10/30/20: The Pac-12 lined up new deals for the conference


Medias First Morning Read
Friday October 30, 2020

Pac-12 announced a new partnership with Nextiva as the Conference’s Official Communications Partner. This major college sports deal reflects the growing need for work from anywhere solutions for every business. “There is no time more important for the Pac-12 to partner with a leader in communication in order to stay connected,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “Our partnership with Nextiva reflects the strength of our Pac-12 athletic programs and Conference brand, and we look forward to working closely with Nextiva to support our communications needs.”

In addition, Pacific Premiere Bank is now the official bank of the Conference and will have significance presence across Pac-12 Networks’ on-air and digital platforms and programming, including custom content and sports highlights. The partnership will also feature joint community efforts.


FOX Sports averaged 13.2 million viewers across FOX, FOX Deportes and FOX Sports streaming platforms for game 6 of the 116th World Series. The decisive showdown delivered an average audience of 12.6 million viewers on FOX and peaked at 14.4 million. It was the most-watched telecast of the day on any network and FOX’s best performance for a Tuesday night since game 6 of the 2019 World Series. The 6-game series dominated prime time television, averaging 9.8 million viewers on the FOX broadcast network.

Game 6 also scored highly for FOX Deportes with 510,000 viewers. It was the most-watched Spanish-language sports program of the day and the second-highest World Series game 6 in Spanish-language TV history, up +38% from last year’s game.

MLB Network’s offseason programming begins on October 30, leading into a lineup of exclusive end-of-season awards announcements, next week. The finalists of the 2020 BBWAA Awards will be revealed on Monday, November 2 at 6p, followed by the exclusive live announcements of the winners of the American League and National League Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards during BBWAA Awards Week from November 9 to 12. The network will also televise the announcements of the Silver Slugger Awards presented by Louisville Slugger on Thursday, November 5 at 6p and the Rawlings Platinum and Team Gold Glove Awards on Friday, November 6 at 6p.

ESPN will exclusively televise its 10th Rawlings Gold Glove Award Show on Tuesday, November 3 at 8p. Veteran commentator Karl Ravech will host the one-hour show and unveil the winners with five-time Gold Glove Award winner Mark Teixeira.

The National Lacrosse League plans to begin its 35th season the weekend of April 9-11, 2021. “We have been continuously working with our teams, Players’ Association, arenas, and health and government officials to prepare to play our 35th season,” said NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz. “An April start date will give us sufficient time to have our protocols in place for players, coaches, staff as well as fans. We are working with all teams to provide the safest environment and an acceptable level of fans in the stands. We understand that current circumstances will dictate whether this plan is achievable, and we will be prepared to remain flexible and pivot as needed.”

Autumn Nations Cup, international rugby’s most anticipated tournament of 2020, is set for exclusive broadcast in the United States on FloSports. The 16-game tournament will also be streamed domestically on FloRugby and the FloSports app, featuring the best international rivalries in the sport. This new competition is taking the place of the traditional Autumn International Test window for 2020 and is slated to start Friday, November 13 at 2p with Ireland facing Wales at Aviva Stadium. It will run through Sunday, December 6 as home teams Georgia, Ireland, Wales and England host games on Finals Weekend.

Telemundo Deportes will present Spanish-language coverage of the Xtreme Fighting Championships in the United States, courtesy of a new broadcast agreement with Xtreme Fighting Championships. Expanding on the organization’s existing partnership with NBC Sports, live coverage of XFC events will be broadcast on Telemundo’s sister network, Universo, beginning with the XFC 43 on November 11 at 9p.

GOLF Channel will televise the Southwestern Invitational presented by Topgolf, a signature event on the college golf calendar taking place January 25-27, 2021. Taking place at North Ranch Country Club in Westlake Village, CA, and hosted by Pepperdine University, the competition will feature a 54-hole stroke play team and individual championship, with live coverage airing across all three days. Past medalists include Tiger Woods, Patrick Cantlay, Paul Casey and Corey Pavin.

Unimas’ telecast of Juventus FC vs. Barcelona on Wednesday delivered 749,000 Total Viewers 2+ and 364,000 Adults 18-49, ranking as the #1 rated UEFA Champions League Group Stage match ever regardless of language on any network. Previous best was Univision’s Liverpool-PSG telecast on 9/18/18, which garnered 675,000 Total Viewers 2+ and 339,000 Adults 18-49.

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Jersey Mike’s has signed on as title sponsor of the Naismith Trophy for College Player of the Year Awards. “Jersey Mike’s has a long-standing tradition of high quality and dedication to excellence, which mirrors the attributes of the Naismith Trophy, and we couldn’t be more pleased to extend our partnership to continue honoring the best that college basketball has to offer,” said Eric Oberman, Executive Director, Atlanta Tipoff Club.


Entercom secured a landmark six-year partnership with FanDuel, designating the online sports and entertainment company as its official sportsbook partner across its sports broadcast stations and RADIO.COM. The deal brings together America’s #1 FanDuel Sportsbook with the #1 sports audio company in the U.S. “Entercom has revolutionized the audio and entertainment industries, and we’re beyond excited to be their preferred partner in the Sports betting and fantasy categories,” said Matthew King, Chief Executive Officer, FanDuel. “In the two years we have been doing business with Entercom, it is abundantly clear to us that their authentic connection to sports fans is one of the best ways for us to engage FanDuel customers. We will work together to offer sports fans access to information wherever, whenever, and however they consume content, providing them with the tools to learn and win.”

The NBA extended its official betting data collaborations with Sportradar and Genius Sports Group in the U.S. As part of the multiyear renewals, Sportradar and Genius Sports Group will continue to have the non-exclusive rights to distribute official NBA and WNBA betting data to licensed sports betting operators in the U.S. To date, the NBA has authorized sports betting partnerships with more than 20 operators in the U.S.

In other betting news, drone racing is on the fast track to be the next sport to wager on. The Drone Racing League announced a partnership with Genius Sports to accelerate its place into the sports betting space. Genius Sports, who is also partnered with top governing bodies like the NBA, NASCAR and the English Premier League, will leverage DRL’s official data to build a high-end live betting product to sell to legal sportsbooks in regulated territories. Their real-time gaming platform will ensure the transparency, accuracy and security of all wagers.

Monkey Knife Fight has shaken up the DFS industry striking a partnership with sports company OneTeam Partners and the NFL Players Association. The multi-year deal allows the NFLPA and OneTeam to become strategic owners in a major fantasy sports company and have an unprecedented relationship with Monkey Knife Fight, and includes a long-term licensing agreement, joint marketing commitment and significant player involvement in a broad assortment of MFK’s activities. “With this deal we have taken another large step to solidifying the role of players being collectively involved in businesses that partner with their sport. Monkey Knife Fight is an innovative daily fantasy provider that already has partnerships with some NFL teams, and we are thrilled with the opportunity to build onto that platform for fans across sports,” said DeMaurice Smith, NFLPA Executive Director and Board Member, OneTeam Partners.

Sports streaming service DAZN is expanding to 200 countries and territories on December 1, with initial monthly pricing at £1.99 or less. Launched in 2016, DAZN currently reaches the U.S., Brazil, Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Canada, Italy and Japan at a monthly fee between $10 and $20. Its global rollout is tied to two boxing fights included in the regular subscription price: Ryan Garcia vs. Luke Campbell on December 5, and Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev on December 12.

OneTeam Partners struck a collaborative deal with live pay-per-stream platform Key to help athletes reach their fans and maximize their brand partnerships. Key provides an interactive technology platform and data services to OneTeam’s network of professionals from the NFL, MLB, MLS, WNBA, U.S. Women’s National Team and U.S. Rugby. “In understanding the scale of OneTeam’s partnerships, we are excited to be a piece of the puzzle that supports driving more value for their players,” said Key CEO and founder Evan Wayne. “Our team is pushing the boundaries for live technology with more authentic talent and brand connectivity. If we take anything away from the current state of our society, one resounding truth is that virtual experiences are here to stay.”


The 2020 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series will culminate at virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway on Monday, November 2 at 9p on eNASCAR.com/live. One driver will be crowned series champion and take home their share of the $300,000 prize pool – $100,00 – the largest single prize payout in series history. This year’s eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Championship four drivers are Michael Conti, #8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet (Texas winner); Ryan Luza, #53 Williams Esports Ford; Nick Ottinger, #25 William Byron Esports (Kansas winner); and Bobby Zalenski, #83 Virtual Racing School Chevrolet (Charlotte Royal winner). Dale Earnhardt Jr. will make a special guest appearance during the championship broadcast. The series will return to NBCSN, this year, with a one-hour condensed broadcast of the top moment form the championship race on Sunday, November 8 at 7:30p, directly after the real-world NASCAR Cup Series champion is crowned at Phoenix Raceway.

Mastercard announced a “Thank the fans” campaign for the 2020 League of Legends World Championship finals. It will consist of a series of “digital priceless experiences” that feature pro players, streamers and on-air talent to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Worlds. The campaign also includes a special capsule collection created in partnership with Riot Games and gaming lifestyle brand CLOAK. The digital priceless experience begins launching on Priceless.com on October 31 at 7a, with new events unveiled hourly for 10 hours and available on a first-come first-serve basis.

New gameHERS platform announced the finalists for its first ever awards series celebrating talented women in gaming. After receiving over 42,000 votes in the first round, with the most nominations going to Twitch Streamer of the Year and Best Gaming Community, consumers can now vote for their favorite finalists at https://thegamehers.com/vote until November 13. The finale will be a live-streamed awards ceremony on Thursday, November 19 on the *gameHERs Twitch channel.

Anne Munition inked a new multi-year contract with Twitch. The popular streamer, who’s amassed just under 630,000 followers and received a nomination for a Shorty Award in January.

Viewership of the ESL Pro League 2020 shattered records across all metrics, including a new peak of more than 500,000 concurrent viewers, making it he most watched online match of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in history. Digital and linear numbers from ESL Pro League 2020 saw hours watched rise to 89 million across both seasons, up 129% compared to 2019. In addition, video plays grew to 295 million (+91%), another considerable improvement to last year’s editions.


Damon Phillips was upped to the newly created position of SVP, Strategic Initiatives and Head of Diversity & Inclusion of NBC Sports Group. Phillips previously served as SVP and General Manager of NBC Sports Washington.


Sports Broadcast Journal

From a perspective of sharing the finer points of the game, Joe Buck and John Smoltz get an A+ grade. This said, there are those longtime fans who prefer anecdotes and stories over heavy analysis. Many want entertainment over advanced information, a human-interest angle over understanding the advantages a ‘front door curveball.’

World Series on Fox: For students of pitching and hitting, John Smoltz is for you; Buck’s a solid partner

It wasn’t always this way. Viewers and listeners didn’t always need a scorecard to identify their own team’s announcers. For many years, each team had two or three broadcasters and that was it. The world has changed. In 1995, 25 years ago, the World Series was split by NBC and ABC. Bob Costas, one night, Al Michaels, the next. As a result, unprecedented things happened.

Halby’s Morsels: MLB’s best #2 voices ever; Remembering Braves-Indians World Series 25 years ago

Joe Buck and Troy Aikman work a couple games this weekend. See full schedule, including all talent. There’s a detailed breakout too of the markets carrying the regional games. Good notes too.

NFL Week #8: Joe Buck and Kevin Burkhardt back from baseball on Sunday; Nantz/Romo have Pit-Balt

The college schedule this weekend is beefier now that the Big Ten is back for a second Saturday. Many ESPN announcers work games remotely. It’ a mixed bag. Some travel, others don’t.

College Football Week #9; 7 Top-20 teams play at noon; #3 Ohio St-#18 Penn St in prime on ABC

Happy Birthdays and many great returns:

Gary Miller 10/31 — Former 15-year ESPN reporter
Terry Gannon 11/1 — NBC Sports
Michael Buffer 11/2 — Often heard, ring announcer
Phil Simms 11/3 — CBS Sports
Steve Mariucci — 11/4 NFL Network
Doris Burke — 11/4 ESPN
Bill Walton — 11/5 ESPN
Dana Jacobson — 11/5 CBS Sports

Thursday, Nov. 12 / 2PM ET / Sponsored by New York Interconnect

It’s a rapidly changing world, and more than ever, people rely on local news to keep them informed about the issues closest to home.

The webinar will provide exclusive insights on how a local news network keeps viewers informed during tumultuous times, and how 2020 events impacted a prominent advertiser’s strategy, spend & messaging – and how advertisers are now returning to the market.


On this Day
1974: Muhammed Ali KOed George Foreman in the eighth round in Kinshasa, Zaire, regaining the world heavyweight boxing title.

What MLB player retired with the same number of home runs as his father? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
What country won the first World Cup? Answer: Uruguay. Kudos to: Brandon Morales-NYU/NYC; John Trager-Univision/NYC; Mike May-R2 Innovative Technologies/Wellington, FL; James J. Pepe-American Cancer Society/Bethlehem, PA; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton, FL; Michael Ritz-Lenox Advisers/NYC; Robert Twilley-The Production Hive/Knoxville, TN; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/Los Angeles, CA.

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