A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM CBS SPORTS NETWORK
San Jose State vs. Georgia State
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Good morning. It’s Friday December 18, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
Only two teams have gone undefeated during the regular season in modern NFL history: coach Don Shula’s 14-0 Miami Dolphins during the 1972 season and coach Bill Belichick’s 16-0 New England Patriots during the 2007 season. That’s why all eyes will be on MetLife Stadium this Sunday as quarterback Cam Newton’s 13-0 Carolina Panthers face off against QB Eli Manning’s 6-7 New York Giants. Fox Sports will have its A-team of Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Erin Andrews calling Sunday’s game from the Meadowlands (1 p.m. ET).
And in a Cynopsis Sports exclusive, Fox Sports has cooked up a surprise for viewers. Michael Strahan of Fox NFL Sunday taped an interview with Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul on Thursday. During the interview, JPP discussed the 4th of July fireworks accident that caused the amputation of his right index finger and damaged his right thumb and middle finger. Fox NFL Sunday, the top-rated pregame show, will show Strahan’s interview with his former Giant teammate before the game (12 p.m. ET). It will be one of JPP’s first sit-down interviews since the accident that nearly ended his NFL career.
Fox’s Giants vs. Panthers telecast will go out to 52% of the nation’s homes; a fairly high number for a single-header. Fox and CBS Sports are able to “protect” a certain number of regular season day games from being “flexed” into NBC Sports prime time Sunday Night Football.
The undefeated Panthers vs. the up-and-down Giants might seem like a mismatch. But the Giants can be giant-killers when it comes to NFL teams dreaming of perfect seasons. Eli Manning’s wild card 10-6 Giants upset Tom Brady’s favored 16-0 Patriots at Super Bowl XLII in 2008. The Giants nearly beat the Pats this season when they were still undefeated. The 5-8 Giants also knocked off John Elway’s 13-0 Broncos in the Meadowlands in 1998.
HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel will hold a roundtable discussion on the most memorable stories and moments from the show’s 20-year history on Tuesday, Dec. 22 (10 p.m. ET). Host Bryant Gumbel and correspondents Mary Carillo, Frank Deford, Jon Frankel, Bernard Goldberg, Andrea Kremer, Soledad O’Brien, Carl Quintanilla and David Scott will look at four categories of stories: international, investigative, issues and profiles. Among them: Real Sports’ award-winning piece on how tiny Qatar snagged the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Golf Channel will commemorate Tiger Woods’ 40th birthday on Dec. 30th with on-air and online programming, plus original editorial content and video. On Wednesday there will be an hour-long special titled Tiger Turns 40, featuring Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee (6 p.m. ET). During the special, the outspoken analyst will make his case for Woods over Jack Nicklaus as “best golfer” of all time.
Fox said last Sunday’s Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers telecast was the second highest-rated NFL game of the 2015 season. The game pitting two teams with huge national TV followings against each other popped a 16.5 TV rating and averaged 28.9 million viewers. That’s up 6% in ratings and 12% in audience from the comparable game window last season.
ESPN’s College GameDay averaged 1.96 million viewers this season, up 5% from last year and 7% from 2013. That made it College GameDay’s most-watched regular season since the show expanded to three hours in 2013.
The World Series of Fighting MMA promotion returns to NBCSN tonight, as Lance “The Party” Palmer defends his light heavyweight title vs. Alexandre “Capitao” Almeida in Las Vegas (9 p.m. ET).
MSG Network will reprise its “Knickmas” 24-hour marathon on Thursday, Dec. 24 (12 noon ET). Host Walt Frazier will kick it from his NYC apartment with ex-Knicks stars John Starks and Larry Johnson. MSG will also show 60-minute versions of Knicks games from this season.
FS1 will give viewers a behind the scenes look at the Monster Energy Supercross Series with the debut of new doc Chasing the Dream on Sunday, Feb. 14 (12:30 p.m. ET). The series will profile key riders heading into the new season.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
*Source: Magna Global
Get ready for the first new Bud Light look in eight years. The beer brand unveiled plans for a makeover that will include a reimagined Bud Light logo as well as new primary and secondary packaging. Look for the return of the vintage “AB” crest, which has been MIA since 2001. The new packaging debuts in both glass/aluminum bottles and cans next spring.
Dartmouth College has signed a deal with Learfield Sports to outsource its athletic multimedia rights. Learfield will hire a GM to manage “Big Green Sports Properties.”
Call it a “Quadcast.” Fox Sports’ new Outkick the Show is being simultaneously live streamed across four platforms: Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, and Fox Sports GO. Hosted by Clay Travis, it’s shot entirely on iPhones and iPads. The show is an extension of Travis’ Outkick the Coverage college sports blog. One of his first guests is SEC commissioner Greg Sankey.
The NBA’s Sacramento Kings announced a multi-year deal with Comcast Business to outfit the planned Golden 1 Center with a high-speed Internet connection that will be 17,000 times faster than the average home and be able to handle more than 225,000 Instagram photos per second. The new downtown arena will open in fall 2016. “The best fans in the world deserve the most connected arena in the world,” said Kings president Chris Granger.
ESPN NBA doubleheader: Los Angeles Clippers at San Antonio Spurs (8 p.m. ET). Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Israel Gutierrez will have the call. Followed by New Orleans Pelicans at Phoenix Suns (10:30 p.m. ET). Dave Pasch and Mark Jackson will be behind the mic.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
ON THIS DAY in 1988: The Seattle Seahawks win their first division title with a 9-7 record.
In The Know: Speaking of the Seahawks, how many players were selected before Super Bowl winning QB Russell Wilson in the 2012 NFL Draft? (Email Chris-Sports@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Before donning #24, Kobe Bryant wore what number for the Los Angeles Lakers? Answer: No. 8. Kudos: Howie Schwab-Sports Jeopardy/CT; Lloyd Ribner-LIU Post/NY; Deborah Kapetanakis-Universal McCann/NY; Jason Robert-Columbia University/NY; Tim Rank-Blueprint-314/St. Louis; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner & Triathlete Magazine/Houston; Andy Pittman-Texas A&M/College Station, TX; Chris Pugh-Civitas Media/Galion, OH; Paul Gygli-NBCUniversal Television Distribution/LA; Adam Deverell-CoxReps/LA; Rich Greene-Fox On-Air Promo Creative/LA; Kevin Fay-Havas Edge/Carlsbad, CA.
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