Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, February 5, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

After a preview last week, Nielsen released its annual Year in Sports Report for 2013, breaking out the recent trends of the genre. The company reports that over 33 billion hours of national sports programming were consumed by 255 million people in the country last year, for a spike of 27% from just ten years ago when 26 billion hours were consumed. Meanwhile, the number of hours of sports programming available to fans has grown 232% in that same ten-year period.

Other stats:

  • In 2013, sports events accounted for only 1.2 percent of all TV programming, but conversation about sports made up nearly half of all Tweets about TV (49.7%).
  • Year-to-year viewership for the NFL was up 4.8% to 17.4M.
  • For the NBA, viewers 34 and under comprised 45% of the total audience for nationally televised regular season games.
  • MLB regular season viewers are 50% age 55+, with a strong 21% of its viewing audience having household income of $100K+.
  • Avid NHL fans are 20% more likely than an average adult to own a smartphone and 34% more likely to own a tablet.
  • Hardcore NASCAR fans are 36% more likely to plan to buy a new full-size car and twice as likely to plan to buy a new pickup truck in the next 12 months versus an average adult.

Click here for the full report…


Learfield Sports announced the acquisition of Nelligan Sports Marketing (NSM), adding 41 collegiate properties to its portfolio. The newly-merged business will operate under the Learfield Sports banner, effective immediately. Learfield Sports currently owns the multimedia rights to 56 college athletic programs, conferences and athletic venues.

Even better. Nielsen’s Final Live + Same Day national ratings for Super Bowl XLVII bumped the game to even higher levels for FOX. Numbers saw both household rating and average audience figures rise compared to earlier scores, as the average audience for the game grew to 112.2 million viewers, up from 111.5 million reported yesterday, which was already record-breaking. The household rating for Super Bowl XLVIII now stands at 46.7, up from a 46.4 based on fast nationals issued Monday.

Even better, part deux. The ESPN Saturday Primetime Driven by State Farm telecast Syracuse/Duke from Feb. 1 now ranks as the network’s third most-viewed regular-season men’s college basketball game on record, per the latest Nielsen numbers, averaging 4,745,000 viewers based on a 2.9 HH US rating. In addition, the ACC contest drew 5,600,000 minutes of live viewing and 129,000 unique viewers on WatchESPN, making it the platform’s top men’s college basketball game ever in total minutes viewed and third highest among unique viewers.
TNT announced that the 2014 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge teams will be drafted by the event’s “general managers” – Turner Sports NBA analysts Grant Hill and Chris Webber – during a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com tomorrow at 7p. TNT will televise the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge from New Orleans on Friday, Feb. 14, at 9p. The network will also exclusively carry State Farm All-Star Saturday Night featuring the Sears Shooting Stars, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Foot Locker Three-Point Contest and Sprite Slam Dunk on Saturday, Feb. 15, with coverage beginning at 8p.

SportsCenter will bring back storytelling brand SC Featured on Feb. 9. The brand debuted in 2013, and spotlights “personalities and subjects ranging from dramatic to quirky, from touching to comedic.” Stories debut on Sundays in the 10a and re-air at various times throughout the day, including the 11 p.m. program. The first SC Featured of the 2014 season will focus on the story of Nick Pugliese, an American who found an opportunity to continue his soccer career in Afghanistan’s pro soccer league.

BTN will showcase a live, 90-minute Football Signing Day Special at 4p today with a look at the incoming class of Big Ten football stars. Mike Hall hosts, alongside analysts Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith, and will review each school’s recruiting class and expectations. The program includes video highlights of top recruits, one-on-one interviews with all Big Ten head coaches, including Maryland and Rutgers, and expert analysis from Scout.com recruiting expert Allen Trieu.

Last call! If you are interested in judging for this year’s Cynopsis Sports Media Awards, shoot me an email at [email protected]. Thanks to everyone who has already replied, we will be touch soon.

Golf Channel offers up coverage of the 73rd AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am from California, starting Thursday at 3p. The field features a collection of celebrity amateur golfers  athletes, actors and musicians among others  paired with PGA TOUR professionals for the week. Rich Lerner handles play-by-play with Frank Nobilo on as analyst.

The YES Network is giving Yankees fans an extended look at newly acquired Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka on Monday, February 10 at 7p, when it airs the June 9, 2013 Nippon Professional League game between the Rakuten Golden Eagles and the Yomiuri Giants. YES’ February 10 presentation is provided in partnership with ONE World Sports, the TV home of the Yomiuri Giants.
Speaking of which, nominations are out for the 57th annual New York State Emmy Awards, to be presented Sunday, March 30, at the Marriott Marquis Times Square. MSG Network leads total nods with 64 nominations for the channel and 73 in total for all of its platforms. The YES Network was nominated for 46 New York Emmy Awards, tied for the most Emmy nominations YES has ever received, while SNY nabbed 15.


Are you part of a team that works on a groundbreaking kids series, an addictive game or app, an infectious children’s entertainment campaign?


Entry Deadline:March 14, 2014
Late Submissions:March 21, 2014
Awards Event:June 11, 2014 (NYC)

Visit our website for additional information


Just before the Olympics start, AT&T officially became the first major American company with ties to the Games to condemn Russia’s anti-gay laws. As a sponsor of Team USA, the company wrote on its consumer blog on Tuesday that “We support LGBT equality globally and we condemn violence, discrimination and harassment targeted against LGBT individuals everywhere. Russia’s law is harmful to LGBT individuals and families, and it’s harmful to a diverse society.”

NASCAR’s Swan Racing has a new sponsor, partnering with SMS Audio and founder Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson as an associate sponsor on the team’s No. 26 and No. 30 Toyota Camrys during the 2014 and 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series seasons. The deal includes SMS Audio branding on both the No. 26 and No. 30 car, branding on the driver’s uniforms and Swan-branded SMS Audio headphones featuring drivers Cole Whitt and Parker Kligerman. In addition, 50 will be making appearances at races throughout the season, supporting the drivers and the partnership.

The ACC Digital Network announced a fan dunk contest called “Can You Dunk It?” during February. The channel is asking viewers to see what kind of creative dunks fans have and is asking them to upload their best dunk to theACC.com. Submissions must take place before Feb. 22 for a chance to win prizes such as a Roku TV box, autographed basketball, and more.


NBC Olympics is offering an innovative temporary pass to the Winter Games. From February 6-23, all viewers will have access to a multi-day temporary pass to access live streaming content on NBCOlympics.com and/or on the NBC Sports Live Extra app, without having to verify a cable subscription. Unverified viewers will be given a one-time 30-minute temporary pass the first time around and a subsequent pass for five minutes per day thereafter.

The 12th season of MLB.TV went on sale yesterday. In addition to the 400+ supported mobile and connected devices, MLB.TV Premium will now also be accessible across new connected platforms, including Sony PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, later this spring.

Campus Insiders lined up special programming for National Signing Day today with three hours of live programming, highlighted by a 30-minute National Signing Day special at 1p, along with live preview 9a and recap 3p shows. Highlights include a live commitment as Denzel Ward, a 6-8, 307 pound offensive lineman from Simeon High School in Chicago, who will announce his college choice on CampusInsiders.com at 11a. Interviews include the likes of Baylor coach  Art Briles, Bob Stoops from Oklahoma and Al Golden from Miami.

Digital soccer brand Goal announced that it had broken all of its previous traffic records when the transfer window closed on Friday. The company recorded 50% year-on-year growth in January 2014 across all platforms, with more than 1 billion page views from over 50 million unique users.


If you can’t tune in to Blackhawks/Ducks on local channels, take in episode 3 of NHL Revealed: A Season Like No Other on NBCSN at 10p.



No matter which team you rooted for, the best thing about the game this year was the commercials.
Which spot did you enjoy the most?
Win a chance for a $50 StubHub gift card by answering our
reader poll.
The winner will be announced Monday February 10; deadline to submit is this Friday.

|||DEADLINE: FEB. 7th, 2014||| CLICK HERE TO ENTER  |||

ON THIS DAY in 1989: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar becomes the first NBA player to score 38,000 points.

In The Know: In an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David is held responsible for the injury of what NBA player?(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: The Olympic motto is “Citius, Altius, Fortius.” What does that mean when translated to English? Answer: Faster, Higher, Stronger. Kudos: Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Lewis Blaustein-Lewis Brand Solutions, Inc./NY; David Stern-BARD Entertainment/NY; Doug Jacobs- A&E Television Networks, LLC/NY; Ken Nice-Yoh/Silver Spring; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Bob Eisenstaedt-Granite Springs Productions/Tampa; John Kukla-KDFW/Dallas; Robert Teinowitz-Live Action Media/Chicago; Will Allmendinger-Zoom Media/Chicago; Kristin Staskowski-Charter Media/Birmingham; Matt Sautter-OpenTV/Golden; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA; Paul Gygli-NBCUniversal Television Distribution/Universal City; Bob Ware-CBS Local 2/Thousand Palms.


The Cynopsis Media Boot Camp
Feb. 11, 2014|Yale Club NY |Register Now!

Adam Pincus,
EVP, Programming & Production, GroupMEnt. North America 
Howard Shimmel,SVP, Ad Sales & Sports Research,Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
Adam Herman,
EVP, Integrated Media Services,Zimmerman Media
Peter Katsingris, VP, Industry Insights,Nielsen                                                    
Thomas Ziangas,SVP, Research,AMC Networks

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for
Cynopsis | Sports

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