Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Thursday, December 5, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

At $4 million a pop, FOX Sports announced that the commercial inventory for its broadcast of Super Bowl XLVIII is officially off the market. The company announced that remaining inventory for the network’s first-ever live stream is still in play, however, according to Neil Mulcahy, Executive Vice President, FOX Sports Sales with advertising opportunities also available in its extended pregame and postgame programming.

Super Bowl XLVIII features 43 advertisers with brands that include: Anheuser-Busch InBev; Butterfinger; Chevrolet; Doritos;; Hyundai; Intuit; Jaguar; Mars; Oikos; PepsiCo Beverages; and Wonderful Pistachios. Major categories represented in this year’s game include automotive, electronics and package goods.

On the Air

Tennis Channel is turning to the Supreme Court in its efforts to enforce last year’s FCC ruling that the network be moved to an equitable pay tier on Comcast. The U.S. Court of Appeals overturned the ruling stating that the FCC offered no evidence to refute Comcast’s position that the decision was financial rather than discriminatory. “We are seeking Supreme Court review of the D.C. Circuit’s decision in our case because the lower court strayed from longstanding federal discrimination law to invent an arbitrary and unfair standard for deciding cable carriage complaints,” Tennis Channel said in a statement. “The ruling ignores Congress’ intent to ensure a diverse, competitive media marketplace and eviscerates the FCC’s congressionally assigned responsibility to regulate program network competition in the public interest.”
On to ratings…
With more Nielsen numbers in the book, CBS Sports’ coverage of the Iron Bowl on the SEC on CBS now ranks as the most watched college football game to date of the 2013 season, averaging 13.8 million viewers. The Iron Bowl earned an average preliminary national household rating/share of 8.2/17, up 242% from last year’s game (2.4/5), according to Nielsen. Through 12 weeks of the 2013 SEC on CBS season, CBS Sports is averaging a national household rating/share of 4.2/9, marking the highest-rating for SEC football games on CBS at this point in the season since the Network began airing primarily an SEC-only schedule in 2001.

A blowout on Monday Night Football still ranked as the top show on Monday night across cable and broadcast in households, viewers and all key male and adult demos. The telecast earned a 9.7 rating, representing an average of 15.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

NBC Sports Group announced that its coverage of the 2013 Formula One season reached 10.297 million viewers for 19 races across NBC, NBCSN and CNBC. That marks an improvement of 15% over year-ago numbers with the Grand Prix of Monaco ranking as the top race of the season with 1.413 million viewers on NBC.

NBC Sports Group continues to add bodies for its 2015 NASCAR coverage, announced that Rick Allen has signed a multi-year agreement to serve as the lead race announcer for Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series coverage. Jeff Burton will join Allen in the booth, and will transition out of full-time driving and into the role of NASCAR analyst in 2014, contributing to NASCAR programming on NBCSN.

ESPN offers the MLS Cup 2013 on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 4p with Sporting KC hosting Real Salt Lake at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. Commentator Adrian Healey, analyst Taylor Twellman and reporter Monica Gonzalez will call the action. In studio will see host Max Bretos, Alexi Lalas, Kasey Keller and Alejandro Moreno providing studio coverage from site. At halftime, MLS commissioner Don Garber will be interviewed on the ESPN set.

Dan Patrick will share hosting duties on The Dan Patrick Show today, with Ron Burgundy set to join him instudio from 10a to noon on NBCSN. “I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the greats – Costas, Michaels and now Mr. Ron Burgundy,” said Patrick. “They said it wouldn’t happen. Some are still saying it shouldn’t happen. But at 10 a.m. tomorrow, something is going to happen.”

NBC Olympics continues to amass its army of talent for Sochi, announcing that Mary Carillo, Cris Collinsworth and Ato Boldon will serve as correspondents for its coverage of the 2014 Winter Games, where they will offer insights and commentary on the Olympics. The trio joins previously announced correspondent Maria Sharapova with more commentators set to be announced in the coming weeks.

SiriusXM announced that World Golf Hall of Fame member Ben Crenshaw has joined the roster of hosts on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, channel 93 on XM, channel 208 on Sirius Premier. The two-time Masters winner will host Crenshaw on Golf, a one-hour show airing every other week on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, with the first episode debuting Wednesday, December 11 at 1p. The series will see Crenshaw and co-host Ed Clements discuss today’s game and its players, share stories from Crenshaw’s years in the sport and discuss golf course design and his favorite venues around the world.

BTN will surround this weekend’s Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis will coverage that will include the Big Ten Football Championship team press conferences Friday from 3:30-4:30p. Later, #BTNLive, with Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo, Howard Griffith and Glen Mason, will air live from the Big Ten Fan Fest at 6p with Mike Hall hosting the Big Ten Football Report Championship Preview at 7p with analysts Brandon Williams, Jim Miller and Stanley Jackson. Game-day coverage begins from Fan Fest with Revsine, DiNardo, Griffith and Mason on #BTNLive at 11a and the Big Ten Championship Pregame Show set for 6:30p. On Sunday, BTN offers the Big Ten Bowl Selection Special at 9p with Revsine as host. 

Access Hollywood’s Michelle Beadle hosts the 11th annual WWE Tribute to the Troops holiday celebration, a one-hour television special that will air on NBC on Saturday, December 28 at 8p. This year’s fest will see artist Daughtry join WWE Superstars to honor the United States Armed Forces with special messages from the likes of Will Ferrell, Bruce Willis, Ryan Seacrest, Christina Applegate and Stephen Colbert. Additionally, comedian Jeff Dunham will perform live for troops and their families. This year’s event will emanate from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA.


Cynopsis: Kids Webinar
How to Drive Tune-In & Ad Dollars with Apps and Games
Dec 11, 2013 | 1:30-3:00 p.m. ET | REGISTER NOW

Hosted by: Cathy Applefeld Olson, Editor, Cynopsis Kids

Speakers Include:
Susan Miller, Co-Founder {Cupcake Digital}
Sharon Rechter, Co-Founder & Principal {BabyFirst}
Bryce Hunter, Interactive Producer {DHX Media}

Sponsorship & Promotion

Mobil 1 locked in a new deal with Stewart-Haas Racing, where the company will continue to sponsor Tony Stewart’s No. 14 Chevy, as well as serve as an associate sponsor of Kurt Busch’s No. 41 and Kevin Harvick’s No. 4. The deal will see Mobil 1 act as primary sponsor of the No. 14 Chevrolet for 11 races during the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

Subway is gearing up its Famous Fan base ahead of the World Cup, as Michael Phelps visited Pele’s Brazil this week to film commercials for the brand. In addition, the two athletes also took part in a children’s fitness clinic where they taught young kids the benefits of being active. Phelps recently extended his sponsorship deal with the brand, while Pele was announced as a SUBWAY Famous Fan and Global Brand Ambassador earlier this year. The TV spot is expected to run in 2014.

Join Cynopsis Sports next week for the All-Star webinar on December 10, Sports’ Social Media Superstars: Insider Secrets to Engaging Sports Fans on Multiscreens. Don’t miss an amazing lineup of speakers that will include: Scott Carliss-VP, Digital & Social Media at AEG Global Partnerships; Jayar Donlan-VP, Social Media at WWE; Megan Hueter-Director, Digital/Social Strategy at Catalyst; and Amanda Perkey-Social Media Senior Manager at FOX Sports. Click here to register!

Digital & Technology

NeuLion, Inc. locked in a deal with the Portland Trail Blazers to launch a new interactive digital service that gives Trail Blazers fans living outside the cable TV broadcast region the ability to watch their favorite team play online via Trail Blazers Live. The service will also fans that do not have access to Comcast SportsNet (the cable rights holder of Trail Blazer games) but live within NBA-approved territories the ability to watch the remainder of the Trail Blazers’ season all in HD, live and on their favorite Internet-connected devices.

ESPN announced that Ben Casselman will join the team of ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight where he will serve as Chief Economics Writer when it relaunches next year. Casselman joins the team from The Wall Street Journal, where he has covered energy, real estate and most recently served as a lead economics reporter.

Roster Moves

WWE made some key moves to its executive ranks, announcing that Michelle D. Wilson, George Barrios and Stephanie McMahon have all been promoted to lead WWE in the execution of its strategic growth initiatives. Michelle D. Wilson shifts from Chief Marketing Officer to Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer and will now oversee all of the company’s revenue lines and assume responsibility for WWE’s $900 million retail consumer products business. Wilson is also spearheading the company’s efforts to launch a WWE Network and will continue to report directly to WWE Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Vince McMahon. George Barrios, formerly Chief Financial Officer, has been named Chief Strategy and Financial Officer and will now oversee all of the company’s strategic planning processes and take over management of WWE’s day-to-day Television Operations. Meanwhile, Stephanie McMahon, formerly Executive Vice President, Creative, has been promoted to Chief Brand Officer and will lead WWE’s efforts to further enhance its brand reputation among key constituencies including advertisers, media, business partners and investors.

Outdoor Channel promoted Jason Brist to Executive Vice President of Advertising Sales where he will lead the network’s ongoing efforts in developing and executing innovative advertising and sponsorship opportunities including cross-platform offerings that utilize the network’s digital, mobile and social media resources.

The Main Event

Heat/Bulls on TNT at 9:30p.


Cynopsis Sports Webinar | DEC 10 | 1:30-3pm
Insider Secrets to Engaging Sports Fans on Multiscreens
Executives who drive the social media conversation for some of the most successful brands in sports will share their company’s strategies to stand out in the tumultuous world of social TV

Scott Carlis (VP, Digital & Social Media) AEG Global Partnerships
Jayar Donlan (VP, Social Media) WWE
Amanda Perkey (Social Media Senior Manager) FOX Sports
Megan Hueter (Director, Digital/Social Strategy) Catalyst

ON THIS DAY in 2002: Sports broadcasting pioneer Roone Arledge dies at age 71.

In The Know: Which NFL player released the single “Must Be the Money” in 1994? (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.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Who was the clinching, winning pitcher in Game 6 of this year’s World Series? Answer: John Lackey. Kudos: Andreas Droste-NBC Sports/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Chris Halpin-NFL/NY; Denis Barry-CBS Television Stations/NY; Larry Kahn-Golf Channel/Orlando; Keith Allo-Golf Channel/NBC Sports/Orlando; Jon Show-Show Sports Media/Charlotte; Matt Deprey-Discovery Communications/Silver Spring; Bill Robertson-Tunheim Partners/Minneapolis; Rick Pike-InterMedia Advertising/Woodland Hills; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Jim Himmel-TCB Media/San Clemente.


CYNOPSIS: SPORTS is proud to launch the highly anticipated…

Honoring the best and brightest work from around the spectrum of sports business, with categories that include our Legacy and Vision Awards, the Award of Distinction as well as honors for best series, live coverage of a sporting event, social media excellence, marketing campaign, app and more!

For more information & to enter, visit the awards webpage:

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports

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