Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Thursday, February 7, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

The NBA signed off on a multiyear deal with Sean John and Macy’s to form a presenting partnership for the Entertainment Series at NBA All-Star. Deal points include NBA-themed events at Macy’s stores around the country that highlight signature styles from Sean John. At NBA All-Star, the series will showcase musical performances during State Farm All-Star Saturday Night and during pregame introductions and halftime at the 2013 NBA All-Star Game. The deal will offer Sean John and Macy’s visibility across broadcast, digital, and social media channels. National coverage of the series starts Saturday, Feb. 16 at 8p on TNT.

Fourteen-time Grammy Award-winning artist Alicia Keys is headlining the 62nd NBA All-Star Game as the sole performer of the halftime show on Sunday, Feb. 17. Keys will perform as part of the Entertainment Series presented by Sean John at Macy’s. In addition, NE-YO will welcome players to the court with a performance of some of his greatest hits. On Saturday, Feb.16, Nick Cannon will host State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, at 7p on TNT, featuring performances by Ellie Goulding, American Idol Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips, and pop punk band Fall Out Boy.

On the Air

FOX Sports puts the pedal to the metal, announcing its broadcast plans for the company’s 13th season of NASCAR coverage that will include the 55th running of the Daytona 500 and the new “Gen-6” car. FOX Sports’ 2013 Speedweeks coverage starts with the Sprint Unlimited on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 8p, followed by live coverage of Daytona 500 Qualifying on Sunday, Feb. 17 at 1p. Darrell Waltrip and his brother Michael will return with host Chris Myers for prerace program FOX NASCAR Sunday. Larry McReynolds returns to the race booth alongside Mike Joy to provide analysis during races.

SPEED is presenting 11 consecutive days of coverage for the first time ever leading into Daytona, with nearly 100 hours of programming on deck. Programming starts Feb. 14 at 6p with a special two-hour edition of NASCAR Race Hub from Media Day. Steve Byrnes and John Roberts co-host NASCAR Race Hub from Media Day alongside analysts Larry McReynolds, Kyle Petty and Matt Clark with reporting from Rutledge Wood.

Around the dial, ESPN2 will bring back NASCAR Now for its seventh season on Friday at 3p with a program originating from the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Allen Bestwick hosts the HoF program, with analysts Dale Jarrett and Ray Evernham. NASCAR Now will resume its daily schedule on Monday, Feb. 11, with at least five programs per week and will now air on West Coast primetime this season.

Big Ten Network scored its highest-rated month ever in primetime in January, according to Nielsen, thanks to a slate of key men’s basketball games and new ratings records for The Journey. BTN’s average primetime men’s conference basketball rating generated a 0.87 average in the network’s eight metered markets. During the month, the Minnesota/Indiana matchup on Jan. 12 delivered the channel’s highest-rated regular season basketball game in history.

Can a former quarterback throw a knuckleball? That’s the question MLB Network seeks to answer with its first-ever reality series The Next Knuckler. The program debuts on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 9p and will feature the likes of former NCAA Division I FBS quarterbacks John David Booty (USC), Josh Booty (LSU), Doug Flutie (Boston College), David Greene(Georgia) and Ryan Perrilloux (LSU & Jacksonville State) competing for an invitation to the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Spring Training camp. The show will be co-hosted Tim Wakefield and Kevin Millar.

Saturday’s UFC 156 Prelims on FX set new highs for the sport on the network. The telecast drew nearly 1.9 million viewers, according to Nielsen, which bests the sport’s previous record.

ESPN is pairing Dick Vitale and Magic Johnson with Mike Tirico for the network’s upcoming Indiana/Michigan St. game on Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 7p. Vitale and Johnson have never worked an event together.

ESPN also announced that it will showcase 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. The event will feature eight regionalized games within two ESPN2 telecast windows on Sunday at 2:30p and 5p. In addition, the company will offer two full-national telecasts on ESPNU at 1:30p and 3:30p, as well as two Big Monday Presented by Bud Lightgames on ESPN2 on Feb. 18, at 7p and 9p.

FOX Sports San Diego landed a new carrier, announcing that DISH will make the channel available to San Diego customers starting April 1. FOX Sports San Diego will be available for local DISH customers with the America’s Top 120 Plus and Latino Dos packages.

NY Emmy Award nominations are out, with MSG Network scoring 67 nods, the most ever for a single network. Other sports channel tallies include YES Network with 34, MSG Varsity with 29, SNY with 21, and MSG Plus with 12. In the sports anchor category, the Academy nominated Al Trautwig of MSG Network, Bob Lorenz of YES Network, Bruce Beck of WNBC-TV, Kevin Maher of New 12 Long Island and Steve Gelbs of MSG Varsity. Congrats gentlemen!

Speaking of YES, the network’s Lakers/Nets telecast on Tuesday ranked as the most-viewed and highest-rated regular season Nets telecast ever on the network. The game averaged 299,000 Total Viewers and a 3.08 TV Household rating in the New York DMA. Through its first 43 Nielsen-rated games this season, YES is averaging a 1.10 TV Household rating for its Nets game telecasts, up 150% the first 43 games broadcast last year.

The re-named NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will see a familiar face in a new place when its 13th season begins on ESPN next weekend, with Dave Rieff shifting to the anchor announcer position. Rieff was previously a pit reporter and will now host the company’s telecasts of both the Mello Yello Series as well as the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.

Ack! Did you miss the deadline for the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards? Well, you have one last opportunity to submit your late entries before our final deadline passes on Friday. Click here to enter!


JUST ANNOUNCED: Cynopsis Webinar

Maximize Hispanic Market Engagement to Increase Viewership & Brand Lift
Wednesday, February 27 | 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. ET

La Loca Entertainment: Diane Librizzi (CEO/Executive Producer)
Univision Communications: Steve Mandala (EVP of Advertising Sales)
The Vidal Partnership: Tony Ruiz (Partner, Communications Planning)


Sponsorship & Promotion

The Air Force renewed its NASCAR partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports for this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The organization will serve as both a primary and associate sponsor of the No. 43 car driven by Aric Almirola this season. The car will feature the Air Force paint scheme in two NASCAR points races this season.

In other NASCAR news, expect comedian Jeff Foxworthy to be all over the Nationwide Series for the next four years. Jeff Foxworthy’s Original Grit Chips will sponsor the spring Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway, according to track officials. The race will now be known as the Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 300.

Octagon promoted Anne Sullivan to Senior Vice President where she will direct promotions and hosting initiatives within its newly-structured Events & Hospitality group, including events for Novartis’ Gilenya brand, for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society half marathon, and promotions and hospitality for the Ace Classic golf tournament on the PGA Senior Tour among other projects.

Digital Fields

MLB Advanced Media is holding its first-ever tech challenge, offering teams the opportunity to hack at the company’s convergence of sports and technology while utilizing MLBAM’s private data API. The challenge, called Bases Coded, starts in March and will be open to anyone who thinks they can build a team to create the next great interactive media product for baseball fans.

U.S. Soccer launched new Digital Magazine and Facebook apps to designed to offer fans exclusive content as the U.S. Men’s National Team prepares for its opening match of the Final Round of 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying against Honduras. Fans can download the new digital magazine app, Anthem for iPad and iPhone with an Android version coming soon. Meanwhile the interactive app, Supporters XI allows fans to select the starters from a roster of 24 players, putting them in one of 10 different formations, and share their lineup with friends on Facebook ahead of Wednesday’s game.

The Main Event

Yikes! Torn between two classic rivalries. Caps/Penguins on NHL Network at 7p and Lakers/Celtics on TNT at 8p.


Cynopsis Sports Webinar
How to Leverage Social Media to Boost Fan Engagement
Tuesday * February 26 * 1:30-3:00 p.m. ET

Hosted by: Cynopsis: Sports Editor, Chris Pursell, along with:
Kate Guerra, Social Media Manager, INDYCAR
Susie Lokey, Sr. Director Consumer Marketing, Golf Channel
Gabe Lozano, Co-Founder/CEO, LockerDome
Caty Marzi, Manager of Social Media Business Devel., NHL

Register here:

ON THIS DAY in 1998: The 18th Winter Olympic Games open in Nagano, Japan.

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What number bonds Dr. J, Franco Harris, Magic Johnson, Sandy Koufax and Shaq? Answer: The all wore #32. Kudos: Mitch Burg-SNTA/NY; Michael Brown-IMG Worldwide/NY; Andreas Droste-NBC Sports/NY; Michael Schwartz-DKC Public Relations, Marketing & Government Affairs/NY; Juan Delgado-Telemundo/Hialeah; James Taguchi-WTVR/Richmond; Will Schwarz-Pennant Productions, Ltd./Baltimore; Chris Faulds-Bell Media Digital/Toronto; Chuck Gordon-WABM-TV/Birmingham; Steve McNair-CBS Radio/Houston; Bill Robertson-Tunheim Partners/Minneapolis; David Hauptman/Denver; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Rick Pike-Intermedia Advertising/Woodland Hills; Larry Hutchings/Pacific Palisades; Anne Wettig-MundoFox/LA; Nicole Pena-ESPN/LA.

In The Know: All but one of Magic Johnson’s NBA Titles came under one coach. Who was he? (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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