12/18/14: Leaders react to US Olympic bid; Univision books Premios talent; USA Today gets in the Lacrosse game


Good morning. It’s Thursday, December 18, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

A day after the United States Olympic Committee board of directors unanimously approved a US bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, strong positive reaction flowed in supporting the move, whether the host city ends up being Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco or DC.  The selection of a U.S. bid city to be made in early 2015.

“We are excited to announce our plans to put forth a bid for the 2024 Games and look forward to taking the next step of selecting from a group of four world-class cities to present a compelling and successful bid,” said USOC Chairman Larry Probst at the announcement. “We’re grateful to the civic and political leaders in each of the four cities for the partnership that’s been demonstrated thus far, and confident that the deliberative process we’ve put in place is going to result in a strong U.S. bid that can truly serve the athletes and the Olympic and Paralympic movements.”

"We’re pleased that the USOC has decided to bid for the 2024 Olympics, and are confident that any of the four cities in consideration would host an excellent Games. As America’s Olympic home through 2032, we’re looking forward to covering the incredible stories and achievements of the world’s greatest athletes wherever those Games are held," an NBC Olympics spokesperson told Cynopsis. 

"A bid from the United States would be very strong, regardless of which of the cities is finally chosen," IOC President Thomas Bach told the AP. "Each of the four cities has its own very special appeal."

“Given that it will be 28 years since the last Summer Olympic Games were held on U.S. soil, hosting the Olympics in 2024 would allow a whole new generation of American fans to witness an Olympics in person and provide a tremendous boost to Olympic sports. A U.S. bid is the first step in bringing another Olympic Games to this country and like many others we are looking forward to seeing who the bid city will be.” Universal Sports Network Scott Brown told Cynopsis.



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Univision Deportes unveiled its lineup of hosts and musical talent lineup for the inaugural Premios Univision Deportes with names that include Despierta America co-host Alan Tacher and “Nuestra Belleza Latina” judge Jacqueline Bracamontes, who will host the event. Musical performances from Natalia Jimenez, Nico & Vinz and Wisin will also take the stage during the two-hour presentation. Special sports guests and nominees will include: Antonio Mohamed, Albert Pujols, Blue Demon Jr., Carlos Pavon, Diego Valeri, Giancarlo Stanton, Juan Manuel Marquez, Landon Donovan, Leo Santa Cruz, Mauro Cameronesi, Miguel Cotto, Miguel “El Piojo” Herrera and Nelson Cruz. Premios Univision Deportes will air on UniMas on Dec. 18 at 9p.

Given Major League Baseball’s history with Cuban players, the league was quick to release a statement about President Obama’s restoration of diplomatic and business ties with the nation. "Major League Baseball is closely monitoring the White House’s announcement regarding Cuban-American relations," the league said in a statement. "While there are not sufficient details to make a realistic evaluation, we will continue to track this significant issue, and we will keep our Clubs informed if this different direction may impact the manner in which they conduct business on issues related to Cuba."

HBO Sports President Ken Hershman is hopeful that the megafight fight between Mayweather/Pacquiao will finally come to pass, telling SI.com that, “What’s real is that the fans want this fight. That is clear. The drumbeat is louder than ever. The fighters and certainly Manny has responded, and expressed his desire for the fight. There are conversations happening. Where those go, I don’t know. This is a very complex set of issues and personalities and agendas that need to be sorted through. I can’t predict if this will happen or not. I understand all the rabid interest and I as a fan would love to see the fight as well. But there is nothing to report substantively.”

Golf Channel will take its Big Break competition series to South Florida for its 23rd season of the show, which will showcase an all-male cast of 12 golfers this time around. Big Break The Palm Beaches, FL is slated to debut Monday, Feb. 2 at 9p and will be produced in partnership with Discover The Palm Beaches and VISIT FLORIDA, with competition taking place at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

SEC Network is getting cozy for its first holiday, and will program four hours of a Yule Log on Christmas morning. The difference, however, is that instead of only holiday classics, the channel will also feature the tunes of conference fight songs such as Arkansas Fight, Orange & Blue (Florida), and Aggie War Hymn from 6-10a. Afterward, the channel will carry 10 hours of SEC Storied.

ESPNU carries the inaugural Burger King State Champions Bowl Series on Saturday, Dec. 27, from FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Fla. The three-game, six team, high school football event will run at noon, 4p and 8p, featuring a state champion against another state champion for the first time in an official capacity. Three state champions from Florida, one from Utah and two from Washington will participate.

Orlando City Soccer Club and Orlando’s WOFL-TV FOX 35 / WRBW MY65 struck a multi-year accord that makes FOX 35 and its sister channel the exclusive English-language local broadcast home for the Lions. The channel receives telecast rights to all Orlando City regular season and playoff matches not aired by MLS’ national television partners.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter told the AP that he is "surprised" by the resignation of Michael Garcia, the American lawyer who led the investigation into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid process and abruptly departed the company following his investigation into corruption at the organization. Garcia pointed to a "lack of leadership" at FIFA in a statement announcing his resignation Wednesday from FIFA’s ethics committee.


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USA TODAY Sports Media Group is extending its reach to new events, announcing a partnership agreement with 3d Lacrosse to launch an annual championship showcase. For the first time ever, according to the company, the new event will “pit the best boys and girls youth and high school lacrosse players from 16 states against each other to determine a national champion in each of four age groups.” The USA TODAY Sports Great State Showdown will be held the first weekend in August, 2015, on Lehigh University’s Goodman Campus in Bethlehem, PA. As part of the deal, 3d Lacrosse will also work with USA TODAY High School Sports to provide USA TODAY High School Sports Weekly Super 25 Rankings of the top boys and girls high school programs in the country, as well as provide support in the selection of the American Family Insurance ALL-USA teams for both boys and girls.

NBC Sports is launching the NBC Sports Super Bowl Fan Challenge to send two fans to Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale. The promotion will run through Jan. 6 and offer weekly challenges for a chance to win the grand prize. Users can engage with and share Sunday Night Football digital content across Twitter and Instagram to maximize their chances to win as well as answer polls and trivia questions, share videos and articles on Twitter, and complete activities using specific hashtags on Twitter and Instagram in order to accumulate points.

Northeastern University entered a five-year deal with CLC to manage its domestic trademark licensing program, beginning in 2015. “Northeastern is important in the New England sports community and has a growing national reputation. Its student-athletes have gone on to compete in NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Championships, Super Bowls, and Olympic Games,” said Cory Moss, SVP and Managing Director of CLC. “We’re eager to help promote and build the Huskies’ licensing program.”
ESPN announced its 2014 inductees for the Fan Hall of Fame, naming: Ohio State Buckeyes fan John “Buck-I-Guy” Chubb, Boston Red Sox lifelong supporter Mary Mollerberg and Army Black Knights fan Daniel Ragsdale, famously known as the “Crazy Colonel.” Combined, the three winners received over two thirds of the total votes cast on the Fan Hall of Fame website.

Coca-Cola confirmed that the brand will sponsor Rugby World Cup 2015, extending its long ties with the sport.


FOX Sports is adding new production elements into its coverage of Feld Motor Sports’ 2015 Monster Energy AMA Supercross. Producers will add the Spidercam to its lineup of cameras, which will include 14 manned cameras, including two high-speed X-MO cameras, two robotic cameras, a jib, two point-of-view cameras and select “blimp-view” cameras. The Spidercam, which flies at speeds of up to eight meters-per-second, “enables spectacular images, giving the audience a never-before-seen perspective and a feeling of being part of the race.”

The Madison Square Garden Company unveiled #Garden366, an interactive social media wall within the venue paying tribute to some of the greatest sports, entertainment and political moments in the more than 135-year history at the arena. The 7 x 16 foot interactive digital celebrates one moment in The Garden’s history for every day of the year and leverages SAP HANA Cloud Platform with social media analytics to measure fan sentiment in real time on popular topics.


Thunder/Warriors square off on TNT at 10:30p.

ON THIS DAY in 1959: Sammy Baugh is named the first coach of the NY Titans.

In The Know: What was the first US city to host an Olympic Games? (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: For what brand did Dennis Hopper star in a series of commercials as “Crazy Ref”? Answer: Nike. Kudos: Tina Ofori-Discovery Communications Inc/NY; Carlos Leon-CBS/NY; Marc Wollis-NBC Sports Group/NY; Michael Dittelman-OneUp Sports/NY; Tim Overmyer-20th TV/Atlanta; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Kevin Wicker-Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network/Mission; Joe Lyons-Back Nine Productions, Inc./Dallas; Matt Sautter-Imagine Communications/Denver; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc/Santa Monica; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Willie Price-American Forces Network (AFN)/Riverside.

Later — Chris
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