12/20/18: Senators are proposing a slate of regulations as sports betting opens up

Good morning. It’s Thursday December 20, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Congress is making its first moves to deliver national regulation for sports gambling across the country, with Senators Charles Schumer (D-New York) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) proposing minimum standards for states to offer sports betting, require operators to use data provided or licensed by the leagues, create a National Sports Wagering Clearinghouse in addition to providing federal funding from sports betting taxes for programs to address problem gambling. Most leagues were quick to express support for the proposal.

“With legalized sports wagering, the NCAA’s main priorities are protecting student-athlete well-being and the integrity of competition,” said the NCAA in a statement, according to reports. “Because of this, we applaud the bipartisan support of Senators Hatch and Schumer in proposing the federal sports wagering legislation.”

“The PGA TOUR supports the efforts of Senators Schumer and Hatch to introduce federal sports betting legislation.  We continue to believe that nationwide standards are the best method of protecting the integrity of our competitions and our fans,” the PGA TOUR said in a statement. “In particular, we would welcome the establishment of a national body to oversee the integrity of sports in the United States.”

ESPN and ABC detailed production plans for the annual NBA Christmas tradition, offering around 13 consecutive hours of coverage during the holiday. The action tips off at noon with Bucks/Knicks on ESPN. ESPN’s NBA Christmas Day, production features 12-20 cameras covering each game, mic’d players throughout the day and a Nutty Professor themed musical opening for each game starring Hamilton’s Tony Award-winning actor, Daveed Diggs.
FOX Sports announced the premiere of the PBA CLASH on Sunday, at 2:30p, a 90-minute special featuring the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour’s top eight stars and unveils the unique Specto StrikeTrack ball-tracking analysis, which becomes a mainstay of FOX Sports’ coverage of the PBA competition in 2019. Viewers will see a live trace of the ball as it rolls down the lane, as well as ball speed, location and RPM, to name a few of the features. The event is hosted by Rob Stone, with longtime PBA analyst Pedersen and reporter Kimberly Pressler. The PBA on FOX makes its 2019 debut on FS1 on Jan. 6 at 11a.
The USTA and Tennis Channel entered an agreement to partner on the construction and operation of a permanent broadcast facility at the USTA National Campus in order to produce live coverage of professional, collegiate, adult and junior level events on a year-round basis. The agreement also grants Tennis Channel the rights to distribute a number of USTA events played in other locations. As part of the partnership, which runs through 2022, Tennis Channel will air matches and additional programming from USTA Pro Circuit tournaments, College MatchDays and USTA League, Wheelchair and Junior National Championships on linear television, a number of which will take place at the USTA National Campus.
NBC Sports Group announced a multi-year agreement with former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver A.J. Allmendinger to join the network’s motorsports coverage beginning in January. Allmendinger will work on various properties across NBC Sports’ unparalleled motorsports portfolio, including as a booth analyst for the network’s exclusive coverage of the IMSA SportsCar Championship. Additionally, he will contribute regularly to NBCSN’s daily motorsports show NASCAR America. Allmendinger will make his broadcast debut during NBC Sports’ coverage of the 57th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona on Jan. 26, where he is also expected to race as part of Meyer Shank Racing.
Telemundo Deportes premieres season 2 of Que Momento on Dec. 23 at 11p on the network. The new season debuts with an in-depth look at three-time former welterweight world champion Antonio Margarito, his controversial “loaded” gloves and the rivalry with Miguel Cotto following the 2008 WBA welterweight title fight.
The YES Network’s Lakers/Nets telecast on Tuesday night generated a 1.39 average TV Household rating in the New York DMA for the channel to mark the network’s highest-rated Nets game since 2014. The telecast peaked with a 2.23 rating between 9:30-9:45p.
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The College Football Playoff announced pregame entertainment for the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship on Jan. 7 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, lining Keith Urban as the headliner for Allstate Championship Tailgate from the Capital One Savor Card Music Stage. Prior to kickoff, Andy Grammer will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” following a presentation of the Nation’s Colors by a Joint Armed Forces Color Guard, including members of the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.
The New Orleans Saints became the latest NFL team to deal in a casino, announcing that the team, as well as the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans, inked a multiyear deal to make Harrah’s New Orleans their Official Casino Partner. The announcement noted that the partnership includes “unique opportunities for Harrah’s to bring the Saints and Pelicans experience to life. By doubling down on the Saints, Harrah’s will be able to develop customized experiences, in game features, a Saints branded area on property and be designated as an official post-game destination.”
Walt Disney World Resort is opening the doors to its new NBA Experience at Disney Springs in summer 2019. The destination – developed by Walt Disney Imagineering in collaboration with the NBA – will feature hands-on activities that immerse guests into the world of professional basketball. Visitors will get a “glimpse into the atmosphere at the NBA Draft, participate in their own scouting reports, go through pregame preparations, and step onto the court to make clutch shots and highlight reel-worthy slam dunks.”

The National Hockey League launched an NHL skill for Amazon Alexa. The new skill will be available on Alexa-enabled devices in the US and Canada, including the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show and Echo Spot, to deliver news, schedules, scores, stats, standings, tune-in information, player profiles and puck drop reminders for each of the NHL’s 31 clubs. “We know NHL fans across North America enjoy using technology to keep up with the latest from around the League,” said Stephen McArdle, NHL Executive Vice President of Digital Media & Strategic Planning. “We always look for ways to engage with our fans in the most convenient way possible for them. The NHL skill on Amazon Alexa provides a fan-friendly experience providing helpful updates and information in real time.”
Hockey Canada and Fanatics are teaming up for a long-term, multichannel agreement which aims to bring fans throughout Canada and beyond an expanded retail experience. The new wide-sweeping deal will grant Fanatics exclusive rights across Hockey Canada ecommerce and on-site retail channels and will also allow the company to produce Hockey Canada fan apparel across all retail and wholesale channels. Under the new agreement, Fanatics and Hockey Canada will also work collaboratively to identify and secure additional best-in-class companies to grow the overall assortment of timely, on-trend products available to fans worldwide.
The NFL announced the inaugural NFL Big Data Bowl, a football analytics competition that gives college students and professionals the opportunity to utilize historical data sets of the same player tracking data used by teams and suggest innovations about how football is played and coached. Finalists will have the opportunity to present to league and club personnel at the 2019 Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, accessing NFL player tracking data used by teams to analyze league trends and develop on-field strategies.Submissions using NFL-provided data fall under three themes: “Understanding On-Field Speed,” “Proposing a Rule Change” and “Identifying the Best Receiver-Route Combinations.” Eight finalists will earn an all-expenses paid trip to Indianapolis to showcase their work on Wednesday, February 27.
Live streaming company SportsCastr announced an official partnership with STATS to collaborate on developing “meaningful experiences and innovative offerings.” In the initial phase of the partnership, SportsCastr will integrate STATS’ solutions to provide fans with some of the same real-time data that professional sports broadcasters use.

In this week’s edition of Cynopsis Esports
  • Evil Geniuses founder summons Popdog
  • Allied finds new forces in sale to Black Ridge
  • 2018’s key game streaming trends
  • HyperX’s truck stop
  • Immortals’ alliance to support St. Jude
  • Denial looks for a comeback
  • Twitch’s year in review
  • Discord seeks harmony with developers

Texas Tech/Duke at 7p on ESPN2.
Cynopsis is thrilled to announce the finalists for our 2019 Short Form Video Festival! Winners will be announced at the second annual industry event, taking place on Wednesday, March 6 at the SVA Theatre in NYC. The festival will also feature panels offering best practices in business and advertising in the short form space as well as opportunities to network with creators, buyers, distributors, brands and more.

ON THIS DAY in 1985: Howard Cosell retires.

In the Know: In football, what penalty is being represented when a referee touches both of his shoulders with their fingertips? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: “Raging Bull” was released today in 1980. Who portrayed Jake LaMotta’s brother Joey in the film?  Answer: Joe Pesci. Kudos: Phyllis McQuillan-MSG Networks/NY; Greg Maltzman-DraftKings/NY; Deborah Kapetanakis-Universal McCann/NY; Brian Traynor-Endeavor/NY; John Jordan-Flagler College/St. Augustine; Rick Rosenfelt-New York Red Bulls/Harrison; Matt Sautter-WideOrbit/Harrisburg; Will Hildebrandt-NBCU/DC; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Matt Fumagalli-NBC/Chicago; Will Allmendinger-Clear Channel Outdoor/Chicago; Rich Wolfe-Lone Wolfe Press/Scottsdale; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA
Later — Chris
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