11/29/16: NHL All-Star Game heads back to broadcast; NFL reaffirms TNF support; Snickers returns to the ring



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Good morning. It’s Tuesday November 29, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

The 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Game has a new home, returning to broadcast television for the first time since 2004 on NBC. Set for Jan. 29, the game will be played in LA and ends NBCSN’s run as exclusive host of the game. The event will also mark the first time since 1994 that NBC will carry the game. "As the NHL celebrates its Centennial, we’re excited to bring the pace and energy of the NHL All-Star Game to a network-television audience for the first time in more than a decade," said Sam Flood, Executive Producer, NBC Sports and NBCSN. "This move, combined with the addition of games featuring rising young stars like Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid, as well as our upcoming ‘Star Sunday’ matchups, continues to illustrate our commitment to showcase the best talent in the NHL and grow the game of hockey in America."


Is the NFL looking to spike Thursday Night Football? Not likely, according to the league, which responded to reports that it was exploring options to end the series following a dip in ratings this season. "We are fully committed to Thursday Night Football, and any reports to the contrary are unfounded," the league said in a statement. NBC Sports’ Mike Florio wrote that the league’s options include sidelining the Thursday games outright or simply starting the package on Thanksgiving each year and continuing throughout the season.

Meanwhile, Sunday Night Football delivered an 11.8 household rating for the OT battle between the Broncos and Chiefs. The NBC matchup was off-pace by 37% below the household rating for 2015’s Week 12 SNF game, which scored a 16.2 in the overnights in a Broncos/Patriots showdown. Top markets for KC/Denver: Denver 45.9/68; Kansas City 41.0/60; Albuquerque 20.8/32; Vegas 17.1/27; Sacramento 16.4/26.

NASCAR is one again turning to actor, comedian and radio personality Jay Mohr to host the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards at Wynn Las Vegas on Friday. In addition to Sting’s previously announced headline performance, the show will feature award-winning musical artists American Authors, Skylar Grey and Olivia Holt. The gig marks Jay Mohr’s sixth go-around as host. NBCSN, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Channel 90, will present coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards beginning at 8p.

Showtime lined up its newest documentary, Running for His Life: The Lawrence Phillips Story, set for Dec. 16 at 9p. The show chronicles "the cycle of domestic violence that plagued two-time NCAA Division I college football champion Lawrence Phillips and the personal demons that led to his death in January" through interviews with the likes of Tom Osborne, Dick Vermeil, Steve Young, Nick Saban and more.

Meanwhile, MLB Network marks the 40th anniversary of Reggie Jackson signing his famous 5-year contract with the Yankees with The Making of Mr. October. The hour-long documentary runs tonight at 9p, narrated by Ice Cube. The special includes interviews with Jackson as well as Vida Blue, Julius ‘Dr. J’ Erving, Rickey Henderson, Keith Jackson, Derek Jeter, Lou Piniella and Pete Rose.

Anthem Sports & Entertainment announced an agreement with musician and former president of TNA Impact Wrestling Billy Corgan that will resolve his lawsuit against the promotion’s parent company Impact Ventures. Anthem acquired Corgan’s loan to Impact Ventures on undisclosed terms, and Mr. Corgan has dismissed his proceedings against Impact Ventures and TNA Impact Wrestling.

Former New York Giant Chris Canty joined ESPN New York 98.7FM’s Hahn & Humpty as the newest member of the weekday program. He will also remain as a host for NY’s Game Day on Sundays.




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Snickers is hungry for more WWE, locking in a deal with the company to once again serve as the exclusive presenting partner of WrestleMania 33, set for April 2, 2017 at the Orlando Citrus Bowl. The deal is highlighted by custom TV creative produced by WWE for SNICKERS, which will feature WWE Superstars and the brand’s popular ‘You’re Not You When You’re Hungry’ campaign with creative appearing across WWE’s global digital and social platforms, WWE Network, and on WWE’s flagship TV programs Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live on USA Network. SNICKERS will also leverage WWE’s YouTube channel with a complete brand takeover the day of WrestleMania and offer promotional activity at WrestleMania Axxess.

The NFL launches its My Cause, My Cleats campaign this week, featuring players sharing the causes that are important to them during all Week 13 games. The initiative is a culmination of 18 months of collaborative work between the NFL and players across the league, and it includes an online storytelling platform, in partnership with The Players’ Tribune. Throughout the season, participating players have worked with The Players’ Tribune to tell the stories behind their cleats via long-form features and profile cards. More than 500 players are planning to showcase their causes on-field during games.

Champaign brand Maison Mumm announced the special appointment of Usain Bolt as its newest CEO. In the video, entitled "Usain Bolt, New Mumm CEO," the Mumm bottle is lit atop a pedestal before Bolt sabers it with one of his gold medals. According to the company, "he will now  take the lead in ideating unique and daring ways to bring celebrations to consumers everywhere through the energy, intensity and enticing freshness of Mumm. His long-term goal for Mumm will include spearheading initiatives to excite the world and ultimately aid in efforts to make Maison Mumm the top champagne house in the US." In this case, of course, CEO equates to Chief Entertainment Officer.


The National Lacrosse League is teaming with Sportsrocket to boost its digital programming experiences, allowing fans around the globe to watch through Sportsrocket and its sports media operating system. With this partnership, fans will be able to live-stream all NLL regular season and playoff games for the first time on NLLTV.com and native device apps, plus receive more highlights and shows than ever before. The new OTT video platform will feature both paid and free content for fans. Paid subscriptions include access to live, full-length, regular season games under three tiered options: a full-season pass for $34.95, single-team pass for $24.95, or single-game purchases for $4.95 each. All users, for free, will be able to view ad-supported content including: full-length games on-demand after 24 hours, highlights, short-form features and archive games and programs.

Omnigon announced a coordinated digital partnership with FINA, the International Swimming Federation, to develop a new suite of mobile apps. The launch of these apps will target both iOS and Android devices and coincides with the 13th Annual FINA World Swimming Championships. A second release of the app is planned for March 2017 featuring diving data and results while the third and final phase of the app will be released prior to the FINA World Championships in July 2017 and will include all of FINA’s six aquatic disciplines.

Fanatics reports that it will shift from shipping around 100K items per day in the summer to more than 1M items a day for the holiday season. Since Thanksgiving, the retail site reports mobile sales upticks of more than 50% across the Fanatics platform, which marks a record for consecutive days of mobile as the top sales platform. On Thanksgiving, the company saw 56% of all sales come via mobile devices, including 42% just from phones.


The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, the not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of the interactive arts, announced the immediate appointment of Mike Fischer as president of the organization. He replaces Martin Rae, who led the organization for six years and stepped down in October. As the AIAS president, Fischer has been tasked in taking the helm of the professional organization that promotes and advances the worldwide interactive entertainment community of more than 35,000 video games industry professionals. He will oversee the upcoming 2017 D.I.C.E. Summit and the 20th D.I.C.E. Awards, which will take place February 21-23 at The Delano Las Vegas in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

ESPN2 is reportedly set to showcase the top eight of the Capcom Cup, running the competition on Dec. 4 at 8:30p. Content will be delayed a day from the actual event, taking place at the PlayStation Experience on Dec. 3 and streamed live on Twitch.


Virtual reality production company, MANDT VR, added a pair of sports executives to its team. Lawton Logan will join the company through The Whitener Company holding entity as CRO, while Crowley Sullivan serves as EVP of planning and GM of sports and entertainment.


Michigan State/Duke on ESPN at 9:30p.


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ON THIS DAY in 1976. The Yankees sign free agent Reggie Jackson to a 5-year deal.

In The Know: With what team did Reggie Jackson begin his Major League career? (Email Chris-Sports@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: The last time the University of Washington won a national championship in college football, the school split the honor with what other team? Name one. Answer: Miami. Kudos: Lewis Blaustein-GreenSportsBlogger/NY; Kyle Helm-CBS Sports/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Jerehmy White-BusyBuddy Books/Glen Rock; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Deerfield Beach; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Steve McNair-KUBE TV/Houston; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner and Triathlete magazine/Houston; Kevin Micklo-Pinnacle Advertising/Chicago; Scott Brofman/LA; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank

Later — Chris
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