08/24/20: FloSports’ grand Tour; ESPN’s big Little deal; NFL & Nike’s new play






Medias First Morning Read
Monday August 24, 2020

Aug. 29 sees the Tour de France finally begin this year’s epic ride. Stateside, the event will be carried on NBC Sports Gold on its Cycling Pass, while Canadian audiences will be able to experience the journey via FloSports, on its FloBikes platform, where fans can take part in a Watch Party feature, a fantasy league, and more. Cynopsis Sports asked Ryan Fenton, Director, Rights Acquisition at FloSports about preparations for the event.

Fenton on the evolution of FloBikes: There has been an all-encompassing evolution of FloBikes since launch, from our media rights to our production of original content to our marketing and promotional efforts. Every year FloBikes continues to grow and service North American cycling fans with the richest experience possible. We don’t stop our efforts when we acquire media rights, this is when the work begins and our strengths shine. As we continue to build meaningful partnerships with rights holders and events, we also invest heavily into original content and storytelling along with grass roots partnerships in North America to help the growth and exposure of the sport. I believe our plans around the upcoming Tour de France will really demonstrate the depth of editorial and original content we’ve continued to enhance over the last few years. Our goal is to provide access and insight into the sport at a level that has never been done before and we want to do this 365 days a year.

On adapting to the pandemic: This has without a doubt been a truly challenging environment for sports but I believe we were and continue to be up to this particular challenge. As COVID began to impact live sports, we had to get creative and we had to find ways to service our community of passionate cycling fans in a time when the outlook on events was unknown. We supported a number of our partners (both local and international) by broadcasting their virtual events (which were very popular) while our content teams created new original programming, produced shorts and highlights around iconic cycling moments from major events, and even re-aired the full broadcasts of 2019 events so fans could relive the excitement around their favorite teams and riders. It’s kept our subscribers engaged and now that we have live cycling again, it proved invaluable but also a real learning experience. We’ll be instituting some of the learnings, even post-COVID. During this time we also got the chance to explore new ways of event coverage that could provide a richer experience for our viewers, especially within our apps where we can now host live stream “watch-parties” and have special guests interact with the viewers while they watch their favorite races. These types of broadcast enhancements have been driving engagement and the response has been incredibly positive.

On surprises: One of the biggest surprises has been the continued feedback we receive from the community in North America. While cycling is a global sport, North Americans have never had a broadcaster who focused on covering the sport all year round. As a company, even when you feel there is a need in the marketplace, ultimately the feedback from the community and the fans tells the true story. Cycling is an exciting sport with amazing female and male athletes, but after studying the marketplace we realized that coverage of the sport was falling short and that’s why we created a dedicated channel focused on covering the sport 365 days a year. Ongoing positive feedback from the community including support from endemic cycling media for FloBikes has more than confirmed our belief that coverage of cycling was lacking in North America. We are committed to innovating and investing in the sport of cycling and there is so much more to be done. We have a very positive outlook into this category in the near future and are excited to bring all these events and new content to fans.

On new elements for Tour de France: In our first year of partnership with Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.) and the Tour de France, which we will broadcast to fans exclusively in Canada in both English and French languages this year, FloSports will showcase a completely unique and exciting viewing experience curated specifically with cycling in mind. Our broadcast and content plans for this year’s race includes a comprehensive offering that will feature on-location reporting from expert cycling reporters, on-camera commentary and analysis from some of Canada’s most respected elite cyclists, dedicated studio shows hosted by FloBikes featuring special guests, live in-app watch parties hosted by prominent cycling journalists and athletes, and a brand new exclusive fantasy league that will be available to FloSports subscribers in both Canada and the United States.


ESPN drove in an extension for the Little League Baseball World Series and will host its events through 2030 as part of an additional eight-year run. The deal was announced on Sunday and covers domestic, international and streaming platforms with ESPN serving as the exclusive global rights holder for Little League baseball and softball. ESPN will carry more than 300 games yearly. “Multiple generations of families have enjoyed playing and watching games on ESPN and ABC, and we’re excited to continue and expand the rewarding relationship,” ESPN president and Disney Media Networks co-chair Jimmy Pitaro said in a statement.

Speaking of which, the Los Angeles Angels and Cleveland Indians will hit Williamsport, PA in 2021 to play in the MLB Little League Classic presented by GEICO. The game will take place on Sunday, August 22 and serve as a home game for Cleveland, will air nationally that evening exclusively on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball at 7p. “Investing in the future of our game has always been a central focus for our organization,” said Los Angeles Angels Owner Arte Moreno. “We are honored to participate in this special event that unites MLB’s brightest stars with the game’s next generation.”

A 2021 Paralympics will need to be able to guarantee zero coronavirus cases, Paralympic Committee president Andrew Parsons told AFP, noting that the gams will not commence if protection measures don’t improve. He noted that said some para-athletes were particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus, and that at current risk levels the Paralympics could not take place.

Speaking of which, to mark one year until the Tokyo Paralympics, NBC Sports delivers more than 10 primetime hours of coverage of the 2016 Paralympic Games Presented by Toyota, with nightly programming beginning at 7p starting tonight on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA. The programming will feature highlights from the 2016 Paralympic Games, where over 4,000 athletes from 159 countries competed, including 17-time Paralympic medalist Tatyana McFadden, five-time Paralympic gold medalist Brad Snyder, two-time Paralympic medalist Chuck Aoki and two-time Paralympic gold medalist Roderick Townsend. Mike Tirico and Ahmed Fareed will co-host.

For the first time, Bellator MMA’s “FightSphere” at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. will host a doubleheader weekend on Sept. 11 and 12. On night one, Bellator 245 is headlined by former world champs Phil Davis/Lyoto Machida in a light heavyweight rematch, while Bellator 246 on night two sees a bantamweight world championship fight featuring Juan Archuleta taking on the undefeated Patchy Mix for the vacant title.

Mike Milbury will not appear on NBC Sports’ coverage for the remainder of the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs, he announced following his on-air comments that players weren’t as distracted due to the lack of women in the league’s bubble. “In light of the attention caused by my recent remark, I have decided to step away from my role at NBC Sports for the remainder of the Stanley Cup Playoffs,” Milbury said in a statement released by the network. “I do not want my presence to interfere with the athletes as they try to win the greatest trophy in sports.”

NBA commissioner Adam Silver told ESPN that the league is now leaning against starting the net season on December 1, noting that the readjustment of the league’s calendar created by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic will now likely force an even later start to next season. “I’d say December 1, now that we’re working through this season, is feeling a little bit early to me,” Silver said. “I think our No. 1 goal is to get fans back in our arenas. So my sense is, in working with the players’ association, if we could push back even a little longer and increase the likelihood of having fans in arenas, that’s what we would be targeting.”

Trust us, you want to get to know these women!

2020 Cynopsis Top Women in Media Honorees
These innovators and risk-takers (
view here) are putting their own stamp on the “new normal” world of digital media.

Join us from 2–3PM daily (Oct 13 – 16) as we applaud the honorees during our virtual awards event.

Sponsored by: Turnkey Search


The NFL and Nike are partnering up to launch a football workout and training program designed to help high school athletes train together while physically apart due to the COVID-19 pandemic, titled 11-Online. The initiative offers position-specific drills and training instruction, with team building and leadership development elements modeled after Nike’s in-person training camps. Drills are led by a number of former and current NFL stars, including Russell Wilson, Willie McGinest, Aaron Donald, and Odell Beckham, Jr. and more.

NASCAR Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. and his foundation, Martin Truex Jr. Foundation are teaming up with The NASCAR Foundation and over 40 drivers from all three national NASCAR Series to launch the Nominate a Cancer Hero Program, celebrating and supporting champions who have overcome the battles of childhood and ovarian cancer. Fans will have the opportunity to nominate a cancer hero to “ride with” their favorite driver during the September NASCAR race weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Several drivers are auctioning off their driver signature location to be replaced with a cancer hero’s name.


Bit Fry Game Studios inked a deal with OneTeam Partners and the NFL Players Association to add an officially-licensed football game to the studios’ line-up of sports videogames. The agreement grants Bit Fry the right to feature the names, numbers, images, and likenesses of nearly 2,000 current NFL players in an arcade action football game. OneTeam, the NFLPA’s group licensing representative, facilitated the deal. “Bit Fry’s games continue to impress, providing opportunities for fans to create virtual team mashups while including the likes of Alex Morgan, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mike Trout and Skylar Diggins-Smith,” said Steve Scebelo, Interim President, NFL Players Inc., the marketing and licensing arm of the NFLPA. “As we look for new ways to connect with sports gamers, especially in today’s climate, this is an exciting development for fans and the future of gaming.”


Verizon continues to be aggressive in the esports space, now locking in a deal with Psyonix’s Rocket League Championship Series for the North American region of the series. “With rapid and fast-paced changes taking the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) by storm this year, we needed a partner who could stay up to speed,” reads a Psyonix blog post on the announcement, adding, “That’s why we’re proud to announce Verizon as the official 5G sponsor of the North American RLCS X. They know a thing or two about delivering consistent results as America’s most awarded network, which is why we’re excited to have them powering the North American RLCS all season long.”

FaZe Clan’s Kris “SWAGG” Lamberson released his first-ever merchandise collection. The collection includes a t-shirt, long sleeve tee, hoodie, girls crop hoodie, sweatpants, hat and mask, all ranging from $15 to $65.


Erik Moses was named president of Nashville Superspeedway, becoming the first Black man to hold that title at any NASCAR track, according to ESPN. Moses most recently served as president of the XFL’s DC Defenders. “Our partnership with NASCAR is for them to put on the race and bring the circus to town,” Moses said. “Our job is to make certain that the big top is ready. Make certain that everybody in and around middle Tennessee and the rest of that area understands we’re going to have a Cup Series race and they can look forward to the type of experience that NASCAR fans expect and deserve.”

Cynopsis Presents: That Big TV [Virtual Experience]
September 22-24 | 1-4PM ET

With ViacomCBS’s acquisition of Pluto, Fox’s purchase of Tubi, and Comcast’s takeover of Xumo and Vudu, the monetization formula for media firms will be changing. On Tuesday, Sept 22, we’ll dig down to talk about how these more automated platforms will influence the advertising future of legacy media players. (Sponsored by Tubi)


On this Day
1989: Pete Rose is suspended from baseball for life.

In the Know
What was the name of Mr. T’s character in Rocky III? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Who is the Bucs all-time leading rusher? Answer: James Wilder. Kudos: Denis Barry-CBS/NY; Michael Ritz-Lenox Advisors/NY; Mike May-R2 Innovative Technologies/Wellington; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Joe Lyons-ESPN/Dallas; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank

Cynopsis Team

Chris Pursell
Kerry Smith
Division President
Access Intelligence

Roberta Caploe

Cynopsis Ad Sales
Mike Farina

Albert Nassour

Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
Mike Farina

Check out more jobs in Cynopsis Classifieds »
Job of the day
Newsmax Media

Responsible for designing and building shows, managing show hosts and production team, identifying and integrating guests, overseeing and executing the production of key video & graphic elements. 3+ yrs EP exp or political news & talk programming. Full info HERE

GLASS ENTERTAINMENT GRP/PHILA, PA: Seeking full-time, in-house legal counsel. Must have min 5yrs of legal exp with 3 yrs of entertainment law exp. Responsibilities include overseeing all legal matters, working directly with the management team on all business legal affairs, as well as tracking and completing all contracts with networks, talent and clients. Full Info HERE (9/4)

FUTURE TODAY INC/CHICAGO, LA, NYC: Seeking salespeople to represent our CTV portfolio spanning kids/family, entertainment and lifestyle content. Ideal candidate will have exp within Retail, Insurance, and/or CPG verticals as well as existing relationships with major agencies. Minne relationships are essential for the IL role. Full info HERE. (9/1)

NBCUNIVERSAL/NY, NY: Seeking an individual who is looking for the opportunity to learn and grow in an exciting, evolving research environment supporting ELG Research team. Min 2 yrs exp in research, advertising, or media outlet. Prefer exp at a cable network. Full info HERE (8/28)

TWIN CITIES PBS/ST. PAUL, MN: New, FT position, that will design and implement a holistic and enterprise-wide inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) strategy into all of our programs and business initiatives. Min 10ys exp in IDEA in a nonprofit, educ and/or media preferred. Full info HERE. (8/28)

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 (8/28)

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 7 yrs 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 (8/27)

Magnolia/New York, Knoxville, Austin: CD w/a strong eye to oversee dev of original programming for Magnolia partnering with Chip & Joanna Gaines. Build new talent and concepts across varying platforms. 7+ yrs network/production exp req’d. Full info HERE (8/27)

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 (8/26)

Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for the production and execution of live political news programming, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs experience line producing. Full info HERE (8/26)

Newsmax Media/NYC: Responsible for designing and building prime time show, managing show hosts and production team, identifying and integrating guests, overseeing and executing the production of key video & graphic elements. 3+ yrs EP exp or political news & talk programming. Full info HERE (8/26)

Newsmax Media/NYC: Responsible for designing and building shows, managing show hosts and production team, identifying and integrating guests, overseeing and executing the production of key video & graphic elements. 3+ yrs EP exp or political news & talk programming. Full info HERE (8/25)

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 (8/25)

Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for the production of live news & talk show, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs in TV news and/or talk production. Full info HERE (8/25)



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