10/11/17: FIBA is ESPN bound courtesy of a new deal

Good morning. It’s Wednesday October 11, 2017 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

ESPN and FIBA are teaming up for a multiyear agreement that runs through September 2021 and hands ESPN the right to distribute events across its linear, digital and direct-to-consumer platforms. The deal includes exclusive rights to more than 1,300 games, including the World Cup, Women’s World Cup, all Continental Championships, U17 and U19 Championships, Qualifying for the Olympics, World Cup and Continental Championships. Additionally, ESPN will have exclusive live look-ins, in-progress highlights and unlimited use of game clips and highlights to use across its linear, digital and mobile/app platforms.
“ESPN is excited to continue our partnership with FIBA as the popularity of international basketball continues to ascend,” said Burke Magnus, executive vice-president, programming and scheduling. This is our largest deal to date with FIBA, which will expand our year-round basketball presence exponentially.”
“The USA is FIBA’s top ranked country and the home of basketball,” said Frank Leenders, Director General of FIBA Media and Marketing Services. “Our agreement with ESPN means that fans will get to see the very best of international basketball on a regular basis.

Meanwhile, ESPN detailed plans to occupy a 19,000-square-foot space within The Howard Hughes Corporation’s development at Pier 17 in Lower Manhattan, courtesy of a multiyear agreement. Starting in Spring 2018, ESPN will produce multiple studio shows from this location, as well as radio, radio on TV, news hits and social segments. The facility, at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, will provide ESPN with a unique opportunity to create content within the studio, outside the facility on the roof and pier, as well as around the cobblestone areas of the Fulton Street Market. “The Seaport District production facility is a state-of-the-art content factory that will allow us to produce differentiated studio content for both television and digital,” said Connor Schell, Executive Vice President, Content, ESPN. “The flexible spaces, both indoor and outdoor, allow us to take advantage of all that New York City has to offer.”
With Game 4 of the NLDS between the Nationals/Cubs delayed last night, TBS announced that the game has been rescheduled to this afternoon at 4p. Game coverage will be preceded by the MLB Postseason Pre-Game Show on TBS at 3:30p featuring Pedro Martinez, Gary Sheffield and Jimmy Rollins joining host Casey Stern.
The NBA secured a new distribution deal for Japan, inking an accord with Rakuten, Inc. for a multiyear partnership making the company the league’s exclusive distribution partner in the country for all live NBA games as well as a global marketing partner of the NBA. This season, Rakuten will offer NBA League Pass exclusively to Rakuten members in Japan through NBA.com, the NBA App and for purchase through Rakuten’s video-on-demand service, Rakuten TV. Rakuten will also offer a subscription package on Rakuten TV, providing fans with access to nine games a week, one game per weekday and two games each on Saturdays and Sundays.
Speaking of the NBA, Turner Sports will see the NBA on TNT American Express Road Show return Oct. 17 to tip off the 2017-18 NBA regular season from the Bay Area.  The day-long fan experience, which opens at noon, will include live studio telecasts, a slate of NBA on TNT attractions and a musical performance by multi-platinum recording artist Snoop Dogg.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is looking to end the kneeling controversy during the national anthem, sending a letter to all 32 teams and seeking an end to the method of protest ahead of games. “The controversy over the Anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues,” Goodell wrote. “We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players.” He added that “This would include such elements as an in-season platform to promote the work of our players on these core issues, and that will help to promote positive change in our country.”
ESPN is reportedly pulling the plug on its annual 24-hour college basketball marathon to launch start of the season. Newsday writes that the annual event, which ran for nine seasons, presented programming challenges and won’t be part of this year’s schedule.
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Ahead of the NBA season, Turner Sports also announced that that American Express had signed on as the presenting sponsor of the NBA on TNT American Express Road Show NBA on TNT American Express Road Show will provide the brand with significant on-air presence throughout the pre-game show, within the game and during post-game Inside the NBA show, as well as branding on site at the NBA on TNT American Express Road Show venues and across NBA on TNT’s social media channels. In addition, according to Ad Age, Amex is returning as the halftime sponsor for each matchup in TNT’s expanded 67-game regular-season NBA coverage, marking the third year the financial services company will back up Turner’s pro hoops showcase.
The Big South Conference and Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment announced a multi-year, exclusive marketing and sponsorship rights partnership.  As part of the agreement, VWSE’s Collegiate Services division will manage and market the multimedia rights associated with the Big South, as well as serve as the conference’s corporate sponsorship representative.

ESPN hired award-winning writer and editor Greg Wyshynski to be a voice for its NHL content, covering the league as a reporter and analyst across platforms. Along with fellow ESPN hockey reporter Emily Kaplan, Wyshynski will write NHL news and analysis each week during the season and be seen and heard across platforms, including SportsCenter and will start on Oct. 16. Wyshynski spent the last nine years as editor-in-chief of the Puck Daddy blog on Yahoo! Sports.
Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp., parent company of IMPACT Wrestling, announced the launch of the Global Wrestling Network, a multi-platform digital service designed to give fans around the world instant 24-hour access to the extensive IMPACT Wrestling library, including every classic pay-per-view event, original series, reality shows and documentaries, exclusive events and cards from international promotions and partners, classic content from old territories, over 1,000 hours of original programming, plus the ability to purchase premium live pay-per-view events. Global Wrestling Network will be available on all major over-the-top (OTT) platforms and devices, including web at GlobalWrestlingNetwork.com, iOS and Android, and coming soon to Roku, Xbox, Amazon Fire TV and Smart TVs. A premium subscription will be priced at $7.99 per month.
fuboTV announced that the sports-first live streaming TV service passed the 100,000 subscriber milestone in September. “We are pleased to have surpassed the symbolic 100,000-subscriber milestone so quickly – following investments in national and regional sports networks, and the infrastructure to support this expanded array of premium content,” said fuboTV Co-Founder and CEO David Gandler.  “Given macro tailwinds driven by a fundamental change in consumer behavior, we anticipate the next 100,000 subscribers to join fuboTV at an accelerating pace.”
247Sports announced an exclusive partnership with Pro Football Focus to deliver advanced college football player data to fans on a dedicated new microsite. 247Sports will also utilize PFF stats and analysis, featuring grades of every player on every play of every game, across its industry-leading network of team-focused sites.

The British Esports Association joined the UK Interactive Entertainment trade association as a member, joining publishers, developers and esports companies in the body. British Esports has been working with Ukie throughout this year and looking at ways in which the two organisations can collaborate. Ukie said in a statement: “Ukie is delighted to welcome the British esports Association as our latest member, joining other major stakeholders active in esports in the UK today including: esports event organisers ESL, Multiplay and Gfinity; developers and publishers such as Riot Games, Hi Rez, Activision Blizzard and EA; and teams and university leagues, Team Dignitas and the National University Esports League.”
CORSAIR named Jason Glen Cahilly, former Chief Strategic & Financial Officer of the National Basketball Association, to the company’s Board of Directors. In the role, he will also consult with Andy Paul, CEO of the Company, and other senior executives on esports and other strategic initiatives.
DreamHack unveiled its plans as the second stop of the H1Z1 Elite Series taking place at DreamHack Winter in Jonkoping, Sweden. The event will run Dec. 1-4 and also feature titles such as CS:GO, Dota 2, Hearthstone, Smash Bros Melee, and other games. The H1Z1 solo-event will include 60 players battling for a prize pool of $100,000, while teams will vie for a pool of $150,000, with prizing being awarded based on performance over three rounds.

Yankees/Indians on FS1 at 8p.

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ON THIS DAY in 1959: NFL Commissioner Bert Bell died of a heart attack during a Philadelphia Eagles game at Franklin Field.
In the Know: Who formally became the next NFL Commissioner after Bert Bell’s passing? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Who portrayed coach Gordon Bombay in the original The Mighty Ducks film?  Answer: Emilio Estevez. Kudos: Chris Long-DraftKings/NY; Eddie Van Slyke-WSYR NewsChannel 9/NY; Art Salisch-Hearst Television/NY; Scott Jenkins-Gracenote/NY; Christian Matthews-Washington Redskins/DC; Rick Rosenfelt-New York Red Bulls/Harrison; Mark J. Crepeau-Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame/Springfield; John Langermann-WINK-TV/WXCW-TV/Fort Myers; Matt Fumagalli-Levy/Chicago; John Kukla- KDFW/KDFI/Dallas-Fort Worth; Jordan Barton-True Media/St. Louis; Claire Goldsmith-Periscope/Minneapolis; David Hauptman/Denver; Larry Hutchings/Nipomo; John Baghdassarian-Olympusat/LA; Anne Wettig-Fox Cable Networks S&P/LA; Jim Himmel-TCB Media/San Clemente
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