10/14/20: The ATP and Tennis Channel cemented a new accord

 

Medias First Morning Read
Wednesday October 14, 2020

A new deal between Tennis Channel and ATP Media will make the network the exclusive U.S. home of ATP Tour events. Beginning in 2021, Tennis Channel will have complete live television and digital coverage of the ATP Masters 1000 events, all ATP 500, most ATP 250 events and season-ending Nitto ATP finals for the first time.

“Tennis Channel and ATP Media have worked tirelessly for nearly two decades to expand the daily TV, streaming and on-demand coverage of this prolific sport across all popular platforms, and in doing so are making tennis competitive once again with other major sports in the U.S.,” said Ken Solomon, president, Tennis Channel. “Our combined work with parent Sinclair Broadcast Group has made Tennis Channel America’s fastest growing network for the past two years, allowing millions of returning and new fans to enjoy the ATP’s Tour’s scale and quality, which are unmatched in all of professional sports.”

PROGRAMMING

NBC’s Sunday Night Football was a ratings’ score for the network. The game between the Vikings and the Seahawks averaged 15.6 million viewers (TAD). That’s up nearly 50% vs. combined 10.4 million viewers (TV only) for unprecedented competition from NBA Finals game 6 clincher and ALCS game 1.

In other football numbers news, The NFL on CBS week 5 national game coverage was up +6% with an average of 22.970 million viewers. The N.Y. Giants vs. Dallas competition was CBS’ most-watched national 4:25 game window in the month of October in five years and the most-watched program of the week on television.

PGA Tour will integrate BetMGM odds into its telecast for all four rounds of THE CJ Cup @ Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, October 15-18 on Golf Channel. It marks the first time a PGA Tour telecast will feature live odds. “We are excited to build upon our recently announced Official Betting Operator relationship with BetMGM by activating this partnership at the CJ Cup @ Shadow Creek,” said Norb Gambuzza, PGA Tour Senior Vice President, Media and Gaming. “The focus of our sports betting partnerships is to engage fans in new and creative ways. As an element of strategy, we began integrating live odds onto TOUR digital platforms in August and now we look forward to learning from this first-time test in a live telecast.”

New Orleans Saints officials were slated to speak to LSU officials on Tuesday about the Saints playing upcoming games at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, according to Saints’ spokesman Greg Bensel, who spoke to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Saints have also discussed moving home games to LSU with the NFL “Obviously, our overwhelming preference is to play our games in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with partial fan attendance, but there has been no indication from the city on when, or if, this might be approved,” said Bensel. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell has continually declined to allow the Saints to have limited-capacity fan attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chicago Bears and Marquee Sports Network have partnered to bring a weekly Bears Show, followed by an exclusive re-airing of Bears’ regular season games to the cable network. Bear Essentials, hosted by Cole Wright, will typically air Tuesday evenings and break down the week in Bears action as well as a look ahead to the team’s next matchup.

The fourth and final part of Field of Dreams… Deferred airs Wednesday, October 14 on TBS. The feature examines the story of the Negro Leagues in its 100th anniversary year. In conjunction with the special, Bleacher Report launched a Negro Leagues Centennial Collection. Designed by LFANT and DIEM Brands, it includes long-sleeved t-shirts and hoodies with proceeds going to the Negro League Baseball Museum. The limited-edition collection is available at bleacherreportshop.com.

When New York Was One: The Yankees, The Mets & The 2000 Subway Series debuts Thursday, October 15 following game 4 of the NLCS on FS1. The new documentary from FOX Sports Films, in association with Major League Baseball, explores the matchup between these two teams through the lens of New York citizens and highlights a community forever-changed in the 20 years since.

NBC Sports and U.S. Figure Skating announced the broadcast schedule for the 2020 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series. Coverage begins with 2020 Skate America on Friday, October 23 at 8p on NBCSN, continues on NBC on Saturday, October 24 at 3p, and concludes on Saturday, October 24 at 9p on NBCSN. The entire competition can also be streamed live on Peacock Premium.

CBS Sports expanded its multiplatform coverage of the UEFA Champions League with The Golazo Show. The live, whip-around program, featuring every goal from every match, will air when six matches are being played simultaneously during eh UEFA Champions League Group Stage matchdays, beginning Tuesday, October 20 and Wednesday, October 21 at 3p.

Showtime Sports Documentary Films premieres Bad Hombres on Friday, October 16 at 9p. It explores the contentious U.S.-Mexico border relations, through the lens of the world’s only binational professional baseball team, the Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos.

FOX Sports announced the schedule for The Spring League. The 2020 season, featuring the Conquerors vs. the Generals at the Alamodome in San Antonio, kicks off Wednesday, October 27 at 8p on FS1. Seven regular season games air weekday evenings on FS1, culminating with a championship matchup on Monday, November 23. Former NFL coach Jerry Glanville joins TSL as head coach of the Conquerors, while quarterbacks Zach Mettenberger, J.T. Barrett and Shea Patterson also join the league.

ESPN Deportes will televise Super Bowl LV in Spanish in the U.S. on Sunday, February 7, 2021, live from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. An agreement with the NFL and CBS also includes exclusive Spanish-language rights to an AFC Divisional Game and the AFC Championship Game, marking the first time the AFC Championship will air on a Spanish language network in the U.S.

CBS Sports selected No. 2 Alabama at No. 18 Tennessee for its college football Saturday showcase on October 24 at 3:30p. Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson and reporter Jamie Erdahl will call the action from Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, TN.

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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

ServiceNow struck a multiyear partnership with the NBA and WNBA to become their Official Workflow Partner. ServiceNow played a key role in the returns of both leagues’ seasons, executing essential onboarding and health screening processes to promote safer environment on their campuses. The NBA and WNBA plan to rollout additional products throughout the partnership, including ServiceNow Software Asset Management, ServiceNow IT Operations Pro, ServiceNow Integrated Risk Management and ServiceNow Customer Service Management on Saturday, October 31.

Martinsville Speedway and Draft Top teamed on a multi-year entitlement sponsorship for the penultimate race, Draft Top 250, of the NACAR Xfinity Series Playoffs. Part of the NASCAR Playoffs Weekend at Martinsville, the race will set the final four drivers competing for the series title over NASCAR Championship Weekend at Phoenix Raceway November 6-8. The Draft Top 250 will be televised nationally on NBC and broadcast on MRN as well as its network of nationwide affiliates.

The Southwestern Athletic conference announced a multi-year sponsorship agreement with Academy Sports + Outdoors. It’s centered around impactful community focused initiatives and will be highlighted by youth outreach and mentorship programs in local communities across the U.S.

DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

With 90+ in-stadium cameras, FOX Sports and Samsung’s exclusive 5G Smartphone experience are letting fans control the action during the 25th season of the MLB Postseason. The collaboration between the two brands delivers a custom design experience for Android users, including interactive video-player, multi-view feature, highlights updated throughout the game and a rewind feature. “During these unique times for fans, we have an immense opportunity to get them closer to the action with impactful, creative solutions during some of our biggest moments,” said David Katz, EVP and Head of Digital, FOX Sports. “This collaboration combines the best of FOX Sports production and mobile user innovation for the fan of the present and future.”

WWE’s YouTube channel surpassed 50 billion total views, and is closing in on nearly 70 million subscribers. “Reaching 50 billion views on YouTube is a testament to our compelling storylines, larger than life Superstars, and the strength of the WWE brand globally,” said Jayar Donlan, WWE Executive Vice President, Advanced Media. We are proud to set the standard for premium content on YouTube and are thankful for the 67+ million subscribers and members of the WWE Universe who helped us achieve this milestone.”

TicketSmarter announced a partnership with MLB Players, Inc. The deal allows the ticket resale website to use active MLB players in its promotions and create VIP experiences for its clients. In addition, it includes a portion of baseball ticket sales through the site to be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

ESPORTS

Esports Entertainment Group signed a first-of-its-kind agreement with the LA Kings and the LA Galaxy. As part of the deal, EEG will become the official Esports Tournament Provider of both teams and will operate three branded Esports tournaments using the company’s EGP tournament platform. “This is the first big U.S. push for our tournament platform, a key component of our Three Pillar Strategy for growth,” said Magnus Leppaniemi, EVP of Esports for GMBL. “The LA Kings and LA Galaxy are highly acclaimed teams, and we are incredibly proud to be a part of their ongoing success.”

FACEIT revealed its first set of collegiate esports offerings, set to arrive as early as next month. Headlined by a combined $55,000 prize pool, the collegiate event suite will produce competitions across Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends and VOLARANT for participating tams in North America.

The expansion of esports gambling globally, a trend accelerated during the pandemic, has the potential to spur even more growth, according to projections from FansUnite Entertainment Inc., a technology company providing leading online gaming solutions, and its subsidiary Askott Entertainment, which focuses on B2C and B2B esports betting products. From March through September Euros wagered through FansUnite’s business-to-business platform, Chameleon, has increased 650% from the same seven-month period in 2019. “What we have seen this year is the beginning of a new era in the esports gambling industry,” said Scott Burton, Chief Executive Officer of FansUnite. “Fueled in part by a shutdown of traditional sports worldwide, extended time at home because of the pandemic, and growth in legal betting opportunities in the U.S., esports gambling has gained significant new interest.

Tempo has teamed with G Fuel, The Official Energy Drink of Esports, to bring gamers new content, events and activations. The brands will begin by working with Tempo creator communities throughout the remainder of 2020 and expand beyond the organization in the new year. They are also offering 30% off G Fuel products for a limited time by using code TEMPO.

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On this Day
1974: Hockey great Wayne Gretsky scored his first NHL goal.

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Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Jim “Bones” Mackay was a long-time caddie for which famed golfer? Answer: Phil Mickelson. Kudos to: Tori Gallarello-Alcock-Little Roosters, Inc./Bronx, NY; Christian Matthews-Washington Football Team/Washington DC; Mark Lehman-Braves/Atlanta, GA; Mike Doyle-National CineMedia/Madison, CT; Chris Long-Draft Kings/New York, NY; Scott Jenkins-Gracenote/Queensbury, NY; Michael Ritz-Lenox Advisors/New York, NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton, FL; John Lappas-Home Team Sports/New York, NY; C.J. Bottitta-BPPC/Apex, NC; Greg Maltzman-Up Down Digital/New York, NY; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station, TX; Joe Lyons-ESPN/Dallas, TX; Bill Robertson-WCHA/Minneapolis, MN; Creed Heilskov-ImOn Communications/Cedar Rapids, IA; Jim Whittemore/The Whittemore Group, Inc./Portland, OR; Jim Himmel/TCB Media/San Clemente, CA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union, Burbank, CA; Larry Hutchings/Nipomo, CA; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/Los Angeles, CA.

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