Monday, October 24th, 2011

Cynopsis: Sports
10/24/11

Good morning. It’s Monday, October 24, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Golf Channel’s recent additions of tournaments such as the Emirates Australian Open, the Australian PGA Championship, and more to its fourth quarter schedule signal a move to keep the sport in the spotlight and ratings on the upswing. As one of only four designated sports networks to show overall ratings gains in the third quarter of this year (joining NFL Network, MLB Network and FOX Soccer), Golf Channel made the most out of its tournaments, leveraging the power of the NBC Sports marketing machine as well as original programming such as Feherty to its benefit.

Cynopsis Sports spoke with Golf Channel President Mike McCarley about the moves and what we can expect form the network in 2012.

McCarley on the maintaining channel’s ratings growth: We are coming off the best ratings since adding to the PGA tour in 2007, which is obviously saying something. Our third quarter ratings were up and we had our best first quarter ever, so it’s a tremendous story. The concept around the fourth quarter is that we see what a great year we had and since all four rounds of the Presidents Cup will air on Golf Channel live for the first time ever, we wanted to build with that and show some of the best players in the game. I made a trip to Asia, took a lot of meetings a little over a month ago and we were able to start the process of acquiring rights to 15 events where we would be able to feature 16 major winners this quarter. We now hope that will be the best fourth quarter in the history of the Golf Channel.

On the tournament acquisitions: One of the tasks when I was given this job was to be aggressive and to grow the channel and when you have this much momentum you want to keep pushing it, so by acquiring the rights to these events and investing into the programming we are seeing a significant lift in viewers to the channel. It was the right thing to do and it was the right time to do it.

On the success of Feherty: One of the biggest successes of the year for us and the most watched premiere of an original series in the Golf Channel history was Feherty. I was in a meeting in the Clinton offices in Harlem last week and President Clinton walked into the room and one of the first things he said when he met one of our reporters who was there was ‘One of my great dreams in life is to do an Interview with Feherty. He’s one of the funniest men alive.’ So, we are looking for a great year next year for Feherty and some of our original programming, which will be expanded and extended.

On marketing since the Comcast/NBC Universal merger: One of the great advantages with what has happened with Comcast and NBC Universal coming together is that you have 20 channels and 40 websites in a culture of collaboration where all of these different platforms are trying to help one another work better. So, when NBC has golf on the weekends and they promote to our Golf Central, we see an 82% rating uptick. They will be giving a significant push in the Presidents Cup. It has already been promoted heavily on NBC and will be getting a cross platform priority across several different networks and websites of NBC Universal and a consistent promotion between the live coverage on the Golf Channel and the NBC coverage as well.

On the Air

Friday’s big news, of course, was that FIFA more than doubled its take in new deals with FOX and Telemundo for the TV rights to the World Cup for the period of 2015-2022. The organization pulled in around $1.1 billion for US broadcast rights alone. Reports state that FOX will pay as much as $500 million while Telemundo ponied up $600 million for Spanish language rights, with both companies shutting out incumbents ESPN and Univision. The deals include the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups, the 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cups as well as other FIFA events.

The acquisition gives Fox the sport’s biggest event to add to a portfolio that includes the UEFA Champions League, the English Premier League and Italy’s Serie A. The company is expected to showcase the final as well as other high profile and team USA matches on its broadcast network while the majority of the games will run on Fox Soccer as well as other Fox-owned channels such as FX. After the announcement, FOX Sports Media Group Chairman David Hill stated “We are truly honored for FIFA to award the Fox Sports Media Group these extremely important rights. The FIFA World Cup and Women’s World Cup are two of the world’s biggest competitions. It is our privilege to be entrusted with these rights in the United States from 2015 through 2022.”

For Telemundo, the deal gives the channel the World Cup rights for the first time in its broadcast history, with the exclusive Spanish language U.S. media rights to FIFA World Cup Soccer across all platforms(except for radio). Additionally, both Telemundo and mun2will provide extensive coverage of the FIFA Confederations Cup, FIFA Men’s and Women’s U-17 World Cup, FIFA Men’s and Women’s U-20 World Cup as well as live coverage of the official draws and ceremonies and Andres Cantor is set to become the play-by-play face for Telemundo’s FIFA World Cup coverage.

Saturday night featured a bevy of sports for three of the four broadcast networks. Game 3 of the World Series handed FOX with a victory for the evening, with the Cardinals victory giving the channel 11.38 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research, and a 3.2/10 among adults 18-49 in early ratings. NBC’s USC/Notre Dame game scored 2.62 million viewers with a 0.8/2 in the demo, while ABC’s Saturday Night Football drew 2.23 million and a 0.7/ 2.

Meanwhile, recent play has lined up CBS Sports with what will likely be the premier game of the college football season, as top-ranked LSU takes on #2 Alabama on Saturday, Nov. 5. The game is set for primetime at 8p with Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson calling the action live from Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.Tracy Wolfson serves as lead reporter. In addition, CBS Sports will stream LSU/Alabama live on CBSSports.com.

NBC Sports may be heading out of 30 Rock for new digs in Connecticut, according to multiple reports, including the AP. The articles cite a state official detailing a plan to relocate the division to the state to take advantage of tax credits. Connecticut already houses a number of other NBC goods including syndicated series such as Maury and Jerry Springer as well as some Versus series.

ESPN has entered a four-year deal with the WTA that will deliver live coverage of its event across various company platforms, according to Tennis.com. The deal includes exclusive rights to WTA Premier event weekday matches, plus rights to the WTA Championships singles final on ESPN2 and ESPN3, with live round-robin and semifinals coverage slated for ESPN3. Starting with the Sydney tournament in January, ESPN3 will showcase live coverage of more than 70 matches from 11 events annually between January-October.

Formula 1 is set to continue its major push into the US. The Wall Street Journal broke the news over the weekend that New Jersey is set to host a Formula One race in 2013, joining the new Austin race as American stops during the racing season. Earlier this year, officials announced their interest in bringing F1 to the area, with the goal of hosting a street race set against a background of the Manhattan skyline. Former YES TV CEO Leo Hindery Jr. is reportedly leading the group of investors. An official announcement is expected on Tuesday.

MSG Network is preparing to launch a new series called Beginnings, which examines how athletes started their careers and how their past influenced their journey to the Garden. The series debuts Thursday, October 27 at 10p with a look at NY Rangers captain Ryan Callahan who talks about the pursuit of his dream to play in the NHL, his experience as a member of the USA Olympic team, and what it was like to get drafted by the Rangers.

Without a season to play, 14 NBA players have finalized a deal to take part in the upcoming exhibition world tour. ESPN said that the players will reportedly include Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade with the six game tour beginning on Oct. 20 in Puerto Rico.

WWE has announced plans for one series designated to run on it upcoming network, entitled WWE Divas on Wheel, according to various reports. The series is described as “a reality show that welcomes you aboard the private Divas tour bus as it travels from venue to venue. Cameras will roll 24/7, capturing the unscripted bonds, battles, and behind-the-scenes drama that only our WWE Divas can deliver when their public and private lives merge on the open road.”

Sponsorship & Promotion

A reeling Miami Dolphins team found a creative way to bring in fans on Sunday, by honoring the Florida Gators 2008 National Championship team. Naturally, the team was quarterbacked by the one and only Tim Tebow, who happened to be the QB for the Denver Broncos, who Miami played yesterday. Unfortunately, the plan didn’t sell out the stadium and the Broncos beat the Dolphins in the game.

Outgoing Red Sox GM Theo Epstein turned to the Boston Globe with a full-page ad that thanks the fans for his decade at the club. The ad read “10 Years, Two Championships, Countless Memories, Infinite Thanks,” and “It’s been a privilege to be part of the Red Sox for the last decade and an honor to work alongside some of the most talented and dedicated people in baseball.” Epstein is set to head to the Cubs.

The Professional Bull Riders made an agreement with Blue-Emu that will keep the product as the “Official Pain Relief Cream of the PBR.” The partnership will involve Blue Emu’s support and sponsorship of the PBR Sports Medicine Team, and the “Wreck of the Night” at Built Ford Tough Series events, which is also highlighted on PBR.com. Blue-Emu will also be a featured sponsor for 10 BFTS events in 2012.

Digital Fields

PlayUp is launching the “first mobile social network enabling sports fans to follow their choice of thousands of live games in real time” as well as discuss the games as they are played. The free app includes real-time scoring and stats, as well as the option to create private rooms or join public rooms to interact with fans around the world. It will feature real-time scoring and stats for every NFL, college football, NHL, NBA (at least those stats will be easy to maintain), MLB, MLS as well as soccer, cricket and Aussie rules football.

The Main Event

Cardinals/Rangers World Series Game 4 on FOX at 8p.


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ON THIS DAY in 1984: Steffi Graf plays her first tennis match as a professional

Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question:  Which university holds the all-time record for most consecutive men’s NCAA Tournament appearances? Answer: Nearly all the responses last week were for Arizona (25) or Kansas (still active with 22). But the longest streak belongs to UNC which had a run of 27 straight appearances between 1975 and 2001. Kudos: Matthew Meachem – Tribune Media Services/Queensbury; Synda Kollman – Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Tom Moore – Kalt Productions/LA

In The Know:  Penn St. Coach Joe Paterno is now tied with Eddie Robinson for the most Division I wins in college football. Which team did Penn. St. beat to clinch their last national championship? (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
10.24.11

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JOB OPENING: MGR, CONSUMER MARKETING/NYC: Planning and executing all off-air media and promotional campaigns for Syfy Channel-print, outdoor, digital, etc. At least 3 yrs Media Planning exp is mandatory. www.nbcunicareers.com (1865BR) (10/29)

JOB OPENING RESEARCH ANALYST/Turner Broadcasting/ATL: 1+ yrs Rsrch exp. Digital Media rsrch exp & knwldg of Omniture & NetRatings. BA degree related field. Resume to: [email protected] (10/29)

JOB OPENING: SALES EXECUTIVE/NY-Warner Bros. TV Group Digital: Drives revenue, strong presentation skills.3 yrs min digital ad sales experience (mobile and cross platform pref.) Email: [email protected] RE: UCTC/127598BR (10/29)

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JOB OPENING: VP PROGRAM RESEARCH/Syfy/NYC: Manages all metrics related to multiplatform viewing of programming. Must come with extensive Program Research in network TV (not Ad Sales or Primary). www.nbcunicareers.com (#2568BR) (10/28)

JOB OPENING: DIGITAL BIZ MGR/VIZ Media/SF: 3+ years of exp w/e-commerce or digital publishing, strong analytical & reporting skills for iPad & iPhone Apps.  www.viz.com/company/job_id_114 (10/28)

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JOB OPENING: RESEARCH MGR, NBC BROADCAST/NY: Support research for NBC bdcst entertainment prgmng/mngmnt. 4+ yrs rtgs analysis & Nielsen tool proficiency r’qd. To apply, visit http://www.nbcunicareers.com/ job# 3309BR (10/28)

JOB OPENING:  DIR, DIG AD SALES MKTG/A+E Networks/NY:Collaborate w/DigAd Sales, Programming & Mktg teams to present/report on Digital capabilities across brands/properties.More info &Apply: www.aetn.com/careers.html#101902 (10/27)

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JOB OPENING:  VP, SALES RESEARCH  NBC SPORTS GROUP/NY: Will lead the Research team that supports Sales & Marketing efforts across the Sports Group portfolio. To apply, visit http://www.nbcunicareers.com/search_nbc/ job# 3273BR (10/27)

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JOB OPENING: DEV MGR/LA:  Reality TV Production Company seeks Development Mgr. Must have solid writing skills, exp developing original ideas. Ability to shoot/edit a plus. Cvr/res/writing sample to [email protected] (10/26)

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JOB OPENING: DEVELOPMENT PRODUCER/National Geographic TV/NY: Seeking Producer responsible for conception creation, research, writing pitch documents & treatments. Apply www.nationalgeographic.com ID 4705. EOE (10/25)

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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] .

FALL INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: Jarrett Creative Group is seeking student interns. Will assist with day-to-day activities of Development Department .Unpaid/Credit Only Please forward resume and cover letter to [email protected] (10/26)

SITUATION WANTED ADS, POSTED BY THOSE LOOKING TO BE HIRED …  There is no charge for placing your Situation Wanted ad … for more information contact Trish Pihonak at [email protected]

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SITUATION WANTED:  Seasoned FIELD PROD, from pre-prod through post. Good w/ story, interviews & working with of talent.  Extensive knwldg of pop culture & all aspects of ent. Based in LA but is willing to travel. [email protected] (10/28)

SITUATION WANTED:   I’ve written a 1-hour dramedy entitled, Tree House, which is loosely based on my life story. It’s, ” A Contemporary, Edgy, Multiplatform Show “. I’m looking for studio executive assistance. [email protected] (10/28)

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SITUATION WANTED: Research Intern – Recent graduate w/ BA in Sociology looking to gain MEDIA RESEARCH experience in NYC area. Has experience w/ focus groups. Motivated self-started and team player. Contact [email protected] (10/26)

SITUATION WANTED: Jeanne Intile Burns, VOICE-OVER ARTIST, Web Links: http://jburns.voices.com/, www.allegro-music.com , Cell: 845-721-9681, E-Mail: [email protected], Specializes in unique character voices for various animated productions (10/25)

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E-mail [email protected] or call Trish Pihonak at 203.381.9096 for rates and specs for Job Openings.

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