Monday, August 13th, 2012

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Monday, August 13, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

With the Pac-12 Networks set to launch on Wednesday, executives at the organization have inked Mike Yam to an exclusive, long-term agreement to serve as studio host and anchor. He will now join co-host Ashley Adamson, analysts Rick Neuheisel, Ronnie Lott, Glenn Parker and contributor Summer Sanders to kick off the Networks’ debut on Pac-12 LIVE, Wednesday at 6p. Yam previously served as an anchor on SportsCenter and ESPNews, as was involved in the Network’s NBA, college football and basketball coverage.

After winning the Vision Award last week at the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott answered questions about his vision for the league, his expectations for the networks as well as his thoughts on the recent addition of a college football playoff.

Commissioner Scott on why he took the Pac-12 job: My background and passion for college sports dates back to being the captain of the tennis team at Harvard. In my day, college sports were an important part of the university experience, but not a particularly significant player in the overall sports industry. But over the past few years, the business of college athletics has grown to such an exciting and challenging level. On one hand, we can now take advantage of extraordinary new opportunities that changing technology and consumer preferences open up for us, and maximize revenue and exposure during this time of enormous financial pressure on universities. But at the same time, we need to maintain a higher calling and elevate our student-athletes and our schools within the context of the collegiate model. In the Pac-12, we find ourselves at the forefront of that balancing act. The ability to play a leadership role as the Conference navigates this exciting time was very intriguing to me.

On lessons learnt from his time working at the WTA Tour: One big lesson was the incredible power that players have to grow and market a sport. During my tenure, the players not only dedicated themselves to being the best they could be on the court, but they also made huge sacrifices to help grow women’s tennis. This has been true during my tenure at the Pac-12 as well.  Throughout the Conference’s transformation over the past three years, the Board of Directors of the Pac-12 – our Presidents & Chancellors – as well as our Athletics Directors, our great coaches and 7,000 student-athletes have all taken tremendous leaps of faith. Because of their actions, the Pac-12 is now the most innovative collegiate Conference in the country.

On his expectations for the Pac-12 Networks in the first few years: The Pac-12 Networks gives us the ability to showcase events and programming – including every football and men’s basketball game – that are meaningful to our fan base and our universities.  The Networks allows us to control our brand in the long run by providing a platform to enhance our strong relationships and connections with fans, advertisers and sponsors. For our universities, we are building an asset that is devoted to their sports programs, their student-athletes, and their broader academic missions.

In the first year, the Pac-12 TV networks will feature 850 live events. While we will have 35 football games and over 135 men’s basketball games, we will also be showing more than 700 “Olympic” sports events that have never received anywhere near that amount of exposure. More than half of all live events will be women’s sports – a true testament to the positive impact of Title IX and the broad quality of success across all sports in the Pac-12 Conference.

On the addition of a college football playoff: The four-team playoff set to start in 2014 is a positive step for our sport and will be a good format for our student-athletes, fans, and our institutions. After many discussions with Pac-12 student-athletes, my colleagues and our universities, I believe we crafted an artful balance. The new system brings the excitement and fairness of a true playoff while also preserving the importance of the regular season and the bowl tradition.

On the Air

Saturday’s coverage of the Olympics on NBC continued the uptick trend, averaging 21.8 million viewers in primetime to rank as the most-watched final Saturday of competition for a non-U.S. Summer Olympics since 1988 and besting Beijing by 30%. Coverage drew a 12.6/23 national rating/share according to Nielsen for a 22% boost over the same night in 2008.

Team USA’s gold medal-winning soccer match against Japan drew 4.35 million viewers to NBC Sports Network, which earned a national household rating of 2.74, to mark the most-watched and highest-rated event ever on the channel. In addition, the match drew 1.467 million streams on, the most-streamed event in Olympics history.

NBC Sports Network will begin a recap of the Games today at 9a with Return to London: The Games of the XXX Olympiad. The series will relive some of the best moments of Games with a 16-hour marathon beginning with a look back at the Track and Field – Men’s Sprints. Additional Return to London programming will continue throughout next week and wrap up on August 19.

Telemundo’s broadcast of the “Great Golden Final” between Brazil and Mexico on Saturday ranked as the most-watched Olympic event in the history of the network, averaging 3.6 million total viewers and 2.2 million adults 18-49, according to Nielsen. The match ranks as the top broadcast in any language in LA, Miami, Houston, Chicago, Dallas and Phoenix. Overall, Telemundo Media has doubled the 2008 Beijing Olympics audience among total viewers during the first 15 days of the 2012 London Olympics.

What’s Michael Phelps going to do now that he is retired? Hit the links of course. The most decorated Olympian in history is set to take part in Golf Channel’s The Haney Project where he will play the world’s greatest golf courses and improve his golf game under the watchful eye of Hank Haney. The series returns for a fifth season in February 2013 with production beginning in September.

ESPN and the Southeastern Conference locked in the 2013 men’s college basketball regular-season schedule for the family of networks with 121 conference-controlled regular-season games on deck across the platforms, up over last season’s 91 contests. The SEC Network, ESPN Regional Television’s over-the-air syndication package, will present a minimum of 40 SEC games in 84 television markets nationwide. Conference action on the channels begins on January 8 at 7p with Alabama/Missouri on ESPN followed by Arkansas/Texas A&M at 9p on ESPNU.

RG3 delivered for Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. The new Redskins Quarterback, Robert Griffin III faced Buffalo in Thursday in his first preseason game and handed the channel with its highest-rated program in network history. The game drew an average household rating of 9.15 in the DC market with 297,000 viewers. Combined with the Baltimore market, the game drew around 470,000 fans.

Root Sports earned its highest MLB rating on Wednesday, when the Pirates faced the Diamondbacks, according to Nielsen Media Research, with an average 11.46 household rating and over 330,000 fans in the Pittsburgh DMA.







Sponsorship & Promotion

ESPN’s new Monday Night Football advertising campaign debuts Monday and featured some familiar faces in the first of three planned spots. The initial spot showcases Jerry Jones as well as Houston Texans running back Arian Foster, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy and New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis. Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is on deck to star in the second MNF ad, debuting in September.

Digital Fields

A warm congratulations to the winners of our digital categories at the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards last week. Turner Sports was one of the big winners in the digital sector, receiving top honors in both App categories thanks to its NBA GameTime App and, due to its recent acquisition, the Bleacher Report Team Stream. Turner Sports also won Best Live Stream for last year’s Racebuddy stream on Facebook. ESPN won Best Fantasy Game for Fantasy Football presented by GEICO and GMC. MLBAdvanced Media saw CEO Bob Bowman take home Digital Executive of the Year. MLB also was one of the winners in the Social Media Initiatives – Affiliated category for MLB Fan Cave, tying ESPN’s First Take: #WhenSkipMeetsTebow for the honors. In the Non-Affiliated category, Intersport won for Papa John’s Dunks of the Year. ESPN won best Webisode Series for Kenny Mayne’s Wider World of Sports and the National Hockey League won Best Website for

The Main Event

Texas Rangers/New York Yankees on ESPN2 at 7:05p.


ON THIS DAY in 1995: Mickey Mantle dies of liver cancer at the age of 63.

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What NBA team has a mascot named Hugo? The New Orleans Hornets. Kudos: Lena Ellison-Mediavest/NY; Lou Monaco-Daily Racing Form/NY; Bob Rathbun-FOX Sports South/Raycom Play-by-Play/Atlanta; G. David Brown-FOX Sports Carolinas/Charlotte; Marc Wollis-NBC Sports Group/Orlando; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA.

In The Know: Who was the last NFL running back to break 2000 yards in a season? (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

Denise O’Connor: Group Publisher, Media Entertainment
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JOB OPENING: BROADCAST DESIGNER/MLB Network Promos/NJ: Design/animate/edit promos/gfx pckgs. Strong tech. execution & 5 yrs exp w/After Effects, Cinema 4D, Final Cut Pro, etc. Send resume/link to reel to [email protected] (8/18)

JOB OPENING: ACCT EXEC. AD SALES/NY: Growing multimedia sports co. seeks experienced TV ad sales rep. Excellent compensation/benefits pkg. Agency relationships and ratings exp. a+. Send resume Attn: Rose to [email protected] (8/18)

JOB OPENING: DIR AD SALES RSRCH/Ovation/NYC: Proactive, detail-oriented, creative, team player. 7+ yrs exp. with cable or BC sales team req’d. Strategic & hands on w/ Nielsen, MRI, Mendelsohn etc. [email protected] (8/18)

JOB OPENING: EXEC ASST, PRESIDENT/SYFY, NBCUNIVERSAL/NYC: Looking for a talented Executive Assistant to support the Pres of Syfy. Must have 2 years of admin exp as well as a min 1 year working in TV. (6201BR) (8/18)

JOB OPENING: DIR, CONSUMER RESEARCH/Showtime Networks/NYC: Resp. for acq, trking and forecasting of consumer info in support of corp. directives. 8+ yrs of primary and second rsch exp in media a must. Apply at #12180BR (8/18)

JOB OPENING: DIR. PROG & SCHEDULING/Nat Geo TV/DC: Prog/Schdling expert will create Chl’s prime/daytime/fringe/late-night strategy. Strg schdl/nielsen exp analysis/strategy. 3-5 yr Cbl TV, Strg Excel/PP, Mgt. (8/17)

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INTERNSHIPS – These positions are for credit only – nobody gets paid here. These ads are always posted for free, and students work for school credit only. For more information on the specs for posting an Internship ad, email Trish at [email protected].

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SITUATION WANTED: RESEARCHER/EXEC ASST/LOS ANGELES AREA: 16+ yrs exp +key player in Primetime TV as researcher, proofreader, copy-editor, writer, exec asst. Exc. etiquette. [email protected] (8/16)

SITUATION WANTED: EXP’D SPORTS SPONSORSHIP AND MKTG PROFESSIONAL/(LA/SF): 3+ years of exp on the agency/team/client side in sales, client mngmnt & sponsorship roles. Strong analytical/project mngmnt skills. MBA. Email [email protected] (8/14)

SITUATION WANTED: CREATIVE LIFEGUARD: Advertising & promotion, writer/producer/director – on-air, presentation, Internet. Site: Contact: [email protected] (310)849-8596 (8/14)

E-mail [email protected] or call Trish Pihonak at 888.702.3858 for rates and specs for Job Openings.

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