10/11/21: FIFA will delay the World Club Cup until 2022

 

Medias First Morning Read

 

Monday October 11, 2021

FIFA is postponing the Club World Cup until early 2022 as a result of challenges linked to the pandemic, according to the AP. Coronavirus restrictions led to Japan withdrawing from staging the seven-team tournament, initially set for this December. The report states that FIFA is now exploring

PROGRAMMING

FOX Sports opened MLB’s ALDS with year-to-year upticks. Game 1 of the Rays win over the Red Sox on FS1, FS2 and FOX Sports Streaming services averaged 2,698,000 viewers, up 13% over Game 1 of the equitable 2020 ALDS game, and 75% over the 2020 NLDS Game 1 on FS1. Through Game 1 (two telecasts) FS1 is averaging 2,277,000 viewers, up +59% from 2019 (one telecast) averaging 1,433,000 viewers.

Wednesday’s WNBA Playoffs Semifinal Game 4 between the Sun and Sky averaged 491,000 viewers for ESPN, to rank as the most-viewed non-finals playoff game since 2015. The audience for the matchup peaked at 549,000 viewers.

In addition, ESPN’s Week 1 Monday Night Football audience tally was corrected by Nielsen, resulting in a new viewership figure of 16,974,000 for the overtime thriller between the Ravens and Raiders. The increased audience measurement is the result of an underreported ABC audience, as ABC’s audience now stands at 8,605,000 viewers, a 1,712,000 viewer increase from the original reported number. ESPN and ESPN2, which also televised the game, were not impacted, with their audience numbers staying at 7,569,000 and 800,000 viewers, respectively. As a result of the new change, Monday Night Football’s season average has jumped to 14.7 million viewers (four games), up 24% from 2020 and up 26% than 2019.

NFL Media and YouTube are launching the first-ever comedic highlights series, NFL Follies, streaming exclusively on the NFL YouTube channel. The slate will serve up “laugh-out-loud bloopers, whacky highlights, and hilarious mic’d-up moments” from the 2021 NFL season, hosted by entertainer, Da Kid Gowie. “We are excited to expand our content offerings on YouTube with the launch of our second original series, NFL Follies,” said MATT LATHROP, Senior Director of Audience Development, NFL. “Leveraging the franchise title and YouTube’s unique platform, we hope to introduce a younger generation of fans to the lighter side of our game with NFL Follies.”

CBS Sports finalized its college football doubleheader for Oct. 16, highlighted by Georgia hosting Kentucky at 3:30p with Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson and reporter Jamie Erdahl calling the action from Sanford Stadium. The day’s action kicks off at noon with the first game of the doubleheader between Auburn/Arkansas. Noah Eagle, analysts Aaron Murray and Rick Neuheisel, along with reporter Jenny Dell will be on the call.

Speaking of Kentucky/Georgia, College GameDay hits Athens, Georgia on Saturday for Week 7 to preview the showdown of the undefeated SEC teams. Rece Davis hosts College GameDay with analysts Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and David Pollack, research producer and sports betting analyst Chris ‘The Bear’ Fallica, and reporters Jen Lada and Gene Wojciechowski.

One week from today, we open Esports Business Summit in Las Vegas. Authorities in betting, investment, content, activation, event production, merchandising, and more will all be at your fingertips for this industry, which is transforming pop culture. DO NOT MISS IT! Get your tickets here.

The NHL and its international broadcast partners will increase the number of live game broadcasts in primetime in Europe during the 2021-22 season. The new NHL Saturday and NHL Sunday weekly broadcast windows will deliver 36 games to fans in more than 30 countries and territories across Europe. Currently, 16 NHL international broadcast partners and platforms, including NENT Group in Sweden, Finland, Norway, Poland, Iceland, and the Baltics; Sky Sports in Germany; Nova Sport in the Czech Republic and Slovakia; Puls 4 in Austria; UPC MySports in Switzerland; Yandex.Efir and Wink in Russia; ESPN in Africa and the Netherlands; SportTV in Portugal; United Media in the Balkans; Setanta Sports in Eurasia and Ukraine; and Max Sport in Bulgaria, among others, will broadcast games live in primetime locally throughout the regular-season.

The St. Louis Cardinals’ local television ratings ranked tops among Major League Baseball teams in 2021, according to Nielsen. The final numbers mark the third time in four seasons the Cardinals have finished first, The Cardinals on Bally Sports Midwest averaged a 6.2 household rating in the St. Louis DMA, up 16% from a 5.4 in 2020.

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One year out from Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand, Mastercard announced plans to strengthen its commitment to women’s rugby, signing Maggie Alphonsi, Portia Woodman and Safi N’Diaye as Mastercard Global Brand Ambassadors in recognition of their advocacy for advancing women in the global sport, as well as their talent on the pitch. “Mastercard and World Rugby are united by our unwavering commitment to the advancement of women in sports and business,” said Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer, Mastercard. “Through Priceless Experiences and inspiring content, we have the opportunity to foster connections to the game with audiences around the world, encouraging young fans to follow their passion and become involved with this empowering sport.”

PepsiCo Beverages North America and the Seattle Kraken are partnering to deliver PepsiCo products to Kraken fans in Seattle in addition to pledging sustainability goals of Climate Pledge Arena. As a signatory, PepsiCo will join the pledge to commit to regularly reporting greenhouse gas emissions, implementing decarbonization strategies and neutralizing any remaining emissions to achieve net-zero annual carbon emissions by 2040. As part of the deal, PBNA will be the exclusive carbonated soft drink, water, sports performance (Gatorade), energy, tea, juice and mixers provider of the Seattle Kraken and Climate Pledge Arena.

DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

NASCAR and Subnation Media are partnering to launch a branded digital platform for racing fans, serving as an online experience designed to push the circuit into the “future Metaverse of interactive immersive experiences.” To build the NASCAR platform, Subnation will leverage decentralized platforms and Web3 tools. “NASCAR is focused on expanding our digital offering for fans and working with Subnation will build upon that effort,” said NASCAR Chief Digital Officer Tim Clark. “Subnation has a deep understanding of gaming culture as well as the ongoing evolution of the internet, and that expertise will help position our sport well for the future.”

The MLB saw streaming platform, MLB.TV notch over 10.5 billion minutes of watched content during the 2021 regular season, setting a new record for the platform. The 2021 season also saw the platform best its record for regular season games watched by 37%, recording 141.98 million games watched. The league also reports that the average age of viewers of the platform is now 44, dropping from an average age of 48 in 2018.

The International Cricket Council inked a global partnership with Sportradar, designating the company as the official data distribution and official betting live streaming partner of the global governing body. “Cricket has an estimated two-and-a-half billion fans worldwide. The partnership will create more opportunities for the ICC to engage with this fan base through Sportradar’s network of 1,000 media and sports-betting clients across 80 countries,” the ICC said in a statement.

ESPORTS

Riot Games’ Wild Rift Esports North America named Verizon as its inaugural brand partner. Verizon recently served as the presenting partner of the 2021 Wild Rift Summoner Series Last Chance Qualifier and is set to take up the same role for the Summoner Series Finals, which will determine who represents NA at the upcoming Horizon Cup for the title of global Wild Rift Champion. Verizon will be presenting partner of the Trophy Lift Moment. “Mobile gaming has shown tremendous potential for esports growth,” said Matt Archambault, Head of Esports Partnerships for NA & OCE at Riot Games. “Verizon is a proven leader in the mobile space, and we’re proud to partner with them to help expand the footprint of Wild Rift esports in North America.”

Grammy Award winner Lil Nas X is teaming with 100 Thieves to create a new hype video to celebrate the 2021 League of Legends World Championship with the video featuring a compilation of Lil Nas X’s hits “That’s What I Want” and “Industry Baby.” The “Worlds” Hype Video was shot in LA on October 3 and features 100 Thieves’ JhbTeam dancing around the 100 Thieves Cash App Compound with visions of Lil Nas X performing inside the LCS Championship trophy.

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