11/13/20: Pepsi and the NFL locked in The Weeknd to perform in the Halftime Show


Medias First Morning Read
Friday November 13, 2020

Pepsi, the NFL and Roc Nation announced The Weeknd will perform during the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show on CBS at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay on Feb. 7. The Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show telecast will be produced by DPS with Roc Nation and Jesse Collins serving as executive producers, and Hamish Hamilton serving as director. Roc Nation is also serving as the strategic entertainment advisors of the live performance.

“The Weeknd has introduced a sound all his own. His soulful uniqueness has defined a new generation of greatness in music and artistry,” said Shawn JAY-Z Carter. “This is an extraordinary moment in time and the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show is going to be an extraordinary experience with an extraordinary performer.”

“We are thrilled to have The Weeknd join us in Tampa Bay on the Pepsi Halftime Stage,” said Brian Rolapp, NFL Chief Media and Business Officer, “Halftime Show performances have a history of excellence and creativity and we look forward to seeing what he will bring to Super Bowl LV.”

“The Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show is one of the most anticipated performances of the year and we are thrilled to welcome The Weeknd to the stage,” said Todd Kaplan, VP of Marketing, Pepsi. “Pepsi has worked with some of music’s biggest artists over the years – from Prince to Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars and most recently Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. After a year that’s largely been void of live music, we can’t wait to watch The Weeknd transform the world’s biggest stage with his limitless talent and creativity, delivering what will most certainly be an unforgettable performance that will be remembered for years to come.”


ESPN detailed its plans for the virtual 2020 NBA Draft presented by State Farm, coming from its Bristol, campus Nov. 18, at 8p. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum will appear at the ESPN studios to announce the selections, while up to 60 draftees will appear virtually. This marks the first NBA Draft at ESPN’s studios. Rece Davis will return to host ESPN’s coverage with an expert panel of commentators, including analysts Jay Bilas and Jay Williams, and NBA Draft analyst Mike Schmitz in studio on the main set. Additionally, ESPN NBA reporter Malika Andrews will serve as the NBA Draft telecast reporter for the first time. For the first time, ESPN’s Hoop Streams – its digital NBA show – will precede the NBA Draft. Cassidy Hubbarth hosts Hoop Streams with Omar Raja and Nabil Karim. The team will lead the show at ESPN’s studios starting at 7:30p.

In other talent news, Turner Sports today announced commentators for Capital One’s The Match: Champions for Change featuring Phil Mickelson, Charles Barkley, Stephen Curry and Peyton Manning on Nov. 27, at 3p on TNT. The network will televise Capital One’s The Match Pre-Match Show, presented by Autotrader leading up to the event at 2p. On microphone duties will be host Brian Anderson, analysts Trevor Immelman and Andre Iguodala and on-course reporters Cheyenne Woods and Gregory McCord.

Tennis Channel’s live telecast of the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals gets underway on Sunday at 7a with approximately 58 hours of live competition on deck during the week, and another 125 encore hours, for a total of 182 hours of round-the-clock coverage. Brett Haber and Steve Weissman will handle play by play for Tennis Channel, with Jim Courier and Paul Annacone offering analysis.

FloSports announced the acquisition of streaming rights for the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire in a 10-year deal to broadcast the indoor Midget racing event to racing fans worldwide, bringing over 40 additional racing events to its FloRacing platform. As part of the pact to stream the Chili Bowl Nationals, FloSports will also exclusively broadcast the massive Lucas Oil Tulsa Shootout, the largest event for micro-sprint racing in the country, and will co-stream the 2021 Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MAVTV Motorsports Network with the RacinBoys Broadcasting Network.

The Cowboy Channel revealed the broadcast schedule and talent reporting for its first live broadcast of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas from Dec. 3-12. For 10 nights, the NFR will showcase 10 rounds of professional rodeo competition where the top 15 cowboys and cowgirls in each event compete for a world championship.

MSG Networks is launching a new weekday morning show, MSG A.M., that will provide sports fans with a “fresh, new and insightful look into the world of sports each morning.” Hosted by MSG Networks host and basketball analyst Monica McNutt and sports media personality Kazeem Famuyide, the program will now air live from 8-9a on MSG every Monday through Friday.


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ESPN debuted a brand new promotional spot for the upcoming College Football Playoff rankings reveal anchored by a new single from Billie Eilish, “Therefore I Am.” ESPN launches the first College Football Playoff rankings of the season with College Football Playoff Top 25 Ranking Show Presented by Allstate on Nov. 24 at 7p. Rece Davis will host the show on Nov. 24, joined by college football analysts Kirk Herbstreit, Joey Galloway, Jesse Palmer and David Pollack.

Daniil Medvedev inked a long-term extension with Lacoste in a deal that will now run through 2026 with the French brand. “His style of play and his tenacity on the court allow him to shake up the tennis world hierarchy, as he demonstrated once again last week by winning the title in Paris,” Lacoste said in a statement. “In the essence of the brand’s founder, and seen more recently with Novak Djokovic, it is this elegance of play and spirit that Lacoste wishes to convey through the extension of this contract with Medvedev.”

World Table Tennis revealed a deal with Coca-Cola to serve as its first ever partner in the modern era, where the beverage brand will serve as the official beverage partner of all WTT events scheduled to take place in China during 2021. As part of the deal, Coca-Cola will enjoy exclusivity across the categories of water, energy drinks and soft drinks at WTT events in China.


IBM and the Masters Tournament, of which IBM is an exclusive digital partner, revealed My Group, a digital feature enabling “new levels of fan engagement and revolutionizing the digital viewing experience for the 2020 Masters Tournament” by allowing patrons, anywhere in the world, to create personalized groups of players, and watch every shot, on every hole, from all of their favorite golfers from the 2020 Masters Tournament. My Group, which runs on IBM Cloud with Red Hat OpenShift, is available globally in the Masters Tournament app and on Masters.com.

Sportradar’s Intelligence & Investigation Services launched a suite of products and services for U.S. customers, including its due diligence services, including:
· Sports leagues and teams with corporate sponsor background checks, as well as pre-draft, pre-trade, or key personnel acquisition intelligence
· Private investors in sports technology properties to help them better understand the founders and management teams they invest in
· University athletic departments to protect their interests, brands, and reputations, and those of affiliated personnel, including their student-athletes and sponsors
· Athletes and agents by identifying potential sources of reputational risk

Tencent Holdings and WSC Sports locked in a three-year partnership to fuel the development of new video production solutions for the Chinese market. As part of the agreement, WSC Sports will also provide Tencent Sports (and other Tencent divisions) with its automatic video solutions for content distribution through Tencent’s digital platforms, such as its website, apps and social media channels.

Score Media and Gaming Inc. debuted Bet Section, its most integrated and personalized suite of betting features that will have a new, dedicated home within theScore’s media app. Users will receive a suite of personalized betting features, such as prioritized and tailored markets, live bet tracking and exclusive promotions.


Organizers for the 2020 Maui Invitational revealed a new collegiate esports tournament, the Maui Esports Invitational featuring Rocket League and delivered by goPuff. The event will be held ahead of the Maui Invitational, the early-season college basketball tournament, and see 20 collegiate esports teams from around the country compete for prizes and the opportunity to be named the first-ever Maui Esports Invitational Champion. The finals will be telecast on ESPN2 at 5p on Nov. 22. “The Maui Invitational is known for providing unparalleled competition in collegiate basketball, so expanding that legacy into the esports space is a natural next step,” said Tom Valdiserri, Executive Vice President of the Maui Invitational. “Through esports, we have the ability to reach a new audience while engaging our existing fans in an exciting way.”

UK-based streamer Vikram “Vikkstar” Singh Barn is joining the ReKTGlobal family as a co-owner of the London Royal Ravens. Singh Barn is a co-founder and frontman behind the content creation collective known as the Sideman and is widely known for streams involving his Call of Duty: Warzone play.

ESL Gaming revealed DreamHack StarCraft 2 Masters: Last Chance, the final ESL Pro Tour tournament of the year in StarCraft II. The tournament, which is closing out its first year of the ESL Pro Tour for StarCraft II, begins with qualifiers on Dec. 8, with the Main Tournament starting on Jan. 12, 2021. “ESL and DreamHack share the same vision of creating an open-ecosystem that allows aspiring pro players to rank up and follow the path ‘from zero to hero,’” said Shaun Clark, Director of ESL Pro Tour at ESL Gaming. “This tournament will bring stellar young talent who want to take their skills to the next level. We can’t wait for what will surely be an amazing competition.”

76ers Gaming Club, the NBA 2K League team of the Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment portfolio, announced an interactive esports partnership with Saint Joseph’s University. The partnership will feature an exclusive, six-part digital content series, profiling the backgrounds of 76ers GC players and exploring the lives of GC players.


Professional Fighters League announced a partnership with CAA Sports Licensing to serve as the exclusive trademark licensing representative for the PFL across a wide range of product categories globally, including athlete fight kits, fan apparel, video & mobile gaming and training & fitness. “The Professional Fighters League is excited to partner with industry leader CAA Sports Licensing as we continue to grow the PFL brand and globally expand our consumer products and memorabilia business,” said Peter Murray, CEO of the PFL. “The league’s partnership with CAA Sports Licensing will accelerate PFL’s brand presence in retail and e-commerce, while also providing passionate MMA fans from around the world the opportunity to access new, innovative PFL products across athlete performance gear, fan apparel, video and mobile gaming, training and fitness, and much more.”

FloSports named Manuel Rosso as Chief Operating Officer. In this role, he will spearhead the company’s internal operations and leverage his extensive knowledge scaling up companies to execute a growth strategy for FloSports.

Legends named Tom Tregelles to the new role of Vice President, International E-Commerce, where he will develop customized global e-commerce solutions and strategies for Legends’ roster of world-class merchandise clients.

GF Sports & Entertainment announced the expansion of the company’s leadership team with the hiring of Lindsey Masciangelo as Executive Vice President, Entertainment. There, Masciangelo will manage business operations and revenue generation for the national touring show AKC Meet the Breeds, American’s largest dog breed educational showcase.


It’ all in the family. Over 40 broadcasters had either a father, spouse or son in the business. See the entire list which of course includes the Carays, the Bucks and the Alberts.
It’s all in the family: 40+ sports broadcasting families, Sons and brothers are chips off the old blocks

Busy weekend for Fox Sports’ coverage of the NFL. Because of its commitment to the Masters, CBS does only 3 games this Sunday while Fox runs 8. Details including market-by-market information on the regional games, announcers and notes.
NFL Week# 10: With Masters, CBS carries just 3 late games; The early window belongs to Fox

The college season enters its 11th week. A pretty hefty schedule but the big game between LSU and Alabama was a victim of a Covid protocol. As of last check, 7 games were cancelled or postponed. Still, it’s a schedule with a pretty good menu. See notes, talent, complete schedule and more.
College Football, Week #11: Heavy schedule but Alabama-LSU among games postponed

Notes/News and developments: Will Westwood One lose its rights to the NCAA Tournament? Westwood sued the NCAA and the NCAA countersued. A story about Jim Nantz’ first Masters, 34 years ago; Announcers doing games remotely; Dan Fouts, Mark Jones; The NBA letting ref talk on-air. Finally!
Halby’s Morsels: NCAA Tourney; Notre Dame-Clemson; Nantz’ first Masters; Remotecasts; Mark Jones

Happy Birthdays:

Denny Matthews, 11/14 Voice of the KC Royals since 1969
Charles Davis, 11/14 CBS, NFL analyst
Joe Beninati, 11/14 TV Voice, Washington Capitals
Mark Jones, 11/16 ESPN play-by-play
Bill Macatee, 11/17 CBS Sports, reporter
Rick Rizzs, 11/17 Seattle Mariners, radio voice
Marc Zumoff, 11/18 Philadelphia 76ers, TV
Ahmad Rashad, 11/19 Longtime network TV sports reporter
Michael Wilbon, 11/19 ESPN, Pardon the Interruption

Cynopsis’ Best of The Best Awards
Category Focus: Social Good

Take a look at categories for those individuals and companies utilizing the media industry to forge positive change in our community, including: Best Social Good Partnership, Best TV/Digital Episode With A Social Good Theme, Best PSA and more.

ENTER BY 11/19

On this Day
1994: Dale Earnhardt wins the 44th NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Staple venue anthem “Enter Sandman” was performed by which band? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
John Madden called eight Super Bowls with which other sports personality? Answer: Pat Summerall. Kudos: Keith Marder-Brown Harris Stevens Real Estate/NY; Kevin Lyons-Opportunity Media/NY; Daniel Laub-Premion/NY; Tori Gallarello-Alcock-Little Roosters, Inc./NY; Brianne Maciejowski-Miles/Sarasota; Willy Gibson-WTG Sports/Columbus; Larry Kahn-GOLF Channel/Orlando; Rick Hensley-WCYB-WEMT-CW4/Tri-Cities TN/VA; Michael G. Hawkins-Francis Marion University/Florence; Aaron Zeligson-NBC/Philadelphia; Creed Heilskov-ImOn Communications/Cedar Rapids; Joe Lyons-ESPN/Dallas; Dory Petsrillo-CoxReps/Dallas; Lance Davis-Good Karma Brands ESPN Milwaukee/Milwaukee; David Hauptman/Denver; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Jim Himmel-TCB Media/San Clemente; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank

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Seeking VP, Mktg for the Americas region, to design/implement an audience-led mktg/media strat to dev/enhance the commercial relationship between BBC Studios and its global strategic customers. Must have proven track record within a global Mktg envir, focusing on customer engagement and strong customer brand relationships. Full info HERE (11/24)

EMERGING NETWORKS, LLC/REMOTE: Responsible for development and growth of web, mobile and social platforms. As well as, all overall support for all digital content efforts and tactical responsibilities as it relates to the website and social media strategy. Full info HERE (11/26)

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A+E NETWORKS/NYC: SME within the Consumer Mktg & Media team. You will develop and manage owned media strategy for the LIFETIME/LMN brands. Partner with Planning, Digital Media and On-Air Scheduling teams. 7yrs exp managing Owned Media within an Entertainment firm with deep knowledge of entertainment landscape, including competitive set and non-linear platform. Full info HERE (11/20)

NICKELODEON/NY, NY: Hardworking, pro-active and inquisitive Mgr for a newly formed Brand Mktg and Strategy team at Nickelodeon. This role will aid in defining Nickelodeon’s brand mission/values as well as Mktg efforts across series, brand, platforms, emerging media and more. Min 5yrs exp in consumer strategy, digital, mktg or media. Full info HERE (11/19)

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME/REMOTE: Seeking motivated individual responsible for the creation of a WBHOF donor base that will increase donations through donor relationships, contributions, capital campaigns and ongoing fundraising efforts. Proven track record with min 5yrs exp managing/forging relationships with multiple donor sources. Full info HERE (11/19)

JUMA ENTERTAINMENT/Remote: Looking for creative and highly motivated individual to access and clear videos for network prime time clip series. Must possess a love of TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and be able to navigate platforms. Full info HERE (11/18)

A+E NETWORKS/REMOTE: Skilled/detailed oriented Curation and/or Operations professional who is passionate and knowledgeable about digital media curation, metadata and dist of content to 3rd Party aggregators. You will Curate A+E owned media content using internal media asset management tool. Quick learner with a min 2 yrs’ exp in video media operations. Full info HERE (11/18)

NBCUNIVERSAL OWNED STATIONS & AFFILIATE RELATIONS/DALLAS-FORT WORTH: The Arthouse, NBCUniversal’s Owned Stations’/Telemundo Stations’ internal design team who supports newscasts is seeking a Sr. Designer with a broadcast design background, solid conceptual skills and 3D expertise. Min 4yrs exp, must be able to work on individual assign and team projects. Full info HERE (11/17)

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BBC STUDIOS/LA, CA: Resp for managing sales/co-prod activity in the fiction genres, with clients across both TV/digital. Need to deliver against a stretching bus plan and budget, maximizing the BBC Studios Catalogue through licensing and co-producing programme rights in the US for TV/VOD. 5yrs exp in programme dist, with an understanding of the UK TV industry. Full info HERE (11/16)

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