07/09/21: Tokyo Games axe auds; UFC’s tequila shot; NFL & Twitter go deep

Medias First Morning Read


Friday July 9, 2021

This year’s Olympics will be running sans fans in venues, as Olympics organizer unveiled plans to ban all spectators from the games after Japan declared a state of emergency due to a rise of new Covid-19 infections. The state of emergency will run through Aug. 22, while the games take place July 23-Aug. 8. More than 11,000 competitors are expected to travel to Japan to participate after the year-long delay, with thousands of officials and staff also set to attend.


Saturday sees Anthony Mackie host The 2021 ESPYS presented by Capital One on ABC at 8p. ESPN revealed its lineup of presenters for the big night. Spencer Ludwig will be the musical director for the ESPYS, providing live music throughout the show while former NFL star Vernon Davis serves as the voice of the ESPYS. Peloton instructor Ally Love will be the behind-the-scenes host. This year’s scheduled presenters include: Kane Brown, DaBaby, Charli D’Amelio, Dixie D’Amelio, Alexandra Daddario, Taye Diggs, Desus Nice and The Kid Mero, Nina Dobrev, Dude Perfect, Rob Gronkowski, Sabrina Ionescu, Chloe Kim, Zachary Levi, Tracy Morgan and more. A new element of The 2021 ESPYS sees fans assume control of the ESPYS (virtual) Control Room, letting them explore a 180° virtual world with games, exclusive content and more.

Meanwhile, ESPN and the Big West announced a multi-year, multi-platform media rights agreement, lining up more than 600 Big West events in both men’s and women’s sports to stream on ESPN+. ESPN networks will continue to present the men’s semifinals and title game of the Big West Basketball Championship, as well as nine regular season live events across its networks, including five men’s basketball contests. “The exposure generated in this agreement sets a new standard by delivering a tenfold increase in the number of Big West games and content available to our fans on ESPN networks,” Big West Commissioner Dan Butterly said. “Aligning the Big West with the strongest and most innovative sports media company in the world, as well as the creativity and storytelling of Disney, is an unmistakable opportunity for us to engage our fan base with compelling content both live and on demand.”

In other deal news, the National Lacrosse League announced a historic partnership with Canada’s TSN to bring games to Canadians across broadcast and live streaming platforms for the first time since 2016. The new agreement is the league’s most comprehensive Canadian broadcast partnership in its 35-year history and includes exclusive rights to the regular season “NLL Game of the Week,” as well as comprehensive playoff action, including the NLL Championship Series.

CBS Sports announced that the 2021 CBS Sports Classic will be held on Dec. 18 with North Carolina taking on UCLA at 3p, followed by Ohio State/Kentucky in the second game of the doubleheader. The eighth-annual event will be broadcast on CBS and streamed on Paramount+ Premium.

MLB Network mapped out its plans for Major League Baseball’s All-Star week with programming beginning on July 11 where, for the first time, MLB Network will produce the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and the MLB Draft on the same date. July 12 sees MLB Network carry seven straight live hours of coverage from Denver leading up to the T-Mobile Home Run Derby beginning at 2p. July 13 offers more than five hours of live coverage around the MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, while July 14 delivers the debut of Tatis: The Rise of El Niño at 8p.

NBC Sports delivers live coverage of the 149th Open Championship across NBC, GOLF Channel and Peacock starting July 15 from Royal St George’s Golf Club in Kent, England. NBC Sports will present coverage from the first tee shot of the Open to the final putt, totaling nearly 50 hours of live championship coverage and 150-plus total hours of live coverage from Royal St George’s, including featured groups and featured holes coverage. For the first time, fans can stream the entire tournament on Peacock, including eight hours of exclusive coverage. All NBC and GOLF Channel tournament coverage will also stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. Over the course of the week, more than 30 on-air talent across NBC Sports and Sky Sports will provide live coverage, including featured groups, studio and news coverage.

On the ratings front, viewership for Game 1 of the NBA Finals on ABC grew 13% over last year’s Game 1, according to Nielsen. The ABC broadcast averaged 8,560,000 viewers, peaking with nearly 10 million viewers (9,970,000) from 11:15-11:30p. Game 1 also set 20-year ratings records in the Phoenix and Milwaukee markets. The broadcast drew a 23.9 rating in the Milwaukee market, the best since 2001, and a 23.7 rating in the Phoenix market, the best since 2000.

ESPN reports that through the quarterfinals (48 matches), UEFA EURO 2020 on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 has delivered an average audience of 1,146,000 viewers, a 25% markup compared to the same matches in 2016 on ESPN and ESPN2. An average audience of 2,018,000 viewers watched the four quarterfinal matches on ABC and ESPN on Friday and Saturday, up 16%.

NBC Sports is roaring to its most-watched NTT INDYCAR Series season ever in 2021. Through nine races (6 NBC, 3 NBCSN), the 2021 NTT INDYCAR Series has produced a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 1.582 million viewers, marking NBC Sports’ most-watched start to an INDYCAR season ever, and up 30% over last year’s comparable coverage.

ESPN announced that for the first time, Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell will air exclusively on ABC on Aug. 8, at 7p, featuring the White Sox/Cubs. Matt Vasgersian will provide commentary for the game telecast with analyst and Alex Rodriguez and reporter Buster Olney.

Former University of Texas and NFL linebacker Sam Acho signed a multi-year deal to join ESPN’s comprehensive college football coverage, primarily serving as a lead studio voice on college football Saturdays on ESPN2. Acho will also call select college football matchups this fall.

WWE and rap festival Rolling Loud inked a new partnership that brings Friday Night SmackDown to Rolling Loud Miami 2021 on July 23. The occasion marks the first ever collaboration between WWE and a major music festival. The July 23 edition of Friday Night SmackDown on FOX will feature a split-site broadcast with multiple matches at Rolling Loud Miami, and the remainder of the evening held at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland.

Get in the Game: Enter Esports #1 Awards Program
The tempest awards acknowledge the industry’s most innovative companies and executives with categories that span production, talent, technology, and more. Winners will be named live during the Esports Business Summit at the Tempest Awards Gala on October 19.

Enter for a Shot in the Spotlight


Tequila brand Jose Cuervo announced a new, three-year partnership with UFC to become the first-ever Official Tequila of UFC. As such, Cuervo will unveil “Cuervo in Your Corner” – a campaign celebrating the two brands by bringing fans together to experience the biggest UFC events. The new partnership will officially begin during UFC 264: POIRIER vs. MCGREGOR 3 on Saturday.

The NBA unveiled the commemorative NBA 75th Anniversary Season logo, which will appear throughout the 2021-22 season on courts and official NBA merchandise, inside arenas and in original broadcast, digital and social media content. Additional details regarding the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Season will be shared on an ongoing basis in the coming months.

Meanwhile, Michelob ULTRA, the official beer of the NBA, is linking up with sneaker designer Tinker Hatfield for the NBA Championship Finals. The Michelob ULTRA x Tinker Hatfield “Not For Sale” NBA Championship Bottle can only be won. The exclusive NBA Championship Bottle is “hand-signed by the sneaker design icon himself and inspired by a combination of the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy and the classic look of a traditional basketball net.” The total number of bottles available to win are restricted to the number of points scored by the winning team in the final game of the 2021 NBA Finals.

Fútbol de Primera, the largest Hispanic radio sports network in the country, and Verizon announced a multiyear, multiplatform media and marketing agreement, that names Verizon as an official broadcast partner of FDP Radio’s exclusive broadcasts of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, as well as the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup, the 2022 Concacaf World Cup Qualifiers, and the Mexican National Team U.S. tour and international friendly matches. As part of this landmark partnership, FDP Radio and Verizon will launch exclusive activations for fans, including special on-air content across all of FDP Radio’s on-air and digital platforms, and live in-person events at select Verizon retail stores across the country.

Speedo launched a campaign, titled “Make Waves,” that – according to the announcement – showcases “Team Speedo athletes in-and-out of the pool and explores significant topics such as body positivity, self-expression, and empowerment.” As part of the campaign, the brand will be launching a series of 30-second films featuring their athletes and exploring the challenges they’ve faced on the road to Tokyo in hopes of inspiring others.


The NFL and Twitter cemented a multi-year partnership extension which will include expanded engagement formats and a full-season commitment to produce exclusive content on Twitter Spaces, With more than 20 Spaces planned for the upcoming 2021 NFL season, the NFL is the first sports league to partner with Twitter to offer sponsored Twitter Spaces. The partnership will continue to engage fans each week of the season through: new highlight offerings, expanded NFL Twitter votes and offering fans top moments from every game. “We’re excited to super-serve NFL fans with even more of what they love to see on Twitter, including epic touchdown highlights all season long,” said TJ Adeshola, Head of US Sports Partnerships, Twitter. “In addition to fueling the timeline with the best moments from each game in real time, we’ll be doubling down on innovation by leveraging our live audio format, ‘Spaces’, to bring fans even closer to the game.”

Candy Digital and Major League Baseball announced the first-ever drop of an official World Series NFT, a 2020 Los Angeles Dodgers World Series Champions ring. The 1-of-1 NFT will be auctioned off online as part of a package that also includes a physical 2020 Dodgers World Series Champions ring and a VIP first pitch experience at Dodger Stadium.

The Exchange and Comcast NBCUniversal announced that U.S. service members and honorably discharged Veterans worldwide will be able to stream NBCUniversal’s extensive coverage of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games from their personal devices and computers through ShopMyExchange.com. Through this arrangement, U.S. service members and honorably discharged Veterans worldwide can stream more than 5,500 hours of the Tokyo Olympics on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app.



Beasley Esports, owner of the Overwatch League’s Houston Outlaws, is gassing up The Search For The Next Rocket League Team, a unique competition to find and sign their first Rocket League team. Competition begins with two Qualifiers and Broadcasts produced in tandem with PAX Online during the weekends of July 17 and Aug. 7. Beasley Esports will narrow down its selection to the Top 16 Teams followed by a Final Four Series of Best-of-X Sets which will all take place the weekend of August 21 & 22. The winning team may be awarded a contract worth up to $15,000 per month with Beasley Esports as the organization’s official entry into the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) this Fall. The open qualifier and tournament series will be broadcast on PAX Arena’s Twitch, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook as well as the Houston Outlaws Twitch and YouTube channels.

CLG revealed plans for the teams second annual Junior CLG Virtual Summer Camp, spanning over three weeks. This year’s camps will push campers to engage in creative projects, develop skills, learn healthy habits, and get a behind-the-scenes look at esports from our professional players, staff, and industry experts. In collaboration with the North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF), the camps are offered as three weeks of one-hour sessions and a single day Valorant Bootcamp.


Marv Albert put the mic away for good last Saturday when the Eastern Conference playoffs ended. This is a year-by-year rundown of his astonishing career, one that extended for almost 60 years
Marv Albert, the chronology of an on-air legend: His rise, fall and amazing rebirth from the ashes of a scandal

Roone Arledge was a television icon. He’s often called the father of televised sports. He was innovative and creative. He brought Monday Night Football to ABC in addition to ten Olympics and took charge of the acclaimed series, Wide World of Sports.
On Roone Arledge’s 90th birthday, former ABC Sports exec Jim Spence remembers a TV giant.

ESPN’s coverage of the NBA led by Mike Breen who’s flanked by Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy is getting lots of praise. They’re a unique threesome.
The NBA’s best trio of voices, ESPN’s Breen, Van Gundy and Jackson love to quibble and challenge the game

The Milwaukee Bucks’ first and last NBA title was in 1971. The club was led by then Lew Alcindor (now Kareem Abdul Jabbar) and Oscar Robertson. The team’s voice was Eddie Doucette, beloved back in the day. He shares his memories.
Eddie Doucette, Voice of the Bucks for their first 16 seasons, reflects on Milwaukee’s ’71 title team and more

Happy Birthdays:

Ted Leitner 7/9 Ex-SD Padres Radio
Scott Van Pelt 7/9 ESPN
Pete Bevacqua 7/11 CEO, NBC Sports
Stu Lantz 7/13 LA Lakers TV
Tony Kornheiser 7/13 ESPN
Steve Stone 7/14 Chi White Sox TV
Mike Shannon 7/15 STL Cards Radio
Barry Melrose 7/15 ESPN
John Ireland 7/15 LA Lakers Radio
John Crotty 7/15 Miami Heat TV
Sports Broadcast Journal

On this Day
1991: South Africa is readmitted to the IOC.

How high is the top bar in the Olympics’ uneven parallel bars? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Who was the first Mexican-born player drafted by the NFL? Answer: Tom Fears. Kudos: Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Louis Lewow-FITE/Atlanta; David Westberg-SAG•AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA

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Chris Pursell
Kerry Smith
Division President
Access Intelligence

Roberta Caploe

Cynopsis Ad Sales
Albert Nassour
Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
John Cox

Check out more jobs in Cynopsis Classifieds »
Job of the day


Oversee that all commercials on Ovation air have correct continuity and are dubbed correctly and in time for airing deadlines. The Traffic Copy Coordinator communicates with the Account Executives and Ad Agencies regarding tapes and instruction. The position also enters continuity data into the traffic system. The coordinator will also assign house numbers to commercial and promo materials. Full info HERE (7/23)

Join a dynamic sales team in developing customized plans and presentations for Ad Sales clients. This is a great opportunity for someone looking to join a fast-growing business with future growth opportunities. This position reports to the Manager of Pricing & Planning and is based in our New York office – currently remote. Full info HERE (7/23)



Build and maintain Research systems, ongoing corporate reports, develop sales materials for Account Executives for both Digital and Linear sales needs, as well as maintain detailed programming databases for Nielsen measurement. Working directly with Research, the Sr Analyst will act as a liaison between Ad Sales, Programming and Affiliate relations. Monitor social audience trends. Full info HERE (7/22)


Works with Ad Sales, Traffic, Finance and Programming to ensure all revenue is being maximized through inventory management and optimal pricing. Experience navigating planning and traffic systems is a must. Daily responsibilities include inventory maintenance, pricing approvals, and stewardship tracking. The job requires attention to detail, industry knowledge as well as strong communication skills. Full info HERE (7/22)


Works with Ad Sales, Distribution, Programming and Marketing to provide information and analysis on a timely basis regarding ratings and performance of various platforms. Experience navigating Nielsen systems is a must. Daily responsibilities include overnights, audience estimates and stewardship tracking. The job requires attention to detail, industry knowledge as well as a team mentality. Full info HERE (7/22)

The Director, Growth Marketing will work closely with other members of the Streaming TV, Product & Marketing teams to grow the audience and monetization of Jukin Media’s streaming apps. The position is primarily tasked with driving downloads and engagement of Jukin’s Roku, Fire, etc applications through paid and organic means. Full info HERE (7/17)



Lead strategic design and user-experience vision for the redesign of INSP.com. Manage multiple project timelines and executions simultaneously and create and manage digital content & email marketing campaigns. 5+ yrs experience leading management of a website property, leading email marketing initiatives and people management. Full info HERE (7/22)

EVS Associate Producer
Seeking EVS Associate Producer for live, daily, early morning NFL talk/news show. Must be ready, willing, and able to work VERY EARLY mornings (3:45am daily call time) in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. The job will start Monday, July 19th. Full info HERE (7/22)

Learning and leveraging a variety of research resources to provide data driven intelligence in support of advertising sales and marketing initiatives. Position networks within the ad sales marketplace and use analytical and syndicated research systems to produce relevant sales and network reports. 2-4 years relevant business experience required. Full info HERE (7/21)

Develop licensing and content distribution partnership opportunities with representatives of TV and film catalogs, production companies, sales agents and IP owners. Pursue leads and shepherd prospective deals through internal pipeline and oversee workflow process of deals. 5 years of relevant experience in a similar role required. Full info HERE (7/21)

Drafting and negotiating content acquisition, distribution agreements, television contracts and releases. Assisting the Business Affairs team with rights management and Copyright research. Three to four plus years of experience negotiating television and streaming platform agreements required. Full info HERE (7/21)

Drafting and negotiating content acquisition, distribution agreements, television contracts and releases. Working closely with acquisitions, distribution and sales teams and assisting the Business Affairs team with rights management. Two to three years of experience in entertainment law. Full info HERE (7/21)

REELZ/NYC, NY: Create/revise upfront/scatter media plans, account stewardship & serve as agency liaison. Should be comfortable presenting and cultivating agency relationships. A min. 5 yrs ad sales exp. Strong written and verbal communication skills, strong media math skills. Proficient in Wide Orbit, MS Suite. Full info HERE (7/21)

Seeking entry level office/set Production Assistant to support the Production Management Team. This is for a live, daily early morning NFL talk/news show in Lower Manhattan. The job will start Monday, July 19th and will continue for approximately 8 months and TBD beyond. Full info HERE (7/21)

iN DEMAND/NYC, NY: Serve and support the needs of the owner and affiliates by delivering reliable and relevant products and service. Bring leadership, excellence, organization, discipline and accountability to the organization. Establish and implement the overall technical vision for the company. Min of 8-10+ yrs relevant technical experience in cable or related industry required. Full info HERE (7/20)



Assist in the strategic development and execution of comprehensive communications plans and cultivate and maintain strong relationships with key journalists and media outlets. Leverage opportunities to promote Telemundo’s corporate narrative and manage incoming media inquiries and requests. Knowledge & experience of PR industry and specifically media relations required. Full info HERE (7/20)

CIVIC/NYC, NY: Contribute to planning, ideation and development of campaign strategies. With the VP, manage and coordinate communications with clients, talent (and their reps) on campaign junkets, key dates, interview requests. 6+ years of experience in
television/film/entertainment/media public relations and/or corporate communications required. Full info HERE (7/20)


Implementation Specialists are the main point of contact for customers transitioning on to the WO Network product. 4+ years’ experience at a Cable Network required, with a strong preference for applicants with deep knowledge of the Cable Network Sales world, including Sales Planners. Full info HERE (7/20)

Build and manage relationships with clients – both supply and demand. Serve as Activation point on RFP responses, vetting concepts with all necessary teams, and overall create outstanding pitches. PowerPoint wizardry and ability to work effectively across multiple departments and external parties to make an impact on revenue. Full info HERE (7/20)



Responsible for linear and multi-platform content scheduling on A&E/FYI/C+I networks. Excellent communication and attention to detail. Creative thinker who can build programming stunts and playlists. BS in film, television preferred along with good understanding of TV/Film Pop Culture. MS Excel skills are required. Full info HERE (7/19)

As a Senior Publicist, you have the ability to cultivate pitches and work with the media to secure coverage. If you are a strategic thinker who understands how communication shapes the world of media, this role is the perfect opportunity to experience all aspects of public relations.Full info HERE (7/19)

AMERICAN PUBLIC MEDIA GROUP/NYC, LA, ST PAUL, MN: Build a world-class suite of newsletter engagement tactics across the APM Studios portfolio with one single goal: Turning anonymous users into known audiences, and serving their needs with meaningful, engaging content. 5 yrs experience with enterprise ESPs, specifically Marketing Cloud required. Full info HERE (7/19)

AMERICAN PUBLIC MEDIA GROUP/NYC, LA, ST PAUL, MN: Oversee editorial strategies and loyalty products that significantly grow and engage audience and convert anonymous listeners to known fans. 7+ years of work experience in loyalty, engagement or conversion funnel roles with measurable results in attracting and converting consumers into loyal users/subscribers required. Full info HERE (7/19)

Top rated nationally syndicated daytime talk show looking for a NY based talent booker to join an established team booking newsworthy, topical celebrities in pop culture and cover various facets of entertainment. Must have previous celebrity booking experience, strong contacts and a finger on the pulse what’s happening in pop culture. Full info HERE (7/18)

Support media relations and account management for digital and fantasy sports clients. Must have a min. of 6 years previous agency experience working within sports, sport betting, or gaming. Strong knowledge of the media landscape and extensive media relationships across traditional, online, and broadcast media. Full info HERE (7/18)


Will partner with cross-functional teams on copy development for all of Hallmark Channel’s digital platforms. 5+ years of experience in branding, creative agency, or entertainment in digital spaces preferred. BA Degree in marketing, advertising, communications or journalism required. Full info HERE (7/17)

MARATHON VENTURES/EAST COAST/REMOTE: Responsible for generating revenue and achieving sales targets and maintaining and developing our direct response account business. Analyze sales data, execute strategies for revenue growth, build relationships with existing accounts and consistently develop new business. Established relationships required. Full info HERE (7/17)



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