Friday, July 13th, 2012

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Friday, July 13, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Drawing a 1.2 among adults 18-49 on Wednesday night, according to Nielsen, the EspyAwards saw LeBron James taking home three trophies, Jeremy Lin voted as Best Breakthrough Athlete, and Drew Brees winning Best Record-Breaking Performance. According to TiVo, however, the top moments of the evening, based on live plus same day time shifted viewing, weren’t about the stars.

The company’s anonymous Stop||Watch sample of 350,000 TiVo subscribers for Awards found that the biggest moments were:

1. Award for Best Play to Christian Watford – 3-pointer to help Indiana University basketball knock off national champion Kentucky
2. Jimmy V Perseverance Award to Eric LeGrand – former Rutgers defensive tackle who was paralyzed in a 2010 game
3. Pat Summitt winning the Arthur Ashe Courage Award
4. Best Upset Award to the Los Angeles Kings
5. Best Moment Award – Tim Tebow’s 80-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas to beat the Steelers in the NFL playoffs


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On the Air

Former FBI director Louis Freeh threw down on Penn State in his findings about the university’s dealings from the Jerry Sandusky situation. The report stated that the university’s failings went beyond the shortcomings of top administrators and were instead a reflection of the sports culture at the school, noting that employees didn’t take action because they were afraid of retaliation from the football program. “If that was the culture at the bottom,” Freeh said at yesterday’s news conference, “imagine what the culture was at the top.” The report came following eight months of investigations, as well as interviews with 430 witnesses and a review of more than 3.5 million emails and other documents. Media reaction is already strong with some calling for the school to drop football for a few years.

ESPN’s Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic are taking football up a notch with a new weekly highlights show dubbed Mike & Mike’s Best of the NFL. The 30-minute series will showcase the top highlights from the previous week’s NFL games. Debuting on Sept. 11 at 3p, the series will count down the top passes, runs, catches, blocks, defensive plays and other categories from around the league. The show will also offer footage that NFL fans have not seen in other highlight packages throughout the weekend.

Wednesday’s UFC on FUEL TV 4 event delivered an average of 211,000 viewers, according to Nielsen, to rank second among the series’ four events so far this year.
The 152nd renewal of golf’s oldest major, The Open Championship, is set to run live across ESPN platforms from July 19-22 with the company offering up 35 hours of live four-round television coverage as well as prime time and afternoon encores for 72 total hours on TV. In addition, for the first time, ESPN Radio will broadcast live action from The Open Championship with 24 total hours over the four days of the event. The action begins on ESPN, ESPN3 and WatchESPN with 10 scheduled hours of live play from each of the first two rounds on Thursday and Friday, July 19-20, from 5a-3p. Mike Tirico hosts ESPN’s live telecasts from The Open Championship for the 17th consecutive year, with Scott Van Pelt and Terry Gannon as hosts during the four days of the event. ESPN will also introduce “Virtual Aerial,” a new technical feature at The Open Championship, which shows viewers the different conditions for golfers around the course with a live aerial view of wind direction in one part of the course as opposed to another.

The New York Cosmos are back, after a 30 year absence from a professional league. The NASL Board of Governors voted to being the Cosmos ownership group New York Cosmos LLC-led by Seamus O’Brien-into the league with play set to begin in 2013.

MLB on FOX begins its second half of the 2012 season with three afternoon matchups on Saturday at 3:30p with three games on deck. The Mets/Braves lead national coverage with 46% of the country with Chris Myers and Eric Karros handling the microphone. Other games include the Cardinals/Reds in 31% of the nation and Tigers/Orioles in 22%.

NBA TV continues its Summer League coverage this weekend with 38 live games in 10 days from the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas. The action tips off this afternoon at 4p with the Hawks taking on the Wizards.

Tennis Channel is set to offer live coverage of former teen phenomenon Jennifer Capriati being inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Saturday at 12:30p. The ceremony will take place on the historic grass-court stadium at the Hall’s grounds in Newport, R.I., and also include the induction of Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten, the first South American to reach No. 1 in the men’s singles rankings, Spanish tennis legend Manuel Orantes, tennis entrepreneur and promoter Mike Davies and late Paralympic tennis gold medalist Randy Snow.

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Sponsorship & Promotion

Barclays will continue its props with the English Premier League, agreeing to a nearly 50% rate hike to keep its title sponsorship of the league. According to the AP, the soccer organization will receive $185 million over three years from the 2013-14 season. Britain’s third largest bank has held naming rights to the league since 2001.

WWE has named Bill Hirsh and Ted Van Zelst to the positions of Vice President, Integrated Sales where they will be responsible for sales and building key marketing partner relationships for the company. Hirsh previously served as Vice President, Corporate Partnerships at the NHL’s New Jersey Devils/Prudential Center. Van Zelst joins the company from Live Nation, where he was Vice President, National Property Sales.

The New York Liberty and the College Board announced a new first-time marketing partnership for the remainder of the 2012 WNBA season. Under the agreement, the College Board will become an Official Partner of the Liberty, and marks the company’s first-ever partnership with a professional sports team where they will receive visibility at Liberty games at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, digital integration on the team’s website, exposure on MSG Network, and will collaborate with the Liberty on community events to support the company’s mission.


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Digital Fields

NBC Olympics launched two apps yesterday, both built by and powered by Adobe as part of the company’s platforms plans for the London 2012 Olympic Summer Games. The first, dubbed NBC Olympics Live Extra, will allow cable, satellite and telco customers to live stream more than 3,500 hours of content, including all 32 sports, every athletic competition and all 302 medal events. The second app, called NBC Olympics, will offer short-form highlights, TV and online schedules, live results, columns as well as the new Primetime Companion feature, designed to be “the ultimate complementary, second-screen experience for NBC’s nightly primetime Olympic broadcasts.”

HRTV announced that the channel will offer a live streaming webcast of the inaugural Totally Thoroughbred Horse Show on its website. The event takes place Saturday from Pimlico’s infield with Carolyn Conley on deck to anchor starting at 10a.

The Southern Conference officially announced the league’s 2012 ESPN3 schedule which will begin with Montana/Appalachian State on Sept. 8. Both App St. and Georgia Southern will be featured at least twice in the presentation this season with coverage on Nov. 10 and 17 reserved as a Wildcard Weekend.

The Main Event

TNT wraps up its NASCAR Summer Series schedule on Sunday at 1p with the New Hampshire 301.


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ON THIS DAY in 2010: Famed Yankees owner George Steinbrenner dies.

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What number did Terry Bradshaw wear for the Steelers? 12. Kudos: Mitch Burg-SNTA/NY; Joe Tafuri-Tennis Channel/NY; Jen Benensky-Turner Digital/NY; Bob Dudelson-Trifecta Entertainment & Media/NY; G. David Brown-FOX Sports Carolinas/Charlotte; Robert J. Morgan-Scripps Networks Interactive/Knoxville; Chris Faulds-Bell Media/Toronto; Rick Rosenfelt-New York Jets/Florham Park; Gregg Hess-NCC Media/Minneapolis; John Kukla-KDFW/Dallas; Derrick Stasica-KHOU/Houston; David Hauptman-Katz Television/Denver; Margie Albert-Focus on Customer Success/Phoenix; Matt Sautter-OpenTV/Golden; Jeff C. Fellenzer-University of Southern California/LA; Anne Wettig-MundoFox/LA; Paul Gygli-NBCUniversal Television Distribution/Universal City; Joe Pedri-KLAS-TV/Las Vegas.

In The Know: George Steinbrenner began his career as a graduate assistant for what college team? ( 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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