10/18/19: Sinclair and AT&T secured a broad distribution deal for its sports channels


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Friday October 18, 2019
Good news for Sinclair Broadcast Group, which locked in a multi-year deal with AT&T for its networks’ continued carriage across DIRECTV, AT&T TV and U-verse. In addition to Sinclair’s owned local broadcast stations, the deal includes clearance for Tennis Channel, future carriage of Marquee Sports Network, the new regional sports network featuring games of the Chicago Cubs launching in 2020, plus the 21 RSNs Sinclair recently acquired along the YES Network, in which Sinclair is a joint-venture partner.

FOX Sports readied its coverage plans for the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs this weekend, carrying the Seattle Sounders/FC Dallas at 3:30p on Saturday on FS1. John Strong, Stu Holden and reporter Katie Witham call the game. Sunday will feature the Philadelphia Union/New York Red Bulls at 3p on FS1. JP Dellacamera, Alexi Lalas and Danielle Slaton are on microphone duties.
ESPN reports that College GameDay Built by The Home Depot is pacing to set new records this season, with the show’s viewership off to its best start since the 2015 season and its second best since expanding to three hours. Through the show’s first seven episodes, the pregame program is averaging 1,902,000 viewers per episode, up 4% from last season’s first seven editions and up 10% from the start of the 2017 season. In the final hour, GameDay is averaging 2,402,000 viewers, also a multiple season high, including up 3% from last season.
X Games unveiled the sports and disciplines for X Games Aspen 2020, including new additions of Snowboard SuperPipe Best Trick, Snowboard Rail Jam and Ski Knuckle Huck. In addition, X Games Aspen will also add a Special Olympics Unified Skiing Event this year. The event runs Jan. 23-26, 2020 at Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, Colo.
BTN is upping the ante for its wrestling coverage, serving up the most programming dedicated to the sport in network history and slating a 40% increase over last season. BTN’s schedule begins with a non-conference matchup with Virginia Tech/Ohio State on Nov. 17 at noon and includes the Big Ten Championships. Jim Gibbons, Tim Johnson and Shane Sparks will once again anchor BTN’s coverage. Additionally, BTN+ will carry nearly 100 matches, also a new record-high.
Bleacher Report unveiled its first pilot co-produced by creative studio, Kids at Play, titled Battlestations. The series serves up an inside glimpse of top athletes in their tricked out video game rooms. Hosted by Doug “Censor” Martin, a four-time Call of Duty National Champion, the show’s pilot will feature New Orleans Pelicans Josh Hart and Sacramento Kings De’Aaron Fox, offering audiences “the low-down on how top athletes decompress from their intense professional sports careers by playing video games in some of the most spectacular in-home setups.”
ESPN re-signed MMA insider Brett Okamoto to a new multi-year deal, extending his tenure as a contributor across all of ESPN’s platforms. In the new agreement Okamoto, who joined ESPN in 2010, will continue his role as a breaking news reporter, feature writer and analyst, and co-host of ESPN’s live UFC weigh-in shows on ESPN+ and live UFC post-shows across ESPN’s video platforms. 
WWE is set to unleash its first-ever weekly podcast series, After the Bell, on Oct. 30. Hosted by Corey Graves, explores the latest in Monday Night Raw, Friday Night SmackDown and NXT.  The podcast is the first for WWE Podcast Network, a partnership between WWE and Endeavor Audio.
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The NBA and Nike are expanding their existing partnership to make the league’s official oncourt apparel provider the presenting partner of The NBA Mexico City Games for the third consecutive season. The NBA Mexico City Games 2019 presented by Nike will feature, for the first time – four NBA teams playing two regular-season games at the Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City.  The Dallas Mavericks and Detroit Pistons will play on Dec. 12 and the San Antonio Spurs will take on the Phoenix Suns on Dec. 14. In addition to being the presenting partner of The NBA Mexico City Games 2019, Nike will receive prominent brand exposure, including event logo inclusion, in-arena activations, and signage.
Marriott Hotels and Manchester United are teaming up to offer fans the Seat of Dreams. The promotion will give fans at every game the chance to experience matchday from “a unique and coveted vantage point in the stadium while enjoying special perks including complimentary food and drinks, early entry to the stadium, and the opportunity to meet Manchester United Legends.” The debut of the Seat of Dreams also marks the kick-off of a larger relationship between Manchester United and Marriott Hotels, with the hotel brand becoming the club’s first-ever Official Hotel Partner.
The National Women’s Hockey League picked up another partner, inking Rocket Sport as a sponsor. “Rocket Sport is really pleased and proud to support the advancement of professional women’s hockey in North America as a sponsor of the NWHL,” said company CEO Domenico Ciarallo. “I’ve seen the significant strides the league has made, and I have deep respect for the many outstanding players from my home country of Canada, the U.S. and other parts of the world that are part of the NWHL. There will be more good things to come in the partnership between the NWHL and Rocket Sport.”
In lacrosse news, the National lacrosse League announced a new multiyear partnership with Warrior, the New Balance-owned premier equipment provider for the sport.  Warrior will serve as an Official Partner and supplier of the NLL’s equipment pool for players. “Warrior is thrilled to renew its partnership with the National Lacrosse League,” said Jared Hager, Director of Lacrosse Marketing, Warrior Sports. “We believe the NLL is one of the premier professional lacrosse leagues in the world and offers Warrior unprecedented exposure and branding. Just like the NLL, Warrior was founded on innovation. We are excited to continue to help grow the game of box lacrosse by bringing the most innovative products in the game to the best players in the world. We look forward to growing together with the NLL.”
Meanwhile, the NLL’s New York Riptide inked a new deal with Pipeline Coffee to become the Official Coffee of the New York Riptide for the team’s inaugural NLL season. The Riptide open the 2019-20 NLL season on the road on Dec. 7.

Whistle is launching its first linear over-the-top channel. Tapping Griffin Gmelich to serve as EVP of OTT and Content, the platform will look to offer a slate of ad-supported content 24-hours a day, ranging from original programming, episodic content featuring popular social media influencers, niche sports league programming and inspirational movies and documentaries. The upcoming launch of WhistleTV comes on the heels of Whistle’s recent acquisition of Vertical Networks. “We’re looking forward to expanding Whistle’s content offerings to the linear OTT space and are pleased that WhistleTV will bring a new slate of diversified IP to market” says Griffin Gmelich. “Whistle’s deep portfolio of existing and new franchises, as well as talent-infused content, will meet audiences everywhere they consume content whether it be on social and soon to be in linear too.”
Chalk Media, a digital sports network owned by Chris Long, made its online debut on Youtube, featuring athlete and celebrity-focused content, including celebrity interviews, weekly podcasts, episodic shows, documentaries, and quick-hitting videos. The full digital network will be available in early 2020 with a subscription-based model. The platform launched with flagship program, The Fish Bowl, a series of interviews that will feature conversations with sports and entertainment personalities. 
SBTech launched the first online sports betting offering in the State of Oregon, in partnership with the Oregon State Lottery. Oregonians can now place bets on a broad range of events through “Scoreboard,” the Oregon State Lottery’s new sports betting platform powered by SBTech. Players will have access to markets across all major leagues and sports including the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, PGA, NASCAR and more, with a variety of bet types on offer including live bets, futures and prop bets.

Envy Gaming landed Jack Link’s Protein Snacks in a sponsorship deal. The multi-year agreement between the two brands will involve collaborations on fan activations, live events and a custom content series with the snacks serving as The Official Protein Snack of Envy Gaming. Activation will see the Jack Link’s logo featured on all Team Envy jerseys, and Dallas Call of Duty team jerseys while Jack Link’s products will be available to the professional players and staff of the Dallas Fuel, Dallas Call of Duty team and Team Envy at the organization’s new training center. In addition, the duo announced that Jack Link’s activations will take place 2020 Overwatch League and Call of Duty League events hosted in North Texas. Custom content videos will also be developed with Envy for social and digital platforms.
Kroenke Sports & Entertainment reportedly hired former YouTube and Riot Games staffer Alex Rubens as well as ESPN senior editor Ryan Garfat to lead esports operations for the Los Angeles Gladiators of the Overwatch League and the Los Angeles Guerillas of the upcoming Call of Duty League, per ESPN. The report states that Rubens and Garfat are the first hires in the new front office for the Kroenke’s esports ventures.
PUBG Corporation laid out full details for the 2019 PUBG Global Championship, which represents the culmination of PUBG Esports’ first official season. The event will take place across three weekends, starting with a Group Stage (Nov. 8-10) and Semifinals (Nov. 15-17) held at the OGN Super Arena in Manhattan Beach, The competition concludes with the Grand Finals (Nov. 23-24) in Oakland, as the top teams face-off at the Oakland Arena for a piece of the guaranteed $2 million prize pool and a chance to be crowned the 2019 PUBG Global Champions. Starting Nov. 5, fans will be able to purchase exclusive in-game items, with 25% of net proceeds from total item sales being added to the overall PGC prize pool. An additional 25% of item sale revenue will be awarded to participating teams via the PGC ‘Pick’Em Challenge’ Event.
Logitech G announced that the Logitech G Challenge Grand Finals to determine the global esports racing champion will take place on Nov. 16 in Las Vegas.  Over 11,000 drivers raced through a mix of online qualifiers and in-person wildcard competitions, leading to eight winners of the four regional competitions in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the United States for the 2019 Grand Final of McLaren Shadow Project Season 2, with a spot on the McLaren Shadow esports team on the line. The Grand Final will be globally broadcasted on the Logitech G Twitch channel starting at 4p.
Riot Games entered a new partnership with Panasonic Avionics to allow North American League of Legends fans to watch the LCS and NA Academy teams on more than 2,400 commercial flights spanning the country. Riot and Panasonic Avionics haven’t confirmed which airlines will be airing any of the content.

Astros/Yankees tonight at 7p on FS1.
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ON THIS DAY in 1967
The American League votes to allow the Athletics to move to Oakland and expand to 12 teams in 1971 with franchises in Kansas City and Seattle.
In the Know
ho holds the all-time record in passing yards at LSU? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your company and city).
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
In skiing, what is a “yard sale”? Answer:
A wipeout that causes your equipment to scatter. Kudos: Mike Polvere-Optimum Sports/NY; Joe Grippo-MSG/CLG/NY; Ben Buckley-ABG/NY; Chris Long-DraftKings/NY; Wayne “World B.” Otto-Pro-Am Sports/Boone; Mike Seidel-CSI Sports/Jersey City; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Matt Sautter-WideOrbit/Harrisburg; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Joe Lyons-ESPN/Dallas; Lucie Prann/Dallas; John Tingue-hulu/Chicago; Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo; Dan Haberer-Creo Entertainment/Playa del Rey; Andy Babb-Super League Gaming/Santa Monica; Reed Zabel-WME/LA
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 Work closely with the VP and SVP of Finance in all aspects of production accounting/finance Overseeing production accountants & mngng show cash flows to ensure staying on budget. Min 5 yrs exp cost reporting as a production accountant. Full info HERE (10/29)
WTTG/WDCA TV Fox 5 TV/Washington DC: seasoned creative services producer to conceptualize, write and produce dynamic promotional spots that promote our programming while reinforcing and expanding the stations brand and image. 4 yr degree & min 3 yrs brdcst exp in a top 50 market. Full info   HERE   (10/29)

 Support in the creation of presentations designed to educate senior members of the network on consumers’ changing ent & tech. profiles. 2+ yrs Media research experience at a broadcast or cable network, agency or vendor. Full info HERE (10/26)


Seeking an energetic achiever with excellent written & organizational skills for role to assist in growing revenue for dynamic Direct Response Team: BA Degree, Min 2 yrs DR Planning Experience req.  Wide Orbit Exp a +. Full info HERE (10/26)

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Fremantle/Burbank: Serve as the head of all domestic research. Mng all qualitative/quantitative rsrch across all key depts. Proficient in survey programming/scripting apps. Detail oriented/great orgnztnal skills. Full info HERE (10/25)

A+E/NY: Perform legal review & rights interpretation of content sales agreements & manage the process of capturing the rights & terms into a rights mgmt database. 3-5 yrs exp in legal analysis of prgmg & distribution agreements w/complex media rights & terms. JD a +. Excellent Excel skills. Full info HERE (10/25)

A+E/NY: Ensure ads are in compliance w/both A+E policies & Fed guidelines. Perform S&P and Legal Privacy reviews & decision making for live programming. BA/BS, 10+ yrs exp at a network (cable or brdcst), or agency working in Standards & Practices, Commercial Clearance w/focus on ad review. Full info HERE (10/25)

Lead brand manager to run VENN brand social channels, driving comms strategy and brand growth. Prior experience leading brand launch and growth via social required. Deep knowledge of all social platforms. Full info HERE  (10/25)

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ith a focus on meeting quarterly reports & budgets AE is resp for partnering with local clients, both on the agency level & direct, to create innovative & unique mktg/ad solutions that target a client’s demographics & products/services. 2 yrs exp direct sales & 3 yrs media sales exp. Full info HERE (10/23)

Back Roads Ent/Austin TX: 
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Viacom Velocity/Hollywood CA: Manage all aspects of the ideation, creation, execution, and fulfillment of promotional programs for designated Movie Studio accounts. 3-5+ years marketing/sales experience within entertainment & media. Full info HERE (10/20)

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Work directly with co-CEOs to organize, maintain & execute across variety of admin functions in fast-moving start-up environment. Looking for prior EA exp, strong organizational, communication & detail-oriented skills. Previous start-up experience, and passion for esports/media a major plus. Full info HERE (10/19)

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