10/26/18: FOX nabbed a 9.9 for Game 2 of the World Series

Good morning. It’s Friday October 26, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Boston’s claim on Game 2 of the World Series saw FOX snag a 9.9/17 in early Nielsen metrics. That marks a dip of 10% from last year’s second game, but easily led the network to take the night. The contest drew 13.442 million viewers on the broadcast channel, with FOX Deportes adding another 437,000 and digital platforms deliving an average minute audience of 191,097.

NBC Sports is set to debut television’s first-ever field goal “tracer” on Sunday Night Football this weekend for the Saints/Vikings game. The new SNF Kicks Tracer – an element of SNF Kicks – can map the flight of the football on all field goal attempts. The SNF Kicks technology will provide additional data including trajectory, speed of the football, and a “good from” statistic which indicates the furthest distance from which a made field goal attempt would have been successful. The SNF Kicks “good from” metric will be utilized for made field goal attempts of 45-or-more yards, as this is the distance at which kickers typically put more power behind their kicks, making the maximum length measurement more applicable.
Univision is stating that DISH Network subscribers are on the verge of losing Univision Deportes Network. The channel is currently the only Univision-related channel available to DISH Network subscribers due to a carriage dispute, with the company writing that “Hispanic consumers’ need for trustworthy news and information is as urgent as ever, and Dish took away their number one source nearly four months ago. Dish executives seem to think that offering an English-as-a-Second-Language channel is an appropriate replacement for the coverage that Jorge Ramos and our correspondents are delivering live from the front lines in Mexico on the humanitarian migrant crisis. Now, Dish is close to further gutting its Spanish-language offering by dropping Univision Deportes Network, leaving its customers without access to more than 1,100 top-tier soccer matches.”
Telemundo Deportes will see its coverage of FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 kick off on Dec. 8 with an exclusive, Spanish-language broadcast of the Final Draw on Telemundo and Universo. Andres Cantor will lead the coverage from Paris with Carlota Vizmanos also reporting from site and Miguel Gurwitz, Ana Jurka, Copan Alvarez, and guests commentators live from Telemundo Center in Miami.
Three weeks after the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, WWE released a statement that the company will proceed with plans to host the “Crown Jewel” show in the country despite international outrage. “WWE has operated in the Middle East for nearly 20 years and has developed a sizable and dedicated fan base,” the company said. “Considering the heinous crime committed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the Company faced a very difficult decision as it relates to its event scheduled for November 2 in Riyadh,” before noting that “Similar to other U.S.-based companies who plan to continue operations in Saudi Arabia, the Company has decided to uphold its contractual obligations to the General Sports Authority and stage the event. Full year 2018 guidance is predicated on the staging of the Riyadh event as scheduled”.
BTN details coverage plans for the 2018 Big Ten fall championships and tournaments, including live broadcasts and streams of the Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Soccer Tournaments, the Big Ten Field Hockey Tournament and the Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships. The Big Ten Cross Country Championships kick off BTN’s coverage on Sunday, and will air live on FloSports and BTN Plus at 11:45a and on television Monday at 8p.
Golf Channel lined up 30 hours of news and tournament coverage to one of the final collegiate events of the 2018 fall season, the East Lake Cup collegiate match play championship, from Oct. 29-31. Live tournament coverage will air on Golf Channel from 3-6p and will replay in primetime. In addition, Golf Central and Morning Drive will surround live tournament coverage with pre- and post-event news coverage. Bob Papa and Curt Byrum serve as play-by-play host and analyst from the 18th hole broadcast booth. Steve Burkowski will serve as a hole announcer, with Notah Begay, Billy Ray Brown and Kay Cockerill reporting from the course.
The Athletic Directors of the Pac-12 Conference have endorsed the findings and recommendations of an internal review that would strengthen the Conference’s instant replay officiating procedures in football games. The review recommendations to be implemented are: 1) a protocol that clearly states that the instant replay supervisor in the San Francisco centralized replay facility has final decision-making authority, and that no administrator shall play any role in the deliberations; 2) the development of a comprehensive manual governing all aspects of instant replay officiating, including detailed protocols and procedures; and 3) disciplinary measures imposed on certain Pac-12 personnel responsible for the inadequate procedures and involved in the inappropriate influencing of the replay official’s decision in the USC vs. Washington State game.
The Notre Dame/Navy rivalry will return to Ireland in 2020, taking place at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. The game was originally slate to take place Sept. 5 but will not be played on Aug. 29. Navy and Notre Dame also played in Ireland in 1996 and 2012.
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The New Jersey Devils and William Hill US locking in a multi-year deal to open a permanent activation inside the Prudential Center designed to cater to fans interested in sports betting. The deal marks the first time that a professional sports team in New Jersey has partnered with a sports book since the Garden State legalized sports betting in June. The William Hill Sports Lounge, will be located in the arena’s main concourse and is expected to open in the next several weeks.
Schick Hydro announced the debut of Locker Room Talk, a new  webisode series hosted by Kevin Love. The series consists of an initial trailer featuring Love, followed by three episodes in which Love interviews guests, including Michael Phelps, Paul Pierce, and Channing Frye. Love and his guests will discuss “locker room talk” and what positive masculinity means today while simultaneously raising awareness and funds for the Movember Foundation and the Kevin Love Fund, and showing off their mustaches for Movember.
Warrior Hockey picked up a partnership with the National Women’s Hockey League’s Boston Pride. Warrior Hockey will work with the Pride on initiatives to promote the game and will boost marketing of the team and its players. In addition, Warrior will sponsor the honorary captains – chosen from Boston-area youth leagues – at all Pride home games.

IMG extended its multi-territory streaming rights partnership with the NHL through the 2020-21 season. “IMG is a proven leader in the distribution of real-time video streaming with a keen understanding of sports fans,” said David Proper, NHL Executive Vice President of Media and International Strategy. “Our partnership with IMG has brought long-term value and delivered significant benefit in extending the NHL’s reach in Europe.”

Esports ownership group aXiomatic locked in Michael Jordan and Declaration Capital as new investors into the company. Declaration Capital, the family office of David M. Rubenstein, focuses on venture, growth and family-owned investments. Rubenstein is the co-founder and co-executive chairman of The Carlyle Group. Meanwhile, the deal marks Jordan’s first step into the digital sports realm with an esports investment. Curtis Polk, the Managing Partner and Alternate Governor of Hornets Sports & Entertainment, and manager of the financial and business affairs of Michael Jordan and his related companies is also joining as an investor.
Blizzard Entertainment released major details about BlizzCon 2018, running Nov. 2-3. Livestreams are available via BlizzCon.com and the BlizzCon mobile app for Android and iOS. For the first time, viewers can watch livestreams using the BlizzCon TV app and the Blizzard Battle.net desktop app. Closing out the festivities this year will be American rock band Train, violinist and performance artist Lindsey Stirling, and DJ and actor Kristian Nairn. All three concerts will be streamed live in HD to online viewers via the Virtual Ticket. Community Night also returns with the Costume Contest, Talent Contest, Movie Contest, and Art Contest. Featuring popular VO actors Darin De Paul as host and Matthew Mercer joining the judge’s panel, Blizzard’s biggest annual community stage show starts at 7p on Friday. BlizzCon 2018 sponsors this year include Cisco, Intel, and Samsung SSD, along with sponsors that include CORSAIR, Facebook, Nintendo Switch, NVIDIA, NZXT, Republic of Gamers and T-Mobile.
Immortals announced the hiring of Brian Millman as Vice President of Corporate Partnerships. Millman will oversee partnership sales and activation for Immortals, and brings significant expertise in developing and fulfilling creative, solutions-based partnerships for premier brands.. Prior to joining Immortals, Millman served as a Director at Mindshare Spotlight, the sports, and entertainment consultancy division of Mindshare, within GroupM, the world’s largest media agency.
Amazon launched its newest feature for the Amazon GameOn brand in the GameOn Tournament Organizer. The Twitch extension allows creators to generate tournaments inside the Twitch experience with a click of a mouse and invite their players to join directly from within the game. The GameOn Tournament Organizer is already used by Darwin Project from Scavenger Studios, Paladins Strike from Hi-Rez, Overload from Revival Productions, Tactical Monsters Rumble Arena from Camex Games, and SCP: Secret Laboratory from Hubert. And, SCUM from Devolver Digital will come soon.
ELEAGUE will serve up the top plays and moments from its recent charity streaming event – which featured Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 – in a new series set to air over the next three consecutive Fridays on TBS, with the first episode premiering tonight at 11p. Friday, Oct. 26. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 x ELEAGUE #CODNATION Challenge for Vets saw fans contribute to a charity drive with proceeds supporting veterans via the Call of Duty Endowment. To celebrate the cause and the launch of the game on TBS, ELEAGUE is continuing to facilitate fan donations through Nov. 9.
PlayVS, the startup bringing the infrastructure for esports leagues to high schools across the country, announced a deal with Champion athletic apparel as the primary jersey provider for the 2018-2019 school year. Jerseys are available for order on the Champion website in time for PlayVS’ Season Zero, the early-access season open to high schools in Connecticut, Kentucky, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island starting this October.   
The Trade Group has partnered with Emerson College to create an esports mentorship program designed to offer students real-life opportunities to gain experience at esports and gaming events in their chosen field. Experience will include key esports and gaming events like E3, Pokemon World Championships, PAX West, and OP Live Dallas.

Red Sox/Dodgers tonight at 8p on FOX.
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ON THIS DAY in 1951: Rocky Marciano defeats Joe Louis at Madison Square Garden.
In the Know: Final World Series question, the 2001 Fall Classic saw co-MVPs named with which two pitchers receiving the honor? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: In 1988, which Dodger famously pinch hit a walk-off HR to win Game 1 of the World Series?  Answer: Kirk Gibson. Kudos: Chris Long-DraftKings/NY; Brian Schweibert- PUBLICIS MEDIA/NY; Matt Meachem-Gracenote/NY; Scott Jenkins-Gracenote/NY; Jon Miller-NBC Sports/Stamford; Mark Lehman-Atlanta Braves/Atlanta; Chris Faulds-Eyereturn Marketing/Toronto; Matt Deprey-C-SPAN/DC; Travis Wacker-ESPN Milwaukee/Milwaukee; John Kukla-KDFW/KDFI/Dallas; John Tingue-CBS/Chicago; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner and Triathlete magazine/Houston Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; David Hauptman/Denver; Rich Wolfe-Lone Wolfe Press/Scottsdale; Tony Reyes-ShadowMachine/Hollywood; Joyce Ikemi-Mission Control Media/Burbank; Jim Himmel-TCB Media/San Clemente; Jaymz Wooden-Bottelsen American Dart Lines/Santa Maria
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