08/09/16: NBC’s Olympic numbers; FOX Sports is feeling Sharpe; IOC cozies up to Facebook/Instagram


Good morning. It’s Tuesday August 9, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

NBC Olympics reports that its Sunday coverage of the Rio Olympics averaged 29.8 million viewers to top Friday’s Opening Ceremony by 12%, according to Nielsen fast nationals. Including NBCSN and Bravo, NBC Olympics’ television coverage averaged 34.0 million viewers from 8-11p while programming throughout the day was watched by 93.2 million viewers (31.4% of US population) overall in 51.2 million homes. Key events saw the US Women’s Basketball win over Senegal on NBCSN average 1.7 million viewers while Bravo’s full-day Olympic tennis coverage averaged 624,000 viewers.

Meanwhile, Olympics superfan and SNL cast member Leslie Jones is now heading to Rio following her dedicated Tweets about the Games. Starting Friday, Jones will attend live Olympic events, meet athletes, and more for the Olympics on-air and online during NBC Olympics’ coverage of Rio 2016.


FOX Sports is pairing Shannon Sharpe with Skip Bayless for his upcoming opinion and debate show premiering Sept. 6 at 10a. Sharpe joined Bayless as a guest host on First Take numerous times over the last year.

Meanwhile, FOX Sports also announced that Redskins All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman will join the company as an on-air contributor for the 2016 season in a recurring role. Norman will divide his appearances between FOX NFL Kickoff at 11a and FOX NFL Sunday at noon for his duties, “participating in talkbacks via satellite, pre-packaged features shot during the practice week and also serves as an analyst in the Los Angeles studio on Nov. 6 during Washington’s Week 9 bye.

ESPN lined up a 28-hour DraftKings Fantasy Football Marathon ahead of the NFL season, running Aug. 15-16 starting at 7p.  Programming will feature fantasy specials in primetime both nights as well as segments on multiple editions of SportsCenter, and Fantasy Football-themed editions of First Take, Mike and Mike,His & Hers, SportsNation and NFL Live.

beIN Sports announced the return of Spain’s LaLiga, Italy’s Serie A and France’s Ligue 1 to its Fall programming lineup. The LaLiga season kicks off Aug. 19 on the network, with Serie A beginning the next day on Aug. 20. Ligue 1 launched on Aug. 12.

ESPNLA 710AM and ESPN Deportes 1330 lined up their voices for the first Rams season back in LA, announcing that commentator J.B. Long, Maurice Jones-Drew, and reporter D’Marco Farr will call the action of every Rams game live on ESPNLA 710. Mario Solis and Troy Santiago will serve as play-by-play announcers on KWKW 1330 AM/ESPN Deportes, the Rams’ official Spanish language flagship radio station.  

Outdoor Channel reports that the network saw growth of 223% among Adults 18-49 and 183% among Adults 25-54 during the past quarter. The first half of 2016 delivered its highest first and second quarter in households in five years.


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Lagardere Sports acquired experiential marketing and production agency Rooftop2 Productions. The agency’s services include live event development and production, sporting event design and management, experiential marketing and activation, media and content production and hospitality solution with clients that have included FanDuel, the NFL, New York Jets, New York City FC, Topps, and the United Way. Rooftop2 Productions will continue to operate under its own brand name.

Michelob ULTRA celebrated the return of golf to the Olympics with the launch of a unique video featuring Brazillian soccer announcer Nilson Cesar and pro golfer Scott Langley who plays the sport while Cesar narrates with the enthusiasm he uses for soccer. The brand is offering fans the chance to receive their own soccer-inspired video as a parody of the ad by sharing their best swings @MichelobULTRA with the hashtag #ULTRAgolf on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Speaking of beverages, Corona Extra locked in a deal to become an official partner of the Los Angeles Rams. Deal points include exclusivity in the imported beer category; in-stadium signage; use of the Rams’ logos and other marks on packaging and point-of-sale; sponsorship of stadium Replay Feature bumpers; in-stadium and gameday activations; and presenting sponsorship of the new party zone Corona Beach House.


Facebook and Instagram announced new partnerships with the IOC and Rio 2016 Organizing Committee, as well as with the official broadcasters and National Olympic Committees of over 10 countries with content that will include video highlights through the pages of official broadcasters from the Games, original Live programming, and more. Both platforms will offer special features to fans to facilitate engagement and conversation, and work with all key Olympic Movement stakeholders to ensure deep engagement with fans on both platforms. The IOC will also launch an official Olympic bot on Facebook Messenger, while the upcoming Olympic Channel will also use Facebook and Instagram as a distribution platform.


SIDEARM Sports announced a new multi-year deal with technology provider LISNR designed to offer location based mobile messaging over audio to college sports fans. Teams will be able to immediately push relevant content to smart devices through “high frequency, inaudible Smart Tones” that can be played by any speaker and picked up by any enabled device. Pro teams using LISNR include the Cleveland Cavaliers, Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills.

The Topps Company is celebrating Ichiro Suzuki’s 3000th hit via Topps Now with two types of special cards for fans. The first features Ichiro for his milestone hit during Sunday night’s Marlins game, while the second will be limited to 99 copies or less which include commemorative relic pieces of a game-used base from Sunday’s game. Cards will only be available to order for 24 hours from Topps.com and then ship to fans within 3-5 business days


Valve CEO Gabe Newell announced that The International will offer Dota 2 gamers a prize pool of over $20 million. That pile is up from last year’s tally of $18.4 million pot up for grabs in 2015 (with $1 million in 2011). The first place team will take home over $8.8 million for their efforts. A quarter of this year’s earning came of sales of the 2016 Battle Pass.

Digital gaming marketplace G2A.com is teaming with Sporting Club de Portugal (SCP), one of Europe’s biggest football teams. The club will play host to an upcoming eSports tournament called G2A Lion Games – which will allow FIFA players an opportunity to play for the club, and to “develop their relationship with G2A to new levels.”


The National Foundation on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition announced that Ike Lawrence Epstein, UFC Senior Executive Vice President and COO will serve as its newest member to its Board of Directors. Epstein was recommended by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and appointed by US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell to the congressionally chartered National Foundation.


Olympic diving, gymnastics and swimming on NBC at 8p.


Cynopsis is excited to announce the finalists for the
2016 Kids !magination Awards

View the list of those who made the cut in the highly
competitive & dynamic kids media industry.

Please join us in celebrating on Tuesday, September 27 in NYC.

ON THIS DAY in 1988: The Edmonton Oilers trade Wayne Gretzky to the Kings.

In The Know: With team did Ichiro Suzuki play for while with Japan’s NPB? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Alex Rodriguez was committed to playing for what school before getting drafted by the Mariners? Answer: The University of Miami. Kudos: Keith Marder-Halstead Property/NY; Andrew Feingold-Fox News/NY; Michael Polvere-Optimum Sports/NY; Eric Wright-DS Simon/NY; Rich Dubroff-CSNmidatlantic.com/Baltimore; G. David Brown-FOX Sports/Charlotte; Peter Lasser-Lasser Productions/Atlanta; Lou Monaco/Springfield; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Steve McNair-KUBE TV/Houston; Brad Brown-Nevco, Inc./St. Louis; Bob Chasse-Professional Bull Riders/Pueblo; Brienne Chance-G/O Digital/Phoenix; Larry Hutchings/Nipomo; Jason Kleinhein-Big Tiger’s Mouth Productions/Mar Vista; Steven Gold-Nielsen Sports/Las Vegas; Miguel Velasco-Fox Sports/LA.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

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