09.20.16 Good morning. It’s Tuesday September 20, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
AXS TV has a new fight on its hands, locking in a deal with Legacy Fighting Alliance in a new long-term broadcasting agreement. The pact will now see AXS TV Fights broadcast 30 live LFA events in 2017. The newly formed LFA comes as a result of a merger between Legacy Fighting Championship and Resurrection Fighting Alliance. With the deal, the channel will now expand its 2017 lineup to 45 live eventsits largest ever, and extend its live broadcast window to three hours starting at 9p.
Meanwhile, to open space for the promotion, AXS TV also announced that Inside MMA will end its run on Sept. 30 with episode 433.
ESPN is gearing up to debut Nacion ESPN, described as a “new interactive sports talk show dedicated to covering the most relevant and diverse sports news and information tailored to young, bilingual US Hispanic sports fans.” The one-hour, weekly series will be hosted by Jorge Sedano, Bernardo Osuna and Marly Rivera with a debut on Sept. 26 at 5p on ESPN2. Toyota is on-board as the show’s presenting sponsor and will be featured across all elements of the program including graphics, segments, promotions, and media presence during telecasts and across the show’s digital and social media platforms. In addition, Gillette, Allstate and Taco Bell join as inaugural sponsors with media presence.
Sunday Night Football’s Packers/Vikings battle drummed up 22.8 million viewers on NBC, according to Nielsen, down from week two a year ago but up from 2014. In addition, 202k tuned in to the live stream via the NBC Sports app, NBCSports.com and NFL Mobile from Verizon. In overnight numbers, the game posted a 13.7/23.
BTN lined up its slate of men’s college basketball games, announcing more than 75 conference matchups that include 10 consecutive weeks of Super Wednesday doubleheaders, presented by Buffalo Wild Wings. Additionally, the network’s season-long coverage will include Tuesday and Thursday games presented by Quicken Loans and doubleheaders on most Saturdays and Sundays. Meanwhile, The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2017 and Big Ten Basketball & Beyond will return in January, along with the BTN Tip Off Show. BTN will also debut two new Big Ten Elite basketball episodes next year, following the 1976 Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the 2015 Wisconsin Badgers.
CBS Sports locked in its SEC on CBS football game for Oct. 1, selecting Tennessee/Georgia at 3:30p. Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson and reporter Allie LaForce call the contest.
Meanwhile, FOX Sports unveiled its own college football lineup for week five, beginning with Kansas/Texas Tech on Sept. 29 at 8:30p on FS1. Oct. 1 will open with Baylor/Iowa State at noon on FS1, Oklahoma/TCU on FOX at 5p and a Pac-12 contest at 8:30p on the broadcast channel.
Integrated Sports Media locked in rights to Guerra En El Clemente pitting Wilfredo "Papito" Vazquez, Jr./Juan Manuel "JuanMa" Lopez on Oct. 8. The card, presented by Black Tiger Media, will be distributed by the company live, starting at 9p in the US and Puerto Rico on both cable and satellite pay per view on iN Demand, DISH, DIRECTV and Vubiquity.
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The Professional Bull Riders inked an entitlement sponsorship for its expansion series, which will now be known as the PBR Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour, which was originally known as the BlueDEF Velocity Tour. The tour will produce 31 events in 2017 with expansion planned to include up to 60 events by 2019. “Real Time Pain Relief is proud to be the title sponsor of the PBR’s Velocity Tour,” said Ron Snodgrass, Co-Founder of RTPR LLC. “Professional Bull Riders has been one of America’s fastest growing sports, and the PBR’s plan to triple the size of this Tour fits in with both our commitment to this community and the growth of the Real Time Pain Relief brand.”
Learfield formally unveiled its newest operating unit, dubbed Campus+ and designed to create “broad strategic business relationships on behalf of many of its university partners.” Led by Senior Vice President Mark Devine, the division’s goal will be to “transform traditional, collegiate corporate and vendor relationships into deeper, more integrated partnerships that are mutually beneficial.”
The World Cup of Hockey Celebration of Champions has a new headliner, announcing that Lenny Kravitz will anchor Friday’s festivities at the Scotiabank World Cup of Hockey Fan Village. The performance was originally slated to feature Green Day, and fans will have the option of a full refund.
UFC locked in a multi-year partnership with Australian wagering company TAB.com.au in a move that makes the site the “Official Betting and Wagering Partner of UFC” in Australia, as well as the presenting sponsor for all UFC live events throughout the country. The partnership will launch at UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. jacare 2 on Nov. 27 in Melbourne.
WCHA.tv, the online platform of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, is partnering with Stretch Internet to allow fans to stream all 10 league teams and up to 191 games during the 2016-17 season with the top season pass set to include live and archived access to a every WCHA regular season league game, along with each team’s nonconference home contests and select home exhibition games, as well as the entire 2017 WCHA Tournament.
Yahoo Esports is tackling collegiate eSports via a new partnership with Riot Games called uLOL Rivalries. The tournament pits 10 teams that represent five college rivalries every week for five weeks at university sites with fans able to vote on the rivalries they want to see square off, such as Michigan/Ohio State which is currently in the lead.
The upcoming release of The Magnificent Seven received an eSports twist yesterday as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Columbia Pictures and Twitch served up a showdown featuring seven of the top Counter-Strike: Go online players in a Saviors vs. Bandits battle on a special Western-themed map. Twitch broadcast the first ever Counter-Strike: Go exhibition game yesterday. Elias Plishner, Executive Vice President of Worldwide Digital Marketing for Sony Pictures, said "Twitch has never before brought so many respected and skilled gamers with such a huge following together for a single game. As these seven face off, this is an unparalleled opportunity to bring the action, intensity and fun of The Magnificent Seven to millions of fans worldwide."
Giants/Dodgers on ESPN2 at 10p.
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celebration & networking mimosa reception on the morning of Tuesday, September 27th in Manhattan.
To view the full list of finalists, or register for the event:
ON THIS DAY in 1933: The franchise now known as the Pittsburgh Steelers plays its first NFL game.
In The Know: The Pittsburgh Steelers were originally known by what name? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Which country won both gold medals in hockey at the Sochi Olympics? Answer: Canada. Kudos: Aymon DeMauro-Discovery Communications/NY; Michael Neuman-Scout Sports and Entertainment/NY; Darren C. Carew-NBC Sports & Olympics/NY; Traci Liner-WME/IMG/NY; Bob Eisenstaedt-Granite Springs Productions/NY; Randy Ingram-WBTW-TV/Myrtle Beach; Farrah Segaloff-Comcast Spotlight/Quincy; Matt Deprey-Discovery Communications/Silver Spring; Tony Ferranti-MMSI/Warwick; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner and Triathlete magazine/Houston; David Hauptman/Denver; Matt Sautter-Imagine Communications/Denver; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions/Santa Monica; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westtberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union.
Later — Chris
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