Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Tuesday, December 17, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

With over 1,000 hours of coverage on deck, NBC Olympics extended its deal with Yahoo! to now include content and promotion surrounding the XXII Olympic Winter Games from Sochi, Russia. The deal focuses on access for Yahoo’s audience stateside to all of NBC Olympics’ exclusive digital video highlights as well as live streamed events on NBCOlympics.com, the creation of a digital Olympics daily show, and the showcase of various Yahoo products. As part of the agreement, Yahoo Sports experts will work in conjunction with NBC Sports and contribute Olympic news and analysis for digital segments that will be promoted to both NBCOlympics.com and Yahoo users. 


FOX Sports formally announced its exclusive media rights renewal in the US and Caribbean for the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League for three additional seasons through 2017/18. The deal delivers comprehensive coverage of both tournaments on multiple channels and platforms including FOX Sports, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, FOX Deportes, FOX Sports Regional Networks and FOX Soccer Plus. Overall, FOX Sports plans to carry 146 UEFA Champions League games annually throughout the term of the agreement with FOX Sports 1 slated to carry two live UEFA Europa League matches per week, while FOX Sports 2 televises two live matches and encores of the FOX Sports 1 matches.

The College Football Playoff Management Committee named host cities and venues for the 2016 and 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Games, revealing Arizona and Tampa Bay as the winners. In 2016, the game will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium while the 2017 game takes place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay. Of course, the very first championship game will be played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, January 12, 2015.

NFL Network reports that its eighth year of live regular season primetime games on the channel delivered rating and viewership records. Including the audience from over-the-air broadcasts in local markets, NFL Network’s 13-game slate of Thursday Night Football broadcasts finished with a record-high per game average audience of 8 million viewers in 2013, up 10% over 2012 and marking the fifth consecutive year that TNF set an all-time high viewership mark for NFL Network. For the season, TNF averaged a 5.0 rating (including OTA’s)  another record for the network  for a 9% uptick over the 2012 season.

Univision’s broadcast of the Liga MX Apertura 2013 final between Leon and Club America delivered an average of 3.5 million viewers and 2.0 million adults 18-49, according to Nielsen. The game, played on Dec. 15, now ranks as the most-viewed LMX match in the Apertura ’13 season on any network and the most-viewed LMX Apertura finals match since the 2006 Chivas vs. Toluca. It is also up 20% among total viewers compared to the game a year ago.

Arch-rivals ESPN and NBC Sports are reportedly making a trade. Geoffshackelford.com writes that ESPN is finalizing a deal with NBC to deliver day one rights for the 2014 Ryder Cup in exchange for better rights access to Premier League highlights.

NBC Sports Group is revving up for The 12 Days of Premier League with 40 matches in 12 days starting Saturday, Dec. 21 and running through New Year’s Day, January 1. Coverage is highlighted by 10 matches on Boxing Day, Thursday, December 26 and 10 matches New Year’s Day, highlighted by Manchester United hosting Tottenham at 12:30p on NBCSN.

Barrett-Jackson, “The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions,” announced that FOX Sports expanded its viewership reach for the Scottsdale, Arizona auction so that it will now include five channels within its family of networks. Overall, there will be 36 hours and six-consecutive days of live, high-definition auction coverage starting with FOX Sports 2 on Tuesday, Jan. 14 at 7p. In addition, the Barrett-Jackson and FOX partnership and expanded coverage are highlighted with the event’s first-ever appearance on FOX, starting Saturday, Jan. 18 at 3p. Other channels covering the event will include the FOX Business Network, FOX Sports 1 and the National Geographic Channel.

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Golf Channel unveiled a new logo for the network, designed to reflect “its ever-evolving golf media businesses within the NBC Sports Group.” According to the channel, the overhaul will look to strengthen Golf Channel’s position as a worldwide voice for golf news and tournament coverage, as well as programming that touches all aspects of the game. The logo placed the word “GOLF” next to the NBC peacock, and will activate across Golf Channel’s various platforms starting in May 2014. Golf Channel’s new logo was created in partnership with creative agency Troika.

The NBA tied up a deal with Foot Locker for a new multiyear comprehensive marketing partnership that makes Foot Locker an official marketing partner of the league. As part of this agreement, Foot Locker will continue as the title partner of the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, where it has been the title partner of the competition since 2004. In addition, Foot Locker will unveil “Kicks of All-Star,” a new fan engagement program that will live on a branded section of NBA.com to spotlight the different sneakers worn by NBA players throughout NBA All-Star. In addition, Foot Locker will debut its campaigns and will have significant presence on NBA Digital properties NBA TV and NBA.com. This new agreement also extends to Canada, where Foot Locker will help further grow basketball and engage fans by participating in NBA events throughout the season.

The NFL Players Association announced that sports and entertainment collectibles company Panini America will serve as the presenting sponsor of the 2014 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. The event will receive more than ten hours of coverage across ESPN platforms, culminating with the live broadcast of the game on ESPN2 on Saturday, January 18 at 6p. Through the deal, Panini America will be fully integrated into the week-long events as well as all marketing, advertising, and social media activations.
ESPN announced this year’s inductees for the Fan Hall of Fame, with three new inductees in Barbara Rust, “The Sign Lady;” Canaan Sandy and Pierce Wallace, “The Georgia Joker.” All three will be honored with their names engraved above three stadium chairs on the lawn of ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., campus at an induction ceremony in 2014. Each of the inductees, representing the Sacramento Kings, Arkansas Razorbacks and Georgia Bulldogs respectively, received more than 85,000 votes on the Fan Hall of Fame website.


MLB Network’s first-ever Social Media Awards were revealed Sunday night, with Orioles third baseman Manny Machado took home the biggest honor of the night with the #OMG! Play of the Year. Other big winners saw the Dodgers taking home five of the honors, with rookie Yasiel Puig earning two of them, winning the Socially Savvy Rookie and #SAW (Stop-And-Watch) awards.


NASCAR promoted Dr. Michael Lynch to Vice President of Green Innovation where he will champion the adoption and implementation of sustainability practices across the sport. Lynch joined NASCAR in 2008, and subsequently launched NASCAR Green, which has since grown into the largest sustainability program in all of sports.


Thunder/Nuggets on NBATV at 9p.


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ON THIS DAY in 2000: Terrell Owens makes record-breaking 20 catches in a single game.

In The Know: What team originally drafted Terrell Owens?(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: Who did the ’72 Dolphins beat in the Super Bowl to complete their undefeated run? Answer: The Redskins. Kudos: Tom Buffolano-Think Manhattan/NY; Pete Gautieri-A&E Networks/NY; Andreas Droste-NBC Sports/NY; Frank Costa-CBS Sports Research/NY; Jon Miller-NBC Sports Group/Stamford; Juan Delgado-Telemundo/Hialeah; Randy Ingram-WBTW-TV/Myrtle Beach; Matt Deprey-Discovery Communications/Silver Spring; Steve McNair-KUBE 57/Houston; Matt Sautter-OpenTV/Golden; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA; Larry Hutchings/Pacific Palisades; Alan Perris-The Television Academy/North Hollywood.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports

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