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Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, December 18, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

NBC Olympics laid out plans for NBCSN’s role in next year’s coverage, with the network slated to offer more than 230 hours of coverage of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in February, marking the most Winter Olympic coverage ever on a cable network. The network will serve as the cable home for Team USA with extensive live coverage of figure skating as well as 10 more sports, including speed skating, bobsled, ski jumping, Nordic combined, and 16 men’s live hockey games through the bronze medal game, including qualifying, playoff, quarterfinal and semifinal games. Programming begins Saturday, February 8 at when Team USA faces Finland in women’s hockey, and concludes Sunday, February 23, the final day of the Sochi Games.


In what will invariably be the top story in the days ahead, Silver Lake Capital and William Morris Endeavor are reportedly finalizing a deal to acquire IMG. The Wall Street Journal reports the WME emerged from bidding as the victor with an offer of nearly $2.5 billion in a move that will turn WME into a premiere sports power. The formal announcement could be made as early as today.

Showtime is planning another trip to Rome, announcing that sports talk series Jim Rome on Showtime will return for a third season with new episodes set to run on Jan. 15 at 10p. Then, starting in Feb., the show will share the Wednesday original sports programming slot with 60 Minutes Sports, and will run on the second Wednesday every month throughout 2014.

ESPN and the Arena Football League locked in a multi-year agreement that will bring the league back to the company beginning in 2014. The new deal hands ESPN rights to more than 10 regular season and postseason games on its television networks per year, including ArenaBowl and one conference championship game, as well as 75 or more games annually on ESPN3. ESPN televised the very first ArenaBowl live in 1987.

According to Variety, WWE will shop all of its TV programming (which includes Monday Night Raw, Smackdown, Main Event, Total Divas, Saturday Morning Slam) en masse next year in an effort to “dramatically increase their current annual $139.5 million licensing fees.” The report states that WWE spent the last two years lining the dates of its contracts up in preparation for the media deal.

ESPN’s squeaker game on Monday Night Football finished the evening ranked as the top show of the night across cable and broadcast in households, viewers and all key male and adult demos, according to Nielsen. The game drew a 9.0 rating, for an average of 14,164,000 viewers. That’s up over the season average of 8.7 and 13.7 million viewers. In Baltimore, the game drew a 12.1 rating on ESPN and a 28.1 on WBAL-NBC, for a combined 40.2 score. In Detroit, the game delivered a 10.6 rating on ESPN and a 24.4 on WXYZ-ABC, for a combined 35.0 rating.

Showtime’s telecast of the Adrien Broner/Marcos Maidana fight on Saturday delivered 1.3 million viewers, according to the network. That is good enough for the program to rank as the fourth-largest live boxing telecast on the network since 2004. Overall, the Showtime Championship Boxing series is up 24% over last year’s viewership average.

ESPN International extended its deal with TSN and RDS for a long-term, multi-year programming agreement that allows TSN and RDS platforms to retain exclusive Canadian access to original ESPN programming, including ESPN Films and thousands of hours of live sports events and news and information programming each year. A key component includes college football programming, including the BCS in 2014 and the new College Football Playoff beginning in January of 2015. As part of the deal, Bell Media Radio holds radio broadcast rights; while TSN and RDS digital platforms acquire Canadian media rights to ESPN digital content.

HBO’s The Fight Game with Jim Lampley is set to return with its newest episode on Dec. 21 at 11p, immediately following the premiere of episode two of the HBO Sports reality series 24/7 Red Wings/Maple Leafs: Road to the NHL Winter Classic. The new edition will offer viewers a year-in-review report, as Lampley explores the most significant events of 2013. In addition, he will assess boxing’s “cold war,” present the show’s second annual boxing awards and unveil an all-new Gatti List.

CBS Sports Network will debut its television simulcast of Boomer & Carton on Monday, Jan. 6 at 6a. The WFAN-AM/FM morning show is hosted by Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton live Monday-Friday from 6-10a from CBS Radio’s WFAN studio in New York City.

Are you ready to compete? The Cynopsis Sports Media Awards are open! Enter Now!


The 2014 Bassmaster Classic hooked GEICO as the title sponsor of the world championship of bass fishing. The event will be held from Feb. 21-23 in Alabama.  The company will also have an exhibit at the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo, receive promotion and editorial coverage in Bassmaster magazine and ownership of an in-show feature.

IMG locked in a new relationship with Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) to offer “a robust athlete rehabilitation program focused on diagnosis, treatment, accelerated injury recovery, and injury prevention, while collaborating to take the area of sports rehabilitation research and innovation to the next level.” As part of the deal, HSS will operate a sports therapy facility at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.


ESPN FC is teaming up with EA SPORTS and Virgin Gaming to present ESPN FC Champions Cup to soccer fans on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The online gaming tournament will be powered by Virgin Gaming, with the two overall winners on the consoles receiving an all-expense paid trip to ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn. for the live televised final on ESPN FC and a behind-the-scenes tour of the studios on February 5. The 16-person bracketed semifinals will be held on January 24-25 in a three round, single elimination game online leading up to the champion of each console. 

For the fifth consecutive year, MLB.com At Bat was named the highest grossing sports application by Apple in its annual Best of the Year rankings for the App Store. In the overall rankings, At Bat finished the year as the only sports app to place among the Top 100 highest grossing applications for both iPhone and iPad, finishing 19th and 37th for iPhone and iPad, respectively.


Pacers/Heat on ESPN at 7p.


Entry Deadline:Jan. 17, 2014 |Late Submissions: Jan. 24, 2014

Here are the NEW categories added to this year’s awards:
Best B2B Program, Integrated Campaign, On-air Technological Innovation, On-air Technological Innovation in a Sponsorship,
Partnership with an Athlete, Proprietary Asset, Retail Activation, Sales Professional & Best Sports Blog.

Learn about the awards program & how to enter:

ON THIS DAY in 1988: The Seattle Seahawks win their first-ever division title.

In The Know: Who was the last NHL player to win back-to-back Hart Trophies?(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: What team originally drafted Terrell Owens? Answer: The 49ers. Kudos: Mitch Burg-Syndicated Network Television Association/NY; Anthony Sedita-Dish Media Sales/NY; David Stern-BARD Entertainment/NY; Michael Lee-BPN/NY; Rob Thompson-North American Sports Group/Saratoga Springs; Jon Clateman-Frozen Ropes/Syosset; Tony Ferranti-MMSI/Warwick; Gretchen Brady-KDAF/Dallas; Ron Salcedo-Zimmerman/Nashville; Joe Ferreira-Learfield Sports/Plano; Lucie Prann-The Richards Group/Dallas; David Hauptman-Denver; Joe Pedri-KLAS-TV/Las Vegas; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Nick Monroe-Monroe Photography/San Diego; Neal Stevens-Stevens & Associates/Beverly Hills.



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Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for
Cynopsis | Sports

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JOB OPENING: RESEARCH MGR/Zee TV/NYC: Support our broadcast sales & distribution teams through in-depth research & analysis. Mine Nielsen, Rentrak & other databases for compelling narratives. 4+ yrs exp. Email: [email protected] (1/3)

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JOB OPENING: VP, INTEGRATED MARKETING/NBCU/NYC: Lead USA Network Integrated Mktg team. Digital and multi-platform mktg expert. 10+ yrs marketing exp. required, incl 7+ yrs mgmt within media. Apply HERE (12/21)

JOB OPENING: RESEARCH ANALYST SPORT/NBCU/NYC: NBC Sports Group Analyst to eval audience & mkt research data. Min 1 yr rsrch exp. Knowledge of Nielsen a plus. Apply HERE http://www.aplitrak.com/?adid=cmFjaGVsLmthZmthLjI4ODA1LjYxMDhAbmJjLmFwbGl0cmFrLmNvbQ (12/20)

JOB OPENING: MARKETING MANAGER/NBCU/PHILLY: Manage direct sales mktg efforts for NBC10, NBC10.com & Cozi. Dev. creative ad solutions & collaborate closely w/ sales team. Apply HERE (12/20) 

JOB OPENING: SALES MGR/NBCU/Philly: Dev. strategies to achieve local sales goals across multiple media platforms. Lead team of AEs & build strong external relationships. APPLY HERE  (12/20)

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JOB OPENING: RESEARCH ANALYST/ION/NY: Entry level, Nielsen/MRI, 1 yr broadcast or cable/media buying agency exp, College Degree req’d, Business Degree a +, proficient in media math/MSOffice. Apply at [email protected] EOE (12/20)

JOB OPENING: PUBLICIST/TLC/NY: Top notch self-starter to manage program publicity campaigns. Devel strategy/ messaging, media list creation, press announcements. Superb written/verbal skills. 3-5 yrs publicity/media exp.  APPLY HERE https://careers-discovery.icims.com/jobs/8896/publicist/job (12/19)

JOB OPENING: SALES PRODUCT MGR/Disney/Glendale CA: Responsible for the implementation and execution of all things related to ad sales product. 4 yrs online media/marketing/promotional exp. More info apply HERE 
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WINTER INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY:MARKETING INTERNSHIP/SnagFilms/NYC:Seeking enthusiastic & passionate interns for film site, focusing on grassroots and social marketing. College credit available. Send cover letter & resume to [email protected] (12/19)

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