Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Thursday, December 12, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian France revealed a slew of promotions within its upper ranks. France named long-time auto industry executive Brent Dewar as Chief Operating Officer of NASCAR where he will begin on Jan. 6. In addition, the organization promoted Steve Phelps, Senior Vice President and CMO, has been promoted to Executive VP, while Steve O’Donnell, Senior Vice President, Racing Operations, has also been promoted to Executive VP. Mike Helton continues as NASCAR President with continued oversight of all racing operations.
According to France, the addition of Dewar to the team, who has been consulting with NASCAR over the past year, will “balance the responsibility across the executive leadership team and allow France to focus on setting the vision for NASCAR and driving key strategic growth initiatives and innovation across NASCAR.”


A rematch of last year’s NBA Eastern Conference Finals handed NBA TV its most-viewed telecast ever. The game, pitting the Heat and Pacers, generated an average of 920,000 total viewers and topped the million mark from 9:15-9:30p. The previous record was 868,000 total viewers on Oct. 31, 2012 between the Lakers and Trail Blazers. Earlier this week, NBA TV also drew its second most-viewed telecast of the season with the return of Kobe Bryant when the Lakers faced the Raptors with an average of 691,000 total viewers on Dec. 8. 

CBS Sports is launching a new series dubbed NCAA Men of March that will showcase “some of the most successful and influential college basketball coaches in today’s game” via profiles on the likes of John Calipari (Kentucky), Billy Donovan (Florida), Tom Izzo (Michigan State), Rick Pitino (Louisville), Shaka Smart (VCU) and Roy Williams (North Carolina). The series debuts on Dec. 28 at 1p. In addition, CBS Sports Network will air encore presentations of the shows with CBSSports.com featuring on-demand video content, profiles of the coaches, fan polling and a look at the men of March as recruiters on 247Sports.com.
NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus told an audience at a HRTS panel on Tuesday that NBC expects to make a profit off of its broadcast of the Winter Olympics in February, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “The deal we struck is a good deal for us, and our ability to monetize it through the pay TV world and advertising is going to make it successful.”
NFL games ranked as two most-watched shows on TV for the week ending Dec. 8, with the FOX national telecast (anchored by Seahawks/49ers) topping all sports and entertainment competition with 27.6 million viewers. SNF took second with 19.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen. Top markets included New Orleans with a 58.2/74, followed by Seattle, Denver, Pittsburgh and Kansas City.

NBC announced that Moscow-based television journalist Vladimir Pozner will make his U.S. Olympic broadcasting debut when he serves as a correspondent for NBC Olympics’ coverage of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Pozner is a Russian-American journalist who hosts a weekly live talk show in Moscow. He will appear with Bob Costas on the late night show, offering a Russian perspective of the Games.

CBS Sports Network announced plans for its second season of NBA Development League coverage with a slate of up to 21 games on deck. Action will include 10 regular season games, two games from the NBA D-League Showcase, postseason action, and coverage of the NBA D-League Finals. The Network also carries weekly series NBA Action. The schedule tips off on Sunday, Jan. 5 with the Delaware 87ers facing the Reno Bighorns at 5:30p.

NBCSN and Universal Sports Network will offer four exhibition women’s ice hockey games between Team USA and Team Canada between Dec. 12 through Dec. 30 leading into the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Universal Sports will begin coverage of series tonight at 9p live from the Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary, Alberta. Other matched will take place on dec. 20, 28 and 30.

Jerry Hairston Jr. is turning in his glove and will head to the broadcast booth. The athlete is returning from baseball after 16 seasons and is reportedly joining the Dodgers’ new channel where he will serve as a pre- and post-game host for 15-20 games.


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NASCAR’s legendary No. 3 car is back, with Richard Childress Racing announcing that it would utilize the number of the late Dale Earnhardt for racer Austin Dillon in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2014 where he will drive the No. 3 Cheerios Chevrolet. To celebrate, Cheerios launched “Cheer the 3” social media communities on Facebook and Twitter for fans to interact and receive unique content about Austin throughout the 2014 season.

International sports network beIN SPORT signed national rep firm IMS to offer media buying and planning opportunities on THE beIN SPORT and beIN SPORT en Espanol TV networks as well as TV everywhere service beIN SPORT Play. Through the deal, IMS is introducing a beIN SPORT dedicated sales force in the major advertising markets in the U.S.

United Airlines inked a new sponsorship deal that will deliver another two decades of the United Center, according to Crain’s Chicago Business. The company’s title sponsorship of the venue spans back to 1994 and was set to expire next year.

Ahead of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, the NHL is partnering with Dick’s Sporting Goods to create three NHL-themed stores within the store. The NHL outlet will be housed in Dick’s retail locations in Chicago, Pittsburgh and West Nyack, N.Y. and will More than 230 Dick’s locations already carry NHL-licensed items. However, the league said that the “super shops” would carry official apparel and headwear for the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series outdoor games as well as merchandise from for the Bridgestone Winter Classic between the Maple Leafs and Red Wings.

Bronx Bombers producers Fran Kirmser and Tony Ponturo are teaming with Yankees-Steiner Collectibles to create the Yankees’ “greatest memorabilia museum” in Manhattan in the lobby of Circle in the Square Theatre beginning with the show’s first performance on January 10, 2014. This will be the first time the memorabilia will be showcased in a public venue and will include Yankee Stadium seats from the original “House that Ruth Built,” authentic 2008 Yankee Stadium dirt collage, autographed jerseys, stained plexi glass featuring NY Yankees and autographed plaques by players including Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Yogi Berra and Joe DiMaggio.


YouTube revealed its rankings for the top Sports videos of the year as part of its annual YouTube Rewind. Here is what trended:

1.  Harlem Shake Miami HEAT Edition, Miami Heat
2.  LeBron tackles Heat Fan Who Hits $75,000 Shot!, NBA
3.  GoPro: Backflip Over 72ft Canyon – Kelly McGarry Red Bull Rampage 2013, GoPro
4.  Unbelievable Little Kid Does a Trick Shot Video, Joseph Ashby
5.  South Korean rhythmic gymnast Shin Soo-ji’s First Pitch, mykbonet
6.  Carly Rae Jepsen Throws Terrible First Pitch, FOX Sports
7.  Ohio State Marching Band “Michael Jackson Tribute” – Halftime vs. Iowa, OSUBuckeyeTV
8.  The Harlem Shake Manchester City Football Club, Manchester City FC
9.  Jack Hoffman with a 69 Yard Touchdown in the 2013 Nebraska Spring Game, Nebraska Huskers
10.  Timberwolves Harlem Shake, Minnesota Timberwolves

ESPN reports that its WatchESPN made the most of November, surpassing its September record by logging its best month ever with 2.2 million unique viewers (up 77% over last year) and 197.3 million minutes (up 170%), according to Adobe Analytics. In addition, ESPN linear networks on WatchESPN scored their best month ever with a total of 428.8 million minutes in November, up 239%. 

Marketing automation technology company Phizzle, Inc. revealed a data analytics partnership with Bloomberg Sports. The partnership will deliver Bloomberg Sports access to Phizzle’s proprietary fan centric marketing automation solutions which are designed to deliver real-time analytics to determine actionable strategies. The Phizzle Platform utilizes a proprietary solution dubbed FanTracker, which tracks interactions across multiple engagement channels, such as SMS, email, loyalty, social media and mobile applications to consolidate consumers into a series of single unified profiles.


Congratulations to Jennifer Sabatelle, who was promoted to Senior Vice President, Communications for CBS Sports. She will continue to oversee all communications functions for CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network and is effective immediately. Sabatelle has served as Vice President, Communications, CBS Sports since 2010. 

The NFL announced that Ray Anderson, who served as Executive VP of Football Operations, has decided to leave the league to pursue other opportunities. Anderson will depart at the end of the season and had led the department since 2006.


Chargers/Broncos on NFL Network at 8:25p.



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ON THIS DAY in 1997: The Red Sox sign Pedro Martinez to a record 6-year $69 million contract.

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Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What famed NFL player was a co-star on the series My Two Dads?  Answer: Dick Butkus. Kudos: Jordan Goldberg-Disney and ESPN Media Networks/NY; Jay Goldstin-Vector Media/NY; Robert Dudelson-Cross MediaWorks/NY; Julian Segal-Fox Digital Media/NY; Matthew Meachem-Tribune Media Services/Queensbury; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Jeff Miller-CW69 WUPA-TV/Atlanta; Mark Altabe-Citibank, NA/Jersey City; Jeremy Bowman-ESPN/Chicago; Bill Robertson-Tunheim Partners/Minneapolis; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA; Alan Perris-The Television Academy/North Hollywood; Andy Wasif-Yahoo! Sports/Santa Monica; Neal Stevens-Stevens & Associates/Beverly Hills.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports

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