12/19/18: NBC Sports is launching NBC Sports History, reviewing its role in sports

Good morning. It’s Wednesday December 19, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

NBC Sports is opening the books to “NBC Sports History”, a multimedia digital timeline featuring “the most iconic and influential sports moments in the network’s nearly century-long history.” The interactive timeline showcases marquee moments, legendary voices, and record audiences in the company’s lore, ranging from the NFL’s “Greatest Game Ever Played” in 1958 to Michael Jordan’s game-winning shot in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals to Olympic performances by 23-time gold medalist Michael Phelps. The platform also serves up a slate of programs that include “MLB Game of the Week,” “Breakfast at Wimbledon,” “NHL Live,” and “Sunday Night Football” in addition to interviews from the iconic on-air commentators, producers and executives who covered and produced NBC Sports’ biggest events. Interviews include: Bob Costas, Vin Scully, Dick Enberg, Don Ohlmeyer, Dick Ebersol and more with events that range from the Summer and Winter Olympics to the Super Bowl and World Series, plus the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup finals, Kentucky Derby, Rose Bowl, Wimbledon and more.
“NBC Sports’ rich history dates back to the days of David Sarnoff and RCA more than 90 years ago, and now we have a place to house all of its great sports moments that have been ingrained into the collective memory,” said Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Broadcasting & Sports, NBCUniversal.

ABC and ESPN are going bigger for season 23 of the WNBA, with top off slated for May 24 and offering expanded coverage from ESPN’s networks with nationally televised games including ABC and ESPN in addition to an extensive schedule on ESPN2. Live coverage by ESPN’s networks begins on ABC on May 25 as the defending champion Seattle Storm host the Phoenix Mercury at 3:30p. The ESPN networks’ slate of 16 regular-season telecasts – which will include three games on ABC, two on ESPN, and 11 on ESPN2 – is up from 13 a year ago, when each of those telecasts was on ESPN2.  In addition, the WNBA All-Star Game will be broadcast on ABC on July 27 from Las Vegas.
ESPN also laid out programming plans for the College Football Playoff Semifinals at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic (Clemson/Notre Dame at 4p) and Capital One Orange Bowl (Alabama/Oklahoma at 8p) on Dec. 29 before shifting to the remaining New Year’s Six games. South Beach and inside AT&T Stadium will host segments across a number of shows and all pregame, postgame and halftime wraps for ESPN’s complete bowl schedule December 27-29. Nearly 20 college football personalities will be in South Florida and Texas, with Rece Davis anchoring the Miami-based coverage, which originates from in front of Hotel Victor on South Beach for the majority of the three days, with Kevin Negandhi and Adnan Virk hosting in Arlington.
Finally, ESPN reached a multi-year extension with Major League Baseball analyst David Ross, who will continue to serve as an analyst for ESPN’s MLB game and studio coverage. Ross will regularly call ESPN’s weeknight MLB game telecasts and appear on Baseball Tonight, including at the World Series, MLB All-Star and the Little League World Series. He will also contribute analysis to SportsCenter and Get Up!
Major League Baseball announced the new MLB4 tournament, a collegiate baseball showcase event featuring Vanderbilt, Virginia, TCU, and Cal State Fullerton Titans with the inaugural event taking place Feb. 15-17 out of Scottsdale. Play will be carried live on MLB Network and MLB.com.
The NBA detailed plans for the second annual Jr. NBA Global Championship, a youth basketball tournament for the top 13- and 14-year-old boys and girls teams from around the world that will be held Aug. 6-11 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World. Thirty-two teams will participate in a week of on-court competition and off-court programming and now includes more than 20 local tournaments – 14 of which will be hosted by NBA teams in their respective markets. FOX and FS1 will televise the Jr. NBA Global Championship in the U.S. as part of the multiyear agreement launched last year.
Monday Night Football on ESPN saw the Saints’ win hand the channel with a 9.1 overnight Nielsen rating in the metered markets. That marks the second-best MNF overnight rating of the season and is up 40% over last year’s numbers.
Univision Deportes coverage of the UEFA Champions League Group Stage and the Liga MX Gran Final delivered audiences, with UEFA action delivering 60 linear telecasts generating a total of 695 million minutes watched and reaching 14 million total viewers with matches averaging 548,000 Total Viewers. The network reports that its coverage of the Liga MX Gran Final championship series was the most-watched Liga MX match of 2018, averaging 2.5 million Total Viewers 2+ and 1.4 million Adults 18-49 on Dec. 16.
FOX Sports Films will air a movie marathon on FS1 featuring the first four MAGNIFY documentaries on Dec. 30 starting at 6a. The marathon line-up includes 89 Blocks, Shot in the Dark, Nossa Chape and The Fight.
BTN announced plans to dedicate eight hours of programming to cover the Early Signing Period on today with the B1G Football & Beyond: Signing Day Special airing 9a-5p. Mike Hall will handle hosting duties with analysts Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith. Throughout the day, the crew will speak with an assortment of the conference’s head coaches.
The Early Signing Period also sees 247Sports deliver a live streaming show beginning at 9a. Trey Scott and Barton Simmons will cover all of the day’s biggest announcements from 5-star recruits and interview top college coaches throughout the day.
RIP to Lee Leonard, former anchor of SportsCenter and the first voice ever heard on ESPN, who died Sunday at his home in South Orange, New Jersey at the age of 89. Leonard joined ESPN in 1979 and partnered with George Grande s the first faces on air for the debut edition of SportsCenter.
JUST ANNOUNCED: The 2019 Cynopsis TV Awards Finalists!
Awards Event: FEB 6 in NYC
The Cynopsis TV Awards salute excellence in national TV programming and we’re thrilled to announce this year’s finalists! Joining us will be a range of companies, including: 7ATE9 Entertainment, A+E Networks, Animal Planet, Beck Media, BET Network, CNBC, Cooking Channel, Crown Media, Discovery, E! Entertainment, Food Network, and MANY more (click here to view full list).
The awards gala will take place on February 6th at the Yale Club in NYC.


The Indiana Pacers landed their first-ever jersey patch partner, locking in a deal with Motorola in a multi-year partnership. As part of the partnership agreement, Motorola will also become the presenting sponsor of the Pacers official team app featuring a rich visual experience, stories, videos, photos, game information and more. In addition, the partnership will include in-arena, digital and social media presences along with exciting fan engagement opportunities in the future.

The NBA and FanDuel inked an expanded multiyear partnership making FanDuel an Authorized Gaming Operator of the NBA, in addition to continuing as the Official Daily Fantasy Partner of the NBA and the WNBA. As part of the expanded partnership, FanDuel will gain access to official NBA betting data, along with league marks and logos, across FanDuel’s sports betting offerings. FanDuel will also remain the NBA’s Official Daily Fantasy Partner, operating both the Official Daily Fantasy Game of the NBA and the WNBA, and continue to innovate with NBA InPlay, the interactive, real-time mobile fantasy game.
The Washington D.C. Council voted to legalize sports gambling in the district, an 11-2 vote. The bill now moves to the mayor, where it is expected to be signed, and the city would join eight states where gambling has been legalized – Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and West Virginia.
theScore Inc., announced that it would launch a New Jersey sports betting app in 2019. The company locked in partnerships with Monmouth Park Racetrack in addition to Bet Works as it prepares to set up show.
Amazon Prime Video Channels is adding PGA TOUR LIVE to the mix for Amazon customers in the US. Prime Video will enable Prime members to sign up for $9.99 per month or $64.99 per season.

ESL’s CS:GO Pro League is getting tweaked for the 2019 season, announcing plans to add more teams, along with a new format for year nine. According to the ESL announcement, changes were made following talks with the World Esports Association in order to help with “oversaturation of events and Pro League being online as well as time consuming.” Starting with the New Year, the regular season will now be played in three separate regions: Europe, Americas and Asia-Pacific with each divided into four groups of four teams with seeding based on the ESL World Ranking. While APAC matches will remain online, EU games will be hosted offline at the ESL studio in the United Kingdom and the AM region in the United States in a move to “provide the most competitive environment possible to all participating teams.”
Cynopsis Esports, Chief Marketer, Event Marketer, and parent company Access Intelligence announced dates for the 2019 Esports Business Summit, taking place in year two at MGM Las Vegas from Sept. 10-12, 2019. Registration is now open for Esports Business Summit 2019 at discounted rates for a limited time. The full 2019 program will be released in early Summer 2019. Tempest Awards Call for Entries will open Spring 2019.
MLB executive Chris Park is departing to serve as CEO of Gen.G. Park had been serving as executive vice president of product and marketing at MLB.

USA Swimming announced a slate of executive moves that include the appointment of Eric Skufca to CFO. In addition, Lucinda McRoberts will now step into the role of Chief Administrative Officer and continue in her capacity as General Counsel and head of the organization’s Business Affairs Unit, while Abigail Howard has been promoted to Associate Counsel and Director of Safe Sport. Isabelle McLemore has been promoted to Managing Director of Communications, and will oversee communications and content strategy across the organization. Additionally, Commercial Business Unit team member Jake Grosser has been promoted to Director of Business Intelligence.
The US Anti-Doping Agency announced that Skip Gilbert has joined USADA as its Managing Director of Operations, Marketing, and Development. Within this capacity, Gilbert will oversee USADA’s Olympic Testing and Client Services operations.
Penguins/Capitals on NBCSN at 8p.
[ENTER BY 1/25]
Entries are now open for the 8th Annual Cynopsis Sports Media Awards. This awards program is dedicated to celebrating the work of talented producers, hosts, sponsors and executives alike, and saluting the initiatives that drove audiences and turned sports viewers into fans over the past year. The best and brightest will be gathering on April 25th in NYC to watch as winners are announced, and the best of the best are celebrated in style, so save the date!

ON THIS DAY in 1989: The Celtics’ Larry Bird begins an NBA Free Throw streak of 71 games.
In the Know: “Raging Bull” was released today in 1980. Who portrayed Jake LaMotta’s brother Joey in the film? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What was Phil Rizzuto’s nickname? Answer: The Scooter. Kudos: Danny Turk-Tough Mudder/NY; Marc Goldstein- Marc Goldstein Media Solutions/NY; Eddie Hill-Nickelodeon Sports/NY; Chris Rose-A&E Networks/NY; Rob Casalaina-ITN/NY; Joe Schreiber-3 Penny Films/Bethesda; Stephanie J. Geosits-Capitis Sports Consulting/Toronto; Derek Houston-Atlanta Braves/Atlanta; Bill Graff-beIN SPORTS/Miami; Matt Fumagalli-NBC/Chicago; John Kukla-KDFW/KDFI/Dallas ; Brad Stern/Carbondale; Bill Robertson-WCHA/Bloomington; Rich Wolfe-Lone Wolfe Press/Scottsdale; David Hauptman/Denver; Jack Neumann-University of Calgary Dinos 5th Quarter Alumni Development/Calgary; Gary Patrick-Alpha Media Wenatchee/Moses Lake; Larry Hutchings/Nipomo; Jeff Mirkin-Atari Studios/Santa Monica; Nick Monroe-Monroe Photography/San Diego
Later — Chris
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JOB OPENING: MANAGER, INVENTORY/Crown Media Family Networks/NYMonitor and track all inventory through WideOrbit and Dealmaker. Build ADU packages and analyze and strategize pre and post upfront reporting. Min 2 years exp. in pricing and planning or ad sales req. Apply HERE (1/6)
JOB OPENING: SR BROADCAST DESIGNER/NESN/Boston: Passionate/motivated self-starter, creative thinker w/ability to multi-task effectively & prioritize accordingly. Demonstrates proficiency in Cinema 4D, After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Mac Computers & Broadcast prod. Min 5 yrs exp brdcst design. Full info/apply HERE (1/6)

JOB OPENING: Sr. DIRECTOR GLOBAL ACQUISITIONS/A+E/Stamford, CT: Plan, implement, monitor & optimization of content delivery; technical, file-based procurement of Domestic and International content; 10+ yrs exp technical procurement of content cable or broadcast network. Full info/apply HERE (1/5)

JOB OPENING: POST HEADLINE ACCOUNT EXEC/DIRECTavenue/Carlsbad CA: Exp’d candidate w/sophisticated understanding of media analytics. 10+ yrs of agency client mngmnt exp. Must have exemplary emotional intelligence to help be primary liaison between our agency team & a roster of clients. Full info/apply HERE (1/5)

PRODUCER/Spectrum/Albany: Produce assigned newscasts & news inserts making decisions on story lineup, video/audio elements, graphics and timing to construct show. 3+ yrs TV news exp. Writes news stories for an assigned newscasts. Full info/apply HERE (1/5)
JOB OPENING: PRODUCER, ON-AIR PROMOTIONS SPORTS & NEWS/Spectrum/El Segundo CA: Mng projects through all phases prod & delivery. Detail-oriented person to create, write/edit/produce on-air promotional spots and campaigns, from initial concept to finished product. 2+ yr TV news or produ exp. Full info/apply HERE (1/4)

JOB OPENING: CREATIVE DIRECTOR/WRITER/WRIGLEY MEDIA GROUP/LEX, KY: ISO battle-tested m/f CD for fast-paced media/TV/Digital prod co. Must: write, PITCH & manage in an agency-style environment. Min 5 yrs in the big leagues. Tasty salary/bennies/re-location pkg for “the one”. Reel/Res/Pitch to [email protected] (1/4)

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