11/07/18: The Titans win over the Cowboys bolstered ESPN’s MNF numbers

Win the holidays.  Reach 92.5 MILLION Viewers across
FOX Sports TV & Streaming this Thanksgiving Weekend
Thurs, Nov. 22 – Redskins @ Cowboys
Sat, Nov 24 – Michigan @ Ohio State   |    Sun, Nov 25 – Giants @ Eagles
Turkey + Pie + Football   = HOLIDAY TRADITION
NMR L+SD; 1 min. qualifier; based on ‘17 NFL Thanksgiving 4:30P game, NFL Single, MICH/OSU game, & 9 other comparable CFB windows. Adobe Analytics
Good morning. It’s Wednesday November 7, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

The Titans’ win over the Cowboys on Monday Night Football generated a win for ESPN among Monday’s primetime contenders on both cable and broadcast, averaging 12 million viewers across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, according to Nielsen. This marks a rise of 6% over last year’s week 9 game. On ESPN, the game averaged a 7.2 US household rating and 11,787,000 viewers. Meanwhile, the network also reports that Sunday NFL Countdown from New Orleans drew 1.466 million viewers to rank as the most-viewed Countdown this season, up 11% year-to-year.

With college basketball underway, FOX Sports cemented its lineup of game and studio broadcasters for the upcoming season, led by play-play announcer Gus Johnson and analysts Bill Raftery and Jim Jackson, with coverage set to include the BIG EAST, Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences on the FOX broadcast network, FS1, FS2 and FOX Sports Regional Networks during the 2018-19 campaign. Also returning to call game action are multi-sport broadcast veteran Tim Brando as well as Joe Davis; Kevin Burkhardt; Justin Kutcher; Brian Anderson; Brian Custer; Kevin Kugler; and more. New to this year’s play-by-play rotation are veteran broadcaster Dave O’Brien; BTN host Dave Revsine; among others. Analysts is once again led by Bill Raftery and Jim Jackson, as well as Donny Marshall Steve Lavin; and Len Elmore; as well as others. In the studio, Rob Stone returns as FOX Sports’ lead college basketball host, joined by Jackson, Jacobsen, Marshall and Lavin throughout the season.
At the midway point of the NFL season, NBC reports that its Sunday Night Football franchise is averaging a Total Audience Delivery of 19.7 million viewers, up 8% from last year at this point and pacing for SNF’s best season since the record-setting 2015. This past Sunday night saw the Packers/Patriots on NBC registered a Total Audience Delivery average of 24.1 million viewers – ranking as the most-watched Week 9 game in the 13-year history of SNF on NBC, and a 66% jump from last year’s Week 9 game.
German publication Der Spiegel reports that 16 of Europe’s top soccer clubs have held secret talks to form a European Super League, according to FIFA documents. The weekly news magazine claims that Real Madrid, AC Milan, Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Manchester United have all taken part in the discussions to break away from UEFA. The proposed tournament would showcase 11 of Europe’s biggest clubs, known as the ‘founders’, who would not face relegation and be guaranteed membership for 20 years. The remaining gaps in the league would comprise five ‘initial guests’. The proposed league would theoretically begin as early as 2021.
After the USOC announced plans to revoke USA Gymnastics’ status as the governing body for the sport at the Olympic level, the USA Gymnastics Board of Directors issued a response, posting that “USA Gymnastics’ board was seated in June 2018 and inherited an organization in crisis with significant challenges that were years in the making. In the four months since, the Board has done everything it could to move this organization towards a better future. We immediately took steps to change the leadership and are currently conducting a search to find a CEO who can rebuild the organization and, most importantly, regain the trust of the gymnastics community. Substantial work remains — in particular, working with the plaintiffs and USA Gymnastics’ insurers to resolve the ongoing litigation as quickly as possible. We will continue to prioritize our athletes’ health and safety and focus on acting in the best interests of the greater gymnastics community.”
As EPIX’ The Contender prepares to wrap up, the show is teaming with World Boxing Association ahead of the final live bout on Friday. The deal will see, for the first time in show history, WBA designate the winner of the current season (Shane Mosley Jr or Brandon Adams) to be automatically ranked in the top ten for the WBA middleweight belt. “We are thrilled to work with EPIX and The Contender, a great tournament with strong talent, to create a path to success for the show’s champion by automatically ensuring their top 10 ranking, and ensuring strong competition for boxers globally,” said Gilberto Mendoza, President of World Boxing Association, per reports.
ESPN reports that Pardon the Interruption will see Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon host the ESPN debate and discussion show from Northwestern University’s Welsh-Ryan Arena on Nov. 16. The episode  coincides with the Northwestern men’s college basketball game that night when Wilbon’s Wildcats host Binghamton University, Kornheiser’s alma mater. In addition to doing PTI from Northwestern, Kornheiser and Wilbon will work with ESPN play-by-play commentator Will Flemming to call the Bearcats/Wildcats game.
The Cynopsis TV Awards salute excellence in national TV programming, from writing and directing to casting and hosting. In addition, we recognize outstanding achievement across teams, platforms, and overall merit. In short, winning a Cynopsis TV Award is acknowledgement that your work has risen to the top in entertaining and enriching a broad audience. Winners will be announced at the highly-anticipated awards gala, this February in NYC.


Cheribundi Inc., a producer of tart cherry juice products, is extending their sponsorship with ESPN by adding seven College Football Bowl Games and six NCAA early-season college basketball events to their sponsorship lineup this year. “We’re excited to further our involvement with ESPN by adding additional College Football Bowl Games and NCAA Basketball Tip-off Classics to our sponsorship this season,” says Cheribundi CEO Steve Pear. “Expanding this collegiate sponsorship is a natural extension as we continue to increase our partnerships in the sports community, including the 240 college and professional sports teams that drink Cheribundi as part of their training regimen.”

Sports Illustrated reached a deal with Chris Mannix to serve as a senior writer focusing on the NBA. The hiring represents a return to the franchise for Mannix, who worked at SI from 2003-15 before spending the last three years as a senior NBA writer at Yahoo! Sports.
Margaritaville Holdings locked in a partnership with ESPN to provide fans with coverage of the 2018 Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships. Hosted by Luke and Murphy Jensen, the live broadcast will run from 4-8p tomorrow through Sunday on ESPN3. A one-hour special will debut at 3p on Nov. 25 on ESPNEWS.

PUBG Corporation mapped out the inaugural season of its global pro competition for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds with nine regions now locked in to compete to reach the Global Championship at the end of the season and become the world’s greatest PUBG squad. Beginning in January, the inaugural season will feature three Phases, with every regional competition beginning and ending within the same windows of time. After Phases 1 and 2, the top teams from each region will compete head-to-head in third-party-hosted global events, followed by a global All-Star Games. At the end of Phase 3, the top-performing teams throughout the season will gather for a Global Championship where the survivors will have a shot at a $2 million prize pool.  Regions will include North America, Korea, China, Europe/Middle East/Africa, Japan, Chinese Taipei/Hong Kong/Macau, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Oceania.
Voodoo Ranger, maker of a hop-forward family of beers from New Belgium Brewing, is ordering another round with DreamHack. Following the event partnership between DreamHack and Voodoo Ranger IPA during DreamHack Austin, the two parties will once again team up at DreamHack Atlanta, as a Main Sponsor of the DreamHack Open.DreamHack’s second 2018 event in the US runs Nov. 16-18 at Georgia World Congress Center.
WorldGaming Network announced that this year’s WESG USA Qualifiers will take place Nov. 9-11 at Ultimate Media Ventures in Huntington Beach. The three-day tournament will feature the country’s top professional gamers competing for the opportunity to represent the U.S. at the WESG Grand Finals in China in March, where they will go on to compete for their piece of the $2.5 million prize pool.
eGency Global announced that Greg Skasko has joined the organization as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining eGency Global, Skasko spent 11 years at AT&T in Assistant Vice President and Director roles in entertainment marketing and gaming, sponsorships and AT&T Corporate Initiatives. 

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ON THIS DAY in 1991: Magic Johnson retires after revealing that he is HIV Positive.
In the Know: The Rams retired #29 in honor of which player? (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 basketball coach Pete Bell in the movie Blue Chips? Answer: Nick Nolte. Kudos: Len Appel-TMZ/TMZ Sports/NY; Rob Casalaina-ITN/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Rick Ramage-United Talent Agency/NY; Roger Furman-Mizlou TV Sports/Tampa; Matt Marini-NFL/NFL Films/NJ; Matt Laramee-MMSI/Warwick; Anthony Stellato-Charter Communications/Stamford; Sonia Durr-Carat USA/Atlanta; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Joe Lyons-ESPN/Dallas; Matt Fumagalli-NBC/Chicago; Bill Robertson-WCHA/Bloomington; Karl Hoium-Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks/Fargo; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Greg Dudsic/Venice; Andy Babb-Super League Gaming/Santa Monica; Willie Price-American Forces Network/Riverside; Rich Greene-Casa Del Verde Entertainment/LA
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