08/04/15: ESPN ready for another taste of Fame; NASCAR orders another round in Vegas; CBS beefs up Sportsline


Good morning. It’s Tuesday August 4, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

As the NFL season gets ready to kick off, ESPN serves up the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony for the 21st consecutive year on Saturday at 7p. Trey Wingo anchors coverage on rhe network, and will be joined by Tom Jackson, Chris Mortensen and Sal Paolantonio. Of course, this year’s class includes two members of ESPN’s NFL analyst team in Jerome Bettis and Bill Polian who will be enshrined with Tim Brown, Charles Haley, Junior Seau, Will Shields, Mick Tingelhoff and Ron Wolf. Throughout the week, NFL Live will pay tribute to Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinees.


NASCAR is keeping its marriage with Las Vegas intact, announcing that the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards  and all of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week  will return to Las Vegas in 2015 as part of a renewed partnership with the city. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards will headline NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week at Wynn Las Vegas on December 4. “We’ve had a great experience in Las Vegas and are very pleased to extend our partnership with the city,” said NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Steve Phelps. “Las Vegas has consistently set the stage for a vibrant, exciting NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week, when the sport looks back on the season and toasts its newest Champion.” The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards will air on NBCSN at 9p.

FOX Sports unveiled its broadcast plans for the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League with coverage kicking off this week across FOX Sports platforms. Overall, 16 CONCACAF Champions League games will be carried across FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 and FOX Soccer Plus from August to October starting today with Real Salt Lake/Municipal in Guatemala on FOX Soccer Plus at 10p. JP Dellacamera calls all CONCACAF Champions League Match Day 1 fixtures and will be joined by former MLS defender Brian Dunseth. FOX Sports newcomer Ian Joy makes his debut hosting in-studio alongside analyst Cobi Jones.

ESPN locked in Jeremy Schaap for the long haul via a new long-term extension. Schaap joined ESPN full-time in 1994 and will continue to serve as a correspondent for E:60. In addition, Schaap will continue to host ESPN Radio’s The Sporting Life and contribute to Outside the Lines, SportsCenter, NFL Countdown and College GameDay, among other ESPN platforms. He will also continue to cover select live events, including the FIFA World Cup, and to lead ESPN’s coverage at the Olympics.

CBS Sports Network lined up the debut of new one-hour series Time to Schein for Aug. 17 at 6p. The series will run live on weekdays with host Adam Schein from NY. The channel says the series will see Schein and offer “the latest news, key figures and social media trends in a fast-moving, unscripted format.”

ESPN College GameDay will kick off the college football season for the second straight year from Sundance Square in Fort Worth, Texas ahead of the annual neutral-site matchup from AT&T Stadium that will pit Wisconsin/Alabama this year on Saturday Night Football on ABC at 8p. Rece Davis takes over full-time hosting duties joining analysts Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and David Pollack. Davis, Howard and Pollack will then make an additional stop in Blacksburg for College Football Countdown on Sept. 7, in advance of the Ohio State/Virginia Tech at 8p.

ESPN has had enough of the French Open, according to SBD, and will “walk away” from its coverage the Grand Slam tennis event after 13 years. The decision currently leaves Tennis Channel as the sole cable carrier of the tournament although the report states that NBCSN could jump in the fray.

Speaking of NBC, the network notched a 1.44 overnight rating with the return of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah on Sunday in Haskell. That score is the best for a summer race since at least 2011, according to the network and up 76% from year ago numbers. Top markets: Louisville 3.9/7; 2. New York 3.0/8; 3. Orlando 2.7/5; T4. West Palm Beach and Tampa 2.6/5.

In other ratings, CBS’s coverage of the Quicken Loans National saw year-over-year gains with the Third Round notching a 2.1/6, up 75% over equitable golf coverage on the network a year ago and ranked as the highest0rated third round for this event in the metered markets since 2012. The Final Round delivered a 2.4/6, and marked the highest rated final round for this event in the metered markets since 2012 (again) when Tiger Woods won.

Continuing the trend, the Aug. 2 edition of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, which featured the Mets win over the Nationals, handed the channel with a 1.7 overnight rating, according to Nielsen. This is up 6% from a 1.6 for last year’s comparable game and drew a 6.4 in New York, making it the highest-rated regular-season Major League Baseball game on ESPN in the market since July 8, 2012, according to Nielsen.

Finally, MLB Network drew its most-watched Trade Deadline coverage in network history last week, scoring an average Nielsen total day audience of 147,000 viewers for its coverage spanning July 25-31. That is up 19% in total viewership over the week-long coverage in 2014, including a 77% spike in the Men 18-34 demo. Deadline Day on Friday handed the channel with its second-highest regular season total day audience ever with an average of 193,000 viewers.

More details on the one-year-out celebration ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics tomorrow as NBCUniversal will see a slate of Olympians join the TODAY set while Natalie Morales reports live from Rio. With golf’s return to the Olympics after a more than 100-year absence, Golf Channel will offer an extended Morning Drive from 7-11a that will include a live press conference at 9a from the PGA TOUR’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational focusing on the sport’s return to the Games. Meanwhile, the USOC will mark the countdown with promotional activities and athlete appearances that will see the organization release its new apparel item of the Games and launch Rio Games-focused digital offerings at TeamUSA.org. “We are always exploring ways to connect with and better serve fans of Team USA, and the one year from the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games milestone is the perfect time to unveil a host of new and exciting programs,” said USOC CMO Lisa Baird. “Over the coming year, fans will have more access to the stories of America’s elite athletes, more opportunities to engage with and support Team USA, and more reason to cheer when the Rio Games open.”

ESPN slated Face to Face with Hannah Storm on Thursday at 7p, lining up the likes of DeMarco Murray, Missy Franklin, Michele Roberts, Pat Haden, Mo’ne Davis, Adam Jones and Karl-Anthony Towns.

Ronda Rousey is set to star in upcoming feature film based on her autobiography, “My Fight/Your Fight.” Variety reports that Paramount Pictures nabbed rights to her book and will see the UFC fighter play herself in the lead role as well as serve as producer of the film.

NESN reeled in Lisa Hillary to join the network as an anchor/reporter for NESN’s sports news programs. She will now join Adam Pellerin to form the network’s lead anchor team for NESN Sports Today and fill in as a reporter and appear on NESN’s other sports news programs.



Market-savvy & agile, these four executives are leading the new golden age of children’s content delivered across multiple platforms.

Tara Sorensen: Head of Kids Programming – Amazon Studios
Rob Sorcher: Chief Content Officer – Cartoon Network
Adam Bonnett: EVP Original Programming – Disney Channels Worldwide
Russell Hicks: President of Content Development & Production – Nickelodeon

Join them for a discussion on the State of Kids Content – REGISTER TODAY!.


Wasserman Media Group acquired the Greg Norman Production Company from the famed golfer, and will take on a company that oversees some of the sport’s key tournaments, operating the likes of the PGA TOUR’s Franklin Templeton Shootout, Valero Texas Open and OHL Classic at Mayakoba. In addition, Greg Norman has tapped Wasserman to assist with new commercial endorsements and corporate partnerships in an effort to continue to grow his portfolio.

HBO will debut comedy special Ferrell Takes the Field at Petco Park on Sept. 5, immediately following the game between the Dodgers/Padres. All fans in attendance at that night’s game will have the opportunity to stay and watch the screening of Will Ferrell’s special, which covers Ferrell taking the field at ten different positions for ten different teams, including the Padres and Dodgers, in five different spring training games at Cactus League ballparks.

WWE is teaming with DoSomething.org for The Bully Text: Superstar Edition. The campaign, now in its second year, will seek to motivate young people to take action against bullying by playing an SMS text message game through Aug. 31. "WWE’s massive reach and stellar talent have helped us activate thousands of young people around anti-bullying," said Naomi Hirabayashi, chief marketing officer at DoSomething.org. "We’re excited to rally WWE fans around this issue for year two to make it bigger and better than ever!"

Georgia State University is turning to Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment via a multi-year partnership deal that will see the company manage the school’s multi-media rights. VWSE will exclusively manage local broadcast and digital media assets, signage in all athletic venues, on-site marketing and promotions at home sporting events, promotional rights to the school’s athletic marks, as well as access to tickets and hospitality opportunities during the term.

One World Play Project and sponsor Chevrolet will see the auto brand continue to support the organization’s donation and distribution of Chevrolet-branded One World Futbols, the world’s first and only ultra-durable soccer ball that never needs a pump or goes flat. Together, the partners will donate 2 million Chevrolet-branded balls by the end of 2018. "Through our partnership with One World Play Project, we’ve been able to deliver play to millions of youth across the globe, and we’re very much looking forward to extending our partnership and continuing to provide more opportunities for play to children everywhere," said John Gasloli, Chevrolet Global Marketing Senior Manager.


CBS Interactive is launching data-driven sports projections on SportsLine.com, its platform for statistical sports coverage and predictive analysis. The site now blends “advanced data models with expert insight to provide smarter projections of game outcomes and player performances.” SportsLine also launched its first daily fantasy baseball games today along with content and advice for daily fantasy sports players, including a daily fantasy lineup optimizer. Free content on SportsLine includes X’s and O’s, game film breakdowns, player news updates, select expert picks with letter grades, podcasts and newsletters while the subscription content membership, SportsLine Pro, serves up in-depth game predictions and graded picks with confidence levels, player statistical projections, a daily fantasy lineup optimizer, game previews and simulations, season performance data, trending public perception, and detailed analysis of trends supporting the picks  for all major pro and college games.

NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the 2015-16 Premier League season will see NBC Sports Live Extra bring back its “Tactical Cam” for fans, a high-sideline camera designed to show all 22 players on the pitch at the same time, enabling fans to see formations and evaluate each team’s attacking and defending tactics as the game progresses. Additional second screen applications within NBC Sports Live Extra Premier League coverage include a state-of-the-art video player featuring HD video, in-game DVR capability, social media commentary as well as live, statistical data feeds from each game related to the teams and players.


Yahoo is partnering with Mondogoal to offer fans daily fantasy soccer. Fans who previously enjoyed season long fantasy soccer on Yahoo, will now be invited to join Yahoo’s daily fantasy play. Mondogoal currently partners with the likes of Chelsea FC and FC Barcelona in addition to Liverpool FC, West Ham United FC, Tottenham Hotspur, and AS Roma. The companies – Yahoo and Mondogoal expect hundreds of thousands of fans around the world to participate in the new venture.


Red Sox/Yankees on MLB Network at 7p.



Every player within the online advertising ecosystem is affected by it, but what does it mean, how can you combat viewer fraud and increase the bottom line in digital environments? These questions are top of mind for advertisers, publishers and media vendors, and Cynopsis will bring together industry experts to provide the answers.


ON THIS DAY in 1984: Carl Lewis wins the gold medal in the 100-meter dash at Summer Olympics in LA.

In The Know: Before entering the NFL, Troy Aikman was drafted by what MLB team? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: In the movie Kingpin, Bill Murray’s character Big Ern had a bowling ball featuring what item at its core? Answer: A rose. Kudos: Keith Marder-Halstead Property/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Ed Flamos-Rentrak/NY; Mike Donato-ABC/NY; Anthony Uro-Stage 3 Productions/Philadelphia; Jeffrey Miller-The CW 69/Atlanta; Melissa Pattillo-Turner Sports/Atlanta; Sonia Durr-Carat/Atlanta; Ron Salcedo-Zimmerman/Nashville; Kevin Wicker-Chiefs Radio Network/Mission; Michael Jaquet-U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association/Park City; Judie Henninger -Valentine Productions Inc/Santa Monica; Bryan Geidt-RevShare/Temcula; John McHugh/San Dimas; Adam Deverell-Cox Reps/LA.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for
Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

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