Friday, January 20th, 2012

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Friday, January 20, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

With Jim Rome burning ESPN for CBS, ESPN2 announced changes to its afternoon schedule, with Best of Mike & Mike expanding to one hour beginning Jan. 30 at 2p where it will kick off a reconfigured programming block. Best of First Take will air at 3:30p, followed by Numbers Never Lie at 4p, Dan Le Batard is Highly Questionable runs at 4:30p and SportsNation remains at 5p. Beginning Feb. 13, NASCAR Now will return to fill the 3p hole.

On the Air

NBA TV drew nationwide interest for its all-LA matchup, as the Lakers/Clippers game delivered the most-watched regular season game in channel history, pulling 756,000 viewers. Through Tuesday, Jan. 17 the network is averaging 383,000 total viewers for a 68% spike and 293,000 households which to score a jump of 70% over last season.

NBA TV also announced that the channel will present the third season of The Association beginning Jan. 25 with an inside look at the Denver Nuggets. The series is produced by NBA Entertainment and will incorporate Denver as a character in the series with special features that reveal the city and its fans in a new light. Previous seasons of the series focused on the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics.

The NBA is reportedly set to broaden their horizons, targeting India as the home of a potential new professional league according to Bloomberg. The article states that Commissioner David Stern is in talks with IMG Worldwide to create the new league in an effort to expand the NBA brand to new territories.

Raycom Media has bought the assets of New York City-based Tupelo-Honey Productions including 50% of My Tupelo Entertainment. Tupelo-Honey produces and packages over 150 live sports and entertainment television events per year. Combined with Raycom Sports, the company will now deliver close to 300 programs in 2012 including NFL and college football, college basketball, Major League Soccer games.

CBS Sports staple James Brown has joined the Black Heritage Network (BHN) as Managing Director. There he will help determine the direction of the network, as well as programming and business development. Brown will continue in his roles as the host of The NFL Today on CBS as well as host of Inside the NFL on Showtime.

MLB Network will air the Texas Rangers’ press conference with Yu Darvish at 8p tonight, with in-studio coverage by Matt Yallof and Jon Heyman.

Tennis Channel is set to bring back the latest installment of its Signature Series documentaries, with a look at Australian player Rod “The Rockhampton Rocket” Laver. Signature Series: Rod Laver will debut Saturday, Jan. 21, at 9p and will be narrated by John McEnroe, who has called the Australian superstar his idol and the inspiration for his own initial desire to pick up a racquet. This will mark the sixth edition in Tennis Channel’s ongoing Signature Series line.

Sportsman Channel announced the winners of the 2011 Sportsman Choice Awards, with the winners announced during the Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show. Viewers logged more than 140,000 votes to determine the award winners. Among the winners was Muddy’s Midwest Whitetail with Bill Winke for Best Hunt Show and Brian “Pig Man” Quaca with Pigman: The Series for Best Show Host.

ESPN Deportes is on deck to cover the next two seasons of Brazil’s Jungle Fight Championship to U.S. viewers beginning Saturday at 9p. ESPN3 will also offer Spanish-language coverage of each event. Jungle Fight Championship serves as Latin America’s biggest MMA promotion, putting on 11 events in 2011. The 2012 calendar will feature one show per month, running throughout Brazil.

Learfield Sports’ Cowboy Sports Properties, which oversees multimedia rights for Oklahoma State University Athletics, announced that Stillwater Broadcasting has extended its agreement to remain OSU’s flagship radio partner for the next five years.

The Premier Basketball League entered into partnership with digital broadcast network TUFF TV which will add the league to 30 million additional homes this season.

Sponsorship & Promotion

ESPN is launching a “Who’s Next?” project designed to uncover up-and-coming musicians for its broadcasts. Beginning Saturday, ESPN will showcase music from 12 artists in select men’s college basketball telecasts and give the fans the chance to determine the next band to gain fame. The winner will be announced on Saturday, March 3. Each of the participating 12 bands will record a remix of ESPN’s college basketball theme song as well as provide one of their original songs for use in a selected game telecast. The remixed theme song will be used to flank commercial breaks while the original music will be used as the soundtrack of a halftime highlights package. ESPN worked with to secure the bands for participation and handle the voting.

Kia Motors America inked a deal with the Golden State Warriors to become the “Official Vehicle” of the team. Earlier this season, KMA also renewed relationships with the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs, while the Los Angeles Clippers, Orlando Magic and Portland Trail Blazers remain on Kia Motors’ roster in 2011-2012 as part of multi-year agreements.

Digital Fields

Bleacher Report announced the launch of its Team Stream App and HTML experience for the iPad to mark the company’s first foray into the tablet platform. The Team Stream App for will offer fans hand-picked news and analysis from Bleacher Report, Twitter and other sources from around the Web as well as showcase breaking news. The HTML5 Experience was designed to give the device an enhanced photo and video experience.

The Main Event

AFC and NFC Championship Games beginning at 3p on CBS with the Ravens/Patriots while FOX starts at 6:30 with the Giants/49ers.

ON THIS DAY in 1980: President Jimmy Carter announces that the US will boycott of Olympics in Moscow.

Answer to Friday’s Sports Trivia Question: Who is the only team to beat the New York Giants in the Super Bowl? The Baltimore Ravens. Kudos: Phyllis McQuillan – MSG Media/NY; Jon May – Time Warner Cable Media/Buffalo;  Phyllis Toss – MAXUS/NY; Peter Gordon – Armada Sports & Entertainment, Orlando; Kevin Van Housen – Telerep/Chicago; Jaime Maggio – KCBS-LA/LA; Valerie Tucker – VALJTUC Management/Garden Grove; Lila Brown – Ella Bee Media Group/North Hollywood; Matt Schulde – REVShare/Temecula.

In The Know: What MLB player was known as the “Man of Steal”? (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

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