09/09/14: Sports Illustrated unveils latest platform; FOX fills its afternoons, Eric LeGrand heading to SiriusXM


Good morning. It’s Tuesday, September 9, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Sports Illustrated announced a new platform, SI Wire, a new, daily digital video editorial outlet designed to “generate short-form breaking news reports for the SI Digital family, with additional distribution across the Time Inc. Premium Digital Video Partner Network.” SI Wire will look to generate short-form (:30 – :60) briefs covering the latest developments from the sports world with daily coverage starting at 6a. The initiative will feature anchors that include Ryan Asselta, Priya Desai and Aubrey Aden-Buie. John Hancock has signed on as the exclusive launch partner for SI Wire, which will have video pre-roll inventory against the reports.
“SI Wire adds significant heft to the SI Digital experience,” said Paul Fichtenbaum, Editor, Time Inc. Sports Group. “These video reports will be integrated across our sites and socialized through our distribution channels and we expect them to become a tremendous resource for sports fans.”


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Mark Stephens, Marketing Manager – Topps Company
Tim Reed, Senior Director, Events & Contents – ESPN X Games
Monisha Longacre, Chief Product Officer – NFHS Network
Jamie Mottram, Director of Content Development  – USA Today Sports Media Group

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 | 1:30 PM – 3PM


FOX Sports laid out its slate of afternoon specials that will run adjacent to its NFL on FOX single-header football games. Programming includes The Ultimate Fighter, IMSA, Supercross, Nicklaus Documentary, Skateboarding, Formula E, College Football Championship and NASCAR Previews. The slate begins on Sunday, Sept. 14 with The Ulimate Fighter: A Champion is Crowned, featuring an all-female cast with a UFC championship on the line. The full 12-episode season airs Wednesday nights on FOX Sports 1 beginning with a two-hour special on Sept. 10 at 10p. Sept. 21 and Oct. 5 will see coverage of the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, while the Monster Energy Supercross hits the channel on Oct. 26. Nov. 2 brings the Street League Skateboarding Super Crown Championship, Nov. 23 sees the FIA Formula E Championship and Nov. 30 the 2014 College Championship Preview. Meanwhile, Thanksgiving will see 1962 U.S. Open: Jack’s First Major premieres as the first-ever USGA-produced documentary on network television. Finally, Dec. 21 delivers a NASCAR 2015 Season Preview.

NBC’s Sunday Night Football opener, which appeared to be a Denver runaway in the early stages, delivered a 15.1/25 overnight Nielsen score on Sunday. Local numbers for the game were led by Denver’s 43.6/66, Indianapolis’ 39.2/58, followed by Las Vegas, Albuquerque and Nashville.

CBS Sports revealed its pick for the network’s SEC ON CBS football game for Sept. 20 at 3:30p, selecting Florida/Alabama. Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson and reporter Allie LaForce call the contest from Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Meanwhile, ESPN revealed its own pick for the Sept.21 edition of Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell, adding the Reds/Cardinals game for the season finale. Dan Shulman, analyst John Kruk and reporter Buster Olney will provide commentary for the telecast, which begins at 8p.

FOX Deportes is reeling in Mexican boxing star Eric Morales as an analyst for the network. There, he will offer commentary on all boxing related programming, ranging from fights to countdown shows to specials, beside Mauricio Cardenas and Daniel Ponce de Leon. “We are pleased to add one of the world’s most renowned boxers to our coverage,” said Carlos Sanchez, Executive Vice President and General Manager, FOX Deportes. “Boxing continues to be a leading sport within the Latino community, and his experience and knowledge helps to further elevate the caliber of our productions.”

Richmond 2015 and Universal Sports Network formed a media partnership for next year’s 2015 UCI Road World Championships taking place Sept. 19-27, 2015. The deal creates more than 64 original hours of coverage spanning Universal Sports, NBC, NBCSN and CNBC. The agreement includes daily live event coverage on both Universal Sports and NBCSN with LIVE coverage of the final day of racing on NBC and CNBC. Universal Sports will also produce daily pre- and post-race shows onsite.

SiriusXM tapped former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand as a host on SiriusXM College Sports Nation, channel 91. There, LeGrand, who suffered a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed, joins Chris Childers to host College Sports Coast to Coast every Monday night at 7p.

Congrats to Hall of Fame Broadcaster Al Bernstein, who punches a milestone on Sept. 13 when he marks his 100th pay per view telecast as a boxing announcer for the Floyd Mayweather/Marcos Maidana rematch on SHOWTIME PPV. Meanwhile, a special edition of Al Bernstein’s Boxing Hangouts is now available for viewing at www.youtube.com/AlsBoxingHangouts, featuring Bernstein and his guests, boxing journalists Marcos Villegas and Jeandra LeBeauf, breaking down the big fight.

Speaking of the fight, sports broadcaster FIGHT SPORTS announced that it has acquired international rights to the Mayweather battle to over twenty countries in multiple languages throughout Asia and Europe.

Celebrating Arnold Palmer’s 85th birthday, Golf Channel will showcase an encore presentation of the documentary Arnie on Wednesday. The three-part television event will air in consecutive hours beginning at 3p and in primetime at 8p.


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ESPN launched a new campaign for Sunday NFL Countdown, featuring the tagline “Count On Countdown.” The slate of spots highlights how players and fans “depend on ESPN’s three-hour weekly NFL pregame show” with the first commercial featuring LeSean McCoy preparing for a game by following Countdown in his hotel, on his way to the stadium and in the training room. 

Women’s sports-licensed fashion brand Touch by Alyssa Milano announced plans to the first-ever line of maternity wear in the category in fall 2015. The brand is now licensed by all major sports leagues, NCAA and NASCAR and currently consists of clothing, jewelry, and eyewear offerings. The launch of Touch by Alyssa Milano Maternity will include NHL, NCAA, NFL and NASCAR licensed merchandise.


FOX Sports also detailed more plans for its upcoming Multimatch 90 live whip-around show featuring UEFA Champions League group stage play. The program debuts Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 2:30p on FOX Soccer Plus and online via FOX Soccer 2Go. The show originates from the FOX Network Center in Los Angeles and begins at match kickoff, jumping from game to game to keep the viewer up-to-the-minute with the latest results and highlights either live or moments after they happen. Every UEFA Champions League game will be made available across the FOX Sports networks and digital platforms, with Match Day 1 (Sept. 16-17), Match Day 2 (Sept. 30-Oct. 1), Match Day 3 (Oct. 21-22), Match Day 4 (Nov. 4-5), Match Day 5 (Nov. 25-26) and Match Day 6 (Dec. 9-10).


Braves/Nationals on MLB Network regional coverage at 7p.

ON THIS DAY in 1965: Sandy Koufax pitches a perfect game.

In The Know: Rick Martel and Tito Santana were known as what WWE tag team? (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: Super Bowl-winning coach Jimmy Johnson served as a head coach at which two universities? Answer: Oklahoma State/Miami. Kudos: David Tratner-Rodale Inc./NY; Mike Lee-BPN/NY; Tina Ofori-Discovery Communications/NY; Dev Sethi-Whistle Sports/NY; Ken Nice-Yoh/Silver Spring; Richard Sanders-Visit Panama City Beach/Panama City; Christian Matthews-Washington Redskins/Washington DC; Dave Lucas-Newschannel 8/Arlington; Joe Lyons-Back Nine Productions, Inc./Dallas; Zachary Bennett-Genesco Sports Enterprises/Dallas; Linh Le-FOX Sports/LA; Alan Perris/Beverly Hills; Nick Monroe-Monroe Photography/San Diego; Jim Himmel-TCB Media/San Clemente.

Later — Chris
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