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Good morning. It’s Friday, January 10, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
ESPN launches its 25th Major League Baseball season with a west coast play, revealing that its exclusive presentation of MLB’s Opening Night on ESPN presented by Scotts will feature the Dodgers/Padres on Sunday Night Baseball on March 30 at 8p. The new Sunday Night Baseball team will see Dan Shulman, analysts John Kruk and Curt Schilling and reporter Buster Olney make their regular-season debut to call the action. Meanwhile, MLB Opening Day will include a five-game slate that spans more than 12 hours of live game action, on Monday, March 31 with games that include Cubs/Pirates at 1p on ESPN, Red Sox/Orioles at 3p on ESPN@, Cardinals/Reds at 4p on ESPN, Rockies/Marlins at 7p on ESPN2, followed by Mariners/Angels at 10p
Speaking of baseball, it would appear that we have a date for the Dodgers new channel via Time Warner Cable. According to the LA Times, it looks like the team’s branded channel will hit the lineup on Feb. 25. Although there has been no formal announcement, a billboard off the 405 freeway in Culver City was displayed that announced the new network would start Feb. 25, although that has since been covered up.
NBC Sports Group continues to rev up its crew for the network’s upcoming NASCAR coverage, announcing that current Hendrick Motorsports crew chief Steve Letarte, who leads the crew behind Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s car, has reached an agreement to join NBC’s multi-platform NASCAR coverage beginning in 2015. Letarte will join fellow analyst Jeff Burton and race announcer Rick Allen across NBC Sports Group’s exclusive coverage of NASCAR’s Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series action on NBC and NBCSN, which includes races, pre- and post-race shows, qualifying, and studio programming.
FOX Sports is also bolstering its team, adding veteran producer Mark Loomis as Coordinating Producer for golf event production and all studio programming. With the USGA’s deal with FOX Sports set for 2015, Loomis joins FOX Sports after serving as Senior Vice President of Production for MLB Network, and prior to that had been a Coordinating Producer of ESPN’s golf coverage, including the 2010 British Open.
CBS Sports is reporting that more people watched pro football on The NFL on CBS games than any other network in 2013, based on a cumulative analysis from Nielsen. According to the data, CBS led all networks in Persons 2 + cume viewing in eight of the last 10 NFL regular-seasons, with the 2013 season seen in all-or-part by an estimated 164.1 million viewers. Meanwhile, NBC nabbed 151.4 million viewers for its games, with FOX at 161.4 million viewers, and ESPN at 102.8 million. CBS’ viewership is up 4% over 2012 numbers.
Join us on Jan. 30 for our Breakfast of Champions event in NY for a New Year’s lesson on branding 2014. Speakers are set to include keynote from IMG’s George Pyne, Anheuser-Busch’s Blaise D’Sylva, NFL Players Inc. President Keith Gordon, NFL athletes Pierre Garcon and Keith Rivers, Golf Channel’s Frank Nobilo and Leverage Agency/ESPN’s Jay Williams. Click here to register.
Canada’s Rogers Communications is complimenting its new NHL deal with a new MLB deal. The company’s Sportsnet channel locked in an eight-year extension to its broadcast deal with MLB with the agreement running through the 2021 season and including the launch of the 24-hour MLB Network channel on Rogers’ cable service, a Canadian first.
Meanwhile, CBS/Radio-Canada announced that, along with Official Specialty Channel partners (TSN, TSN2, Sportsnet, and Sportsnet ONE), it will carry more than 1500 hours of live sport and news coverage for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, marking a record. CBC’s coverage starts on Thursday, Feb. 6 at 6a for the newly added day of competition, with the premiere of the new Olympic sport, Snowboard Slopestyle with CBC’s coverage of the games is divided into five parts: Olympic Overnight, from midnight-6a; Olympic Morning from 6-10a, Olympic Daytime from 10a-3p; Olympic Extra from 3-5p and Olympic Primetime from 7-11p.
Tennis Channel brings back Tennis Channel Academy for a sixth season with Tracy Austin on Monday, Jan. 13, at 9p. The new season begins in conjunction with Tennis Channel’s Australian Open coverage next week, with lessons from former world No. 1 and three-time Australian Open singles champion Mats Wilander. Subsequent episodes feature the likes of Michael Joyce as well as Martina Navratilova and will premiere Jan. 19 and 20, respectively.
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ESPN’s trio of SEC games on Sunday, Jan. 26 will honor former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt as part of the conference’s “We Back Pat” initiative. Action will include South Carolina and Vanderbilt at 2p on ESPN2, Auburn and Florida at 3p on ESPNU and Tennessee/Texas A&M at 4p on ESPN2. Telecasts will honor Summitt’s leadership on-and-off the court via storytelling and in-game graphics while espnW.com will have additional features relating to the Tennessee coach. Overall, the initiative includes 19 conference games January 19-26 that will promote the cause through in-arena PSAs.
Delta is offering fans a direct connection to their favorite athletes through its sponsorship of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, and an opportunity to wish them #GoldLuck at the Olympics. The promotion will allow fans to record a ten-second personalized video at a Delta #GoldLuck video kiosk at upcoming USSA Olympic qualifying events and share via Facebook and Twitter. All of the videos will be aggregated on Delta’s Facebook page to serve as motivation for the athletes in their endeavor to earn spots to represent the U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing in Sochi.
The clock is ticking so what are you waiting for? Time is running out! Submissions are being accepted now for the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards to show the world your best work. Click here to enter.
Ouch. The Baseball Writers Association of America stripped ESPN radio host Dan Le Batard of his Hall of Fame vote for life after he turned his vote over to readers at Deadspin this year. According to the official release from the BBWAA, the Board of Directors also decided to remove Dan Le Batard’s membership for one year, for “transferring his Hall of Fame ballot to an entity that has not earned voting status.” Le Batard reportedly did not take any compensation for his decision.
For the second year in a row, fans will select various competition elements for the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona, the 75-lap, non-points race that launches the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing season on Saturday, February 15 at 8p on FOX Sports 1. Fans will again set the number of laps in each of the three segments, while also voting on how drivers will line up at the start of the race and how they will line up for the restart of the final segment. Fans can submit their votes within the official NASCAR app, NASCAR MOBILE, or at NASCAR.com/SprintUnlimited.
NBC Olympics is tapping Akamai Technologies to offer online video streaming delivery, site performance and security services to NBC Olympics for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Using Akamai, NBC Olympics will distribute video through NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports Live Extra mobile app, which is optimized for viewing devices and network variability, with built-in security protection against malicious traffic.
NASCAR named Richard Buck to the position of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Managing Director. Buck will serve in the role held the past 12 years by John Darby, who will remain at NASCAR as Managing Director, Competition. Buck and NASCAR’s two other national series managing directors – Wayne Auton (NASCAR Nationwide Series) and Chad Little (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series) will report directly to Robin Pemberton, NASCAR Vice President, Competition and Racing Development. Buck currently serves as Vice President, Racing Operations for the International Motor Sports Association.
Colts/Patriots on CBS at 8p.
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The Cynopsis Media Boot Camp
Feb. 11, 2014 |9AM – 3:30PMEarly Bird Ends 1/26: Register Now & Save!
If you are just starting out in the Television Industry or are looking to quickly expand your skills for your burgeoning TV career, then you won’t want to miss Cynopsis Media’s One-Day Boot Camp at the Yale Club in New York City.
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ON THIS DAY in 1982: Dwight Clark makes “The Catch” for the 49ers.
In The Know: The Houston Astros franchise has appeared in one World Series, what team did they play?(Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Name one NFL player that played in both the Final Four and the Super Bowl. Answers: Julius Peppers/Donovan McNabb. Kudos: Jordan Goldberg-Disney and ESPN Media Networks/NY; Paul Abramson-TOURGOLF/NY; Brendan McGovern-Google/NY; Daniel Weber-MLB Network/NY; Stephen Posnock-The Nielsen Company/NY; Tim Fox-NewsChannel 9 WSYR/Syracuse; James Stuart-NBC Sports/Stamford; Jeff Crehan-Media Storm LLC/Norwalk; Jerehmy White-BusyBuddy Books/Glen Rock; Matt Sautter-OpenTV/Golden; Warren Weideman-Producer/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc./Santa Monica.
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CYNOPSIS SPORTS’ BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS
Jan. 30, 2014|8-10:30AM|New York Athletic Club (NYAC)
Keith Rivers (New York Giants – LB)
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Later — Chris
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