09/27/16: NBC trots out new racing deal; Industry mourns loss of Palmer; 76ers make eSports history


Coverage on Tennis Channel continues in Q4
, with stars elbowing their way into the Women’s and Men’s Finals, for a chance to be crowned 2016 World Champion

Tennis Channel is closing out 2016 with a 60% increase in distribution, as more people than ever watch the sport’s greatest fight for a spot in the finals

Only one network provides the lowest clutter environment in sports television; only Tennis Channel offers daily access to the affluent tennis enthusiasts in Q4

[email protected]


Good morning. It’s Tuesday September 27, 2016, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

NBC Sports Group continues to stock up its horse racing portfolio, locking in a deal with The Stronach Group for the world’s richest thoroughbred race, the $12 Million Pegasus World Cup Invitational. The event takes place on Jan. 28 at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida with the inaugural running will see NBC offer a live 90-minute telecast.

“We are excited to work with The Stronach Group to present such a unique and lucrative race as we continue to present the best horse racing in the world,” said Jon Miller, President of Programming for NBC Sports and NBCSN.


Meanwhile, Tennis Channel inked an eight-year media rights agreement with the Volvo Car Open in Charleston set to start in 2017 and offering a boost in live television hours offered nationally as well as expanded regional marketing efforts. The competition runs April 3-9 with plans for more than 130 hours of coverage on TV along with 360 hours of streaming coverage. Tennis Channel, which is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, will work with local Sinclair station WCIV-TV for marketing and other cross-promotional opportunities.

NBC saw SNF pull a 12.9/21 overnight for the Cowboys’ romp over the Bears, handing the channel a primetime win for the evening. That number is off-pace from a year ago, when Broncs/Lions pulled a 13.8/23 in Nielsen numbers, but up over 2014. Top markets: Dallas 35.4/53; San Antonio 25.0/37; Austin 23.3/37; Norfolk 20.9/31; Chicago 20.1/32.
FOTV Media Networks announced that ONE World Sports is now available
on FilmOn.com for subscription to the site’s audience of 30 million monthly unique users in the United States.

WWE has a long-term home in Germany, locking in a deal with ProSiebenSat1’s sports business cluster 7Sports, to carry flagship programs Raw and SmackDown in the country on ProSieben MAXX starting in April. This marks the first time both shows have aired on the same free-to-air channel in Germany.
NBA TV is set to tip off its preseason live game schedule with Warriors/Raptors on Oct. 1 at 7:30p, with 11 games in seven days. The network’s 29-game preseason schedule will feature multiple appearances by the Cavaliers, Warriors, Thunder and Knicks, among others, including an early look at players, coaches and new-look teams.
FOX Sports South and FOX Sports Southeast are saying Farewell to the Ted, which Chevrolet on-board as sponsor. The networks’ exclusive television and streaming coverage of the club’s final six games at Turner Field begin today and will include interviews with special guests, coverage of fan participation events throughout the final homestand and features on Turner Field memories. Tonight, for example, will see Bobby Cox and John Schuerholz reveal the All Turner Field Team during Braves LIVE! at 6:30p on FOX Sports Southeast.

ESPN Films is bringing O.J.: Made in America back to theaters. The feature will hit NYC, LA, San Francisco, Yonkers, Littleton, Kansas City, Omaha, Ritz, Brooklyn and Chicago.

Spectrum SportsNet is adding Lakers staple Derek Fisher to the network as a game day studio analyst for its coverage of the team on #Lakeshow and the Access SportsNet Lakers pregame and postgame shows. Fisher will make approximately 20 appearances throughout the season. He will also continue his work as studio analyst for Turner Sports as part of their national coverage of the NBA.

RIP to the great Arnold Palmer, whose death at the age of 87 prompted tributes from around the industry, not only as a golf great who more than 90 golf tournaments, but also as TV and marketing’s first big golf star. As co-founder of Golf Channel, Palmer was honored throughout the day by the network, including a special presentation of Golf Channel Films’ Arnie last night. Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated made him a cover athlete one more time in his remembrance. “He was and likely will remain the most important golfer of all-time, said Mike McCarley, President, Golf, NBC Sports. “He will be remembered for popularizing the game of golf and revolutionizing the business of sport, but for those who were lucky enough to meet him, they will always remember how special he made them feel. He was always genuine and generous with his time, no matter if the cameras were rolling or not.”




If you havent done so already,


Tonight will see an unusual activation in sports when the Professional Bull Riders hit Memphis and riders in the BlueDEF Tour compete in front of a private audience of AutoZone employees. Points gained in the competition will count towards the championship as 30 riders compete. “At AutoZone we strive to provide our customers with a WOW! Customer Satisfaction experience when they visit our stores, call on the phone or visit us on-line,” said Lani Glancy, Director of Diversity and Talent Management.  “For our AutoZoners, the PBR AutoZone Challenge will deliver a unique and WOW! experience during our national sales meeting.”

The Dallas Marathon named Hoka One One as the official footwear partner of the 46th BMW Dallas Marathon, Half Marathon and Behringer Relay. Hoka One One elite athletes will run on BMW Dallas Marathon race day as part of the Pro Relay Challenge, an activation that pits North Texas’ professional sports teams (Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars, FC Dallas, Texas Rangers) against one another in a friendly competition to raise funds for charity.


Learfield is diving deeper into the analytics game, announcing a partnership with the Kraft Analytics Group to for a new joint venture, dubbed KLEARintel. The initial partner will be Mississippi State, which will now leverage the venture’s proprietary software, data warehouse, predictive analytics and targeted marketing services.

ESPN Audio’s five-part Dunkumentaires was named Podcast of the Year by RAIN, the internet/radio business outlet, at its annual show in Nashville on September 20. The ESPN Films collaboration ran in April.


The Philadelphia 76ers made eSports history, becoming the first North American sports team to acquire an eSports franchise. In this case, the NBA staple actually bought two teams with controlling stakes in Team Dignitas and Team Apex, which will now combine to play under the Team Dignitas banner, competing in titles that include Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm and Smite. The Sixers intend to manage the day-to-day operations of Team Dignitas, sharing best practices in sponsorship, sales, branding, digital marketing, merchandising, publicity and more; as well as devote resources to player recruitment, development and wellness while Greg Richardson will serve as Chairman of the new Team Dignitas, Michael O’Dell will oversee team operations as President, alongside former Team Apex General Manager Michael Slan, who has been named VP and General Manager.

SiriusXM is adding to its eSports lineup, announcing the launch of Machinima’s Inside eSports Radio, hosted by Alex "Axeltoss" Rodriguez and Joshua "Piscator" Lee, yesterday with eps running weekdays from 6-7p on SiriusXM Bleacher Report Radio (channel 83). The show will look to offer listeners “the latest news, highlights, and analysis from the biggest tournaments, with an in-depth focus on first person shooter, multi-player online battle arena (MOBAs), real time strategy, and fighting games.”

OpTic Gaming achieved another engagement milestone as its Twitter account surpassed the 2 million follower threshold on Sunday. This milestone makes the organization the first eSports team to hit that mark.


Red Sox/Yankees at 7p on ESPN2.


New to 2016:

Click here
to see if you have what it takes to enter!

Sarah Martinez.

ON THIS DAY in 2008: Greg Maddux wins the final start of his playing career.

In The Know: In addition to Arnold Palmer, who else was part of golf’s “Big Three”? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Kevin Garnett retired over the weekend. Which team did he beat as part of the Celtics to win his NBA championship? Answer: The Lakers. Kudos: Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; RJ Simoni-ESPN/NY; Eric Wright-DS Simon/NY; Shawanda Walker-NBC Universal/NY; Rusty Mintz-Turner Sports/NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Deerfield Beach; Mike May-PHIT America/Wellington; Gretchen Brady-KTVT/Dallas; Rick Pike-InterMedia Advertising/Woodland Hills; Miriam Aardahl-OMD/LA; Pete Camarillo-Icon Media Direct/LA; Adam Deverell-CoxReps/LA

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

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