Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Tuesday, January 14, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

FOX detailed promotional plans for the Super Bowl, utilizing its television and digital assets to promote the event. Super Bowl-themed opens will run during Super Bowl Week across multiple FOX channels, including FOX, FOX Sports 1, select FOX Sports Regional Networks, FOX Deportes, FOX News Channel, FOX Business Network, FX, FXX, FXM, National Geographic Channel and MundoFox. The campaign will include an original Super Bowl-themed musical sketch featuring The Simpsons and animated versions of FOX Sports’ Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Curt Menefee and Michael Strahan on Sunday, Jan. 26 at 8p. The channel will also carry special football-themed programming on primetime comedies and dramas during the week, including Raising Hope, Bones, Enlisted, American Dad and The Simpsons.

As for the big game, set for Sunday, Feb. 2, the action begins with co-hosts Terry Bradshaw and Curt Menefee and analysts Howie Long, Michael Strahan, Jimmy Johnson, along with NFL Insider Jay Glazer for a four-hour pregame, the first bi-state Super Bowl pregame show which begins in New York’s Times Square and concludes in New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium. Features will include a retrospective of Pat Summerall and the red carpet-arrival of the sports and entertainment celebrities attending the game. After kickoff, Joe Buck and analyst Troy Aikman call the action with Pam Oliver and Erin Andrews reporting from the sidelines.

FOX is also slating a trio of specials surrounding the game. Programming begins Saturday, Feb. 1 with the 3rd Annual NFL Honors at 8p and continues on Sunday with Road to the Super Bowl at noon and Football America: Our Stories at 1p, featuring the likes of Whoopi Goldberg, Mark Harmon, LL Cool J, Rob Lowe, Joe Montana, Dr. Oz, Condoleezza Rice and Robin Roberts.


Weekend NFL action saw the NFL on CBS’ coverage of the AFC Divisional Playoff game between the Broncos and Chargers on Sunday, Jan. 12 deliver a Nielsen overnight metered market rating/share of 25.1/42, up 5% from last year’s 23.8/39. That marks the second highest-rated Sunday AFC Divisional Playoff game in 18 years and peaked with 47.5/41 from 7:30-8p. The game was seen by an average of 41.1 million viewers, up 9% from last year’s 37.7 million and ranks as the third-largest viewer average for a Sunday AFC Divisional Playoff game in 27 years.

Meanwhile, FOX’s divisional playoff matchup between the 49ers and Panthers posted a 19.9/41 household rating/share with 33.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen overnights. That is up 3% compared to last year’s 19.3/38 and 11% compared to 32.1 million viewers in 2013 which pit the Seattle Seahawks against the Atlanta Falcons. Audiences hit 36.5 million viewers from 7-7:30p.

More movement the sale of the NFL’s Thursday Night package, with the New York Times writing that the league is looking to sell six to eight of the 13 games it carries on NFL Network. The league is awaiting formal responses from interested networks by Friday and will be looking to make the franchise “even bigger and accelerate its promotion and growth with an additional partner,” according to Brian Rolapp, COO of NFL Media, and set to become the head of NFL Network in the spring. The winning network would then televise the games in the first half of the season, starting this fall.

Univision revealed ratings gains for sports in 2013 across its media platforms with double digit growth in key metrics, according to Nielsen. Additionally, Univision Deportes Network which launched in 2012, finished the year as the fastest-growing cable network in both total day and primetime in 2013. In 2013, Univision’s Liga MX viewership was up 25% among Total Viewers and 17% among Adults 18-49 vs. 2012. On UniMas, viewership for Liga MX spiked 16% for Total Viewers and 9% for Adults 18-49.

ESPN reports that its men’s college basketball game telecasts posted audience growth two months into the 2013-14 season, with the network averaging 1,373,000 viewers and a 0.9 US HH rating through Jan. 9. That represents upticks of 25% and 13% respectively over last season, per Nielsen numbers. Overall, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU combined to televise 249 games to average 413,000 viewers for a 4% climb over the same point last year. ESPN’s most-viewed game of the season, pitting Michigan State and Kentucky in the November 12 State Farm Champions Classic, also marks the network’s second most-viewed nonconference game ever, averaging 4,002,000 viewers based on a 2.6 US HH rating. Louisville ranks atop the metered market ratings, followed by Greensboro, Memphis, Raleigh-Durham and Kansas City.

ESPN’s basketball analysts Jay Bilas and Jeff Van Gundy are entering some new turf. The pair are teaming up next week in a crossover that starts Friday, Jan. 17, when college basketball and NBA draft analyst Bilas will join the ESPN NBA team of Mike Breen, Van Gundy and Lisa Salters to offer commentary for Clippers/Knicks at 7p. Van Gundy will then crossover and team with Bilas, play-by-play veteran Sean McDonough and reporter Jeannine Edwards for ESPN’s Big Monday Presented by Verizon contest featuring North Carolina at Virginia at 7p.

FOX Sports announced that the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship make its debut with the 52nd running of the iconic Rolex 24 of Daytona Jan. 25-26. The FOX Sports family of networks will offer 15 hours of live coverage starting Jan. 25 at 2p on FOX. Bob Varsha once again hits a broadcast booth that includes Calvin Fish, Dorsey Schroeder, Brian Till, Tommy Kendall and Justin Bell. Chris Neville, Jamie Howe, Andrew Marriott and Matt Yocum report from the pits. Second-day coverage of the event begins Sunday, Jan. 26 at 7 AM ET on FOX Sports 1 and runs through the conclusion at Daytona International Speedway while overnight coverage is live-streamed on FOX Sports GO. .

NBC and Time Inc. will present a two-hour TV special celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit franchise with Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: 50 Years of Beautiful, set to air on NBC, Monday, Feb. 3 at 9p. Former swimsuit cover model Heidi Klum hosts with appearances from Tyra Banks, Christie Brinkley, Kathy Ireland, Marisa Miller, Kate Upton and more of the most celebrated models in franchise history. Musical guests performing on the show include Enrique Iglesias, Lady Antebellum, the Fray, John Legend and Tim McGraw.

It just keeps getting better! Join us on Jan. 30 for the Cynopsis Sports Breakfast of Champions event in NY for a New Year’s lesson on branding 2014. Newly added to the list of speakers is Bonnie Bernstein, Vice President of Content and Brand Development at Campus Insiders who will moderate our panel on athletes and branding, featuring NFL Players Inc. President Keith Gordon, NFL athletes Pierre Garcon and Keith Rivers, Golf Channel’s Frank Nobilo and ESPN’s Jay Williams. Speakers are also set to include keynote from IMG’s George Pyne and Anheuser-Busch’s Blaise D’Sylva, as well as a special presentation on the Year in Sports from Nielsen’s Stephen Masters. Click here to register.

Universal Sports announced plans for USA Swimming’s 2013-14 Arena Grand Prix Series, with coverage from the remaining five events of the latest edition of swimming’s top domestic series. The network will carry 10 programs, two per event, from the remaining five meets on the schedule. Calling the action for all events will be three-time Olympic Gold medalist Rowdy Gaines. The action begins Jan. 17 at 7p.

ESPN is looking to charge $1.30 per monthly subscriber for the SEC Network within the conference’s geographic footprint, according to SBJ, and dropping to 25 cents outside the region. That is higher than the likes of the Big Ten Network with Fox, which charges up to $1 in its footprint. According to the report, the Dish Network has agreed to carry the network when it launched in August.

SiriusXM announced that three-time PGA TOUR winner Chris DiMarco is returning to SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio to host his exclusive weekly show, oPINionated. The series will run on Tuesdays from 11a-1p starting today and will feature DiMarco and co-host Greg Warmoth taking live calls from listeners, discussing the headline sports news of the day and talking with personalities from the world of golf and beyond. 


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New York Life entered into an agreement with the Big East and FOX Sports to become the presenting sponsor of all Big East conference championships through the 2014-15 academic year, including a comprehensive sponsorship of the conference’s men’s basketball tournament in Madison Square Garden. The two-year partnership names New York Life as the presenting sponsor for all 22 Big East Conference championship events, including the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, and provides for category exclusivity, use of marks and logos in promotional materials, and other marketing initiatives and programs.

As part of its pro-social initiative BTN LiveBIG, the Big Ten Network is teaming up with the American Cancer Society in the support of Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend Jan. 24-26, that will see coaches wear sneakers with their suits during games to raise awareness of the fight against cancer. BTN is televising games at Northwestern, Purdue, Indiana and Nebraska that weekend and is working with the universities and the society to encourage students on each campus to wear suits and sneakers to the games. The university with the most students “suited up” will receive a $10,000 donation to the school’s Relay for Life Initiative.

The Chicago Cubs ended a long-running streak, announcing a mascot for the first time in the team’s history. The figure is a young bear wearing a Cubs jersey and blue baseball cap, named Clark. The mascot is designed to make games more fan-friendly and will greet fans as they enter Wrigley Field.

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.


Kids-targeted sports entertainment network The Whistle added MLB Advanced Media to its expanding roster of pro league partners and equity holders. The partnership includes content development, giving the Whistle’s audience “inside access” to the sport, and technological development, leveraging MLBAM’s expertise to support the growth of the Whistle’s new channels to connect with young fans. The deal will see The Whistle deliver short-form, youth-friendly baseball programming and feature baseball content across all of its digital platforms, including its website, mobile apps and YouTube through its new multi-channel sports network.

Deep Silver announced that upcoming racing game NASCAR ’14 on Feb. 18th for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. Highlights of the game include career mode, official teams and tracks and leagues.


Collegiate marketer Learfield Sports named former NASCAR Vice President, Digital Media Marc Jenkins as the company’s COO. Jenkins will assume the COO role on January 20. As a result, Learfield Sports’ Executive Vice President and COO Andy Rawlings will remain as such but now assumes the newly created role of Chief Revenue Officer.


Wisconsin/Indiana on ESPN at 7p.


Entry Deadline:Jan. 17, 2014 | Enter Now!

Here are the NEW categories added to this year’s awards:
Best B2B Program, Integrated Campaign, On-air Technological Innovation, On-air Technological Innovation in a Sponsorship,
Partnership with an Athlete, Proprietary Asset, Retail Activation, Sales Professional & Best Sports Blog.

ON THIS DAY in 1973: The Dolphins finish undefeated, beating the Redskins in Super Bowl VII.

In The Know: Now that the Cubs have Clark, only three MLB teams don’t have an official mascot. Name two.(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: In 1992, FOX decided to broadcast their own Super Bowl halftime show, even though the game was being carried by CBS. What series was shown during the event? Answer: In Living Color. Kudos: Marc Wollis-NBC Sports Group/NY; Tim Gardner-ESPN/NY; Chris Halpin-NFL/NY; Marc Nightingale-Lake 5 Media/NY; John Miller-NBC Sports Group/Stamford; Randy Ingram-WBTW-TV/Myrtle Beach; Holly Goode-KFC NCAC/Louisville; Jack Valente-InStadium/Detroit; Bob Ramsey-WCIU/Chicago; John Kukla  KDFW/Dallas; Ron Salcedo-Zimmerman/Nashville; Joe Lyons-Back Nine Productions, Inc./Dallas; Denise Abbott-Professional Bull Riders/Pueblo; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA; Don Surath-KPIX-TV/KBCW-TV/San Francisco; Keith Dobkowski-FOX Sports Digital/LA.


Jan. 30, 2014|8-10:30AM|New York Athletic Club (NYAC)

Featuring Speakers:
Pierre Garcon
(Washington Redskins – WR)
Keith Rivers (New York Giants – LB)
Frank Nobilo (Golf Channel – Analyst)
Jay Williams (ESPN)
Keith Gordon (NFL Players, Inc. – President)

Register Now.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for
Cynopsis | Sports

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JOB OPENING:VP AFFIL MKTG/FOX BROADCASTING CO./LA: Oversight of daily ops of the dept. Resp: Implementing the network mktg strategy… Advertising, Mktg, Promotions, PR and Sales Mgr Apply: http://tinyurl.com/kvdayds (1/22) (FNG0002896)

JOB OPENING:AD SALES ASST/UP TV/NY: Recent grad w/previous ad sales/adv internship exp. to asst ad sales dept. Strong Excel & multi-tasking a +. Good comm, interpersonal & organzt’l skills.Res: [email protected] (1/22)

JOB OPENING:DIR CLIENT SOLUTIONS/USA TODAY/NY: Mng generating revenue thru dvlpmnt of insight-lead integrated mktg solutions for Nat’l Sales/Acct Execs. 10+ yrs insight-lead Media Sales mktg. Resume: [email protected] Full details HERE (1/22)

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JOB OPENING: SALES PLANNER/UPTV/NY: Previous ad sales/cable exp. Develop media proposals and work with Acct Exec. DealMaker exp. a+. Strong Microsoft Office skills. Res: [email protected] (1/17)

JOB OPENING: RESEARCH ANALYST/A+E Networks/NYC: Colg grad, 2-3 yrs.TV research; exp w/Nielsen, MRI &/or Simmons. Excl. analytical/written skills, detailed, strategic, strong computer skills req. Apply HERE http://www.aenetworks.com/careers (1/17)

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JOB OPENING: SR PUBLICIST/BBC Worldwide/NYC: Exp w/publicity in digital and/or TV sales/co-prod deals, as well as exec profile raising req’d. Min 5 yrs trade media, comm/PR exp TV ind. Resume: [email protected] (1/16)

JOB OPENING: SR COORDINATOR MARKETING/ION/NY: Support Nat’l Ad Sales team, assist w/development & execution of integrated client solutions 2  3 yrs exp mktg prefer sponsorships, 4-yr deg prefer mktg. Apply [email protected]. EOE (1/16)

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JOB OPENING: VP, BUS. & LEGAL AFFAIRS/Pivot TV/LA: Provide strategic legal & business support to Participant Media’s network targeting Millennials. JD degree, strong kwldg/exp of prgrmng dvlpmnt & prod req’d.Send resume HERE (1/16) 

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EXPERT SERVICES ADS: These ads are for companies or people who offer an expertise in the field of media by way of production, voice over artistry, writing, set development, etc. For information on rates and specs for posting an Expertise Service ad email Trish at [email protected]

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SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: Production Intern/iNDEMAND/NYC: log tapes, QC reels, assist editors/prod. Basic TV prod. knwldge. Aval. two days/wk. Res/cover: [email protected] (1/17)

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