Monday, April 2nd, 2012



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Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Monday, April 02, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

With ratings already on the upswing, the recent launches of new FOX Deportes series Central Fox and La Ultima Palabra, mark the latest step in the channel’s deepening relationship with Fox Sports International, which allows different regions across the globe to share and pool resources in order to deliver news and talk shows as well as cut production costs.

Cynopsis Sports spoke with Vincent Cordero, EVP and General Manager of Fox Deportes, about the channel’s relationship with viewers, where the new series fit in the big picture as well as the effect of having the UFC on the network.

Cordero on the FOX Deportes’ position in the marketplace: We feel phenomenal about it. I started in the summer of 2010, clearly our major competitor at the time had always been ESPN Deportes, and when I first took this opportunity I was excited about it because I saw what the future could be, which was that we could own the US Latino sports base in a way that no one else had. We had the very best assets in all of sports and largely on an exclusive basis so I thought we could do a better job of building, branding and programming our network. I also thought that there was a white space in news and talk, we hadn’t really focused in on that, people would tune in for the great events that they couldn’t get anywhere else so we as a team determined that we wanted to make this the number one Latino sports channel destination and we had all the events to do that. I’m proud to say for the calendar year ’11, we swept the three major day parts of total day, weekend day and prime. In 2012, we are continuing that momentum.

On working with Fox International partners: I really wanted to work together with all the various regions and build franchises, the Latin American guys were also thinking the same thing and we put our resources together so instead of us each creating one on our own, let’s reach out and build bigger and better together. Central Fox and La Ultima Palabra are now pan-regional brands as a result. We are sharing resources and production from Central America to South America and Mexico as well as the United States. That’s why in the Unites States with both these shows, we’re able to deliver.

On the new additions to the lineup: At the end of the day, it’s about engaging in a continuous, authentic as well as entertaining way. When they wake up in the morning, at midday, when they come home at night, they want to know what’s going on and we want to make sure they tune in to us to get that. I think that’s what these two shows help us do. Just in the last month, we’ve launched Central Fox which is our franchised new show, like SportsCenter, but more. We also launched our franchise talk show La Ultima Palabra. Now what we are going to do with Central Fox is that we are going to feature more than 1200 live hours of sports news on a yearly basis. When you look at SportsCenter on ESPN Deportes, they have 700 hours. We are doing to have almost twice as many news hours on a yearly basis with Central Fox. That’s a phenomenal investment, a phenomenal footprint, a phenomenal link to the marketplace. With La Ultima Palabra, we’ve assembled the most exciting soccer talk show panel featuring the very best coached, analysts, and players seven days a week. Since we’ve launched both programs, they have outperformed prior year, from a ratings standpoint both programs are up.

On the impact of the UFC: Audiences are loving this addition. One of the real goals was about building the events of the network and part of that was diversification. One of the things that I was hugely excited about was to get into the MMA genre. FOX Sports was very gracious in sharing that package with us to air programs in Spanish. Last year on November 12, the fight we aired delivered 487,000 persons 2+ which is the highest number in Spanish media for a combat event ever. We made history. So far to date, with all of that programming we are airing, it has been delivering viewers week after week.

On the Air

Loaded with marquee teams, CBS Sports’ coverage of the 2012 Final Four on Saturday, March 31 drew a 9.0/17 in Nielsen fast national household data to score as the highest-rated Final Four since 2005. The rating is also up 1% from last year’s tandem of games which drew a 8.9/17. In the first game, which featured in-state rivals Kentucky and Louisville, the channel earned an 8.4/17 for a 1% bump in rating from last year’s 8.3/17 for the Butler/VCU game. The second game featuring Kansas’ come-from-behind win over Ohio St. brought a 9.6/17, also up 1%.

With the championship game tomorrow on CBS, CBS Sports’ exclusive coverage of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship game will feature an interview with President Barack Obama, conducted by Clark Kellogg from the White House.The interview marks Kellogg’s fourth interview with President Obama. During the conversation, Kellogg returns to the Presidential Court at the White House where he lost a close game of POTUS (horse) to the President in 2010.

NBC is on a roll with its golf coverage, as the third round of the 2012 Houston Open on Saturday and posted a 2.1/5 for a 31% gain over the same Saturday in 2011 and tied 2005 as the best overnight delivery for the third round of this event since2002. Coverage of the PGA Tour has handed NBC with six straight weeks of ratings/viewership growth.

Meanwhile, on Golf Channel, the LPGA’s Kraft Nabisco Championship round one set a record for the network, delivering a 0.5 rating with 507,000 viewers for a 12% spike over 2011 to score as the highest-rated and most-watched Round One rating for this event in 19 years. Preliminary numbers for round two continue the trend, nabbing a 0.6 and 604,000 viewers for a 12% jump over 2011.

Golf Channel’s primetime series, Feherty, has landed a one-on-one interview with former President Bill Clinton for an upcoming episode slated to air on May 7 where he “gets the former commander in chief to open up about politics and the pressures of the presidency, his philanthropic efforts and his lifelong love of golf.” Other guests lined up this season include: Bubba Watson, Ken Venturi; Annika Sorenstam; Gary McCord and Samuel L. Jackson. 

NBA TV’s final Fan Night presented by Sprint will feature the 76ers and Heat squaring off tomorrow night at 7:30p. The game was selected via fan balloting. Coverage begins at7p with Pregame Show with host Ernie Johnson and analysts Greg Anthony and Chris Webber.

Major League Baseball is offering a free preview of the 2012 MLB Extra Innings package, made available by iN DEMAND on cable providers around the country. This year, a free preview will run for 11 days, from April 5-15, and showcase more than 100 games to fans. Overall the package will offer more than 2,000 out-of-market baseball game telecasts during the regular season, and the early bird offer for digital customers is $179. Enhancements this year include dual feeds and a multi-screen mosaic.

ESPN is slating a weekend of events and studio shows from June 22-24 featuring women in sports across its networks, including ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3 and ESPN Classic. The programming lineup will include a full day of programming Saturday, June 23 as part of the company’s three-month company-wide initiative, The Power of IX, which recognized the 40th anniversary of Title IX. ESPN soccer analyst Julie Foudy will host from a Title IX-themed set and welcome special guests who have impacted or been affected by the law throughout the day. June 23 programming highlights include: two WNBA games, Danica Patrick in the Nationwide Series and USA Softball on ESPN; ESPN2 offers anE:60 Women’s Special and a U.S. Women’s Soccer Special; while ESPNU delivers the Honda Sports Awards, honoring the accomplishments of top female athletes in NCAA.

The upcoming return of the USFL is reportedly targeting cities that include Akron, Portland, San Jose, Salt Lake City, Sacramento, Austin, Memphis, Raleigh-Durham, Birmingham, Omaha, and Baton Rouge for new franchises, according to NBC Sports.

New speakers announced for the Cynopsis Sports Business Summit. Brian Monahan, EVP and Managing Partner at MAGNAGLOBAL Intelligence Practice and Brian Hughes, SVP Audience Analysis Practice Lead at MAGNAGLOBAL, have been added to the roster of panelists for Tuesday April 24 in New York. Join us for the event! Register now at this site:




If you’re in the sports media business,
make it your business to attend…

Cynopsis Sports Business Summit
April 24 / Grand Hyatt NY

Early registration ends this Friday: register here

Sponsorship & Promotion

The PGA Tour, Golf Canada and RBC locked in a multi-year extension that will keep RBC atop the title sponsorship of the RBC Canadian Open for another five years, running through 2017.

Digital Fields

There were lots of fake (and sometime sad) attempts at fake April Fool’s Day stories yesterday, but one of the best looking came from NASCAR and Google, where the two companies announced plans to bring Google’s self-driving technology to stock car auto racing. The prank featured a press release, a spoof video featuring NASCAR stars Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowye as well as a microsite about Google Racing.

The Main Event

NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship game on CBS at 9p.




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ON THIS DAY in 1986: The NCAA adopts the three-point basketball rule.

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Mascot week. What is the name of Notre Dame’s mascot? I accepted either the Leprechaun or Clashmore Mike. Kudos: Thomas Kelley-Octagon/NY; Steve Culkar-Fox Sports Net/Atlanta; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Bob Eisenstaedt-Granite Springs Productions/Tampa; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA.

In The Know: Who has the most all-time MLB wins as a manager? (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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