10/23/20: FOX Sports saw historical dips for the first two games of the World Series

 

Medias First Morning Read
Friday October 23, 2020

Game two of the World Series handed FOX Sports properties with 9,263,000 viewers, according to the company, as the Rays evened the series with the Dodgers. FOX alone brought in 8,950,000 viewers, with the game ranking as the most-watched telecast of the night, despite declines in viewership. Game one, meanwhile, brought 9,481,000 viewers. Washington’s 5-4 victory over Houston in last year’s opener was seen by an average of 12,283,000.

PROGRAMMING

ESPN and the NBA announced that ESPN’s Bristol studios will host the virtual 2020 NBA Draft presented by State Farm on Nov. 18, at 7p. The event will air live on ESPN, ESPN Radio and the ESPN App with Commissioner Adam Silver and Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum appearing in studio at ESPN to announce the selections for the first and second rounds, respectively. Select draftees, including many of the potential top picks, will appear virtually.

The NFL announced Thursday that Sunday’s Bucs/Raiders matchup, initially slated for 8:20p for SNF on NBC, would be shifted to Sunday afternoon at 4:05p on FOX. The maneuver comes after Raiders tackle Trent Brown was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday while all five of its starting offensive linemen were sent home from practice as part of contact tracing. The Seahawks/Cardinals now take the primetime slot.

The second season of Karate Combat will air on ESPN Deportes starting Thursday, Oct. 22. The 12 week season begins on October 22 at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT, with new fight cards weekly. “We’re proud to present our full contact entertainment in Spanish in the U.S. for the first time with ESPN Deportes,” said Rob Bryan, CEO of Karate Combat. “We’ve brought one of the world’s most practiced sports to pro-level for the first time, and we’re making it incredibly entertaining.”

As part of the continued development of ESPN+, ESPN will expand its premium written content offering and daily studio show programming, starting Nov.9, when it will become the exclusive home for the live and replay telecasts of four signature ESPN Radio shows (The Dan Le Batard with Stugotz, Greeny, Chiney & Golic Jr., The Max Kellerman Show), a popular daily Spanish-language show (Jorge Ramos y Su Banda) and adding exclusive written content from more than 20 additional ESPN reporters and analysts.

Audible announced a multi-project development deal with The SpringHill Company, founded by NBA superstar LeBron James and his business partner Maverick Carter, to produce exclusive audio content. The multi-project slate, focusing on culturally influential content, kicks off with More Than A Vote: Our Voices. Our Vote, premiering on Oct. 27 for free within the Audible Premium Plus catalog.

Hulu is dropping more than a dozen Fox Sports Regional Networks (RSNs) along with YES Network and Marquee Network from its lineup, announcing that the platform was unable to lock in a new deal with parent company Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Starting Nov. 20 with the launch of the 2020-21 Gallagher Premiership Rugby season, NBC Sports’ exclusive streaming rugby coverage will move from NBC Sports Gold “Rugby Pass” to Peacock Premium, which is available for $4.99 per month and serve as the home of NBC Sports’ extensive collection of rugby programming, including Six Nations, Gallagher Premiership Rugby, rugby at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and the HSBC Sevens Series.

Anthem Sports & Entertainment cemented a partnership between the company’s sports network Game+ and Liga Endesa, Spain’s top professional basketball division, bringing live basketball games to the Game+ platform beginning Saturday. The multi-year agreement will cover the remaining games in the current 2020-2021 season, semi-final and all finals games in the current 2020-2021 season as well as the Copa Del Rey ACB and Supercopa ACB tournaments along with complete coverage of the upcoming 2021-2022 season. Game+ will broadcast the Liga Endesa games in English.

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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Ball Corporation and Kroenke Sports & Entertainment are renaming the home of the Nuggets and Avalanche from Pepsi Center to Ball Arena. Ball Corporation and KSE announced the name change as part of a new partnership across three venues in Denver, Los Angeles and London. Ball and KSE will also partner with the Premier League’s Arsenal F.C., as well as the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and their home stadium, SoFi Stadium.

Panini America announced an exclusive partnership with the Reese’s Senior Bowl, and will now create custom trading cards for each of the invited players and work with the Senior Bowl on developing digital and social activations that celebrate the players throughout the week and as they make their way to the NFL Draft. As part of the partnership, Panini will be incorporated into a number of key activations at the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL. In addition to making custom trading cards for each of the invited players, Panini and the Senior Bowl will also work at developing digital and social activations that celebrates the players throughout the week and as they make their way to the NFL Draft. Panini will also look to incorporate Senior Bowl elements and assets into its trading card products.

Speaking of bowls, the college bowl game once known as the Cheez-It Bowl and Cactus Bowl will now be known as the Guaranteed Rate Bowl, courtesy of a new deal. The new Guaranteed Rate Bowl is the only postseason matchup between members of the Big Ten and Big 12 Conferences.

The Girls Academy and Major League Soccer entered into a new strategic relationship to collaborate on youth soccer development with MLS VP and technical director Fred Lipka joining the Girl Academy’s technical advisory committee. “MLS is committed to supporting girls soccer and the Girls Academy through a mutual sharing of our expertise and vision. Girls soccer is a crucial piece of growing the game in North America and something MLS is eager to support,” Lipka said in a statement.

DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

The PGA TOUR and Hyperice struck a new multi-year accord designating Hyperice as the “Official Recovery Device of the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions” and a “Sponsor of PGA TOUR Active.” As part of the TOUR’s Official Marketing Partner program, Hyperice will activate and create custom content within PGA TOUR Active, a new TOUR initiative highlighting health, fitness and lifestyles of professional golfers, where fans get an inside look into the techniques and activities helping the world’s best perform at their peak.

Professional Fighters League announced a global partnership with Socios.com, a leading blockchain fintech company in the sports space. This new partnership will see the PFL launch Fan Tokens, digital assets that provide fans with engagement opportunities – including voting rights and the chance to earn exclusive rewards, on blockchain-based fan voting and rewards app Socios.com, the “Official Fan Token Partner of the PFL.”

ESPORTS

UEFA is bringing back UEFA eEURO. European football’s governing body has announced the competition will return for a second edition, with the final tournament planned to take place next summer in London. UEFA eEuro 2021 will see participating players compete in the largest national team efootball event, played exclusively on KONAMI’s eFootball PES 2021 SEASON UPDATE. The competition will feature all 55 of UEFA’s member associations. The aim for all contestant countries will be to qualify for the final tournament in London from 9–10 July, scheduled just before the final of the real-world UEFA EURO 2020 at Wembley Stadium on 11 July.

BLAST Premier and Nubia Technology announced a partnership with the global mobile company sponsoring the company’s Counter Strike Fall Series. The partnership will see in-game branding featuring Nubia’s RedMagic 5S phone. In addition, Nubia will offer fans opportunities to win the new phone and deliver behind-the-scenes access during the tournament as part of various giveaways while all on-screen talent will be given the gaming phone to try for themselves.

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association partnered with Cxmmunity, and the duo will work together to develop the conference’s esports ecosystem through strategic partnerships with industry leaders that focus on providing educational opportunities and career pathways for its students and membership. Additionally, through its HBCU Esports League, Cxmmunity will provide competitive gaming opportunities for CIAA membership, offering participants the chance to earn scholarships, while also assisting the conference with establishing its own branded esports programming.

INDUSTRY & ROSTER MOVES

Professional women’s soccer team, Angel City, announced that the team has been formally welcomed into The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) as the League’s eleventh expansion team, known as the Angel City Football Club. The team also officially welcomed a new group of founding investors including Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss, WNBA legend Candace Parker and her daughter Lailaa, Gold Medalist and Alpine Skiing Legend Lindsey Vonn, Gold Medalist and NHL-All Star PK Subban, Latin pop superstar Becky G, actress and activist Sophia Bush, private investor, Deirdre DeLany, actor and late night host James Corden, MLS/US Soccer legend and sports broadcaster Cobi Jones, and NFL All-Pro Ryan Kalil.

SPORTS BROADCAST JOURNAL w/David J. Halberstam

Names like Dick Young and Red Smith make up a list of the dozen most influential NY sports columnists the last 50+ years. The old school scribes like Young targeted Howard Cosell who grabbed attention himself because he supported Muhammad Ali; Other tidbits.
Halby’s Morsels: NY’s top dozen columnists last 50+ years; Are announcers still superstitious?

What they’re saying about NBC’s Mike Emrick who’s retiring after a glittering career. Doc mixed a ton of different words to describe the play on the ice. He was rarely repetitive. His word retrieval was deep.
Mike Emrick, 74, retires; NHL Hall of Famer worked for ABC, Fox, ESPN and for the last 15 years, NBC

A complete NFL weekend schedule; A list of markets carrying each of CBS’ and Fox’ regional telecasts. All talent and notes.
NFL Week #7: Joe Buck shuttling between the gridiron and the Series; Brady to LV for NBC Sunday nighter

The Big Ten is back and even the Mountain West debuts this weekend. With the return of these conferences, the college television weekend looks meatier.
College Football Week #8: Better late than never, Big Ten and Mountain West finally open their seasons

Happy Birthday and many joyful returns:

Tom Verducci, 10/23 Fox Sports, MLB Network, Sports Illustrated
Michelle Beadle, 10/23 Ex-ESPN, NBA host
Adam Zucker 10/21 CBS Sports Network, anchor and host
Josh Lewin, 10/25 Voice UCLA Bruins F/B Ex-Fox
Chris Broussard, 10/28 Fox Sports/Fox Radio, anchor/host
Sports Broadcast Journal

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