08/20/15: ESPN plays singles for US Open; Bud Light goes tribal; FanDuel goes mining


Good morning. It’s Thursday August 20, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

ESPN serves up in a solo effort this month, announcing broadcast plans for the upcoming US Open with exclusive coverage as Serena Williams looks to lock up the first calendar year Grand Slam in nearly three decades. The action starts Aug. 31 and runs through the Women’s Championship on Saturday, Sept. 12, and the Men’s Championship on Sunday, Sept. 13. Overall, ESPN will produce over 130 hours of television as well as 1,100 on ESPN3 from up to 11 courts at once. ESPN and ESPN2 will include new 12-hour time slots at 11a on the “middle weekend” of Saturday, Sept. 5 – Labor Day Monday Sept. 7.  Also, in the event’s new format, the Women’s Semifinals will now be played in prime time Thursday, Sept. 10, with the Men’s Semifinals on Friday, Sept 11.


CBS Sports Network has its 2015 college football lineup in place, offering teams from the Mountain West, AAC, MAC, CUSA, Army and Patriot League before wrapping up with the channel’s first-ever postseason college football game in The AutoNation Cure Bowl. The channel carries 63 games this season, its most ever, with 16 weeknight games. Carter Blackburn and Aaron Taylor return as CBS Sports Network’s lead announce team, and are joined by reporter Jenny Dell. Jay Feely also joins the network this season, teaming with Ben Holden to call Army and MAC games. Highlights include Arizona/Nevada and UCLA/UNLV on Sept. 12, Colorado/Colorado State and Utah/Fresno State on Sept. 19, Air Force/Navy on Oct. 3. For the full schedule, check out our newly-launched (and growing) GameGuide hub here.

NBCSN revs up for 50+ hours of motorsports this weekend, offering fans live race action from four different racing circuits  NASCAR Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series, Verizon IndyCar Series, and Formula One. Coverage begins with NASCAR XFINITY Series Racing from Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday at 7:30p and continues with Sprint Cup Series Racing from Bristol Presented by No Escape on Saturday at 7:30p. Sunday sees the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix at 7:30a and wraps up with the IndyCar ABC Supply 500 at 2p.  Lead F1 and IndyCar play-by-play voice Leigh Diffey and F1 and IndyCar analyst Steve Matchett will call the Belgian Grand Prix from NBC Sports Group’s International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn., then travel to Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania to call IndyCar action.

Golf Channel reports that it saw nearly 8 million unique viewers tune in during PGA Championship week. That represents an 8% markup and is the second most-viewed total since 2010. Anchored by Golf Central’s Live From The PGA Championship coverage from Monday through Sunday, the network also posted its most-watched week ever for the PGA Championship, with 107,000 average viewers per minute for 24-hour Total Day, according to Nielsen.

Round two of HBO’s Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Houston Texans handed the channel with 831,000 viewers for its second episode. That is up 23% over last year’s second episode performance. In Houston, the series scored a 14.5 rating, the highest rated market by far, topping last week’s 11.9 in the market.

In other tennis news, Tennis Channel reports that its coverage of the Citi Open tournament in Washington, D.C., scored an all-time ratings benchmark for the network for the summer period between Wimbledon and the US Open. The channel’s weeklong live telecast spanning Aug. 3-9 garnered an average 0.20 household coverage-area rating in Nielsen metered markets for a markup of 43% over last year’s 0.14 average.

NBCSN tackles international rugby in primetime on Sept. 5 at 7:30p, announcing plans to showcase the USA Eagles and the Qantas Wallabies in Chicago. In addition, Universal Sports will air an encore presentation of the match the following Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 9p. “NBC Sports has been a great partner for us, and we are looking forward to having this match on the air Labor Day Weekend,” said USA Rugby Chief Executive Officer Nigel Melville. “We had a great event last year in Chicago, and are expecting much of the same this year as we prep for the World Cup.”

Longhorn Network hired former ESPN host Alex Loeb to join the Austin-based studio roster of Lowell Galindo and reporter Jane Slater beginning August 31. Loeb joins the network after spending the past two years hosting a daytime sports show on The Horn 104.9 in the city and will now host Longhorn Extra: Upon Further Review as well as play-by-play for many of LHN’s 175 live event.



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Bud Light is capitalizing on its status as the Official Beer of the NFL by introducing 28 new team-specific cans for fans. Each can’s design features a customized scroll message that “speaks directly to each team’s passionate fan base” with verbage such as “The perfect beer for making tonight ‘immaculate’” for the Steelers. “The introduction of these all new Bud Light NFL team cans is a prime example of our brand’s new approach to how we work with our team partners across the league to better engage with fans via localized content and experiences. Ultimately, fans love football and the NFL, but what they really invest in emotionally each week is their individual team,” said Alexander Lambrecht, Vice President, Bud Light.

Papa John’s is adding J.J. Watt to the menu, announcing that the Texan is joining Peyton Manning, to round out Papa John’s “Better” team ahead of the new NFL season. Watt will now appear in a national advertising campaign with founder Schnatter and Manning. Papa John’s is in its fourth year as the Official Pizza Sponsor of the NFL and the Official Pizza of Super Bowl 50.

IMG announced that Brad Paisley will be take his tour to IMG partner universities as college football season begins. The Country Nation College Tour presented by Zaxby’s will roll into Virginia Tech on Sept. 6, as well as Texas, Baylor and Arkansas on September 10-12.  Additional school dates will be announced in the coming weeks. 

Look for an unusual site at NASCAR’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Sept. 12, when driver Matt DiBenedetto sports the colors of James Madison University during the race. The university reports that the car will don purple, gold and JMU’s Duke Dog logo. Ron Devine, a co-owner of the team, is a 1978 graduate of James Madison who spent eight years on the school’s Board of Visitors. “James Madison University is a wonderful university that is nationally known,” Devine said in a release. “We are excited to be able to display the JMU logos on the national stage through NASCAR. As an alumnus, I was glad to provide this sponsorship for JMU and Athletics as a way to support its strategic plan, national branding efforts and overall university pride.”

Spartan Race is looking for the world’s fittest bride. The obstacle race series will be hosting the Spartan Fittest Bride Challenge at Riverside Farm in Pittsfield, VT from Oct. 17-18 with the winner receiving a wedding reception at Riverside Farm. Interested contenders-to-be will need to apply at the Spartan site.


FIFA continues to make announcements in an effort to enhance “the integrity of football events” announcing that subsidiary Early Warning System GmbH and digital sports content and media supplier Perform Group locked in a cooperation agreement. The deal will see the integration of Perform Group brand Opta’s historical and live performance data into EWS’ integrity monitoring system. The integration is designed to optimize the detection and analysis of suspicious activities in sports betting. “Perform fully supports EWS and its commitment to monitor and respond to the threat of match manipulation. We are delighted that Perform digital content can so readily be used in partnership with rights holders in order to strengthen the integrity of competitions. We look forward to cooperating with EWS for the benefit of FIFA competitions and those of its associations and confederations for a long time to come,” said Perform Director of Integrity and Security, Matthew Drew.

CSN Mid-Atlantic launched CSNmidatlantic.com and the CSN Mid-Atlanticapplication for iOS and Android devices designed to integrate and expand the extensive regional sports content previously available across its market-focused websites. Content covering the entire Washington, D.C., and Baltimore region can now be accessed on a single website and app for smartphones and tablets. “As the region’s largest multiplatform sports media organization, we generate an incredible amount of high-quality coverage, which we can now deliver to fans on dynamic, all-inclusive digital platforms,” said CSN Mid-Atlantic President Rebecca Schulte. “In addition to making it easier to access all of our great content, the integration allows us to create more material and broaden our reach by aligning our brands and consolidating our marketing and sales efforts.”


FanDuel acquired numberFire, a next generation sports analytics platform that “uses proprietary statistics to mine for unprecedented insights that predict player and team performance.” numberFire’s site will remain operational and FanDuel will invest in growing the company’s preexisting revenue streams, while numberFire’s proprietary info eventually be incorporated into FanDuel’s platform to increase user engagement and expand on product offerings for users.

Electronic Arts unveiled the new season of Madden NFL Mobile, with the new season offering new Live Events and Spontaneous Challenges, a new Receiver Mode, Legacy Team Challenges and other enhancements and improvements. The new season of Madden NFL Mobile also features numerous other enhancements and improvements, including a revamped kicking game, new NFL PAT rules, upgraded defensive strategies, enhanced pass input detection and more.


Bills/Browns on ESPN at 8p.



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ON THIS DAY in 1938: Lou Gehrig hits his last grand slam.

In The Know: Which current Pac-12 coach recently authored a book about Apache leader Geronimo? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What two schools traditionally play for the Floyd of Rosedale, a bronze trophy in the shape of a pig? Answer: Iowa/Minnesota. Kudos: Joseph Tafuri-Haversack Consulting/NY, Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Cindy O’Connor-HRP-Cox Reps/NY; Lewis Blaustein-Lewis Brand Solutions/NY; Chris Schwartz-International Speedway Corporation/Charlotte; Tim Overmyer-20th TV/Atlanta; Synda Kollman/Boca Raton; Joe Lyons-Back Nine Productions/Dallas; Bill Robertson-WCHA/Edina; John Campbell-KCRG-TV/Cedar Rapids; Steve Hebel-Katz Television Group/Chicago; Karl Hoium-F-M RedHawks/Fargo; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions/Santa Monica; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

Roberta Caploe: Associate Publisher @robertacaploe
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JOB OPENING: SR PUBLICIST/UP TV/ATL: Resp for dvlpng/implementing comm strategies for UP/ASPiRE prgrmng, working daily w/broad range of media outlets covering TV, music, ent, business, & advrtsng. 5+ yrs exp. in TV comm, PR or media relations. Res: HERE [email protected] (8/27)

JOB OPENING: PROD MGR,CREATIVE SVCS/EPIX/NYC:Work w/ internal clients & creative team to manage prod of off-air assets (TV spots, digital banners, etc). Create & track deliverables lists, prod skeds, budgets. 3-5 yrs exp prod mngmt. Full info/apply HERE (8/26)

JOB OPENING: TREASURY ANALYST/Fox/LA: Work within the Fox Entertainment Group Treasury Team assisting with liquidity risk mngmnt, cash mngmnt, & foreign exchange exposure mngmnt. 2 to 4 yrs related treasury, finance or accounting. Experience. Full info/apply HERE (8/26)

JOB OPENING: MGR, CONNECTED CONTENT PRGRMNG/MTV/NYC: Help oversee strategy/mngmnt of brand’s YouTube channels. Prioritize content from our series, editorial/dig/orig/events teams on key pages. 2 yrs exp content strategy. BA req’d mktg/pref’d. Full info/apply HERE (8/26)

JOB OPENING: COORD, SCHEDULING/Al Jazeera America/SFO: Create daily broadcast playlists, promo scheduling, generating live show digests, media tracking. Experienced with Broadview software or equiv. BA preferred, experience in Broad Ops, Scheduling, Traffic required. Full info/apply HERE (8/26)

JOB OPENING: SR MGR AD SALES MKTG/TLC/LA: Client focused, relationship builder to develop/execute intgrtd ad sales partnerships for TLC. Resp for Upfront, CY Renewals, responding to RFPs. 5-7 yrs ad sales mktg exp req’d, movie studio and digital exp pref. Full info/apply HERE (8/26) 

JOB OPENING: SR MGR PUBLICITY/History/NYC: HISTORY is looking for a self-starter to join the NY communications team, reporting to the VP Publicity. 4-7 yrs exp in television program publicity. Must have background in television – network or cable news a must. Full info/apply HERE (8/26)

JOB OPENING: MGR, SALES ADMIN/TV ONE/NY: Sprvs team/coordinators to review allocations & flighting; ensure that inventory load is sufficient for effective placement. BA deg &/or 3 yrs exp operations, traffic or ad sales. Exp w/brdway traffic sys pref’d. Full info/apply HERE (8/26)

JOB OPENING: ASSOCIATE PROD, BRANDED CONTENT/Litton Ent/LA: Work w/showrunners, prod teams & mngmnt & post-prod to ensure that all req’s are met & sponsor is in receipt of all info/deliverables. 8-10 yrs ad agency, comm prod or branded TV exp req’d. Resume HERE (8/26)

JOB OPENING: MOTION/BROADCAST DESIGNER/Comedy Central/NYC: Oversees prod for many of our toolkit-based promotions. 3-5 yrs motion graphic design exp req’d. Previous exp at TV ntwk is strongly pref’d. Exp w/Flash and Cinema 4D a + Full info/apply HERE (8/25)

JOB OPENING: RSCH ANALYST/WME/IMG/NY: Support media rsch activities, sports mrkt. Dom. & Int’l focus. Min 2 yr media rsrch exp. Strong quant req’d. Exp w/rsch sys (ie Nielsen, Simmons, Scarborough). Resume: [email protected] (8/25)

JOB OPENING: RSCH COORDINATOR/WME/IMG/NY: Support media rsch activities, sports mrkt. Dom. & Int’l focus. Entry level, any exp. in research a plus. High paced environment. Resume: [email protected] (8/25)

JOB OPENING: UNIT PUBLICIST (Nat’l Synd Talk Show)/Summerdale Productions/Culver City CA: Resp for daily consumer publicity efforts & dvlpng/implementing episodic PR strategies to drive tune-in. 5 yrs exp TV PR req’d. Excl writing/verbal/interpersonal skills. Resume HERE (8/22)

JOB OPENING: GRAPHIC DESIGNER/PAC-12 CONFERENCE/SFO: Create/design/execute mkting campaigns using Adobe Creative Suite. 2+ yrs design studio/agency exp. For full posting/apply HERE (8/22)

JOB OPENING: EXECUTIVE DIR, PROGRAMMING/TENNIS CHANNEL: Execute long term prgrmng strategies for the linear & digital programming services. 10+ yrs exp Program Plan’g/Sched’g & Acquisitions is req’d. Prev exp mngng team with Mgr and above titles. Resume HERE (8/22)

JOB OPENING: DIGITAL ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE/NBCU/LA: Work with CSNBA/CA National Sales Manager on maximizing digital opportunities with our National sellers, sell portfolio of digital products (display advertising, mobile, etc) Full info/apply HERE (8/22)

JOB OPENING: RESEARCH ANALYST/Discovery/MD: Passionate researcher to track and analyze Nielsen ratings data across 5 Discovery nets and competitors. Create rich analyses of consumer data as it relates to audience behavior and market profiles. Full info/apply HERE (8/22)

JOB OPENING: MGR COMMERCIAL OPS/BBC World News/NY: BA, 5yrs exp in traffic or broadcast ops in cable. Manage US copy accts, facilitate media delivery to UK and ensure log accuracy for US ads. Strategic thinker, excellent comm & computer skills with database mmgt (Gabriel, Broadway, WideOrbit) Apply HERE (8/22)

JOB OPENING: DIGITAL ANALYTICS ANLST/MGR/OUTDOOR CHANNEL/CO: Collect, report and present digital/social audience usage, mkt, econ & sales data for Outdoor Sportsman Group. 2 yrs exp Analyst/4 yrs exp MGR. Apply HERE (8/22) 

JOB OPENING: SR RESEARCH DIR/OUTDOOR CHANNEL/CO: Supervise, design, collect, analyze and present audience viewing, usage, mkt, econ & sales data for Outdoor Sportsman Group. 5+ yrs media research exp. Apply HERE (8/22) 

JOB OPENING: RESEARCH ANALYST/Discovery/MD: Passionate researcher to track and analyze Nielsen ratings data across 5 Discovery nets and competitors. Create rich analyses of consumer data as it relates to audience behavior and market profiles. Full info/apply HERE (8/22)

JOB OPENING: DIR. OF PUBLICITY/Jim Henson Company/LA: Seeks Director for initiating and implementing publicity programs to support Companys productions & serve corp PR needs. College degree and min. of 5 years exp in PR, mktg, comm., or related field. Resume: HERE (8/22)

JOB OPENING: PROMO PRODUCER-EDITOR/NBC/East Coast: The role purpose of a Producer-Editor is to oversee production and execution of marketing and promotional campaigns and sales presentations for selected sports properties. Full info/apply HERE (8/22)

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SITUATION WANTED: DIGITAL SALES & BUS DEV PRO – ISO consulting/FT/LA based: NY/Detroit contacts too. Hit the ground running: Rep Video, Analytics, Ad:tech to Big Brands/Agencies. (Many Automotive & Entertainment contacts.) e [email protected]. ph. 323.962.9885 (8/25)

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