Friday, February 8th, 2013

Cynopsis: Sports
02.08.13

Good morning. It’s Friday, February 8, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Mandalay Sports Media has a CEO, with the company tapping longtime News Corp. exec Rich Battista to the position. The company, formed almost a year-ago by Peter Guber and Mike Tollin, is looking to produce movies and TV programs about sports. Battista departed his role at LodgeNet Interactive Corp. to take over the venture.

On the Air

Univision Deportes announced that its live coverage of the World Cup qualifier pitting the Mexican National Team against Jamaica ranked as the second highest-rated telecast ever on UniMas among total viewers 2+. In addition, the contest became the second highest-rated sports event across all Spanish-language television in the current 2012/2013 season thus far among total viewers 2+ as well as adults 18-49. The qualifier averaged 3.3 million viewers with 1.9 million adults 18-49 and 1 million adults 18-34.

Apparently, the long wait for hockey this season is still paying off. NBC Sports Network’s coverage of the Canadiens and Bruins on Wednesday drew 771,000 viewers, according to early Nielsen numbers. The numbers continue a hot streak for the NHL, with the network averaging about 150,000 more viewers per game this year on the channel than last season, marking the best start ever for the sport on the network.

Turner laid out more plans for its live NBA All-Star coverage with more than 160 hours of content on deck across TNT and NBA Digital platforms. TNT’s coverage will include the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, Feb. 15, at 9p, and the State Farm All-Star Saturday Night on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 8p, before hosting the 62nd annual NBA All-Star Game presented by Kia Motors on Sunday, Feb. 17, at 7p. Additional programming plans will include Open Court: All-Star presented by Gillette Fusion Pro Glide at 7p on Saturday as well as Sir Charles at 50 following State Farm All-Star Saturday Night.

NBA Digital, co-managed by Turner Sports and the NBA, is set to take on the 2013 NBA All-Star events with NBA TV offering more than 120 hours of All-Star programming, while NBA.com adds 20 more hours of live streaming content. NBA TV’s coverage will wrap up with a special original programming block on Monday, Feb. 18, featuring three one-hour specials featuring in-depth interviews with Michael Jordan, Bill Russell and Charles Barkley.

Meanwhile, ESPN will present the 2013Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game on Friday, Feb. 15, at 7p with Mark Jones offering commentary with analyst Jon Barry and reporter Chris Broussard. Celebrity participants are set to include Kevin Hart (Real Husbands of Hollywood), Grammy Award-winners Ne-Yo and COMMON; Pop/R&B singer Trey Songz; Nick Cannon (Real Husbands of Hollywood); Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games); Usain Bolt (Olympic Gold Medal Sprinter);Arne Duncan (Secretary of Education); Terrence Jenkins (E! News, Anchor); John Schriffen (ABC News Correspondent); NBA legends Dikembe Mutombo(eight-time NBA All-Star), Clyde Drexler (ten-time NBA All-Star), Sean Elliott (two-time NBA All-Star); Tamika Catchings (WNBA, Indiana Fever); and Maya Moore (WNBA, Minnesota Lynx).

CBC formally announced preliminary broadcast plans for its new Olympic contract, where it pinned down TV and digital rights to the 2014 Winter games in Sochi and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Via exclusive license arrangements through CBC, TSN, RDS, and Sportsnet will also present coverage of the 2014 Games as well. 

ESPN is boosting its coverage of college baseball this season, with a record 151 regular-season and conference championship games locked in across ESPNU, ESPN3, ESPN2 and ESPN. This season’s lineup marks a 41-game increase over the company’s 2012 programming. ESPNU’s Thursday Night SEC Baseball Game of the Week will return March 28 with games spanning eight consecutive weeks on the channel. Coverage will also include Pac-12 teams for the first time on ESPNU, a result of ESPN’s 12-year agreement with the conference.

MLS team Houston Dynamo locked in a broadcast deal that will make Mega TV the official Spanish-language partner of the team. Mega TV will broadcast seven Dynamo away games, which will be simulcast on Comcast SportsNet Houston as well as 30-minute pre- and post-game shows and a 30-minute season preview show.

Tennis Channel is serving up live coverage of the U.S. Fed Cup team’s first-round competition this weekend. The team’s battle against Italy marks a rematch of the 2010 Fed Cup championship, which was won by Italy. The contest will feature two singles matches on Saturday beginning at 9a, and two singles matches and the doubles match Sunday at 7:30a.

Tonight USA Network airs NFL Characters Unite at 7p, a special from the
Hochberg Ebersol Company that follows players such as Larry Fitzgerald, Jameel McClain, Troy Polamalu and Justin Tuck as they pair up with youth to overcome bullying and prejudice.

Ack! Did you miss the deadline for the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards? Well, you have one last opportunity to submit your late entries before our final deadline passes on Friday. Click here to enter!


A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE


LATE SUBMISSION DEADLINE IS TOMORROW!

Cynopsis: Sports Media Awards
HONORING TOP SPORTS PROGRAMS, CAMPAIGNS, AND PEOPLE

Enter online by midnight EST!

Entry Questions: Jenn Ocampo | Sponsorships: Mike Farina


Sponsorship & Promotion

SANY America signed on for its first-ever primary sponsorship of a car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The company will partner with Tommy Baldwin Racing to serve as the primary sponsor of driver Dave Blaney’s No. 7 Chevrolet SS for 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events this season as well as the associate partner for 22 races.
Dollar General and AmeriGas will serve as the title sponsors of the March 2, 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. The Dollar General 200 Fueled by AmeriGas is the second race of the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series season.

The New York Rangers and Chase announced the launch of a program designed to “improve the youth hockey experience and increase opportunities and accessibility to the sport.” The New York Rangers Assist supported by Chase will look to help refurbishing hockey rinks in Rye and Long Beach, New York that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy and have been out of operation since the storm.

Vans and IMG announced a three-year partnership that will make Vans the title sponsor of the US Open of Surfing, according to reports. The event returns to Huntington Beach, California on July 20  28, marking the 20th anniversary of the surf contest.

Marco A. Liceaga has been named the new Vice President of Marketing and Promotions for Univision Deportes where he will oversee all strategic marketing and brand building endeavors for Univision’s sports properties across all media platforms. Liceaga joins Univision Deportes from Soccer United Marketing.

Digital Fields

Bloomberg Sports announced a new partnership with Norwich City FC to provide fans with advanced game analytics data from the recently- launched BSports Match Analysis football product. The deal marks the first partnership for BSports with a Barclays Premier League club and was constructed by Front Row Marketing Services.

The Main Event

Clippers/Heat tonight on ESPN at 8p.


A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE


Cynopsis Sports Webinar | FEB 26 | 1:30–3pm ET | Register
How to Leverage Social Media to Boost Fan Engagement: Must-have strategies to help you attract, captivate & connect your properties across multiple platforms, from mobile to tablet, and from Facebook to Google+ to Twitter via apps, games, original content & promotions.

Speakers:
INDYCAR: Kate Guerra (Social Media Manager)
GOLF CHANNEL: Suzie Lokey (Sr. Director Consumer Marketing)
LOCKERDOME: Gabe Lozano (Co-Founder/CEO)

NHL: Caty Marzi (Manager, Social Media Business Devel.)


ON THIS DAY in 1986: Spud Webb wins the NBA’s Slam Dunk contest.

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: All but one of Magic Johnson’s NBA Titles came under one coach. Who was he? Answer: Pat Riley. Kudos: Mike Donato-CBS/NY; Andrew Siegel-truTV/NY; Elizabeth Halliday-Elizabeth International Website Design/NY; Sabita Jadubans & Javier Capo-OMD/NY; Rick Rosenfelt-New York Jets, LLC/Florham Park; Scott Jenkins-Tribune Media Services/Queensbury; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; David Hauptman/Denver; Jack Simmons-Fox Sports/LA; Alan Perris-The Television Academy/North Hollywood; Jeff Mirkin-T-Group/Santa Monica; Aaron Paquette-Vision Critical/LA.

In The Know: What MLB team originally drafted Alex Rodriguez? (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.)

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports
02.08.13

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