12/08/16: Mark Emmert seeks pieces of eight; Woods returns pumps Golf Channel/NBC; Comcast claims USOC mark


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Good morning. It’s Thursday December 8, 2016 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Could eight be the magic number? NCAA President Mark Emmert addressed the Learfield Sports Intercollegiate Athletics Forum on Wednesday, telling the crowd that he was for expanding the College Football Playoff to eight teams. "I’m kind of old-school about that, I guess," he said. "It would be really fun to have a model where those five champions all got a crack at moving forward. I don’t know what that looks like."

Emmert also took the time to praise the return of Penn State to the upper echelon of college football, and noted that Monday’s ruling by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that college athletes are not employees of their colleges or the NCAA offers "greater clarity" on the amateurism debate.


Tiger Woods’ return to the fairways handed Golf Channel and NBC with ratings boosts. Thursday’s -round 1 coverage delivered a .86 coverage rating / 782,000 viewers for an 190% uptick year-over-year to rank as the most-watched Thursday Round 1 since The Open Round 1 in July. Friday saw round 2 drum up a .83 coverage rating with 768,000 viewers, up 135% yoy while Saturday’s live coverage on NBC delivered a 1.38 household rating and 2,049,000 viewers, swelling 115% yoy. Finally, Sunday’s play delivered a .96 with 1,397,000 viewers, up 67% year-over-year.

Univision Deportes saw the Liga MX Semifinals pack a punch. Thursday’s first leg match on UDN delivered 1.2 million viewers to rank as the most-rated Apertura Semifinal match in UDN’s history, while Sunday’s Semifinal scored 2.8 million Total Viewers.

ESPN locked in its broadcast teams for the College Football Playoff, announcing that Joe Tessitore will call play-by-play in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl on Dec. 31 between Alabama/Washington, joining Todd Blackledge in the booth with Holly Rowe on the sideline. The PlayStation Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 31 pitting Ohio State/Clemson sees Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit in the booth, with Tom Rinaldi and Sam Ponder on the sideline. That group will also call the national championship.

CBS detailed plans for the Army/Navy classic on Saturday. Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson and reporter Allie LaForce call the action for Army-Navy on CBS. The game marks Lundquist’s final college football broadcast and his ninth time announcing the rivalry. CBS Sports Network provides three hours of pre-game coverage of Army/Navy beginning with One2One: Bill Belichick & Joe Bellino at 11:30a. CBS’ College Football Today begins at 2:30p.

PBR laid out its schedule for the first half of the 2017 season, with plans that include a Sunday CBS broadcast from Anaheim’s Honda Center on Super Bowl Sunday as well as visits to Jacksonville (March 4-5), Glendale (March 25-26), and Tacoma, (April 22-23). CBS Sports, meanwhile, will carry 2017 PBR BFTS first-half events in Chicago, Sacramento, Anaheim, Kansas City, Arlington, St. Louis, Sioux Falls, Tacoma, and Las Vegas.

MLB Network hits the mound with Joy In Wrigleyville tonight, detailing the impact of the Cubs’ championship on the city of Chicago. The special runs at 8p and John Cusack narrating.

SiriusXM is teaming with barstool Sports for a new daily show, hosted by Barstool founder Dave Portnoy, which will run on SiriusXm Rush. The program debuts Jan. 3 and runs from noon-2p.


Atlanta Braves
for your work on #AskCoppy
The Leaderboard celebrates the organizations that utilized their social media platforms to promote product offerings to sports fans throughout 2016. Check out the full list of winners here.


Comcast Corporation is officially teaming up with the United States Olympic Committee, locking in a deal to serve as an Official Partner of the USOC through 2020, including the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, and the 2020 Games in Tokyo. The deal allows the company to use Team USA marks in advertising and marketing for the Comcast, Xfinity, and Comcast Business brands, while also making Comcast the official Internet, video distribution, wireless, home security, and business services provider for the 2018 and 2020 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams.

Reebok unveiled the location of its new home in Boston, announcing that the new Reebok headquarters will be located at 25 Drydock Avenue in Boston’s Seaport District, leveraging 220,000 square feet of space on five floors in The Innovation & Design Building.


Turner and Snap, Inc. announced a wide-ranging partnership that expands the collaboration between the two companies, including the launch of a Discover Channel for Bleacher Report. The deal also extends live coverage of Turner’s premium sports events. “This deal marks the latest strategic move for Turner to innovate within the digital arena and provide complementary viewing experiences for a younger, mobile-centric audience,” said David Levy, president of Turner. The agreement continues to leverage Snapchat’s immersive Live Stories with expanded coverage of Turner’s premium sports content, including the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship and the PGA Championship.

The Olympic Channel commissioned Frank Marshall and Mandalay Sports Media to create a signature documentary series for the global digital platform. Five Rings Films (wt) will run as a five-episode series with a scheduled launch in 2017. Each hour-long special will “showcase the incredible humanity, variety and achievements of the modern Olympic era.”
This year’s El Clasico drummed up audiences for fuboTV, wrangling 62K concurrent U.S. video views for the game, with 459K U.S. desktop & mobile site sessions.  That marked an all-time platform for the rivalry game.

TSN reports that the National Hockey League has informed teams that it is in late-stage negotiations for a partnership with Apple that could see iPads and other technology hit team benches.


In this week’s issue of Cynopsis eSports & Gaming
·       The NFL discusses its new Madden eSports run
·       Sliver.tv adds a new reality to esports
·       Breaking down ELeague’s season two numbers
·       PlayStation 4 breaks the 50 million mark
·       New channel TBD targets competitive gaming
·       Russia takes issue with FIFA’s rainbows
·       Viewership for The Game Awards surges


Raiders/Chiefs on NBC, NFL Network and Twitter at 8p.


Mastering Mobile Programmatic
Mobile programmatic video spends will likely surpass desktop by next year. eMarketer projects that it will reach $15.45 billion in the U.S. by the end of this year. That’s 69% of all programmatic digital display ad spending. Are you up to speed on this technology? If the answer is no, then register today to hear from Assembly, Centro, Mindshare and The Weather Company during the latest Cynopsis Digital webinar on December 13.

ON THIS DAY in 1940: The Chicago Bears beat the Washington Redskins, 73-0, in the NFL Championship Game.

In The Know: The Heisman Trophy is cast in what kind of metal? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What position does college football’s Biletnikoff Award honor? Answer: Wide receiver. Kudos: Bruce Jackson-Disney and ESPN Media Networks/NY; Marc Goldstein-Marc Goldstein Media Solutions/NY; Mike Polvere-Optimum Sports/NY; Alexandra Randall-FOX/NY; Chris Faulds-Massively Inc/Toronto; Rick Rosenfelt-New York Red Bulls/Harrison; John Langermann-WINK-TV/WXCW-TV/Fort Myers; Willy Gibson-WTG Consulting/Columbus; Chris Kalis-Law Offices of Christopher Kalis/Dallas; Robert Teinowitz-Live Action Media/Chicago; Kristin Staskowski-Spectrum Reach/Birmingham; Mark Stulberger-Stully’s Broadcasting School/Houston; Jack Neumann-University of Calgary Dinos 5th Quarter Alumni/Calgary; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; David Hauptman/Denver; Anne Wettig-Fox Cable Networks/LA; Jack Simmons-Folds of Honor/LA; John Sutton-Charter Digital Media/LA; Larry Hutchings/Nipomo.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

Roberta Caploe: Publisher @robertacaploe
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