08/12/14: Rory, Phil help drive CBS Sports to 5-year highs; ESPN lines up Big Mondays; NBC Sports dresses up Men in Blazers


Good morning. It’s Tuesday, August 12, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

A battle to the end between Rory and Phil was a hit for CBS Sports, as coverage of the 2014 PGA Championship was watched by an estimated 30.9 million viewers, according to Nielsen. That is up 30% over year ago numbers and 42% from 2012. In fact, the 30.9 million was the highest number of viewers to watch all-or-part of the Network’s weekend coverage in five years. Sunday’s coverage saw 26.3 million tune in for all or part of the broadcast, up 48% over last year and drew an average household rating/share of 6.0/13, up 36% from last year’s 4.4/10 in the Nielsen metered markets, and also ranking as the highest-rated final round in five years.


ESPN unveiled its 2015 Big Monday Presented by Verizon men’s college basketball schedule, featuring a weekly doubleheader featuring teams from the ACC and the Big 12. The action tips off Jan. 5 and runs through March 2 with ACC games at 7p and the Big 12 at 9p. Debuting this season will be a Big 12 “flex pick” on March 2, in which either Baylor at No. 17 Texas or No. 19 Oklahoma at No. 16 Iowa State will be on ESPN with the other game on ESPNU. Week one will pit Notre Dame/North Carolina and Oklahoma/Texas.

NBC Sports Group is reeling in Men in Blazers, featuring soccer personalities Michael Davies and Roger Bennett, ahead of the new Premier League season. The series will serve as a live and on-demand multi-platform soccer program shown on NBCSN that will also stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports Live Extra app weekly on Monday, following the channel’s Premier League coverage. In addition, Bennett will serve as a special contributor on television, offering on-site features from the U.K. and making monthly studio appearances. He will also contribute long-form features to NBCSports.com. A special, digital-only version of Men in Blazers will be available on Friday of every Premier League match week.

The PGA Tour is adding the Barbasol Championship to its 2015 slate. The tournament will run opposite the Open Championship, with the inaugural event set for July 16-19 at Grand National in Opelika, Ala.

SEC Network laid out plans for the first two weeks of its schedule following its debut on Aug. 14 with a three-hour SEC Now that will visit every SEC school and the 21 sports within the SEC. Highlights will see every SEC team get its own 30-minute college football preview show with analysts Greg McElory and Booger McFarland; best games for each school from the past 5-10 years; Trophy Lives: Heisman Winners of the SEC and more. On Saturday, Aug. 16, SEC Network will air an 18-hour marathon of SEC BCS National Championship wins

Get ‘em before they’re gone! Networking, keynotes, Commissioners and the top brands in the business will all be at the Cynopsis Sports Business Summit and Women of Action on Aug. 19-20 in NY. Our annual sold out conferences continue to deliver with organizations this year that will include the NFL, College Football Playoff, CBS Sports, NBA, ESPN, Mars, NHL, EA Sports, MLS, Big East, FOX Sports, Chobani, NBC Sports, WWE, HBO Sports, Twitter, Turner Sports, SiriusXM, Soccer United Marketing, AEG, Univision, LPGA, Telemundo, IMG, Learfield Sports, US Ski and Snowboard Association, CSE, CBS Radio, Nielsen, AVP, Troika, Daytona International Speedway, WNBA, Campus Insiders, GroupM, USA Gymnastics, Bloomberg, NeuLion, Sporting News, Omnigon, USA Today Sports Group and more! Make a move before the fall and don’t miss out. For more info and to register, click here.

Meanwhile, ABC, ESPN & ESPN2 are joining to carry the 2014 Little League World Series from Williamsport with coverage launching Aug. 14. ABC will broadcast five games from Williamsport, including the International Championship and the United States Championship on Saturday, Aug. 23, at 12:30p and 3:30p respectively. ABC will then broadcast the Little League World Series Championship on Sunday, Aug. 24, at 3p. ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to televise 27 games beginning with four on Thursday. Barry Larkin will join Karl Ravech, analyst Nomar Garciaparra and reporter Jaymee Sire for all five ABC games, including the World Series Championship, United States Championship and International Championship.

Sportsman Channel’s Aporkalypse 2014, which ran from Aug. 4-8, saw year-over-year ratings increases in households (up 119%), M25-54 (170%) and M18-49 (142%) compared to the same week in 2013, according to Nielsen. That was good enough to rank as the top show, according to the channel, among mid-sized networks in the M25-54 and M18-49 demos on Aug.4.

Pittsburgh’s WWCS is rebranding to Yahoo! Sports Radio 540AM, joining the network’s 24-hour lineup starting Sept. 15. “Pittsburgh is a great sports town, and we are delighted to welcome WWCS to our affiliate base,” said David Gow, CEO of Yahoo! Sports Radio. “We have been experiencing tremendous growth in 2014, adding affiliates in a large number of strategic markets, such as Detroit, Phoenix, St. Louis, Las Vegas and Reno. We are confident our quality roster will also connect with the passionate sports fans of Pittsburgh.”


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ESPN debuted its new campaign yesterday promoting the college football season and the new College Football playoff with “Who’s In?” The promo slate will run through the National Championship in in January beginning with the spot “Different Ways In,” narrated by Florida State alumnus and footballer Burt Reynolds. More than 20 schools are represented in this spot, which include cameos from Jerry Jones, Jimmy Kimmel, Urban Meyer, Les Miles, Sam Bradford and JJ Watt. The campaign was developed in collaboration with creative agency Wieden + Kennedy New York and shot by director Stacy Wall.

Harvard University’s Department of Athletics inked a deal with IMG, granting them exclusive representation rights to develop in-depth corporate sponsorships for the school. “Harvard’s students and 271,000 alumni living in the U.S. are very active in school athletics and represent a veritable ‘who’s who’ of distinguished Americans,” said Ben Sutton Jr., Chairman & President of IMG College. “We will work closely with the Department of Athletics to attract a select group of premier sponsors in line with Harvard Athletics’ unique offering.”

Intersport announced that Chicago-based Coyote Logistics signed on as the new Hockey City Classic title sponsor through 2017. The Classic will feature Michigan State University versus the University of Michigan and Miami University versus Western Michigan University this year.


The final round of the 2014 PGA Championship was crowned as last week’s Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings, for the week ending Aug. 10. Final round coverage on CBS and TNT saw an unique audience of more than 8.3 million via 4.4 million Tweets. Rounding out the top five were NFL Network’s Browns/Lions preseason game on Aug. 9; ESPN’s coverage of the Sprint Cup: Cheez-it 355 at The Glen on Sunday; MLB’s Tigers/Yankees game on Aug. 4 on ESPN and NFL Network’s 49ers/Ravens game on Aug. 7.


Dodgers/Braves on MLB Network at 7p.


Cynopsis Sports Women of Action
AUG. 19 | New York Athletic Club | 1-6:30 PM

A sampling of the featured panels:
FOX Sports Women’s FIFA World Cup Q&A
Making the Pitch: Successfully Marketing to Women
State of Play: Driving Women’s Sports to New Highs
On Air, and On the Line

View the complete list of speakers & register:
Thank you to our sponsors – FOX SPORTS 1 & WICT

ON THIS DAY in 1994: FOX carries its first NFL game, featuring the 49ers/Broncos in the preseason.

In The Know: In honor of the great Robin Williams… his movie The Best of Times centered on redemption in what sport? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Which NFL player holds the record for most career fumbles? Answer: Brett Favre. Kudos: Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; David Baer-Rachael Ray/CBS; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Will Allmendinger-Zoom Media/Chicago; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA.


Cynopsis Sports Business Summit
AUG. 20
| New York Athletic Club| NYC

A sampling of the influential line-up of speakers:
Scott Greenstein – President/CCO {SiriusXM}
Ken Hershman –
  President {HBO Sports}
Chris Wagner –
EVP and Co-Founder {NeuLion}
Lenny Daniels –
President {Turner Sports}

View the complete list of speakers & register:


Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for
Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

Roberta Caploe: Editorial Director @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

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JOB OPENING: VP BRAND MKTG/CNBC/Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Dvlp overall mktg brand strategy & conceptualize/execute high impact, multi-platform campaigns w/various internal/external partners. Job #15300BR 10 yrs brand mktg exp. Full info/apply HERE (8/13) 

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