The Road To The Final Four

NCAA men’s basketball defending national champions take on the Scarlet Knights
#14 Louisville at Rutgers
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Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Friday, January 3, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

ESPN’s coverage of the BCS games kicked off the New Year on a positive note as the two Jan. 1 matchups in the Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl, averaged 14,774,000 viewers and an 8.3 US HH rating, according to Nielsen’s Fast National scores. That marks an 8% rise in both categories year-over-year. ESPN’s telecast of the Rose Bowl averaged 18,636,000 viewers, based on a 10.2 US HH rating up 9% over year ago numbers. ESPN’s Tostitos Fiesta Bowl offering drew an average of 11,235,000 viewers and a 6.6 US HH rating, up 6% and 8% respectively.


NBC Sports’ coverage of the 2014 NHL Winter Classic handed the network with a 2.9 overnight rating, tying it with the 2009 Winter Classic as NBC’s best-ever overnight for an NHL regular-season game, according to metered market data from Nielsen. Playing in front of 105,491 fans, the largest crowd ever to watch a hockey game, the contest is up 21% from the 2012 iteration of the game. Detroit led all markets with 18.0 rating, followed by Buffalo (7.2), Pittsburgh (7.0), St. Louis (4.4) and Chicago (4.3).

With the NFL regular season over, both FOX and CBS are reporting gains in 2013. The 20th NFL on FOX regular season wrapped up the year as the most-watched since FOX began broadcasting NFL games in 1994, with an average audience of 21.2 million viewers and tied 1995 as the highest-rated NFL on FOX season ever with a 12.5, according to Nielsen. That marks a 6% uptick in household rating and 8% growth in audience over 2012’s numbers. FOX NFL Sunday delivered an average of 3.2/8 with 4.8 million viewers for the season, up 3% in rating and 4% in audience over 2012.

Around the dial, the NFL on CBS earned an average national household rating/share of 11.1/22, up 4% over last year’s 10.7/21, and ranking as the highest average rating for the AFC television package in 19 years. The 2013 season averaged 18.7 million viewers, for a 6% increase over last year’s 17.7 million viewers to rank as the second highest number of average viewers for the regular-season for the AFC television package in 26 years.

As we head into the NFL postseason, NBC Sports will kick off the playoffs with a Wild Card doubleheader on Saturday featuring the Chiefs/Colts at 4:30p. Hicks will be in the booth, joined by analyst Mike Mayock and reporter Alex Flanagan. At 8p, the channel will carry the Saints/Eagles game with Al Michaels joined by Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya.

Of course, as of press time, three of the four NFL playoff games were still in danger of being blacked out in local markets, including games in Green Bay, Cincinnati and Indianapolis. According to CBSSports.com, the league will give the Colts and Bengals one more day to sell their remaining playoff tickets and avoid the blackout.

The UFC 168 Prelims on FOX Sports 1 averaged 1,554,000 viewers, making it the most-watched UFC Prelims to date on the channel. The event was up 56% over the previous mark set on Nov. 16 (998,000), and ranks as the fifth most-watched show on the network since launch.

A new season of BTN LiveBIG begins on Jan. 8, with stories about the community of Big Ten students, faculty and alumni who are making a difference in the world through innovations in research, education and community service. The 12-episode series will include two exceptional stories per school. In its second season, BTN expanded the online hub for the show, www.BTNLiveBIG.com, to feature additional daily content from each school.

Join us on Jan. 30 for our Breakfast of Champions event in NY for a New Year’s lesson on branding 2014. Speakers are set to include Anheuser-Busch’s Blaise D’Sylva, NFL Players Inc. President Keith Gordon, athletes from around the world of sports and more. Click here to register.

Golf Channel will debut Golf Channel on SiriusXM on Monday, Jan. 6 with a simulcast of Morning Drive from 9-11a as the channel expands into radio for the first-time ever on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. The channel will offer Golf Channel’s high-quality programming across various dayparts, including Morning Drive and Golf Central, as well as instruction programs including The Golf Fix, School of Golf and Golf Channel Academy; as well as the likes of Feherty and In Play with Jimmy Roberts.

ESPN Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra returns for its 17th season at 9p tonight on ESPN2 with a 12-round IBF title bout between Junior Lightweight titlist Argenis Mendez and undefeated Rances Barthelemy. Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will return to call the action for ESPN2.

The World Series of Fighting will showcase its finest moments on Saturday, January 4 at 10p with Unstoppable: Best of World Series of Fighting on NBCSN. The two-hour special revisits the promotion’s first seven fights is produced by Tupelo-Honey Raycom in association with WSOF Productions and will be hosted by Bas Rutten and Todd Harris. The special will air after the network offers Boston College/Notre Dame in the second half of the 2014 Frozen Fenway doubleheader at 7:30p. Dan Parkhurst will serve as the play-by-play announcer for NBCSN’s coverage of the game, and will be joined by analyst Ken Hodge.

Feld Motor Sports and FOX Sports announced today the television broadcast team for the 2014 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season on FOX Sports. Announcer Ralph Sheheen will handle microphone duties with Jeff Emig and pit reporter Jenny Taft. In addition, former champions Ricky Carmichael, Jeremy McGrath, and Kevin Windham will split time as color commentators. The live broadcasts begin Saturday, Jan. 4, from Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., at 10p on FOX Sports 1.


Honoring Top Sports Programs, Campaigns, and People.

Entry Deadline: TWO WEEKS AWAY!
Awards Event: April 17, 2014 (NYC)

Visit ourwebsitefor additional information on:
Who Should Enter, How to Enter, Eligibility Period, Categories, Deadlines, Sponsorship Opportunities, Contact Information & FAQs.


ESPN debuted its first World Cup promo during the Rose Bowl, with the 60-second spot blending “memorable moments and legendary players from the tournament’s rich history with the Brazilian culture and its impact on the beautiful game.” The promo featured the likes of Pele, Diego Maradona, and Landon Donovan’s celebration after his last-gasp winner against Algeria. The full campaign will roll out in the coming months.

Legendary American rock band KISS performs as part of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series outdoor game between the Kings and Ducks on Jan. 25. The group will perform during the pre-game festivities and first intermission of the game, which will be broadcast live at 9:30p on NBCSN.


CBS announced that its coverage of the AFC playoffs games, Beginning with the Wild Card game between the Chargers and Bengals, will be streamed on CBSSports.com for the first time. The first game will take place on Sunday, Jan. 5 at 1p on CBS. Jim Nantz and Phil Simms call the action, along with Tracy Wolfson reporting.

Speaking of firsts, FOX Sports revealed that FOX Sports GO will live stream the Cotton Bowl for the first time on the mobile app. The game takes place tonight at 8p and marks the first FOX broadcast event to be streamed on FOX Sports GO, which launched in October.

The Whistle is cranking it up a notch, announcing the launch of The Whistle Network (TWN), designed “to engage and activate the new generation of fans and athletes.” The network launched with a dozen channel partners and serves as the YouTube-focused platform of the sports media company. The Whistle Network is growing from 14 channels and two million subscribers at launch to several thousand sports-focused content creator’s channels across the world by offering content providers services, audience insight and development tools, studio space and production facilities in New York and Dallas, and the creation of sports-specific community tools to help partners grow their digital presence.


49ers/Packers on Sunday at 4:40p on FOX


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ON THIS DAY in 1993: “The Comeback” as the Bills pull off the greatest comeback in NFL history to beat the Oilers 41-38 in overtime.

In The Know: What NBA team did Dick Vitale coach?(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: Name one of the brands that sponsored the AFCA’s Coaches Trophy since its inception. Answers: ADT, Sears, Pepsi, Circuit City, McDonald’s and Gerrits Foundation. Kudos: Aymon DeMauro-Discovery Networks/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Christian Matthews-Washington Redskins/Ashburn; Jeff Miller-CW69 WUPA-TV/Atlanta; Michael Jaquet-U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association/Park City; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA.


Just Announced…

Jan. 30, 2014 | 8-10:30AM | New York Athletic Club (NYAC)

Featuring Pro Athletes:
Pierre Garcon
(Washington Redskins – WR)
Keith Rivers (New York Giants – LB)
And More!!!

Register Now.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for
Cynopsis | Sports

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