Friday, November 4th, 2011



Tomorrow Night
at UNLV 10:30 ET

Available to 98 million homes


Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning! It’s Friday, November 4, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

FOX Sports locked in broadcasting plans for its upcoming UFC on FOX showdown on Nov. 12, utilizing platforms ranging from FOX Sports and FUEL TV to FOX Deportes and FOX Sports Radio to drive audiences to the broadcast network’s inaugural event. The fight will feature heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez facing top contender Junior dos Santos for the belt. The broadcast will air starting at 9p on the flagship channel, featuring UFC President Dana White joining FOX Sports’ host Curt Menefee to welcome viewers to the network’s coverage and set the stage to the event. Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar will also take part in prefight coverage as an analyst, while UFC commentator Joe Rogan provides interviews as the final prefight moments count down. Once the contest begins, Rogan and long-time UFC announcer Mike Goldberg have the call.

FUEL TV will join in with four and a half hours of Velasquez-Dos Santos coverage over the weekend beginning Friday, Nov. 11 with the weigh-in, and reairing FOX’s UFC Primetime at 6p on Saturday followed by UFC on FUEL TV: Velasquez Vs. dos Santos Prefight Special Live at 7p. Jay Glazer will host, with UFC title contender Kenny Florian serving as an analyst and UFC light heavyweight Stephan Bonnar reporting backstage and interviewing fighters. The Post-Fight Special is set to run on the channel at 10p.

On the Air

ESPN, with more than 1,450 men’s college basketball games on deck through its various platforms, announced its commentators and broadcast pairings for the upcoming season. Jay Bilas will work ESPN’s Big Monday Big East telecasts with Sean McDonough and veteran analyst Bill Raftery, covering games across various days, including select Saturday Primetime telecasts, and the weekly Saturday College GameDay show. Fran Fraschilla will primarily work Big 12 and Big East telecasts and provide studio analysis. Sean Farnham, who joined ESPN last year, will work games across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU from various conferences, including West Coast and Big 12. Brad Nessler and Jimmy Dykes will cover SEC telecasts as part of ESPN’s Super Tuesday series and on Saturdays. Carter Blackburn and LaPhonso Ellis will pair up for a third season to work ESPNU’s Wednesday night action, primarily involving the Big East. Joining the broadcasts this year will be Mike Tirico, Mike Breen, and Jeff Van Gundy. Of course, Dick Vitale and Bob Knight will also remain part of the mi, among others.

Boise State’s Board of Education gave University President Bob Kustra the authorization to join the Big East as a football-only member. Multiple reports state that if the school does decide to move, it would be for the 2013 season. 

The NHL continues to roll out new international deals for the league, locking in broadcast agreements across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Among the new deals are: NOVA Sport securing the rights for the Czech Republic and Slovakia; Premier Sports and Setanta in the UK and Ireland; ESPN America for the Pan-European countries as well as in Sub-Saharan Africa; Sport TV with a five year deal for Portugal; Canal Plus Sports in France; and FOX Sports for the Middle East, including Turkey, Cyprus and Israel.

DIRECTV reports that the company posted a record number of quarterly subscriber additions and earned a higher quarterly profit as part of the carrier’s giveaway of its exclusive NFL games package. DIRECTV promoted its NFL Sunday Ticket $300 package of out-of-market football games, and offered it for free for a year as an incentive for new subscribers who switched from a rival service.

Shaquille O’Neal announced today via his Twitter account that he will host Cartoon Network’s second annual Hall of Game Awards, set to air in early 2012. Last year 1,487,000 total viewers tuned in and more than 37 million voted online for their favorite sports stars to win the GAME trophy.

Weekend Updates:

  • CBS, after blowing out promotion for Saturday’s primetime SEC on CBS game featuring the sport’s top two teams, finally gets its day with the 8p game. Lead college football announce team Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson will call the action live from Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.Tracy Wolfson is set to serve as lead reporter.Coverage begins with CBS College Football Special  at 2:30p, followed by College Football Today at 3p.
  • Tennis Channel is offering coverage of Russia and the Czech Republic’s championship competition in Moscow over the weekend. Tennis Channel will carry all matches live, beginning at 2:30p on Saturday and 11:30a on Sunday, followed by same-day encore coverage each evening at 1 a.m.
  • Universal Sports Network offers multi-platform coverage of the third stop in the 2011 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating with the 2011 Cup of China. The channel starts Saturday at 6p with the Ladies Free and Free Dance. At 10p, the network will televise the Men’s Free and Pairs Free competitions. Play-by-play announcer Andrea Joyce will be joined by Olympic gold medalist and World and U.S. champion Tara Lipinski, Olympic silver medalist and four-time U.S. champion pairs skater Peter Carruthers, and five-time U.S. champion ice dancer Judy Blumberg.

MSG Network announced that it will telecast a new five-part series called The Garden Transformed: Year One which will take fans behind-the-scenes of the first phase of the three phase transformation of Madison Square Garden, which includes three consecutive offseason shutdowns. The series will debut over the winter and continue after phase two and phase three of the project over the next two years.

Sportsman Channel has reached an agreement with ESPN International to supply the global sports programming company with original content for its outdoor programming block beginning in November. Under terms of the new agreement, the network will offer 52 hours of original programming to ESPN International. The agreement makes Sportsman Channel ESPN International’s only network supplier of outdoors programming.

ESPNU is bringing back The Battle Presented by AT&T, which gives an inside look at marching bands from Historically Black College and Universities. The series, which will focus on Grambling State this time around, will come back with five 30-minute shows set to air over the course of five straight weeks, running on Thursdays beginning Nov. 10. 

Sponsorship & Promotion

ESPN has lined up a weeklong salute to veterans starting Sunday that will wrap up with the first-ever men’s college basketball game to be played on the deck of a U.S. military aircraft carrier when Michigan State faces North Carolina in the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic on The USS Carl Vinson on Friday, Nov. 11. President Obama is expected to attend the game. The promotion, dubbed America’s Heroes: A Salute to Our Veterans, will honor vets and troops via a schedule of programs and interstitials designed to connect sports with military service and “pay tribute to those who have served and are serving today.”

Digital Fields

CBS Sports is set to lead the network’s CBS Social Sweep Week, with stars taking over the channel’s Facebook pages and Twitter feeds beginning Saturday when CBS Sports broadcasts the LSU/Alabama game followed by NFL on CBS on Sunday. The remainder of the week will be filled the other CBS shows ranging from How I Met Your Mother to CSI. As a part of the stunt, talent from entertainment and sports will program the official social media sites for their respective shows on the day of their broadcast that week.

Turner Sports is relaunching, creating a new site design, original content and enhanced video quality designed to offer fans the latest look into the views and opinions of the 11-time NBA All-Star and TNT analyst. New features will include Charles’ Top 5, and Barkley’s Famous Quotes in addition to highlights of Barkley’s playing years, bloopers from Inside the NBA, movie reviews and photo galleries of his career.

The Main Event

It doesn’t get much bigger in college football than LSU/Alabama on CBS at 8p.



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ON THIS DAY in 1975 Orioles pitcher Jim Palmer wins his 2nd Cy Young Award

Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question:   Which university did famed Dodgers announcer Vin Scully attend? Answer: Fordham. (More people know this than I thought!) Kudos: Phyllis McQuillan – MSG Media/NY; Tim Gardner – ESPN/NY; Derek Callahan – MLB Network/Secaucus; Rich Dubroff – C-Span/DC; Rob Maron – I’m Serious Productions/LA; Dave Behar – ION/Los Angeles; Larry Hutchings – Retired/LA; Don Wollman – Big Brother/LA

In The Know:  What Grambling St. player won the Super Bowl MVP? (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

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