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Good morning. It’s Friday, September 7, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
A high profile battle for the NFL in a broadcast faceoff against former President Bill Clinton still managed to drive audiences to the first game of the season on NBC. Against the competition, the NFL Kickoff game took a hit versus last year but still ranked as the third-most-watched NFL Kickoff game in the 11-year history of the event, according to fast nationals from Nielsen. Facing the Democratic National Convention on ABC and CBS, the NFC East rivalry game delivered 23.9 million viewers with a national household rating of 14.7/23. That score is off from 2011 numbers, which drew a 16.0/26. Top markets include Dallas with a 34.0/50, followed by Norfolk, Richmond, San Antonio and Austin.
On the Air
ESPN is set to mark the 50th anniversary of The Rolling Stones throughout the NFL season by offering “Legend to Legend” snippets on Monday Nights. The collaboration will combine MNF highlights with 16 classic Stones tracks, ranging from Exile on Main St to A Bigger Bang. Four different songs will be selected per month and will be used for four weeks at a time on ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown pregame show on bumpers and teases within the MNF game and in a post-MNF game highlight segment on SportsCenter.
Univision Deportes inked deals to become the U.S. Hispanic home of the German National Team (Deutscher Fußball-Bund) and the DFB Cup, the French National Team (Federation Française de Football) and the French Cup, and France’s Ligue 1. The multi-year deals are exclusive in Spanish across multiple media platforms and grant Univision Deportes media rights to all qualifiers played in Germany and France in the lead to 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.
Telemundo Media nabbed the exclusive US media rights for all home games of Mexican first division soccer team Club León, effective immediately. As part of the deal, Telemundo will have the rights across all its platforms broadcast, online and cable to all of the pre-season, regular season and, if they qualify, the playoff home games of the popular team. The first game to air on the channel will pit Club León vs. Chivas on Friday, September 14 at 10:30p.
NBC’s final round coverage of the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday ranked as the highest-rated and most-watched PGA TOUR Playoff round in five years. The tournament drew a 3.3 household rating with 4,808,000 average viewers, according to Nielsen.
FOX Sports announced that Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Clive Owen will narrate the new television series from FOX Sports Media Group, Being: Liverpool. The six-episode series is set to debut on Sunday, Sept. 16 on FOX and profiles the iconic Liverpool Football Club to mark the first time that cameras have been allowed inside a Barclays Premier League locker room.
The Atlantic 10 Conference will have a league record 56 games on national television, along with 19 regional matchups in men’s basketball this season. For the fourth straight year, CBS Sports will showcase the Championship title game as well as VCU/Temple on March 10. CBS Sports Network will carry 32 regular season matchups to double the amount the channel carried last year. ESPN runs 14 additions regular season games on its lineup of channels.
Former Ravens owner Art Modell passed away on Thursday at the age of 87. Modell helped negotiate some of the NFL’s early broadcast contracts-including the 1970 contract with ABC to carry Monday Night Football-and served as president of the NFL from 1967 to 1969.
ESPN2 will televise the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games starting Tuesday with three consecutive episodes running from 10p to midnight. ESPN2 will carry 17 episodes total in September. The action begins with the Camp Pendleton Endurance Test. ESPN3 showed the CrossFit Games live in July from the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
ESPN also revealed that the company is showcasing an event-high 24 teams across ESPN2 and ESPNU on Sunday, Feb. 17 and Monday, Feb. 18 as part of the Play 4Kay women’s basketball initiative, supporting the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. This season Play 4Kay will offer eight regionalized games in high definition within two ESPN2 telecast windows on Sunday at 2:30p and 5p. Participants include all four Women’s Final Four teams Baylor, Connecticut, Stanford and Notre Dame.
NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus confirmed at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit that the company broke even on its broadcast of the London Olympic Games. Bloomberg reports that ad sales for the Olympics hit the $1.25 billion mark and exceeded internal expectations for the event.
UFC on FUEL TV 6 has its card confirmed with 10 bouts set for the Macau lineup. The main card will feature six fights, headlined by Rich facing Cung Le. FUEL TV carries bouts at 9a on Nov. 10.
Universal Sports Network is adding multi-platform coverage of 2012 Tour of Britain from September 9 to 16. The Cycling Series will feature all eight stages of the race with stages one through six running daily from September 9 through 14 at 10p while live coverage of the final two stages will take place on September 15 and 16 at 8:30a and 9:30a respectively.
The NFL locked in a distribution agreement with Google Fiber in Kansas City, for carriage of NFL Network and the NFL RedZone channel. Google Fiber customers will be able to subscribe for the package starting on September 10th by visiting fiber.google.com.
Sponsorship & Promotion
Bud Light is kicking off the second year of its NFL sponsorship with a season-long campaign dedicated to the fan. The beer brand opened its campaign on NBC on Wednesday night, with a pair of 30-second spots celebrating the “Year of the Fan.” As part of the campaign, the brand is offering the Bud Light Fantasy Football League, which allows consumers entry into a fantasy football league for a chance to win tickets to Super Bowl XLVII; an average of two Bud Light advertising spots in every game will be broadcast on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, ESPN and NFL Network; a Facebook “Tickets for Life” promotion as well as a cross-partnership with Doritos and Tostitos.
Time Warner Cable hits the football season with a new promo featuring wide receiver Victor Cruz with “Ball Machine.” The spot will run throughout Time Warner Cable’s footprint and features Cruz catching a number of his devices thrown by a ball machine, including his smartphone, tablet, PC and 60 inch TV as a reminder that he can watch his favorite shows and content anywhere and anytime.
ESPN’s Grantland.com launched a YouTube channel to serve as an extension of Bill Simmons’ sports and pop culture site. Content on the channel now includes: Hockumentary: Draft Day with Royce White, a digital short by Hock Films and a collection of highlights and lost footage from Simmons’ own The B.S. Report podcasts.
The New Jersey Devils are hunting for an “Army,” “calling social media savvy fans to help develop the team’s Generals program. Through the team’s social media hub Mission Control, the Devils Army Generals program will allow a group of hand selected fans to serve as liaisons. Final interviews for these positions will wrap up this week after 334 fans applied for the 25 open positions.
The Main Event
Lots to watch. US Open Finals this weekend on CBS. Yankees/Orioles on TBS at 1:35p. Peyton Manning returns with a Steelers/Broncos matchup on NBC at 8p.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
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Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What was the name of the hit song recorded by the Chicago Bears in 1985? The Super Bowl Shuffle. Kudos: Deidra Maddock-ESPN/NY; Roger Lee-News 12/Long Island; Ethan J. Tyer-CBS Sports Network/NY; Steve Flatow-Bloomberg Sports/NY; Jon Clateman-Clato Prods./Port Washington; Dick Daggett-Retired/Greensboro; Tim McGhee-MSP Sports/Summit; Holly Goode-KFC NCAC/Louisville; Mike Wilczynski-Comcast Spotlight/Naperville; Lisa Fikeys-Zimmerman/Chicago; Erin Whelan-Tribune/Chicago; Lucie Prann-The Richards Group/Dallas; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; David Hauptman/Denver; Jess Schoep-STARZ/Englewood; Matt Sautter-OpenTV/Golden; Brad Hattendorf-CBSSports.com College Network/San Diego; Michael Madnick-Saban Brands/LA; Kathryn Lerner-ABC Television Network/Burbank; Marci Polzin-Clear Talent Group/Studio City.
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Digital and Social Media Strategies for Kids TV: How to Attract and Engage Kids and Tweens
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