11/16/18: FOX Sports and MLB extended their partnership

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Good morning. It’s Friday November 16, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

FOX Sports and Major League Baseball have reached a new multi-year, multiplatform rights agreement that expands the network’s television, digital and Spanish-language rights for the next decade in a deal reported to be worth $5.1 billion. Highlights will see FOX Sports and FOX Deportes maintain the television rights to MLB’s jewel events, including serving as the exclusive television broadcast partner of the World Series, one League Championship Series, two Division Series and the All-Star Game while FOX Sports will expand its digital rights with expanded streaming, social media and highlight rights. Meanwhile, FOX Sports continues its Saturday regular-season broadcast windows – two per Saturday (52 total) – with highlights packages as well as MLB-centric programs and Spanish-language rights through FOX Deportes.  Beginning in 2022, the amount of regular season and postseason games televised by the FOX broadcast network will increase.
“FOX Sports has been our national television partner for over 20 years and I could not be more pleased to announce the extension of our relationship through the 2028 season,” said Commissioner Rob Manfred.  “We value FOX Sports’ commitment to baseball and are excited to continue our partnership with this new agreement.  Their innovative presentation of Major League Baseball through game telecasts and special programming across all their platforms has helped strengthen and elevate our sports’ popularity.”
“Since we began our historic partnership with Major League Baseball more than 20 years ago, MLB games on FOX have provided some of the most iconic moments in American sports,” said Murdoch. “This significant multi-year agreement not only cements FOX’s role as Major League Baseball’s number one broadcast partner, it ensures that FOX will remain America’s leader in live sports well into the future.”
“Major League Baseball has been a cornerstone of FOX Sports since 1996,” said FOX Sports CEO and Executive Producer, Eric Shanks. “It’s an honor to have shared countless historic moments with our viewers over the last 22 seasons. We are extremely proud to continue to be the home of Major League Baseball’s jewel events for the next decade.”
Meanwhile, MLB and sports streaming platform DAZN have agreed to a three-year live digital rights partnership in the United States, set to begin with the 2019 MLB regular season. The partnership will feature a live show each weeknight that will feature live look-ins to the best MLB action as it is happening. There also will be on-demand MLB content and live weekend wrap shows available to DAZN subscribers.

Turner Sports’ upcoming live PPV, Capital One’s The Match: Tiger vs. Phil featuring Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, has found its voices, with Ernie Johnson being tapped to provide play-by-play alongside analysts Darren Clarke and Peter Jacobsen, with reporters Shane Bacon and Natalie Gulbis.  The broadcast team will provide commentary throughout the winner-take-all $9 million match play competition, to be held Nov. 23 at 3p out of Las Vegas. Additionally, Turner Sports will produce The Pre-Match Show Presented by Capital One at 2p with Adam Lefkoe hosting with Pat Perez, along with Samuel L. Jackson and Charles Barkley, among other special guests. 
Emeril Lagasse and voodoo rocker Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews will headline NBC Sports’ show open for the Sunday Night Football Thanksgiving Special next week pitting the Falcons/Saints. The Thanksgiving night show open will lead into a special holiday assignment for Mike Tirico, Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison, who shift from Football Night in America into the broadcast booth to call the game. Michele Tafoya will report from the sidelines in New Orleans, and will award the traditional postgame turkey legs and game balls with the show set at Emeril’s New Orleans.
NBC Sports detailed plans for the inaugural presentation of the IMSA SportsCar Championship, which begins Jan. 26 with live coverage of the 57th Rolex 24 At Daytona. Overall, more than 100 hours of IMSA programming set to air across NBC platforms throughout the upcoming 2019 season. “We couldn’t be more excited to begin our IMSA coverage with the 57th running of the iconic Rolex 24,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports and NBCSN. “As the home of U.S. motorsports, we’ll showcase the uniqueness of IMSA racing to motorsports fans everywhere, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the association throughout the upcoming season.”
Meanwhile, ESPN rolled out programming plans for NCAA Gymnastics with nearly 50 hours of coverage in 2019 and featuring 30 meets featuring teams from the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SE. Defending National Champion UCLA will bookend the regular season slate, as the Bruins host Nebraska in primetime on Jan. 4 on ESPN2, and Oklahoma on March 3 on ESPN. For the second consecutive year, ESPN will carry Big Ten gymnastics on Super Bowl Sunday, with Nebraska/Michigan at 2p on Feb. 3.
The ATP and Tennis Australia officially unveiled the ATP Cup – a new team competition that will launch the men’s tennis season from 2020. The tournament will be played across three Australian cities over ten days in the lead up to the Australian Open and pit teams from 24 countries. The event sees the return of an ATP team competition into the calendar for the first time since the ATP World Team Cup, which was held in Dusseldorf from 1978-2012.
Jimmy Butler’s debut with the 76ers pushed NBC Sports Philadelphia to a 6.2 household overnight score to rank as the top cable show in Philadelphia on Wednesday and the highest-rated 76ers game since 2001. The matchup was also the most-streamed 76ers game in network history, with 36,000 uniques and 2.5 million minutes streamed, respectively, as new high marks. Season to date, the 76ers are averaging a 2.86 HH rating on NBC Sports Philadelphia, up 4%.
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MSG Networks and sports book operator William Hill locked in new comprehensive sponsorship for New Jersey Devils broadcasts on MSG Networks. The deal includes a mix of in-game integration, branded content and commercial spots that will air during MSG Networks’ Devils game broadcasts, as well as in the in Devils pre- and post-game shows. With the partnership, William Hill has now officially secured both team and media sponsorship rights for the Devils. 

Amazon served up a breakdown of streaming habits for Thursday Night Football so far this season, with the 7 NFL games on Prime Video and Twitch combined reaching 14.7 million total viewers in over 200 countries and territories and all 50 states, up 22% over this time last year. The average-minute audience watching NFL games on Prime Video for at least 30 seconds topped 450K. Meanwhile, Tom Brady was the most viewed player on the X-Ray for FireTV Thursday Night Football experience followed by Kirk Cousins.
Whistle unveiled an expansion of its content production capabilities in a move to dive deeper into the creation of mid- and long-form premium content. In addition, the company has signed with Creative Artists Agency for representation, and will have access to the agency’s global resources in all areas including television, motion pictures, digital media, sports, and beyond.
NBC Sports puts the Vegas Golden Knights under the microscope in an exclusive digital series entitled Desert Gold presented by MGM Resorts International. Episode 1 debuts across NBCSports.com, YouTube and Facebook Watch on Nov. 27, ahead of Vegas’ road game against the Chicago Blackhawks at 8p on NBCSN. This is the first-ever digital sports series of which MGM Resorts has been a presenting partner.

Allied Esports announced a deal with HyperX for an exclusive naming rights partnership and multiyear agreement that will see Allied Esports’ flagship property, located at the Luxor Hotel & Casino, renamed as the HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas. The partnership is comprised of co-branded experiences and events that will include unique opportunities with HyperX’s personalities, esports athletes and influencers; co-branded content and collateral in-venue, online and on social platforms; marketing, promotion and product activations; and a prominent retail presence in Las Vegas. HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas branding will be integrated across all social media platforms starting today. As part of the partnership, HyperX will be sponsoring events at HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas from Jan. 9-12 during CES.
Overwatch League expansion team saw another new franchiser locking branding elements ahead of the upcoming season as the Hangzhou Spark were introduced by team owner Bilibili Esports. Pink is the primary color in the logo and the main color of the brand, with white and blue as secondary colors. The logo depicts a spark element shooting from a hand.
NASCAR, 704Games and Allied Esports teamed up for the NASCAR Heat Champions Road to Miami Finals presented by Xfinity during the Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The winner-take-all virtual race, featuring 12 competitors battling for more than $15,000 in prizes, will take place Sunday at 10:30a on board mobile esports truck Esports Arena DRIVE and will be live streamed on NASCAR.com. The winner will also have a shot at $500,000 by correctly guessing the official race time of the Ford EcoBoost 400 within five seconds.

Major League Baseball clubs voted on Thursday to extend the contract of Commissioner Rob Manfred through the 2024 regular season. Manfred was elected Commissioner in August 2014, taking over from Bud Selig in January 2015.
NESN named Rick Jaffe as Vice President of Programming & Production. Jaffe most recently he served as Executive Producer at Vegas Stats & Information Network.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship is determined at the Ford EcoBoost 400 on NBC on Sunday at 3p.
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ON THIS DAY in 2014: Kevin Harvick claims his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship.
In the Know: Who portrayed Coach Gordon Bombay in the movie The Mighty Ducks? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Which character did Richard Petty not-so-coincidentally voice in the Disney movie Cars? Answer: Strip “The King” Weathers. Kudos: Rob Casalaina-ITN/NY; Eric Wright-DS Simon/NY; Ken White-KWTV/Charlotte; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Jaymz Wooden-Bottelsen American Dart Lines/Santa Maria; Nick Monroe-Monroe Photography/San Diego
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