10/03/17: FOX Sports added a pair of heavyweights to its MLB Postseason plans

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Good morning. It’s Tuesday October 3, 2017 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

 
FOX Sports is bringing in the big guns for its coverage of the MLB Postseason, announcing that David “Big Papi” Ortiz and Keith Hernandez will join the company as analysts for the network’s pregame and postgame coverage throughout the 2017 postseason. “We are pleased to have both David and Keith join us for this year’s postseason coverage,” said John Entz, FOX Sports President of Production & Executive Producer. “Big Papi is a larger than life personality and a postseason legend. Keith won two World Series as a player and is one of the best broadcasters in the business.”
 
 
ON THE AIR

Meanwhile, TBS’ coverage of the National League throughout the MLB Postseason takes the mound tomorrow at 8p with the Rockies/Diamondbacks. Coverage will see Ernie Johnson (play-by-play) joined by veteran analyst Ron Darling and reporter Sam Ryan to call the NL Wild Card Game. Pregame coverage will begin at 7p featuring Pedro Martinez, Gary Sheffield and Jimmy Rollins with host Casey Stern. Turner Sports also announced that the network’s NLCS coverage will –for the first time – include microphones embedded into the grass on the playing field with four RF microphones that be located in front of home plate, one each in front of, and behind, the pitcher’s mound and one each in the grass behind the second baseman and shortstop.
 
In ratings news, FOX Sports reports that its Week 4 slate of NFL singleheader coverage saw year-to-year metered-market ratings upticks to rank as the top-rated NFL telecast of the weekend. The game on FOX delivered a 12.6/26 Nielsen overnight rating/share according to Nielsen Media Research, up +4% over last year’s doubleheader average on the network to mark the network’s best singleheader telecast since 2015.
 
Meanwhile, the Seahawks’ blowout win over the Colts on NBC’s SNF ranked as Sunday’s top primetime show with 11.0/19 in Nielsen overnights, matching last year’s coverage of Chiefs/Steelers in Week 4 of ’16.
 
Disney Co. reportedly reached a tentative deal with New York cable provider Altice USA to avoid a blackout of Disney-owned channels – including the ESPN networks – in nearly 2.6 million homes in the region, according to multiple local stories. The previous deal expired Saturday night, but the two companies had agreed to an extension.
 
FOX Sports will no longer carry of the national anthem before its NFL games, network execs told SI. With the exception of the London matchup between the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints, Fox Sports will follow “standard procedure” and broadcast regionalized coverage without airing the national anthem, noting that “our cameras are always rolling and we will document the response of players and coaches on the field.”
 
FOX NASCAR analyst Jeff Gordon will be working in the FOX Sports booth for IMSA’s 20th Anniversary Motul Petit Le Mans from Road Atlanta on Saturday starting at 10:30a on FS1 and FOX Sports GO. Gordon joins the FOX IMSA broadcast team of Greg Creamer (play-by-play), Calvin Fish (analyst) and Brian Till (play-by-play/analyst), along with pit reporters Justin Bell, Jamie Howe and Chris Neville.
 
Ahead of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 CBC/Radio-Canada detailed its host lineup for Canadians from February 9–25, 2018. Scott Russell will be part of CBC’s Olympic Games coverage for the fourteenth time in his career as host of Olympic Games Primetime, while Andi Petrillo will co-host Olympic Games Morning with Alexandre Despatie. Joining CBC’s Olympic Games coverage for the first time as hosts will be Craig McMorris and Kelly VanderBeek for Olympic Games Overnight.
 
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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

US Figure Skating announced that Bridgestone Americas will serve as the naming rights sponsor of 2017 Bridgestone Skate America, the annual International Skating Union (ISU) Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series event held in the US. 2017 Bridgestone Skate America will feature 60 of the top skaters from around the world and is scheduled to take place Nov. 24-26 in Lake Placid, New York. “We are honored to have a company of Bridgestone’s stature associated with Skate America and as a partner of U.S. Figure Skating,” U.S. Figure Skating Executive Director David Raith said. “We have been impressed by Bridgestone’s commitment to supporting the Olympic movement and we look forward to working closely with them to showcase our great sport and dedicated athletes to the world.”
 
The CAA Sports division of Creative Artists Agency is picking up Barrett Sports Group, according to the LA Business Journal. In announcing the acquisition on Monday, the agency said operations of Manhattan Beach-based BSG, founded in 2000 by Daniel S. Barrett, would be joined with its Icon Venue Group, an owners’ representative and project management business. The new division will be known as CAA Icon. Tim Romani will lead the division.
 
Euroleague Basketball and G2 Strategic announced the launch of a new department, Euroleague Business Operations & Club Services, described as the first club services division among all European professional sports leagues and modeled after similar service departments that have been implemented that likes of the NBA’s Team Marketing & Business Operations. BOCS will assist its 16 clubs across all commercial areas, in an effort to improve the customer experience, optimize fan engagement, and achieve long-term economic growth. 
 
 
DIGITAL & STREAMING

DraftKings is partnering with TuneIn to drive the fantasy sports user experience and will now be able to give customers direct play-by-play access to original, live and on-demand sports content through Draftkings.com and the DraftKings’ apps. Additionally, customers will have access to DraftKings’ own fantasy sports podcasts including, “The Edge” and “The Pat Mayo Experience.”
 
 
ESPORTS

ELEAGUE locked in its playoff plans for the ELEAGUE Premier starting Oct. 10 with a lineup of final teams that include G2 Esports and FaZe Clan in addition to North, Cloud9, Heroic, Astralis, EnVyUs, and Fnatic. Competition will feature two days for the quarterfinals, a day for the semifinals, and then the championship on TBS on Oct. 13.
 
 
ROSTER MOVES

Nielsen Sports announced the appointment of Jon Stainer as Managing Director for the Americas. Stainer will move to the US in January to oversee the growing business in the US, Canada and Mexico. Stainer will be supported by Scott Horowitz, who is being promoted to SVP Revenue & New Business, Americas for Nielsen Sports. Additionally, Stephen Master will take on the newly formed role of Global Head of Federations, and will be charged with the growth of the federations business for Nielsen Sports around the world. Peter Laatz will be leaving the business at the end of 2017 to pursue new career opportunities.
 
Octagon announced the addition of digital media expert William Mao to the agency’s Global Media Rights Consulting group. Mao previously served as Head of College Sports for YouTube, where he established digital video partnerships with the NCAA and major college conferences including the Pac-12 and ACC.
 
Longtime PGA TOUR executive Charlie Zink,announced his retirement, after fulfilling his role as Chairman of the recent Presidents Cup at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City. Zink initially joined the TOUR as Chief Financial Officer, eventually rose to Co-Chief Operating Officer.
 
Major League Soccer announced that Diego A. Moratorio has been named General Manager, MLS Canada – a new position at the League and its commercial arm, Soccer United Marketing (SUM). Moratorio will be based in Toronto and will report to SUM President Kathy Carter.
 
 
THE MAIN EVENT

Twins/Yankees in the AL Wild Card Game on ESPN at 8p.

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ON THIS DAY in 1970: Major League Baseball umpires call their first-ever labor strike before the American and National League Championship Series.
 
In the Know: Before joining the Red Sox, David Ortiz played six seasons with what club? (Email Chris-Sports@Cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
 
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What is the name of Wichita State University’s mascot? Answer: Most popular answer by far was the Shockers, but that is the team name, not the mascot name. Correct answer was WuShock. Kudos: Phyllis McQuillan-MSG Networks/NY; Nate Hammond-JCC/NY; Chris Schwartz-ISC/Charlotte; John Langermann-WINK-TV/WXCW-TV/Fort Myers; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner and Triathlete magazine/Houston; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions/Santa Monica; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Bob Ramsey/Palm Springs
 
Later — Chris
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