserve.
Tim Brando of Fox Sports: The news from the Pac-12 and Big Ten were as troubling as I have ever witnessed, and it was the darkest day for me in my lifetime of college football.

The PGA: Sunday’s final round was the single greatest day of golf on TV since CBS’ first Masters in ’56
The golf on Sunday was spectacular and so was CBS’ coverage. They showed us an astounding 496 golf shots according to Jim Nantz in the course of the final round, and they didn’t miss a thing.

Sports on local TV news, once the source for scores and more, look for an identity in a digital world
Bernie Smilovitz, WDIV TV, Detroit: I learned long ago that research for a local newscast showed a tiny portion of the audience was there for sports. So I’ve always felt we had to make sure sports fans were taken care of as well as those who were there for just news
Steve Raible, KIRO TV, Seattle: Time dedicated to sports has not only been reduced at many stations like mine, it was eliminated altogether.

TNT’s duo of Harlan and Miller have a natural chemistry; Reggie covers the basics from an ex-player’s view
Harlan is as smooth as silk and has a thunderous sound. He’s able to enthusiastically call big plays without a screeching element in his delivery. Together, Harlan and Miller earned at least an A- from viewers of all ilks and perhaps higher from the average fan.

Happy Birthdays and many happy returns:

Brad Sham, August 16 Voice, Dallas Cowboys
Eddie Olczyk, August 16 Analyst, NHL on NBC
Bonnie Bernstein, August 16 Ex-reporter, ESPN and CBS
Kirk Herbstreit, August 19 ESPN, college football
Nate Burleson, August 19 CBS and NFL Network analyst
Pedro Gomez, August 20 ESPN, baseball reporter

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On this Day
1932: The X Summer Olympic Games close in Los Angeles.

In the Know
Who portrayed Marshall head coach Jack Lengyel in the movie “We Are Marshall”? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
What number did the Cardinals retire to honor Stan Musial? Answer: Six. Kudos: John Ferlazzo/London; Pete Gautieri-A&E Networks/NY; Denis Barry-CBS/NY; Barry Katz-NEP/NY; Art Salisch-Nielsen/NJ; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Mike May-R2 Innovative Technologies/Wellington; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Joe Lyons-ESPN/Dallas; Joseph Gacioch-Home Team Sports/Chicago; Bill Robertson-WCHA/Bloomington; David Hauptman/Denver; Dave Sikula-San Francisco State University/San Francisco; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; Nick Monroe-Monroe Photography/San Diego

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GLASS ENTERTAINMENT GRP/Phila, PA: Seeking motivated, self-starter to join our podcast team. This individual will be responsible for securing ad campaigns across our slate of podcasts. Must have podcast, audio or digital ad sales experience. Full info HERE (8/27)

A+E/NY: Support Int’l, Corp Dev and Corp Divisions, incl domestic & int’l mergers & acquisitions and general corp matters in addition to support of relationships with int’l channel partners & int’l content sales. YOU NEED: JD, min 7yrs legal exp at a major law firm or in-house counsel at a media company, exp in an active M&A practice, content licensing exp & strong negotiation & drafting skills. Full info HERE (8/26).

MAVTV MOTORSPORTS NETWORK/Corona, CA: Seeking highly qualified individual to take the lead in developing innovative strategies based on insights and trends to position MAVTV to consumers, clients, and partners. Must have marketing background – Dig, Social Media and/or Consumer Mktg preferred. Full info HERE (8/25)

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Newsmax Media/Washington D.C.: Seeking proven on-air reporter, in possession of an already-developed contact list, including many “who’s who” leaders in Congress, and related government agencies. Min 3 yrs exp with outstanding writing/production skills. Full info HERE (8/21)

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Newsmax Media/NYC: Write for fast paced news and opinion show. You are an exceptional storyteller with a command of political news and cultural trends. At least 3 years of national or large market local news experience. Full info HERE (8/19)

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Omnia Media/LA or NY: Seeking individual to sell a portfolio of social and digital ad products, including custom branded content, video spons, programmatic inv and influencer mktg. With a strong grasp of video games/gaming culture, and dig platforms. 4 yrs exp in video content/dig media. Full info HERE (8/15)

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