09/26/17: The USOC is mulling another big for an Olympics Games

Good morning. It’s Tuesday September 26, 2017 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Officials from the USOC stated that they are interested in playing host to an upcoming Winter Olympics, targeting either 2026 or 2030 for a bid. At a news conference Monday, CEO Scott Blackmun stated that Salt Lake City, Denver and Reno were all among the cities that might be considered. “We are definitely interested in hosting the Winter Games in the United States at some point in time,” USOC chairman Larry Probst told reporters on the opening day of the Team USA Media Summit. “We have to talk about whether that’s 2026 or 2030 and what city that might be.” The IOC opens its year-long “invitational phase” for 2026 at the end of this month.

Sunday’s NFL telecasts drew a mixed bag of Nielsen numbers. Making gains this week was The NFL on CBS, which saw its overall game coverage rise 4% over last year’s Week 3 coverage, averaging a 11.9/25 in metered market numbers. The program’s regional window at 1p earned an average overnight metered market HH rating/share of 10.0/22, up 11% over last year’s Week 3. National game coverage at 4:25p ranked as the highest-rated NFL game on any network in Week 3 with an average overnight metered market household rating/share of 13.8/27. Meanwhile, The NFL Today scored its best rating/share since 2010 earning an overnight HH rating/share of 3.2/8, up 33% from last year’s 2.4/6.
Meanwhile, NBC’s SNF saw its Redskins blowout over the Raiders rank as Sunday’s top primetime show with 11.6/20 overnight. That is off slightly (10%) from last year with top markets that included: Wash. D.C. 23.3/40; Richmond 22.1/33; Norfolk 19.8/31; Sacramento 17.5/32; S.F./Oak 17.2/35
In other ratings news, Game 1 of the 2017 WNBA Finals on Sunday handed ABC with a 0.6 overnight rating, marking the best overnight ever for a Game 1 on the ESPN networks and up 20% increase over last year’s Game 1.
ESPN will turn to Michelle Beadle and NBA Countdown co-host Jalen Rose serve as the faces of its upcoming new morning show with Mike Greenberg, per THR. Beadle and Rose will relocate from Los Angeles to New York for the program while continuing their roles with the NBA studio pregame and halftime program.
ESPN announced it has added a telecast to its MLB Postseason Impact Game slate this week as part of the Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Race to Zero. Tonight will see the Cubs/Cardinals square off with Karl Ravech on the call with Eduardo Perez and Tim Kurkjian at 8p on ESPN. The telecast will be subject to blackout restrictions in the Chicago market.
In other scheduling updates, CBS Sports announced that the Oct. 7 edition of the SEC on CBS will feature LSU/Florida. Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson and reporter Allie LaForce call the contest from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville.
NBA TV debuts a special Open Court: Executives Edition show tonight at 8p, marking the first of four new shows leading up to the regular season. This week’s installment, hosted by Matt Winer, will feature a roundtable discussion with five of the NBA’s top decision makers including: Bob Myers, GM of the Golden State Warriors and two-time NBA Executive of the Year; Daryl Morey, GM of the Houston Rockets; Donnie Nelson, President of Basketball Operations of the Dallas Mavericks; Andy Elisburg, SVP, Basketball Operations and GM of the Miami Heat; and Dell Demps, SVP, Basketball Operations and GM of the New Orleans Pelicans.
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Sponsors began to roll out their own responses to President Trump’s recent condemnation of NFL players kneeling during the anthem. Monday say Nike release a statement to the media, writing “Nike supports athletes and their right to freedom of expression on issues that are of great importance to our society.” Meanwhile, Ford Motor Co. said that “We respect individuals’ rights to express their views, even if they are not ones we share,” Ford said in an emailed statement, per Bloomberg. “That’s part of what makes America great.”
Today, espnW announced its roster of sponsors for the eighth annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit presented by Toyota running Oct 2-4. Toyota returns as the presenting sponsor, along with Gatorade, Wells Fargo, Procter & Gamble, and The V Foundation for Cancer Research. Toyota will announce the fifth class of “Everyday Heroes,” while Gatorade returns as the official sports fuel sponsor and will moderate an Impact Work Session on keeping girls in sports. Official financial sponsor Wells Fargo returns to host Executive Office Hours, a program in which attendees will be able to interact one-on-one with more than 20 senior executives from a variety of companies and industries, offer their plush ponies in the gifting suite and offer guests the opportunity to take professional headshot photographs. Procter & Gamble also returns as an Executive Power Talk sponsor with unique social integrations tied to its brands, Secret deodorant and Always.
Minor League Baseball reports that a total of 41,832,364 fans passed through the gates of its games this year, marking the fifth-highest attendance total in the history of the organization. Overall attendance grew 1.1% over 2016 and average attendance rising 2.4% over last season.
The United Soccer Leagues named SCG Fields as the Official Field Builder of organization. SCG will be an official supplier for all related properties, including the United Soccer League USL’s Division III, the Premier Development League (PDL) and the Super Y League. In addition, SCG will have a presence at the USL’s annual Winter Summit in December.
The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation renewed its partnership with SAFEJAWZ by Protective Sportswear Ltd. in an exclusive 3-year deal. “We are pleased to build on the success of our partnership with SAFEJAWZ over the last year and to move forward with their support through the remainder of 2017 and into 2018, 2019 and 2020,” said IMMAF President Kerrith Brown. “SAFEJAWZ has supported grassroots MMA from its earliest days, through sponsorship and through covering athletes’ medical expenses. Directors George Dyer and Ewan Jones share IMMAF’s values in promoting safety in MMA and through their active participation in the MMA community in the interests of promoting sport development.”

PGATOUR.com announced the release of “Captain’s Pick,” a fantasy game offering fans a new way to take on friends and play along with the teams during the Presidents Cup from Sept. 28-Oct. 1. Fans will receive five points for selecting the winning team, along with points for every win or tie for the players chosen each day. A win is worth one point plus the margin of victory, and a tie is worth .5 points. “We are excited to debut the Presidents Cup Captain’s Pick fantasy game for all the fans following the action at Liberty National Golf Club,” said Scott Gutterman, PGA TOUR Vice President of Digital Operations. “This Presidents Cup is expected to reach a record number of fans through our digital outlets and this is a great way for them to become more engaged.”

Allied Esports is tapping Premier Partnerships as the official sponsorship agency of record for Esports Arena Las Vegas at Luxor Hotel and Casino, scheduled to open in early 2018. “Esports Arena Las Vegas presents an unparalleled opportunity for multiple brands to get in on the ground floor of what we expect to be the global destination for championship esports events,” said Jud Hannigan, CEO of Allied Esports International. “Premier Partnerships has the relationships and the experience to bring this first-of-its-kind platform to market and find partners that understand the unique vision we have set forward.”
Hi-Rez Studios is hitting the Fall with a new reality show titled The Caster. The series features a lineup of talented esports personalities competing to demonstrate their abilities in the world of esports commentary. The global game developer and publisher filmed the series at its Atlanta studios. Across eight episodes, contenders vie for a $10,000 cash prize and an invitation to cast during the Hi-Rez Expo from Jan. 4-7.
Konami Digital Entertainment will make the PES League World Tour 2018 as the official UEFA Champions League esports event, per Esports Pro. “We look forward to this season’s PES eSports events and the opportunity it provides for gamers and viewers to further engage with the UEFA Champions League brand,” said Guy-Laurent Epstein, UEFA Events SA Marketing Director.
Casino Scouts and UMG Media Corp. entered a partnership that makes UMG the exclusive provider for all of Casino Scouts’ client esports tournament needs. “The convergence of esports and casinos is a reality,” said Stephen Crystal, CEO of Casino Scouts. “Casinos want to offer content that appeals to the future generation of players, and will be consumed in the casino setting. UMG offers, by far, the best content and technology solution on the market today for esports.”

Cubs/Cardinals on ESPN at 8p.

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ON THIS DAY in 1961: The Yankees’ Roger Maris hits HR #60 for the season.
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Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: When founded, the Detroit Red Wings were known by what name? Answer: Detroit Cougars. Kudos: Nate Hammond-JCC/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Aaron Swan/NY; Mariana Martinez-Fox Sports/NY; Joe Schreiber-3 Penny Films/Bethesda; Tom Lopez-UPS/Atlanta; Mike Evranian/Bethlehem; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Deerfield Beach; Daniel Rioux-Push22/Bingham Farms; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Matt Fumagalli-Levy/Chicago; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions/Santa Monica; Matt Arnesen-Turner Sports/LA
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