Friday, May 17th, 2013

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Friday, May 17, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

ESPN snagged rights for the US Open away from CBS, and will carry first ball through the women’s and men’s championships each summer starting in 2015. With the 11-year deal, ESPN now claims the championship in three of the four tennis majors that include Wimbledon and the Australian Open. ESPN will now beef up programming to over 130 hours if coverage with the addition of the “middle weekend”  Saturday, Sunday and Labor Day Monday – as well as both the men’s and women’s semifinals and finals. On the digital front, all telecasts will also be made available on WatchESPN, with an expansion to all 17 tournament courts available on ESPN3.

ESPN will continue to be the home of the entire US Open in Latin America and the Caribbean and in Canada on TSN.

On the Air

FOX Sports is lining up a full broadcast slate for the final day of the Barclays Premier League season, where 20 teams from the league play each other in a frantic 10-match race for financial reward, hardware and European honors. This year, FOX Soccer, FOX Sports Net and FOX Soccer Plus, combined with digital platforms and FOX Soccer 2Go, will carry nine of the day’s 10 matches live, on Sunday at 11a. Pre-match coverage begins at 10:30a on FOX Soccer, followed by coverage of Tottenham vs. Sunderland. After the matches, the series finale of Goals on Sunday airs at 1:30p on FOX Soccer.

ACC Commissioner John Swofford said on Thursday that the league is looking into the possibility of playing its men’s basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden and The Barclays, providing the venues are available, according to The conference is reportedly “thoroughly investigating” playing its tournament at the Garden, but would have to work through legal issues as the venue is committed to the new Big East. The 2014 and ’15 ACC men’s basketball tournaments will be held in Greensboro, N.C.

ESPN is set to carry 70 NCAA baseball conference tournament contests starting Sunday and concluding Sunday, May 26. The platforms will carry 12 conference title games with each winner receiving an automatic bid into the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship. The slate includes the entire ACC, Big East, Missouri Valley Conference and SEC tournaments as well as contests from the America East, Atlantic Sun, Big South, Southern, Southland, SWAC, Sun Belt and West Coast. The action starts Sunday at 2p with the Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship at 2p on ESPN3. ESPNU will then televise the announcement of the 2013 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship field of 64 teams on Monday, May 27, at Noon.

With the 138thPreakness Stakeson NBC this Saturday at 4:30p, our friends at HRTV have once again made their picks for the race…

  • Scott Hazelton — Orb, Departing, Goldencents
  • Jon White — Orb, Departing, Itsmyluckyday
  • Richard Migliore — Orb, Departing, Will Take Charge

MX Sports Pro Racing and Alli Sports, a division of NBC Sports Group, revealed the telecast schedule for the 2013 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, with a total of 63 hours of competition that will air across NBC, NBC Sports Network and FUEL TV. Coverage begins on Saturday at 4p on FUEL TV with the Red Bull Hangtown Motocross Classic in Sacramento, Calif.

AXS TV will spotlight UFC chief Dana White in the newest edition of its series The Voice Versus. In the episode, White talks about his family and offers exclusive footage of his children that have never seen before. The episode airs tonight at 10p.

Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals between the Islanders and Penguins handed MSG+ with a 2.21 average household rating, making it the highest-rated Islanders game ever on the network. Through five games on MSG+, the series averaged a 1.51 household rating, which was the highest rating for an Islanders playoff series since 2001-02 vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs (1.78 HH).

The Kansas City Royals announced that Fred White, who served as a Royals radio voice for 25 years and was associated with the club for 40 years, died on Wednesday due to complications from melanoma. He was 76.

Sponsorship & Promotion

MasterCard has signed on to Roland Garros, just in time for this year’s French Open which begins play later this month. The brand locked in a new five-year deal with the French Tennis Federation (FFT), to become the official payment card of the tournament.

NBC Universal is projecting over $800 million in advertising for the 2014 Winter Olympics, according to Ad Age. Execs say that Coca-Cola and AT&T have already bought time, as well as General Motors, Liberty Mutual and Smucker’s, with McDonald’s and Visa also close to deals. That would set a new record for the Winter Games and easily surpass the $700 million earned in 2010.

USA Network is once again teaming with the NFL to drive the network’s “Characters Unite” initiative. The partnership looks to prevent discrimination through a series of vignettes that will start running this November. Among the players set to participate this time around will be Ray Rice.

MX Sports Pro Racing and Alli Sports announced that GEICO will serve as the Official Insurance Partner of the 2013 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. Part of the deal will see the brand become the title sponsor of The High Point National, Round 4 of the series, that takes place on Saturday, June 8.

Digital & Production

MLS Digital has launched the beta version of its new digital match experience, dubbed Golazo. According to the site, the platform is designed to engage MLS fans with real-time content that leverages web technologies that include web sockets, node.js, and HTML5, for a new kind of second-screen experience. Users can follow MLS games through the real-time integration of stats, commentary, social comments, video highlights, and photos.

The Main Event

Preakness Stakes on NBC this Saturday at 4:30p.


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ON THIS DAY in 1983: The Islanders win their fourth straight Stanley Cup.

In The Know: David Beckham wore #23 in honor of whom? (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.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: The Claret Jug is presented to the winner of what event? Answer: The Open Championship. Kudos: Bob Melvin-NBC Golf Media/NY; Barry G. Waldman-Vistrada/NY; Justin Elliott-USA TODAY Sports Media Group/NY; Ray Zulauf-Universal McCann/NY; Joe Guarnieri-ESPN/Bristol; Bill Beard-ABC7, WZVN-HD & MeTV/ Fort Myers; Chris Kiernan-Manitou Partners LLC/Southport; TJ McGovern-Golf Channel/Orlando; Christopher Doyle-CBC Sports/Toronto; Chris Faulds-Bell Media Digital/Toronto; Benjamin Simonds-National Football League/Chicago; Kevin Micklo-Two X Four Advertising/Chicago; Travis Dennis-WSMV  NBC/Nashville; Rick Selah-TargetSpot/Dallas; Douglas Wright-Summertime Media/LA; Jack Simmons-Fox Sports/LA; Sal Cocco-NFL Network/Redondo Beach; Jeff Mirkin-Relativity Television/Hollywood.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports

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