09/22/17: NBCSN scored gains in its IndyCar coverage this year

Good morning. It’s Friday September 22, 2017 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series this season wrapped up with 3% growth over 2016 to rank as the network’s second most-watched IndyCar season ever. Coverage produced a Total Audience Delivery of 507,000 viewers across 12 races, according to data from Nielsen and Adobe. More than half of this season’s races on NBCSN (seven) produced a TAD of at least 500,000 average viewers, the most ever since NBCSN acquired IndyCar rights prior to the 2009 season. TV-only viewership on NBCSN averaged 502,000 viewers, up 3% vs. 2016 with a 0.32 household rating.

In other ratings news, coverage of the 2017 WNBA Playoffs ahead of the Finals on ESPN and ESPN2 is up 6% this season, averaging 224,000 viewers. Among P18-29, programming is up 8% over last year, averaging 74,200. ESPN’s exclusive coverage of the 2017 WNBA Finals presented by Verizon will see the Los Angeles Sparks/Minnesota Lynx tipping off on Sunday at 3:30p on ABC. 
Speaking of basketball, NBA TV carries 21 live preseason games in 13 days starting with Timberwolves/Lakers on Sept. 30 at 10p. Other games will feature the Warriors, Cavaliers, Celtics, Thunder, Rockets, and Clippers. In addition, the channel serves up new episodes of Open Court and The Starters, season previews for all 30 teams, and NBA GameTime nightly throughout the season.
SHOWTIME Sports is adding coverage of unified heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua’s upcoming WBA and IBF world title defense against Kubrat Pulev on Oct. 28. The telecast will be the first of two heavyweight world title fights airing live with WBC World Champion Deontay Wilder defending his title against Luis Ortiz on Nov. 4.
CBS Sports Network features all three Service Academy teams in a tripleheader play on Saturday, aka Armed Services Saturday. Coverage will include San Diego State/Air Force at 7p, with Ben Holden and Aaron Taylor teaming up to call the game with reporter Jenny Dell. Other matchups include Cincinnati/Navy at 3:30p (John Sadak and Randy Cross with Sheehan Stanwick Burch Burch reporting) and an Army/Tulane opener at noon (Dave Ryan and Corey Chavous with Tina McKinney reporting).
DISH announced that it will offer select college football games from FOX Sports’ FS1 in 4K, beginning with the Oklahoma/Baylor matchup on Saturday at 6:30p. Games will be simulcast in the format every weekend on DISH channel 540 throughout football season for Hopper 3 customers.
Inaugural Judges Selected for Cynopsis Short Form Video Festival
Jurors include execs from AwesomenessTV, CNE, Dick Clark Productions, Scripps & more . The Cynopsis Short Form Video Festival & Conference will recognize outstanding work in this emerging space, showcasing fresh and surprising storytelling across platforms. The winning videos be screened at this one-of-a-kind festival, that also includes though-provoking discussions with producers, directors, actors and marketers.


In Olympics news, Nabisco is making preparations as the Official Cookie and Cracker Sponsor of Team USA ahead of as the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. Launching a theme of “Can’t Miss Moments,” the brand is teaming up with two 2018 Team USA hopefuls, veteran alpine skier and two-time Olympic gold medalist, Ted Ligety, and snowboarder Chloe Kim. Meanwhile, OREO, RITZ and Chips Ahoy! will each sport their own Team USA looks starting Jan. 21 with Team USA-themed packaging, with the iconic OREO cookies embossed with Team USA-themed emblems for a limited time as well as a #BitetoWinSweepstakes along with TV, digital and social media content campaigns and in-store recipe sampling.
Continuing the theme, Deloitte announced its sponsorship of 10 Team USA athletes and the United States National Sled Hockey Team ahead of the Winter Games. Athletes will include: Brittany Bowe (speedskating); Jason Brown (figure skating); Shani Davis (speedskating); Gus Kenworthy (freestyle skiing); Hilary Knight (ice hockey); Mikaela Matthews (freestyle skiing); Elana Meyers Taylor (bobsled); Rico Roman (sled hockey); Nic Taylor (bobsled); and Danelle Umstead (alpine skiing).
Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment locked in a deal with the Western Athletic Conference for a multi-year, exclusive marketing and sponsorship rights partnership. VWSE’s Collegiate Services division will manage and market the multimedia rights associated with the WAC, as well as serve as the conference’s corporate sponsorship representative. “It was very important to partner with an innovative, aggressive company that also had a great understanding of the conference landscape and the assets of the WAC,” WAC Commissioner Jeff Hurd said. “After a few conversations it was obvious that Van Wagner checked all of the necessary boxes, and we look forward to a long and mutually-beneficial relationship.”
Raycom Sports announced that GEICO has renewed as an Atlantic Coast Conference Official Corporate Champion. “GEICO has been an outstanding long-time partner of our league and we appreciate its support as one of our valued ACC Corporate Champions,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford.
Bill Murray’s golf lifestyle and apparel brand William Burray Golf announced its first-ever investment round, with investors that include tennis player Andy Roddick, Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, actors Ed Norton, Mark Paul-Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer, country music star Jake Owen, actress/model Brooklyn Decker, real estate magnate Mike Meldman and jewelry designer Kendra Scott. Their investment will help provide additional capital and raise awareness for the brand and support William Murray Golf, which has formed its own entity separate from its original parent company Chive Media Group.

ATP and ATP Media announced that Amazon Prime Video will now serve as an official streaming partner of the ATP World Tour. The new deal covers the worldwide distribution of the Next Gen ATP Finals through Amazon Prime Video. Beginning in 2017, Amazon will have worldwide OTT rights (excluding China), and the full exclusive rights in the US, to distribute the Next Gen ATP Finals, outside of ATP’s OTT channel, Tennis TV and includes a commitment from Amazon to show all Next Gen ATP Finals matches produced by ATP Media.
Major League Baseball and Game Theory Group announced a partnership to offer post-playing career transition services and resources to Major and Minor League Players via the “Game Plan” platform. The alliance includes access to Game Plan’s platform that contains a career and mentor marketplace as well as assessment tools and on-demand learning modules that focus on life after sport and career development. The customized Game Plan platform will also be accessible to Major League Club personnel and other groups throughout the league.
The National Women’s Hockey League unveiled the “NWHL Twitter Game of the Week” schedule for the 2017-18 season, lining up 16 regular season games, the NWHL All-Star Game and two games of the pre-season NWHL/Team Russia Summit Series. The 19 games will be produced by the NWHL and will be exclusive to Twitter in the live windows beginning Oct. 15 with Team Russia/Connecticut.
MSG Networks and DIRECTV announced today that MSG GO, MSG Networks’ live streaming and video on demand platform, will be available to DIRECTV subscribers who receive MSG Networks as part of their pay television subscription in time for the upcoming NBA and NHL seasons. “We are pleased to expand our relationship with DIRECTV to include MSG GO, which provides DIRECTV subscribers with access to all of MSG Networks’ live game content, including our unparalleled lineup of NBA and NHL games in time for the upcoming seasons, as well as our other award-winning programming wherever they are,” said Adam Levine, executive vice president, business affairs and distribution, MSG Networks.  
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association announced that WCHA.tv – the Association’s official online streaming platform – will feature up to 182 games featuring conference schools during the 2017-18 college hockey season with certain subscription packages offering multiple screen layout options for desktop users. A season pass runs $104.99 with single team packages running $89.99.

ESL announced the launch of brand-new esports tournament platform Xbox Arena, available across Xbox consoles, Windows 10 PCs, Android and Apple iOS. The new features will allow competitive players and teams to browse through and sign-up to a variety of online competitions beginning with ESL’s European 1v1 Community Cup for Injustice 2.
The opening volley for Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite’s esports tournament will see the winners of each qualifier be granted an “infinity stone” that will allow them to have abilities the go beyond typical in-game skills. The contest, dubbed Battle for the Stones, will see Capcom offer up $30,000 for the competition with 16 players in contention. In the announcement, tournament officials noted that if a player with the stone loses, that player’s opponent will then inherit the ability.

World Golf Foundation named James Cramer as Vice President of Communications. In his new role, Cramer will work closely with Steve Mona, CEO of WGF, on both GOLF 20/20 – a collaboration of leading industry organizations – and WGF public relations programs, including strategic planning, industry research and WE ARE GOLF – the game’s government affairs coalition.

TCU/Oklahoma State on ESPN on Saturday at 3:30p.

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ON THIS DAY in 1987: NFL players go on strike, leading to the use of replacement players for several weeks.
In the Know: In the series Futurama, future baseball is 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: What team did Dan Marino play against in his only Super Bowl appearance? Answer: San Francisco. Kudos: Rob Casalaina-ITN/NY; Bruce Jackson-Disney and ESPN Media Networks/NY; Russ Camlet-NBCU/NY; Rick Ramage-United Talent Agency/NY; Brianne Maciejowski-Miles/Sarasota; Willy Gibson-WTG Consulting/Columbus; Jon Miller-NBC Sports/Stamford; Kevin McIntyre-Amayse Inc./Boston; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Kevin Micklo-Pinnacle Advertising/Chicago; Lance Davis-ESPN Milwaukee/Milwaukee; Lawrence Fan-San Jose State University Athletics/San Jose; Bruce Trotter-CoxReps/LA; Miriam Aardahl-OMD/LA; Don Surath-KPIX-TV/KBCW-TV/San Francisco
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JOB OPENING: CFO/NYC Production Co: Direct financial planning & analysis. Corporate & production operating review, forecast & budgets. Manage systems, provide leadership & expertise to accounting dept. Must understand fast paced TV prod. 10+ yrs exp.  Resume/cover & for full info: HERE (9/29)

JOB OPENING: SENIOR JAVA SCRIPT ENGINEER/Fox News Channel/NYC: Lead dvlpmnt of high traffic JavaScript apps and implement front end user design defining behavior of visual element. Develop new software applications from concept to finish. 3+ year of expert level JavaScript dvlpmnt. Full info/apply HERE (9/29)

DIR, DIGITAL ANALYTICS/A+E Networks/NY: Oversee reporting & analysis for A+E Networks’ portfolio, drive growth in Digital business by delivering recommendations that influence content, prod. & distribution strategy across the organization.  Full Info/Apply HERE (9/29)

JOB OPENING: SALES ASSOCIATE PROGRAM/NBCU/NYC: Accelerated development exp for early-career sales professionals. This highly competitive program identifies outstanding aspiring media sales professionals who bring diverse backgrounds to the org. Min 1-5 yrs exp work exp, sales related pref’d. Full info: HERE (9/29)
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JOB OPENING: DIGITAL ACCOUNT MANAGER/FOX/Chicago: Ownership of post-sale client relationship. Responsible for creation of all proposals/media plans. 2-5 years’ operating in an Agency- Account Management role. Digital Advertising experience preferred. Full info/apply HERE (9/28)

JOB OPENING: MANAGER, S 7 ALES OPERATIONS/NBCU NBC Owned Stations/NYC: Responsible for managing various systems, tools and processes to support traffic, sales, research, finance & mktg users across our division. 2+ yrs at a station, similar sales operations function, or a related vendor role. Full info/apply HERE (9/28)

JOB OPENING: DIGITAL SPECIALIST/NYRA/NYC: Act as primary web editor for daily updates. Maint both NYRA.com & BelmontStakes.com. Asst Social Media team w/mngmnt of social media channels. BA deg & 2-4 yrs work exp req’d. Exp w/CMS Sys, SEO, SEM, basic HTML, Photoshop, InDesign & Illustrator. Full info/apply HERE (9/28)

: DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER/ASPIRE TV/ATL: Dev. content strategy across digital platforms; understanding of digitl analysis; exp. w/using digitl platforms to drive brand awareness; 4+ yrs strategic content plning & exec.; prof. w/Google Analytics, Photoshp, WordPress. Res: HERE (9/27)

JOB OPENING: AD SALES PLANNER/Baby First TV/NY: Reports to AE & EVP Ad Sales. Home office flexibility. 2-3 Years Direct Response experience required. Detailed & organized. Entrepreneurial environment. Must have Excel experience. Reply to [email protected] (9/27)

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