Good morning. It’s Thursday, January 12, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
Jim Rome was officially announced as the newest member of the CBS family yesterday, inking a multi-year deal with CBS where he will be seen across multiple platforms. CBS Sports Network will launch Rome, a new half-hour show airing weekdays at 6:00p. He will also host a new sports and entertainment series on Showtime which will debut in the Fall and contribute to CBS Sports’ coverage of the NFL, NCAA basketball and U.S. Open Tennis Championships, as well as other select events. He will make his CBS Sports debut during coverage of the 2012 NCAA Final Four® with Rome on CBS Sports Network on Tuesday, April 3. The host will continue to host his nationally-syndicated radio program, “The Jim Rome Show,” which airs weekdays at noon.
On the Air
ESPN announced that the company will launch its 23rd MLB season with a full national telecast of Opening Night when the World Champion Cardinals visit the Miami Marlins at the grand opening of Marlins Park on Wednesday, April 4, at 7p. ESPN and ESPN2 will combine for five games over the first three days of the season.
Final Nielsen ratings confirmed that Sunday’s Steelers/Broncos game on CBS drew 42.4 million viewers to rank as the most-watched Wild Card game ever. Overall, the Wild Card games last weekend averaged 31 million viewers to rank as the second most-watched Wild Card Weekend ever behind only last year.
The AP reports that “American Idol” winner Kelly Clarkson is lined up to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl on Feb. 5. In addition, the report states that Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton will be singing “America the Beautiful” for the game as well.
Good news on the Dodgers front, as Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross approved a settlement between the team and FOX Sports to officially open the doors to sell the club. The Dodgers agreed to honor the existing broadcast agreement with FOX which runs through 2013 while the company officially withdrew its lawsuit to halt the bankruptcy proceedings. Meanwhile, initial bids to buy the team are due by Jan. 23.
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem will be around for a while, with the PGA Tour Policy Board extending his employment contract through June 2016. Finchem has been commissioner since 1994.
U.S. Olympic Committee officials are back in talks with the IOC to resolve the revenue-sharing dispute that’s blocked potential American bids to host the Olympics. USOC chairman Larry Probst and CEO Scott Blackmun told The Associated Press that they will reenter talks with the International Olympic Committee on Friday in Innsbruck, Austria. Negotiations have gone on for over a year and revolve around the country’s share of Olympic television and marketing revenues, which the IOC is out of proportion.
The LPGA is looking to expand on a success 2011, which saw a 38% spike in viewership, with five new tournaments in 2012 as well as a fifth major in 2013. New to the 2012 schedule are the season-opening ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open on Feb. 9-12, the LPGA LOTTE Championship in Hawaii from April 18-21, the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in Waterloo, Ontario on June 21-24 and a return to the Kingsmill Resort in Virginia with the Kingsmill Championship Sept. 6-9. The Jamie Farr Toledo Classic in Ohio will also come back to the schedule Aug. 9-12 after a one-year hiatus. LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan said the organization also extended sponsorship agreements and added Kia as its Official Automotive Partner, Frontier Airlines as its Official Airline and MedJet Assist as its Official Medical Evacuation Program. Additionally, Symetra signed on as umbrella partner of the LPGA Futures Tour, now called the Symetra Tour.
The YES Network announced that the channel wrapped up the 2011 broadcast year as the most-watched regional sports network (RSN) in the country in its respective home market in Total Day delivery (Monday-Sunday 6a-2a) for the ninth straight year. The network averaged 30,000 Total Day TV households in the New York DMA in the 2011 broadcast year.
Pac-12 Enterprises has named Bill Cella as the organization’s first Chief Revenue Officer where he will design and implement long term strategies and oversee the management of all revenue generation for Pac-12 Enterprises, which includes the Pac-12 Networks, Pac-12 Digital Network and Pac-12 Properties, the sponsorship, licensing and events management arm for the Conference.
The Seattle Sounders announced that former player Kasey Keller, who retired last season, will rejoin the team as an analyst on all radio and television broadcasts for the 2012 season. Keller will join new play-by-play announcer Ross Fletcher.
TAG Heuer Eyewear locked in a multi-race sponsorship agreement with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kurt Busch and Phoenix Racing. Busch also has a personal services agreement with the eyewear company. As part of the deal, the company will be featured as the primary sponsor on the No. 51 Chevrolet for the Feb. 18 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and serve as an associate sponsor on the No. 51 Chevrolet during the 54th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 26 and again on March 11 for the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Busch’s hometown track.
The Professional Bull Riders extended their partnership with Lucas Oil to be the “Exclusive Automobile Motor Oil/Additive, Fuel Treatment, and Lubricant Manufacturer” of the PBR. The deal will see Lucas Oil serve as the title sponsor for a series of Touring Pro Division events, which is the developmental tour of the PBR.
Electronic Arts announced that the world’s top-selling golf video game franchise is set to return with Kinect for Xbox 360 integration, online and social features, as well as a Collector’s Edition. Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 13 and Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 13: The Masters Collector’s Edition will go on sale on March 30.
The BCS Championship game on Monday handed ESPN with a record online viewing audience for the sport. The average minute audience for the contest delivered a per minute average of 261,000 people, up 40% over last year’s game, and scoring a record for college football on ESPN’s digital platforms. More than 523,000 people watched the game on WatchESPN.com, generating 39.6 million minutes and an average minute audience of 227,000 people, which is up 20% over last year.
The Main Event
Gonzaga/St. Mary’s in a WCC battle on ESPN2 at 11p.
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ON THIS DAY in 1946: The NFL gives the Cleveland Rams permission to move to LA.
Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question: What team is the focus of the movie “Major League?” Answer: The Cleveland Indians. Kudos: Daniel Schachne – NBA/NY; Deidra Maddock – ESPN/NY; Rick Rosenfelt – New York Jets/Florham Park; Phyllis McQuillan – MSG Media/NY; Chris Faulds – Bell Media Interactive/Toronto; Brendan Moran – NCC Media/Chicago; Liz Murray – Turner Broadcasting/Chicago; Lucie Prann – The Richards Group/Dallas; Dory Melman Petsrillo – Petry Television/Dallas; Kerri Huyck – KIDK/Idaho Falls; Allan Kass – Viamedia/LA; Connor Swegle – Troika/Hollywood; Joe Pedri – KLAS-TV/Las Vegas; Alan Perris – The Television Academy/North Hollywood.
In The Know: What player boasts the most Super Bowl MVPs? (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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