09/11/19: 50th season of Monday Night Football opens with strong ratings


Good morning. It’s Wednesday September 11, 2019 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

ESPN kicked off its 2019 NFL game coverage with a Monday Night Football doubleheader that produced dynamic results and a large audience, while also serving as a forum for a warning about a potential carriage dispute between parent Walt Disney Co. and AT&T’s distribution vehicles.

On the field, New Orleans Saints kicker Will Lutz capped a wild one with a 58-yard game-winning field goal that overcame a Houston QB DeSsaun Watson go-ahead touchdown throw to Kenny Stills just seconds earlier. In the nightcap, the Oakland Raiders and Jon Gruden, the long-time former MNF analyst, upset the Denver Broncos. The contests averaged a combined 8.6 overnight rating, a 19% bump from MNF’s 2018 doubleheader and the highest-rated pair by that measure since 2015.

However, the kickoff of MNF’s 50th season also saw ESPN run ads, which started during the Saints/Texans game, with information also disseminated on Bottom Line crawl, alerting AT&T subscribers that they could soon lose ESPN. The potential disconnect pertains to eight ABC-owned stations, including WABC in New York and KABC in Los Angeles, the ESPN suite of services, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD and Freeform. Neither party was specific about when their contract will expire, but if it does, those channels could be blacked out on DIRECTV and U-verse platforms, as well as streaming service AT&T Now, rebranded from DIRECTV Now.

Disney in a statement noted that since its contract with AT&T for ABC, ESPN, Disney, and Freeform networks ends soon, it has “a responsibility to make our viewers aware of the potential loss of our programming. However, we remain fully committed to reaching a deal and are hopeful we can do so.” AT&T countered by expressing disappointment that Disney put its “viewers into the middle of the negotiations. We are on the side of consumer choice and value and want to keep Disney channels and owned-and-operated local ABC stations in eight cities in our customers’ lineups. We hope to avoid any interruption to the services some of our customers care about.”

ESPN scored its most-watched U.S. Open ever with the 2019 tennis championships from Flushing Meadows, Queens.  The programmer’s live coverage netted an average of 1.275 million viewers, a 23% gain from 1.038 million during the 2018 Grand Slam event, and supplanted its 1.265 million mark in 2015, its first year with exclusivity and airing the full tourney. There were key demos across adults, men and women, including gains of 32% and 10%, respectively, with females and males 18 to 34.

Sparked by 15-year-old American Coco Gauff in the first week, the most-watched women’s final ever (3.219 million viewers) with Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu denying Serena Williams’ bid to match Margaret Court’s record 24 Grand Slam, and Rafa Nadal marathon five-set win in the men’s final (2.75 million) over Daniil Medvedev), ESPN recorded gains in 28 of its 29 windows versus 2018. The U.S. Open upturn caps a strong Grand Slam year of tennis for ESPN Networks, which recorded audience advances of 30% and 27% at Wimbledon and the Australian Open.

FOX knocked out its most-watched PBC Countdown show of 2019 on Sept. 7. The PBC Countdown: Errol Spence Jr. vs. Shawn Porter averaged 604,000 viewers, a delivery that trailed only the 705,000 that tuned in the FOX series last Dec.18.

As part of its celebration of the 90th anniversary of LaLiga, beIN SPORTS en Español is airing 90 Years of Stories special, putting the spotlight on a veteran referee and a journeyman who played for seven teams in Spain’s top futbol circuit. The stories center on Undiano Mallenco, who ended his officiating career on May 18 after 30 years and 340 matches, and Miquel Soler, who played for 20 seasons and 504 matches.

Fred McLeod, the long-time Cleveland Cavaliers announcer died Monday night of a heart attack. A Cleveland-area native, McLeod, 67, was about to enter his 14th consecutive year with FOX Sports Ohio, as the NBA team’s play-by-play man. He had also called Cavs’ games during the 1979-80 season. He is survived by his wife, Beth, a TV meteorologist at WJW Channel 8 Cleveland, and their three children, Sean, Jenna and Molly. A multiple regional Emmy winner, McLeod’s career also included a 22-year run as an announcer for the Detroit Piston and game calls for the Lions and Tigers. McLeod also covered the famed California-Stanford contest when the Golden Bears’ Kevin Moen jockeyed his way through the scattering Stanford band after multiple laterals to score a game-winning kickoff return. “The entire Cavaliers organization mourns the loss of their great friend and teammate,” the club wrote in a statement. “Fred’s deep love for Cleveland and the Cavaliers was clearly evident in everything he did in and around the community and on-air during his more than 1,000 Cavalier game broadcasts. He was a true, heart-felt ambassador for the team, fans and entire greater Cleveland community.”

The Cynopsis Best Of The Best Awards
Category Focus: Children & Family
The attention span of the younger audience is elusive and harder than ever to capture and keep! Which is why Cynopsis is thrilled to honor the breakthrough campaigns and innovative content in the kids, tween and teen media sector. These are the companies that are ahead of the curve and manage to thrive with this tough (but fun) demographic. View categories  here .


Evan Williams Bourbon is giving fans a chance to swing at a trip to the 2019 World Series. Through a sweepstakes offering, the grand prize winner will secure four tickets to one of the upcoming Fall Classic contests, plus air travel and overnight accommodations, four $100 online gift certificates to MLBshop.com and a $350 prepaid Mastercard. The first- and second-prize winners connect with a $500 online gift certificate and $100 online gift certificate to MLBshop.com, respectively.

Fortress Esports, the creator of the largest video gaming and esports venue in the Southern Hemisphere, has retained Strive Sponsorship to provide commercial partnership consultancy ahead of its 2020 launch. The 2,700-meter venue will be situated across two floors and will be able to host 160 gaming PCs, console gaming suites, dedicated streamer pods and a table top game play area. It will also be home to a full-service restaurant, two bars and a 200-seat arena, with full production facilities.


PRN and sports betting company VSiN have revved up a long-term content pact with NASCAR to provide stock car fans with more sophisticated analysis. Under the partnership, VSiN’s sports betting experts Jeff Cogliandrop and Steve Makinen will work with PRN’s NASCAR analysts Jeff Hammond and John Roberts on Racers Odds, a 60-minute show that will air on NASCAR.com, ahead of the circuit’s race day.

Looking to keep its fans engaged throughout the year, the Philadelphia Eagles want to produce an array of content touching multiple genres. Original content studio Eagles Entertainment is eyeing comedies, cooking shows and documentaries around the NFL team and its fan base that will appear on the club’s website and social media channels.

With its blackout on primary linear carriers Comcast, DirecTV and Dish continuing, Altitude Sports & Entertainment is contemplating approaching Amazon about digital carriage. Jim Martin, president and CEO of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, the holding company that owns the regional sports network home of the Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets, told the Denver Post the company is exploring that possibility, but has yet to approach the tech giant. Amazon recently became a 15% owner in YES Network and is about to enter its third year of streaming Thursday Night Football.



In a deal that will make the leader in Dirt Late Model Racing, FloSports has acquired DirtonDirt.com. Under the agreement, terms of which were not disclosed, DirtonDirt.com will continue to offer competitions to pay-per-view customers, with a dozen staffers providing leading-edge daily coverage of Dirt Late Model racing. Founded and operated since 2007 by Michael and Amber Rigsby, the site, has become Dirt Late Model racing’s internet home for comprehensive, multimedia coverage of the division, including videos, behind-the-scenes reporting, photography, and breaking news items about all aspects of the sport.

With the acquisition, Michael Rigsby becomes general manager of FloRacing.com., the dirt track racing vertical that FloSports has been building in recent years, while remaining at the helm of DirtonDirt.com. “Through this acquisition of DirtonDirt.com, FloSports will be able to elevate the live coverage of Dirt Late Model races and provide fans with a comprehensive platform to follow their favorite racers and events,” said FloSports CEO Mark Floreani. “Using the extensive resources of FloSports, we have every intention of continuing the in-depth coverage DirtonDirt.com subscribers have enjoyed for 13 seasons.”

Anthem Sports, led by CEO Leonard Asper, who was the former head of Canadian broadcaster CanWest Global Communications Corp. has purchased a majority stake in HDNet, the parent of U.S. TV networks AXS TV and HDNet Movies from Mark Cuban. AXS TV has a wide range of programming, including theatricals, concerts and an array of music-oriented shows like TrunkFest with Eddie Trunk and Rock and Roll Road Trip with Sammy Hagar. The network’s roster also features grappling fare, New Japan Pro Wrestling and WOW: The Women of Wrestling, which should match well Anthem, whose holdings include Impact Wrestling, Fight Network, Game TV, Game + and outdoor sports service, The Pursuit Channel.

Cuban and AEG will continue as equity investors in the new partnership, while AEG Global Partnerships, AEG’s advertising and sponsorship sales arm, will continue to support the channels alongside Anthem’s sales team. Comedian and entertainer Steve Harvey also has an equity position and has a strategic agreement for content development and promotion of Anthem’s portfolio of channels.


Beasley XP, the esports division of Beasley Media Group, is now part of the curriculum at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.  Under the new Checkpoint XP on Campus initiative, UNLV’s Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies is serving as the primary content creation and production hub for Checkpoint XP’s college-targeted brand extension. Plans include a college-agnostic esports weekly video and podcast show, as well as extensive online content the will be featured on CheckpointXP.com.
A weekly video and podcast, hosted by Beasley XP’s Norris Howard, along with UNLV student anchors, debuts Sept. 12 at 10 p on the Radio.com app, as well as Twitch, YouTube and via a podcast on bPod Studios. Additionally, UNLV will work closely with Checkpoint XP to recruit student correspondents from over 30 of the country’s top journalism and esports colleges to provide additional coverage on the growing esports scene across many of the nation’s college campuses. 


ESPN presents MLB coverage with Atlanta/Philadelphia at 7p.

The ultimate resource for media’s jobs seekers & hiring managers
Are you looking for a media job within the TV, Digital or Sports industries OR are you looking to hire a media professional? The Cynopsis Jobs site offers a deep pool of media-savvy, skilled candidates at a range of experience levels and sectors.
Check out our new Cynopsis Jobs site, here for a complete look on what’s out there.
ON THIS DAY IN 1985: Pete Rose singles off of San Diego pitcher Eric Snow for hit 4,192, surpassing Ty Cobb’s previous MLB record. Rose finished his career with 4.256 hits.
In the Know: YouTube TV is the presenting sponsor the World Series for the second year in a row.  Which company was the first sponsor of the Fall Classic? (Email cpursell@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Andre Agassi, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams and Steffi Graf all have garnered the Golden Slam, with Fraulein Forehand netting all five titles in 1988, as she beat Gabriela Sabatini in straight sets at the Seoul Olympics.  Kudos:Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Marisusan Trout-Tennis.com

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell
Kerry Smith
Division President
Access Intelligence

Roberta Caploe
Cynopsis Ad Sales
Mike Farina

Albert Nassour

Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
Trish Pihonak
Director of Operations

Check out more jobs in Cynopsis Classifieds »
Job of the day
Asst AEs, Sales Plners & Pricing/Inv. Edit PowerPt presentations & excel spreadsheets. Work w/ agency buyers. Maintain order entry, inv moves & prod allocations. Effective verbal skills. Strong attn to details. Prior internship exp at TV ntwk pref’d
Full info  HERE

UP/NYC: Asst AEs, Sales Plners & Pricing/Inv. Edit PowerPt presentations & excel spreadsheets. Work w/ agency buyers. Maintain order entry, inv moves & prod allocations. Effective verbal skills. Strong attn to details. Prior internship exp at TV ntwk pref’d. 
Full info HERE (10/24)


NY-Based ProdCo seeks strong, multi-faceted Line Producer(s) for 2+ upcoming projects. well versed in both studio and field productions, be calm under pressure, have the ability to multi-task and manage a multi-facetted budget a must.  Work closely with the project creatives & talent in ensure the quality programs on-time and on-budget. Full info   HERE  (9/23)

9 Story Media Group/NYC
: provide administrative support to the NY development team as they oversee several projects in development. Manage calendars for two busy VPs of Dvlpmnt. 1-2 years of prior assistant work, children’s content exp. a +  Full info HERE (9/20)

Crown Media Family Networks/Chicago:
 Maintains & grows business on assigned agency list; key liaison for Ad Sales team. Min 2 yrs. exp sales planning or buying. BA/BS req; strong MS Office Skills;  prior exp. Full info HERE (9/19)

Crown Media Family Networks/NY:
This position is responsible for providing sales support to the Direct Response sales team for Crown Media Family Networks: Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and Hallmark Drama. Full info   HERE  (9/19)

TV One/Silver Spring MD:
 Strategize/ implement publicity plans to generate positive consumer & industry press coverage of the network’s prgrmng, leading to awareness & viewership. Min 5-6 yrs related exp & thorough understanding of social & traditional PR. PR exp w/ a prod co, studio, network or ent PR agency pref’d. Full info HERE (9/18)

 Mobile Media/Ad Tech firm – Dir Strat Partner, 6+ yrs media sales, client svce exp. 75% tri-state travel, BusDev, client mgmt. TV, Radio, Agency, venue, retail & mobile com exp. Full info 
HERE (9/18)

RIDE TV/Chicago:
  Develop media proposals and creates sales presentations for all RIDE TV networks and platforms utilizing all available research, sales and content resources. 2+ yrs related advertising exp. Knwlg of research techniques and sources (Nielsen, MRI) Full info 
HERE (9/18)

  Develop media proposals and creates sales presentations for all RIDE TV networks and platforms utilizing all available research, sales and content resources. 2+ yrs related advertising exp. Knwlg of research techniques and sources (Nielsen, MRI)  Full info HERE (9/18)

  Develop media proposals and creates sales presentations for all RIDE TV networks and platforms utilizing all available research, sales and content resources. 2+ yrs related advertising exp. Knwlg of research techniques and sources (Nielsen, MRI)  Full info HERE  (9/18)

 Establish strong business relationships and act as a liaison with ad agency counterparts and internal departments including DR, Traffic, Marketing and Accounting. Strong organizational skills; great verbal/written communication skills and ability to work in a deadline driven environment. Full info 
HERE (9/18)

Establish strong business relationships and act as a liaison with ad agency counterparts and internal departments including DR, Traffic, Marketing and Accounting. Strong organizational skills; great verbal/written communication skills and ability to work in a deadline driven environment. Full info HERE (9/18)

 Book and produce high-profile national and international news makers, experts and guest in politics, foreign relations and business/economy. 5+ yrs exp in live TV (i.e. morning shows, cable shows, broadcast TV), 2 years in political journalism. Full info HERE (9/18)

CNBC/Englewood Cliffs NJ:  
Responsible for publicizing/promoting CNBC’s primetime programming & talent as well as implementing and executing PR campaigns and strategies. 4+ yrs of exp in PR/Communications. TV/Media exp pref’d. Full info 
HERE (9/18)


NBCUniversal/NYC: Looking for world-class brand strategist responsible for supporting the overarching DTC communications strategy. Must be big picture thinker with 8 yrs brand planning/marketing strategy exp (TV/DTC) from ent industry, adv agency or consumer products co. Full info HERE (9/17)
Newsmax TV/NYC: Operate/execute complete audio mixing/creation for several live & taped broadcasts, in the context of originally produced programs & public service announcements of audiences. 2+yrs successful exp in executing graphic and character generation in TV news, creative services, etc.  Full info HERE (9/17)
Newsmax TV/NYC: Directs, co-develops & delivers locally produced programs and public service announcements for national and international audiences. 3+yrs of successful exp in directing Live TV news, studio-based programming or similarly related professional media prod & media presentation expFull info HERE (9/17)
Newsmax TV/NYC: Produce and deliver completed projects using Adobe Creative Suite. Collaborate with production team, producers, and talent to create and deliver broadcast ready elements and assets. 5+yrs professional editing exp.  Full info HERE (9/17)
Newsmax TV/NYC:  Create graphics template for on-air Guests. Create animation graphics template for telephone guests.  2+ more years of successful exp in the field or in a related area required. Full info   HERE  (9/17)
Newsmax TV/NYC:  Manage, oversee and/or execute multiple communications and program publicity campaigns. A strong understanding of television publicity, key press outlets/journalists and experience in launching and sustaining press coverage on TV series is essential. Full info   HERE  (9/17)


NYC: Reality tv production company is seeking a music supervisor. This person will be responsible for overseeing the placement of all music tracks in our programs, & ensuring all music is properly cleared prior to delivery. Full info HERE (9/12)
NYC: Reality tv production company seeks an experienced executive assistant to the President, CCO & SVP of Development. General duties include answering phones, heavy scheduling, booking travel, expenses, & contract management. Full info HERE (9/12)
ION/NYC: Oversee and manage all aspects of the DR. Proactively develop business plans to drive account growth and development to achieve revenue goals. 15+ yrs DR selling exp in media or a related field.  3+ yrs of exp managing people or leading a sales team. Full info HERE (9/12)
ION/NYC: Oversee the Sales Research team and arm the Sales group with network performance metrics, competitive advantages, and thoughtful research stories. 7-10 years of Sales Research exp within the media industry. Strong leadership skills, analytical comm & presentation skills. Full info HERE (9/12)
ION/NYC: Focus on developing new and growing business among major agencies via strong relationships and superior client service. 5+ yrs of sales exp w/national cable, broadcast ad sales or media buying background required. Full infHERE (9/12)


Cynopsis • Access Intelligence LLC • 9211 Corporate Blvd., 4th Floor, Rockville, MD 20850 | Privacy Policy

Related Stories

07/07/20: Kaepernick joins team Disney

nike colin Kapearnick

  Tuesday July 7, 2020 Today’s PremieresABC: What Would You? Do at 10pDiscovery: Dirty Jobs: Rowe’d trip at 9p Tonight’s Finale:truTV: Tirdy Works at 10p IN THE NEWS Nonstop: Downloads of Disney+ shot up 74 percent in the US and 47 percent globally from July 3-5, as the film premiere of Hamilton burst onto the […]

07/06/20: Cynopsis Media Tech Update

apple Tech

  Monday July 6, 2020 Facebook is expanding its fan subscriptions to any creator in the US, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Thailand and the UK that meets the availability criteria. The subscription enables creators to charge their fans $4.99/month for exclusive content and a fan badge for their profiles. Also becoming more widely available is […]

07/06/20: Netflix renews The Kominsky Method for third and final season

Netflix renews The Kominsky Method for third and final season

  Monday July 6, 2020 Today’s PremieresAcorn TV: Edward & Mary: The Unknown Tudors, Sensitive SkinHGTV: Making It Home with Kortney and Dave at 9pID: Your Worst Nightmare at 10pQuibi: Life Size Toys Tonight’s FinalesHGTV: Home Town: Stay Awhile at 8pID: Betrayed at 9p IN THE NEWS Netflix renewed The Kominsky Method, starring Michael Douglas […]