10/28/16: Cubs’ win keep FOX bullish; ESPN preps CFP standings; CBS Sports Digital gets a rise


Good morning. It’s Friday October 28, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

The Cubs’ ownership of Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday handed FOX with an 11.3/19 overnight rating/share, per Nielsen. Although the game received a one-hour accelerated start time due to an approaching weather system, the overnight number still marks the highest-rated World Series Game 2 since 2009, with a 22% rise of Game 2 of last year’s series. Cleveland led all markets with a 38.9/55 for Game 2, while Chicago posted a 35.4/52.


ESPN is set to launch the College Football Playoff selection committee’s weekly rankings with the return of College Football Playoff: Top 25 on Tuesday. The ep launches a five-week run through Nov. 29 to its decisions, with the show also reviewing teams’ wins and losses each week and the potential implications on their post-season hopes. The discussion and debate show will be hosted weekly by Rece Davis with Joey Galloway and David Pollack in studio.

NBA TV kicks in the new NBA season with the first of four games across four nights on Saturday with Pelicans/Spurs at 8p, followed by Timberwolves/Kings at 10:30p. The first NBA TV Fan Night presented by Verizon doubleheader onTuesday, Nov. 1, will debut an expanded studio team that will see the return of Kevin McHale to Ernie Johnson, Chris Webber and Greg Anthony during the Autotrader Pregame Show.

ONE World Sports is set to begin its November Freeview, offering a one-month preview for participating affiliates including CenturyLink, RCN, Shentel, Cincinnati Bell and Paul Bunyan. “The November Freeview of ONE World Sports allows a larger audience to sample live and exclusive, action-packed, sports programming from around the globe, including within the United States,” said Randy Brown, Executive Vice President of Distribution, ONE World Sports.

CBS Sports Network is setting The Final Table,” a new poker series with Phil Hellmuth and Antonio Esfandiari that premieres on Sunday at 11p. The series offers coverage of poker tournaments throughout the country with analysis from Hellmuth, Esfandiari, Maria Ho and David Tuchman, as well as long-time poker commentator and comedian Joe Stapleton.

In international news, beIN Sports announced a rights renewal with the NBA to remain the home of the league in France. The deal will see the company carry 13 games a week as well as continue to operate the league French website.


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Farmers Insurance appears to be cancelling its term with Kasey Kahne and Hendrick Motorsports. SBJ reports that the company won’t be renewing its agreement with the No. 5 team following the 2017 season, ending Farmers’ run with the team that began ahead of the 2011 season. The company is slated to be a primary sponsor for 12 races in 2017.


CBS Sports Digital reports that it experienced the highest year-over-year growth among comScore’s top 10 sports properties in September with a 24% uptick over the same period a year ago and up 18% overall. CBS Sports Digital also ranked second among the top 10 sports properties in September for the first time ever, with 73.2M unique visitors with CBSSports.com up 16%, 247Sports up 48%, and MaxPreps up 6% compared to September 2015.

WWE announced that WrestleMania 33 tickets are set to go on sale on Nov. 18 at 10a with this year’s showcase set to take place on April 2 at the Orlando Citrus Bowl. Tickets can be had at Ticketmaster, and WrestleMania 33 Travel Packages, which will include tickets to WrestleMania Week events, will go on sale Monday, October 31.


HyperX locked in a deal with Celtics player Jonas Jerebko and his eSports organization, Detroit Renegades, to join the brand’s stable of gamers. The team will use HyperX gaming headsets and keyboards during tournaments and practice.  “The long-term goal is to establish the Detroit Renegades as a top gaming organization worldwide, and partnering with HyperX gives my team a competitive edge during an explosive time in the gaming market,” said Jonas Jerebko, professional player and devoted gamer. “Working with HyperX is a natural fit for the Renegades, uniting a great team of players with some of the best gaming gear available by a company committed to the sport.” Overall, HyperX sponsors over 30 eSports teams.

“Weird Al” Yankovic has been tapped to close BlizzCon this year, where he will take the stage on Nov. 5 to wrap up the gaming convention. “We’re super excited to close out our tenth BlizzCon with a performance from an epic showmanand fellow geek,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “Weird Al has entertained millions of people around the world with his hilarious music, and we’re thrilled that he’s bringing mandatory fun to the show and everyone following along with a Virtual Ticket.”


MSG Networks named Kevin Marotta as Senior VP of Marketing and Content Strategy. The company also announced that Melissa Karten has been promoted to VP of Marketing for the organization. Marotta joins MSG Networks after three years as VP of Client Partnerships for LeadDog Marketing.


The World Series hits Chicago tonight for Indians/Cubs at 8p on FOX.


ESports is ushering in a full-blown shift in entertainment and culture, but how do you maximize and monetize this phenomenon? Get the answers during our webinar on November 17, from sponsors and marketers as they share their insights into connecting with eSports fans, laying out a blueprint for how brands can reach and connect with a generation of skeptical but affluent consumers.

ON THIS DAY in 1959: The Buffalo Bills enter the AFL.

In The Know: Who is the Milwaukee Bucks all-time scoring leader? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Emmitt Smith played his last two seasons with which NFL team? Answer: The Cardinals. Kudos: Teddy Coleman-Teddy Coleman Media/NY; Bruce Jackson-Disney and ESPN Media Networks/NY; Jon Clateman-Frozen Ropes/NY; Bruce Jackson-Disney and ESPN Media Networks/NY; Scott Leslie-UPS/Atlanta; Les Garland-AfterPlay Entertainment/Miami Beach; Chris Faulds-Massively Inc./Toronto; Willy Gibson-WTG Consulting/Columbus; Tim Buckman-NBC Sports Group/Stamford;; Greg Finch-Spectrum Reach/Dallas; Marshall Robb-William Woods University/Fulton; Tom Doherty-Starcom Media/Chicago; john Kukla-KDFW/KDFI/Dallas-Fort Worth; David Hauptman/Denver; Scott Brofman-ITV/LA; Adam Deverell-CoxReps/LA; Jason Kleinhein-CoxReps/LA; Max Nelson-Method Communications/LA.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

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