Friday, June 17th, 2011

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Friday, June 17, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

There were multiple victors coming out of Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. Not only did the Boston Bruins take down the Vancouver Canucks to snare their first championship since 1972, but NBC and the NHL now enter the off-season with their own bragging rights. The game drew a 5.7/10 overnight rating for NBC, which tied for the best NHL Stanley Cup Game 7 overnight on record (set in 2003), according to Nielsen. That score was up 14% compared to the most recent Game 7 in 2009, and off just a tenth of a point from last year’s series-clinching match featuring two big market teams in Chicago and Philadelphia.

Boston led all of the metered markets with a 43.4/64 that grew into a 51.1/75 at 10:30p when the team officially won the game.

For the NHL, the series scored as the highest North American viewership for any Stanley Cup Final in history  11.5 million average viewers. Game 7 of the series averaged a record 18.3 million viewers in the U.S. and Canada, which is also a North American viewership record for any NHL game on record. In Canada, CBC’s Game 7 telecast drew 8.76 million viewers to rate as the most-viewed NHL game on the network and the second most-watched sports program ever on the channel.

On the Air

CBS Sports wants more of the Big Ten Conference, agreeing to a multi-year agreement with the league that extends its broadcast rights to the conference’s basketball games through the 2016-17 season. The agreement, which starts with this year’s 2011-12 season, mandated that a minimum of 24 appearances by teams from the Big Ten will run on the channel, including three Big Ten wildcard weekends. In addition, CBS Sports will continue to broadcast the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament semifinal and championship games. The deal will also lead to more appearances from the conference by various women’s teams.

ESPN has locked in its plans for the upcoming 2011 NBA Draft Presented by Kia Motors, which marks the company’s ninth consecutive year televising the event. The draft will take place on Thursday, June 23, at 7p from Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Stuart Scott is on deck to host coverage along with analysts Jay Bilas, Jeff Van Gundy and Jon Barry. Fran Fraschilla will offer analysis on the international prospects.

Chicago saw the new Longhorn Network makes its bow at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association Cable Show. The 24-hour University of Texas channel will launch on Friday, Aug. 26. Shows announced for the outlet include, Longhorn Extra, Rewind with Mack Brown, Texas All Access, Game Plan with Mack Brown, and Texas Gameday. More series will be announced in coming weeks.

The Madison Square Garden Company is launching MSG Action Sports, a new division of that will produce a variety of action sports and lifestyle events, properties and television programming. The MSG Action Sports division unveiled its first-ever event yesterday, Air in the Square, a MegaRamp ASA Triples BMX and skateboarding competition held in Times Square that was televised nationally on Fox Sports Net. MSG Action Sports also announced plans to partner with Quiksilver to make MSG Networks and national music network Fuse the official broadcast partners of The Quiksilver Pro New York in September, 2011 in Long Beach, New York.

ESPN has announced that the company’s franchise ESPN RISE Games has expanded its number of events which are set to take place at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resorts from July 13-27. Nearly 14,000 student athletes are expected to participate, with “elite” events anchored by football, basketball, softball and lacrosse while other sports will include baseball, field hockey and track & field.

The Southland Conference Television Network has announced its lineup of football games for the upcoming season, featuring 11 live football telecasts. The network will open the season on Thursday, Sept. 1, when Sam Houston State hosts Western Illinois, followed by Northwestern State and Nicholls State on Sept. 24. Lamar, rejoining the Southland for football in 2011, will makes it’s debut on the network Oct. 1 when the team visits Southeastern Louisiana. Other games will include Sam Houston State and Stephen F. Austin on Oct. 8, McNeese State at Central Arkansas on Oct. 15, UCA at Lamar on Oct. 22 McNeese State at SFA on Oct. 29, Central Arkansas at Northwestern State on Nov. 5, with two more wild card broadcasts to be determined.

In a little tit for tat, a reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune says that Big Sky Commissioner Doug Fullerton noted that “at least” six schools turned down invites from the WAC, including Montana, Cal-Poly, Cal-Davis, Sacramento St. and Portland St. In turn, the reporter notes that Fullerton would like to extend invites to WAC teams Utah State and Idaho to instead join their conference instead.

In an interesting proposal, FCS conference CAA Football has decided to sponsor NCAA legislation that would allow five seasons of eligibility for student-athletes in FCS football programs instead of the traditional four. We’ll see where this goes…

Stats for the week ending June 12

The 2011 NBA Finals wrapped up Sunday Night on ABC with a series-high 13.3/22 national rating/share, with 24.0 million viewers, according to Nielsen. That score was up 28% over last year’s Game 6 between the Celtics and Lakers. Dallas led all markets with a 39.8/59 score, followed by Miami with a 36.2/50. For six games, the 2011 NBA Finals on ABC averaged a 10.2/17 which was down 4% from last year’s seven game series, but scored key gains among the male demos, include M18-49 where it was up 1%, and men 25-54, where is grew 2%.

The debut of TNT’s telecast this year for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series continued positive gains this year for the sport. The channel drew a 3.2/8 national rating with 5.2 million viewers  for the Pocona race, which was up 3% over last year’s 3.1/7.

Final numbers for NBC’s coverage of the Belmont Stakes averaged a 3.1/8 with 4.8 million viewers on Saturday. That’s good enough for a 15% bump over 2010.

Univision’s broadcast of the 2011 Gold Cup continued to post strong ratings among younger males, with the channels’ Cuba/Mexico telecast on Thursday drawing a 2.2/4 with 4.9 million viewers among households, and scoring a 3.5 among M18-34. Sunday’s contest between Mexico and Costa Rica scored a 1.9/3 in households, with 4.5 million viewers, and a 3.2 among M18-34.

On Fox Soccer, the tournament saw Tuesday’s match between the US and Guadeloupe average 313,000 viewers, to rank as the channel’s tenth most-watched telecast in its history.

Fox’s telecast of Formula One racing on Sunday delivered the channel with a 0.8/2, with 1.2 million viewers for the Canadian Grand Prix. That score was up one-tenth from last year’s 0.7/2 for the same event.

Sponsorship & Promotion

Turner Sports and the NCAA have announced a new three-year presenting sponsorship with Capital One that targets the 2011 NCAA College World Series fan festival set take place beginning Saturday and run through the tournament. The “CWS Fan Fest Presented by Capital One” will mark the first NCAA Corporate Champion fan fest presenting sponsorship for any NCAA championship other than the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Fours. The festival will include a Capital One Cup Fan Zone, as well as batting cages, speed-pitch booths, interactive games from a variety of NCAA sports, souvenir photos, autograph sessions, food, prizes, and official College World Series merchandise.

What do you get when you combine hockey, comics, super heroes and NBC? We are about to find out, thanks to a new deal between Guardian Media Entertainment (comprised of Stan Lee’s SLG Entertainment and the NHL) and NBCUniversal. The deal makes NBCUniversal an equity and promotional partner for GME’s flock of comic book super heroes based on each to the 30 NHL teams, dubbed the Guardian Project. The deal will have NBCU give cross-platform support around the brand’s content and product launches, which could eventually include a TV series, films, games, a theme park presence and global extensions of the heroes.

NASCAR Team Properties was named Best Sports Program of the Year by the International Licensing Industry and Merchandisers’ Association this week at the annual International Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, Nev., a year after the race association formed the division.

Digital Fields

Big Lead Sports has entered a partnership with the Football Writers Association of America and its exclusive marketing agency, Sports & Sponsorships Inc., to market and promote the FWAA Players of the Week Awards, the FWAA All America Team as well as the Outland Trophy, given to the top collegiate lineman in the country. The partnership will make BLS the official digital home for the FWAA awards for the 2011 college football season.

The Boston Bruins may have taken the Stanley Cup series over Vancouver, but who won the social media wars? According to SocialGuide’s ratings system Social100, it was another tight race. However, by a score of 543,405 to 543,388, Boston again claims the victory by only 17 comments. The data was determined by calculating comments made by viewers expressly about a TV program during its airtime and that are publicly available via Twitter and Facebook API that included a team name, commonly used Twitter abbreviations, and player names or Twitter accounts.

The Main Event

Father’s Day will mean golf in a lot of households with ESPN and NBC delivering more US Open coverage throughout the weekend. Also don’t miss the Gold Cup quarterfinal match pitting the US against Jamaica on Sunday, June 19 on Fox Soccer.

Agree or disagree? 

In My Opinion …

What exactly is in the water in Boston? When the Patriots are the local team that has the longest drought in Championships, something seems to be clicking with teams in that market. While some editorials cite solid and smart ownership of the teams, which is obviously a factor, there is something to be said for the rabid fan base and solid media coverage within the market. Large crowds, high merchandise sales, and a draw for star athletes helped propel the Bruins to the Cup this year, helped deliver the Celtics their rings in 2007-2008, and broke the Red Sox curse in 2007. Analysts can say that Boston’s big market gives them an unfair advantage, but what other major city is finding this type of success? Maybe it’s time to pity the poor Patriots, who haven’t won since 2005. Nah…

Send in your views for posting here to chris [email protected] under Emails to the Editor …



Cyn opsis Media presents:

Primetime Emmy® Special Series: Before the Ballot

 Outstanding Drama Series (Publishing Monday)
Guest Editor Daisy Whitney explores the Drama Category, before the ballots.

Cynopsis Ad Sales for all Special Editions – contact
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ON THIS DAY in 1976 – The ABA merges with the NBA, delivering the league with the Nets, Pacers, Nuggets and Spurs

Ack! – No, Lee Trevino is not looking good for being 100. Yesterday’s edition inadvertently used the year from the previous listing of “On this Day.” It should have read 1968.

Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question: What team has won the most MAC titles for men’s basketball?  Sorry to everyone who answered Temple, which only plays football in the MAC, the correct answer is Ball State, with 7. Kudos: No one eligible got this right!!

In The Know:  Before this year, what was the last Canadian team to play in the Stanley Cup Finals?  (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 Cyn opsis | Sports
June 17, 2011

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