10/16/20: Turner Sports’ bets on double deals


Medias First Morning Read
Friday October 16, 2020

Turner Sports doubled down on its sportsbook partnerships, unveiling new deals with both FanDuel Group as well as DraftKings in multi-year plays. FanDuel is now designated as the exclusive sportsbook partner for NBA programming on Turner Sports properties including content integrations across Bleacher Report and grants the company access to exclusive integrations within NBA content, including TNT live telecasts and Bleacher Report digital channels including the B/R app.

“Turner Sports is a leader in the media industry and, together, we’re bringing viewership to the next level by offering exclusive sports betting content that’s directly integrated into their NBA programming,” said Mike Raffensperger, CMO, FanDuel Group. “We’ll be incorporating FanDuel Sportsbook odds and analysis into Turner Sport’s live broadcasts and Bleacher Report’s digital content, offering a new, enhanced, experience for NBA fans.”

The partnerships with DraftKings designates the digital sports entertainment and gaming company as the exclusive sportsbook and daily fantasy sports provider across select Turner Sports and Bleacher Report properties, excluding NBA programming. DraftKings will provide sports betting information and daily fantasy content across Turner Sports telecasts and Bleacher Report digital channels including the B/R app. Planned integrations will include custom content segments, DraftKings’ betting odds and daily fantasy statistics, original content, personalized automated alerts and editorial across B/R channels including the B/R Betting vertical, the most engaged digital sports media brand in the sports betting industry*.

“Regulated betting is quickly becoming a fixture of modern sports entertainment, and this collaboration with Turner Sports further scales the reach of our products and content to engage fans,” said Ezra Kucharz, Chief Business Officer, DraftKings. “Turner Sports platforms provide exceptional content as they continually captivate sports audiences. Their medium aligns with the DraftKings’ brand and we look forward to delivering a seamless experience for readers and viewers while also broadening our visibility.”


Boxing is returning to NBC Sports. Ring City USA and NBC Sports Group announced a new partnership to televise a series of matches on NBCSN through 2021. It consists of two-hour match slates on Thursday nights, debuting on November 19 at 9p. Additional bout windows this year include December 3 and 17, with 14 matches to be scheduled throughout 2021. “We’re excited to partner with Ring City USA to bring boxing back to NBC Sports and add a new chapter to our rich boxing history,” said Gary Quinn, Vice President, Programming & Owned Properties, NBC Sports. “We are excited to bring boxing back to NBC Sports,” said Frank Samuel, CEO of Ring City USA. “This partnership will deliver exciting, highly competitive fights and become a day-in, day-out source of top-notch, unbiased content for fight fans around the world.”

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL will not be playing a 2021 Pro Bowl game, this year. Instead, the league will reimagine the annual festivities, working closely with the NFLPA and other partners to create a variety of engaging activities to replace the game. Plans are for a virtual recognition of the season’s finest players that will provide fans the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of their favorite stars.” Pro Bowl team selections will still be made, with voting beginning on November 14. Looking ahead, the 2022 Pro Bowl has been awarded to Las Vegas.

In addition, New Orleans will have to wait another year to host a Super Bowl. The city and the New Orleans Saints, who had been slated to host the 2024 Super Bowl, will now get Super Bowl LIX in 2025. The switch was made to avoid conflict with Mardis Gras and approved by the 32 NFL clubs during a virtual league meeting. Meanwhile, the new host city of Super Bowl LVIII in 2024 has yet to be named.

Turner Sports has rounded up a foursome for its third incarnation of The Match, a charity golf event the programmer introduced in 2018. Teeing off on Friday, November 2 7 will be three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson and Peyton Manning, both of whom played in last year’s round. Joining the two Match vets are three-time NBA champ and scratch golfer Steph Curry and Charles Barkley. The event will benefit historically black college and universities.

The NCAA selected Las Vegas as a host site for nine preliminary rounds and finals of predetermined championships in Divisions I, II and III for the 2022-23 through 2025-26 academic years. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority teamed with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, submitting 98 bids to host NCAA Championship Events from the aforementioned divisions, including tennis, golf, soccer, softball, baseball, basketball, gymnastics, hockey, bowling and volleyball. “We’re thrilled with the NCAA’s decision to award nine events to Las Vegas over the 2022-23 to 2025-26 school years,” said Steve Hill, CEO/President of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “Las Vegas will provide both the student athletes and their fans an unparalleled experience. Welcoming events of this caliber is important to the destination as we continue to evolve into the Sports Capital of the World.”

The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs’ Round of 8 kicks off at Kansas Speedway on Sunday, October 18 at 2p with Countdown to Green on NBC. Throughout the pre-race and race coverage, Rutledge Wood and former Super Bowl XLVII champion Bernard Pollard will join the broadcast, as Pollard discusses his newly found love for NASCAR.

The International Swimming League opens its second season of competition on Friday, October 16 at 10a live on CBS Sports Network. It’s the first of 13 events and 52 hours of planned coverage across CBS Sports platforms in the coming weeks. Joining veteran play-by-play man Bernie Gunther will be U.S. Olympic Hall of Famer and three-time gold medalist Rowdy Gaines and multiple world champion Mark Foster with commentary live from Budapest, Hungary.

Following the Los Angeles Lakers’ 17th NBA Championship and a slate of Sunday NFL Games, FSI’s Skip and Shannon: Undisputed and The Heard with Colin Cowherd recorded top 5 most-watched shows of all time. On Monday, October 12 Undisputed earned its fourth most-watched show, averaging 326,000 viewers, while The Herd tied for fifth most-watched show, averaging 227,000.

Anthem Sports & Entertainment’s Game+ Network has partnered with OVW Wrestling to premiere two new wrestling series. OVW Overdrive and OVW TV debut on Game+’s Sunday lineup on October 18 at 9a. Talented young upstarts step into the ring on OVW TV, while OVW Overdrive features entertaining and in depth analysis of the wrestling week in review.

Univision’ TUDN announced its multi-platform coverage of the 2020-2021 UEFA Champions League, beginning Tuesday, October 20 with the kick-off of the competitions Group Stage. TUDN will bring fans all the action from every match live, including over 76 on linear networks Univision, UniMas, TUDN and Galavision. Remaining contests will be streamed via TUDNxtra. Pre-game show Futbol Central will set the stage each matchday previewing the upcoming slate of contests, while Mision Europa warps the action following the final whistle. Also, TUDN’s whip-around program, Zona Futbol, returns for a second season.

Measurement and Data Virtual Experience
Presented by Cynopsis

There’s a lot of data to choose from nowadays. Some is critical for one project but not with another. How can you smartly tell which is which? This panel on Tuesday, November 17th at 1:30pm ET features executives from New York Interconnect, Starcom and Publicis One Team (Citi) who will examine the way pros have separated the wheat from the chaff using examples from media & data companies.



MLB and RB, the makers of Lysol, struck a multi-year partnership to promote healthy habits and disinfecting protocols for the leagues’ players, staff and fans. Beginning with the 2020 Postseason and looking toward the 2021 spring campaign, germ prevention and disinfection will continue to be top of mind to protect everyone in ballparks across the league. Areas of focus include microbiologists and germ-kill experts from Lysol working with MLB to reinforce ongoing protocols for disinfection in ballparks with a focus on high-touch hotspots to be put in place for the 2021 season. MLB and Lysol will also work to identify opportunities to provide Lysol product and educational materials to schools a cross the country, engaging with young fans and promoting healthy habits in the classroom. “The addition of Lysol’s expertise and disinfecting products will help further strengthen efforts to create a safe environment to play Major League Baseball,” said Jon Coyles, MLB Vice President, Drug, Health and Safety Programs. “As a brand that is synonymous with cleanliness, the Lysol brand will be an important partner in our management of the evolving pandemic as well as in amplifying health and safety messages around baseball.”

Victoria beer will be the “Official Beer of Summer Slam,” thanks to a new multi-platform partnership between WWE and Constellation Brands Beer Division. In addition to Victoria’s official sponsorship of WWE’s most anticipated event of the year, two other Constellation beer brands, Corona and Modelo, will also invest in the partnership with WWE, including multimedia elements encompassing various WWE events and touchpoints.

Meanwhile, Goose Island Beer Company will become the presenting sponsor of Being Guillen, La Vida Baseball’s regular visit with the Guillen family. The show will stream Friday, October 16 from Goose Island Brewhouse in Chicago, and feature Ozzie Sr, Ozzie Jr, and Oney Guillen offering their take on baseball and family.

The Los Angeles Rams have named Proximo Spirits’ 1800 Tequila their official tequila. The deal marks the brand’s first partnership with an NFL team. As part of the partnership,1800 Tequila will have digital branding at SoFi Stadium during Rams home games.

Former NFL player Takeo Spikes has teamed with Morehouse College as an ambassador for the Adopt-An-HBCU Good Trouble Voter Drive. The campaign, sponsored by athletes and entertainers, urges students to vote on November 3.

Susan Crown Exchange launched Million Coaches Challenge, a multimillion-dollar initiative to train one million coaches in positive youth development by 2025. To help ensure a level playing field for the rising generation, at least 50% of this training will support coaches in underserved communities. As SCE’s partner in achieving these goals, Positive Coaching Alliance is tapping its national network to train these coaches to support kids on and off the field, helping young athletes develop social and emotional skills like teamwork, empathy and problem solving.

KTRY Gear announced that three-time major winner and Ryder Cup Captain Padraig Harrington has joined Team VKTRY. “I heard some PGA players were wearing VKTRY Insoles, so I went online and bought a pair. With VKs, I immediately achieved my personal best ever in ball speed… 196 MPH,” said Harrington. “These insoles help give me more stability and improve the ground force I can generate. I learned a long time ago that you can’t launch a rocket from a canoe. For me, using VKs is a no brainer.”


ESPN debuts The Running Man on Tuesday, October 20. The latest podcast in the ESPN Investigates feed, it examines the story of Conrad Avondale Mainwaring, an obscure former Olympian from Antigua and alleged serial sexual predator, and the 14-month investigation that brought him out of the shadows and to justice.

In other ESPN news, September was a record-breaking month, as the combined podcast network of ESPN/ ABC/ Five ThirtyEight/ National Geographic posted a new high of 9.3 million unique listeners. That’s an increase of 10% vs. August and 24% over September a year ago. (ABC was not part of the total in 2019.) The network also jumped three spots to #4 on the Podcast Industry Rankings Report. Driving growth were NBA titles The Lowe Post, Hoop Collective and The Woj Pod, up 140%; The Right Time with Bomani Jones, up 134%; DC & Helwani, up 94%; Fantasy Focus Football, up 79%; The Dan Lebatard Show and LeBatard and Friends Network, up 61%; and Baseball Tonight, up 58% — all versus a year ago.

IGT struck a multi-year partnership with the NBA, making it the first B2B sports betting platform provider in the U.S. to bring NBA official data, marks and logos to regional casinos and sportsbooks. “Partnering with the NBA to bring official league data to our PlaySports customers further validates IGT’s seriousness about delivering an unrivaled sports betting solution for the U.S. market and supports the ‘all-in-one’ proposition that we offer,” said Enrico Drago, IGT PlayDigital Senior Vice President. “With the rise in popularity of in-play, prop and parlay bets, having access to official real-time NBA data feeds and league marks and logos positions IGT to collaborate with our PlaySports customers in creating highly compelling betting menus for sports fans across the country.”

Willow is set to deliver digital twin technology solutions at SoFi Stadium, making it the first major stadium to implement such tech in the U.S. It comes via a deal with Hollywood Park, a new sports and entertainment destination in Inglewood, CA being developed by Rams Owner/Chairman E. Stanley Kroenke. Using big data gathered from every aspect of the stadium and surrounding development, Willow will create a virtual copy of the facility to deliver an unprecedented level of analytical insight to create a world-class fan, resident and guest experience. “Our goal is to deliver a new type of fan and visitor experience, and to do that, we need a comprehensive, data-driven view into how all the pieces of this project connect,” said Jason Gannon, managing director, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park. “For such a large-scale and complex asset like a stadium, this is a pivotal undertaking. Willow’s Digital Twin will enable us to connect and analyze real-time big data across the lifecycle of development, from construction to ongoing operations.”

Yahoo Sports announced two new features for its Yahoo Sportsbook: streamlining the registration and onboarding experience between the Yahoo Sports app and BetMGM and adding player prop odds to Yahoo Fantasy to provide users in eligible states with a unique seamless way to place bets. The sports betting integrations include the NBA, NHL, MLB, NFL, college sports and more.

Sports podcasts are on the upswing at Spotify. In the past 18 months, time spent streaming sports podcast contents has tripled, with an average of 800,000+ hours per day. The latest of episode of Spotify’s For the Record podcast, Fans, Athletes, Podcasts: How 2020 Changed the World of Sports is currently available. It examines the state of fandom today and takes a look at predictions for the future.


DreamHack Sports Games named Roger Lodewick as CEO. “I’m excited to join DreamHack Sports Games as we provide a unique combination in this field of esports,” he said. “We have already proven to be able to a convert traditional sports brands into relevant and meaningful media esports products enabling both sports IP holders and broadcasters the opportunity to extend, retain and regain the young demographics. I’m thrilled to be part of innovating and growing the esports Sports Gaming industry.”

Ford Models, Inc. signed model and gaming influencer Avori Henderson to its Esports & Gaming division. Amid her success as a model and former Miss America winner, Henderson began creating unique gaming content, quickly establishing a global fan base as a female trailblazer in the gaming world. The move led her to host, create and direct the first-ever All-Female PUBG Tournament, The Girl Gamer Royale, which raised over $10,000 to benefit charities including FredHutch and Children’s Miracle Network. A pioneer in the male-dominated esports industry, Henderson’s goal is to encourage and empower women to embrace their love for gaming.

Loaded, a Southern California management firm, signed Maria “Chica” Lopez, a professional streamer, gamer and content creator with over 1.2M subscribers. Under the pact, Loaded will manage Lopez’s career, including entertainment opportunities, sponsorships, merchandising and more. Lopez, who began her streaming career on Twitch while in college, is also a professional Fortnite player for TSM.


Jim Ellis was appointed to the board of directors of The Topps Company. The world champion soccer coach, who brought the U.S. women’s national team to back-to-back FIFA Women’s World Cup Titles, will be a guiding force as the company continues to scale its efforts in global football.

Meanwhile, Olympian Angela Ruggiero was named to the board of directors of theScore. Ruggiero, CEO and Co-Founder of Sports Innovation Lab, joins immediately as theScore continues to grow its sports media and gaming operations across North America.

FanDuel Group hired Sarah Butterfass as Chief Product Officer. She was previously Chief Product Officer at Groupon.


Is Kirk Herbstreit campaigning for an ESPN NFL job? Are the NBA’s brutal ratings due to bold and inescapable political messaging? The league is getting the message that it might be. You’re likely to see less of it. Halby’s Morsels include snippets covering a range of topics.
Halby’s Morsels: CBS’ Tuesday Night Football, NBA ratings, Tony Dungy, Kirk Herbstreit and Steve Albert

CBS showed confidence in its part-time broadcasters in the booth, Tom McCarthy and Jay Feely. The Buffalo-Tennessee telecast was originally slated to go to 10% of the U.S. on Sunday before being moved to primetime on Tuesday. This is how the two CBS fared nationally in primetime.
CBS gets a B+ for Buf-Tenn in prime; Tom McCarthy grades an A; Feely, undisciplined, tagged with a C

Another big weekend for the NFL. The KC-Buffalo game, originally scheduled for last night, was moved to Monday. Full listings- market breakout for CBS’ and Fox’ regional games, plus talent and notes
NFL Week #6: Buck, Aikman work Sunday and Monday; CBS #1 team on Cleveland at Pittsburgh

College games are still somewhat limited. The Big Ten and Pac-12 will launch in a few weeks. Still, some good ones this Saturday including #2 Alabama vs #3 Georgia. No Nick Saban but still a dandy of a game. Full listings.
College Football Week #7: CBS has #3 Georgia at #2 Alabama in primetime; Busy Saturday on tap

Happy Birthday and many wonderful returns
Chris Russo 10/18 SiriusXM and MLB Network
Brian Kenney 10/18 MLB Network, Fox Sports
Rachel Nichols 10/18 ESPN
Keith Hernandez 10/20 NY Mets TV
Jim Hill 10/21 KCBS TV, Los Angeles
Rich Waltz 10/22 CBS Sports Network
Sports Broadcast Journal

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On this Day
1969: The 100-1 shot New York Mets beat the Orioles and won the 66th World Series in five games.

What former Chicago Bear debuted as a professional wrestler in 2004? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Who was the only person in NBA history to be named Most Valuable Player, Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year? Answer: Larry Bird. Kudos to: Rob Casalaina-ITN/New York, NY; Matt Marini-NFL/NJ; Denis Barry-CBS Television Stations/New York, NY; Scott Jenkins-Gracenote/Queensbury, NY; Rick Ramage-UTA/New York, NY; Michael Ritz-Lenox Advisors/New York, NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton, FL; Greg Furman-Sports Marketing Communications/Greentown, PA; Mike May-R2 Innovative Technologies/Wellington, FL; John Hayden-WSVN/Miami, NJ; Sean Walker-OMG/New York, NY; Travis Wacker-ESPN/Chicago, IL; Joe Lyons-ESPN/Dallas, TX; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station, TX; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/Los Angeles, CA; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale, AZ; Brian Lee-Pro Sports MVP/Colorado Springs, CO; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union, Burbank, CA; Amy Zimmerman-Santa Anita Park/Arcadia, CA; John Neumann-University of Calgary/Calgary, AB, Canada.

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The Arthouse, NBCUniversal’s Owned Stations’/Telemundo Stations’ internal design team who supports newscasts is seeking a Sr. Designer with a broadcast design background, solid conceptual skills and 3D expertise. Min 4yrs exp, must be able to work on individual assign and team projects. Full info HERE (10/29)

Newsmax Media/Washington D.C.: Seeking proven on-air reporter, in possession of an already-developed contact list, including many “who’s who” leaders in Congress, and related government agencies. Min 3yrs exp with outstanding writing/production skills. Full info HERE (10/30)

ION MEDIA NETWORKS/NY, NY, CLEARWATER OR W PALM BEACH, FL: Resp for the assessment, design, implementation, and interconnectedness of key business applications. Must be technically proficient, and disciplined in project mgmt. and be able to work with multiple clients/users/stakeholders to meet their requirements. 10 yrs exp in Systems Ops, Process Diagnostics and Implementation. Full info HERE (10/29)

JUKIN MEDIA/NEW YORK, NY:Seeking an individual who can combine creativity and strategy with a deep understanding of the digital media sales process. Must be able to work with clients, with a min of 2 yrs in advertising/media and a proven track record of building strong client relationships. Full info HERE (10/28)

BBC STUDIOS/LA, CA: Resp for managing sales/co-prod activity in the fiction genres, with clients across both TV/digital. Need to deliver against a stretching bus plan and budget, maximizing the BBC Studios Catalogue through licensing and co-producing programme rights in the US for TV/VOD. 5yrs exp in programme dist, with an understanding of the UK TV industry. Full info HERE (10/28)

Half Yard Productions/New York: Reporting to the SVP of Prod & Ops this position is resp for overseeing all Productions and Production Mgmt staff across a wide range of programs. Including supporting the Development Dept in creating budgets/schedules for all new productions. Exp in managing various types of shows for networks/channels. Full info HERE (10/27)

Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for designing and building shows, managing show hosts and production team, identifying and integrating guests, overseeing and executing the production of key video & graphic elements. 3+ yrs EP exp or political news & talk programming. Full info HERE (10/27)

Newsmax Media/NYC:
Write for fast paced news and opinion show. You are an exceptional storyteller with a command of political news and cultural trends. At least 3 years of national or large market local news experience. Full info HERE (10/27)

Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for the production and execution of live political news programming, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs experience line producing. Full info HERE (10/27)

Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for the production of live news & talk show, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs in TV news and/or talk production. Full info HERE (10/27)

DISCOVERY INC./NEW YORK, KNOXVILLE: Strong strategic & data-oriented individual to partner on new Magnolia Network & oversee research and performance analytics to optimize Magnolia’s linear & digital presence. 5+ yrs analytics exp req’d. Full info HERE (10/26)

JUMA ENTERTAINMENT/Remote: Looking for creative and highly motivated individual to access and clear videos for network prime time clip series. Must possess a love of TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and be able to navigate platforms. Full info HERE (10/25)

CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS/STAMFORD, CT: Resp for accessing and leveraging internal/external data, as well as building models to support Charter’s various business grps (Programming Acquisition, Original Content, Spectrum Nets, Mktg, Product, etc.) on critical initiatives and decisions. Min 5 yrs exp in data modeling and analytics. Full info HERE (10/25)

Public media leader seeks VP to promote APT brands, impact, marketing strategies, diverse content & engage audiences. Min 10 yrs experience. APT is EOE. Full info HERE. (10/24)

Counter Logic Gaming/Madison Square Garden Sports/LA, CA: Counter Logic Gaming is looking for someone to lead the digital mktg team, with a focus on digital content and social media. Resp for creating/executing all CLG digital/content strat across all social/streaming platforms. Min 5 yrs of digital/mktg exp. Full info HERE (10/24)

Nickelodeon/NYC, NY: Ideal candidate will lead a team of mktg and campaign mngrs in all aspects of marketing across all platforms in support of Nickelodeon series and content. Min 8 yrs exp in marketing, media or a consumer strategy position. Full info HERE (10/24)


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