Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Thursday, January 3, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

ESPN’s coverage of the Rose Bowl and Orange Bowl continued to deliver audiences, although one was down slightly year-to-year. That said, the combined fast national ratings for the two contests generated a 7.7 US rating with an average of 13,736,000 viewers, according to Nielsen, to mark an 11% bump in audience over last year’s games. The 2013 Rose Bowl Game ranked as the most-viewed program on cable television outside of ESPN’s NFL games since the 2012 BCS National Championship, averaging 17,024,000 viewers based on a 9.4 US rating, which is down 3% percent in viewers. The Orange Bowl, despite Kirk Herbstreit’s game-bashing, spiked sharply with an average of 10,562,000 viewers and a 6.1 US rating, up 47% in viewership over the 2012 contest.

Meanwhile other New Year’s games also showed growth. The ABC Capital One Bowl broadcast averaged 10,954,000 viewers on a 6.6 US rating, marking increases of 35% and 29% in rating. ESPN’s 2013 Outback Bowl telecast averaged 7,583,000 viewers on a 4.3 US rating, up 69% in viewers. 

On the Air

Just in case you missed it, here are some quick hits from the holidays:

  • With a playoff spot on the line, Sunday night’s Cowboys/Redskins game on SNF ranked as the highest-rated NFL regular-season primetime game ever on NBC, and the highest-rated NFL regular-season primetime game on any network in 15 years, according to overnight data released by Nielsen. The rivalry drew an 18.3 overnight rating and a 30 share, up 7% over last year’s Week 17 game.
  • The NBA‘s five-game Christmas Day schedule continued to deliver for ABC and ESPN, based on overnight ratings according to Nielsen, led by the Knicks/Lakers matchup which drew a 5.9 overnight rating. In addition, the holiday handed ESPN with its highest-rated tripleheader ever, averaging a 2.1 rating, up 17 percent from a 1.8 in 2010.
  • Boise State opted out of its tie to the Big East, and agreed to stay with the Mountain West conference with the chance to sell its home games in a separate TV package. Fellow Mountain West defector San Diego St. reportedly has until Jan. 31 to decide whether or not to stay with the conference before the conference moves forward with further expansion.
  • As expected, FOX Sports Media Group formally announced its acquisition of SportsTime Ohio, the Cleveland-based regional sports network that has been offering local telecasts of Cleveland Indians games for the past seven seasons. FOX Sports Media Group also announced that it has locked in the exclusive long-term local telecast rights for Indians baseball.
  • Just weeks after suffering serious burns in a propane grill accident, Hannah Storm returned to TV on Tuesday, where she hosted the Rose Parade.
  • Harvey Benjamin, NBA Executive Counsel, Business and Finance, will retire from his position at the league after 20 years of service. He will remain active as a consultant for the NBA and its teams.

Anyway, the NHL and NHLPA are on the outs, but talking. The union made another offer to the league on Wednesday to end the lockout and marked the fourth proposal between the owners and players in the past week. The league has scrapped over half the season with all games through Jan. 14, and the deadline to salvage the season is looming. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said a deal would need to be reached by Jan. 11 in order for a 48-game season to be possible.

NBC Sports Group is set to tee off the 2013 PGA TOUR season this week with the Hyundai Tournament of Champions from Hawaii. NBC’s and Golf Channel will offer a combined 20 hours of live tournament action, including NBC’s third-round lead-in coverage, which marks the first time the Hyundai Tournament of Champions has aired on broadcast television in 15 years. Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller are slated will join Rich Lerner and Frank Nobilo in calling the action from the 18th hole tower at the Plantation Course in Kapalua. Making its debut will be Driving Grid, a new graphic representation that measures the yardage of tee shots, on the 18th hole. In addition, the channels will feature competing players introducing themselves on the first tee during Friday’s opening round on Golf Channel and Sunday’s third round coverage on NBC in a new graphic package that models NBC’s Sunday Night Football broadcasts.

NBC Sports Network is set to offer up Star Spangled Sundays starting Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 10p. The series will showcase the NFL’s ascent to become the most-popular sport in America. The four part program will examine topics ranging from television deals to labor strife to branding the sport with interviews that include the likes of Commissioner Roger Goodell, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and NBC’s own Bob Costas.

Bellator 360 debuts on Spike tonight, showcasing the biggest fights in the history of the MMA promotion and previewing upcoming Bellator World Title Fights. Bellator 360 debuts at 10p and will be followed by a second brand new installment of Bellator 360, featuring Bellator’s collection of middleweights.

MSG Network’s Knicks/Trail Blazers telecast on Tuesday night registered a 5.32 Nielsen household rating to the channel, making it the highest-rated game of the 2012-13 season. The game telecast also set season-high ratings in two key demos, scoring a 3.29 rating among Adults 25-54 and a 4.87 rating among Men 25-54.

Time Warner Cable SportsNet announced that the network will telecast 12 Los Angeles D-Fenders home games during the 2012-13 season. The D-Fenders are the official minor league team of the Lakers and the programming will offer behind-the-scenes features that will air on Time Warner Cable SportsNet’s weekly documentary series Backstage: Lakers. A.C. Green and Steve Quis have been tabbed to handle color commentary and play-by-play duties.

Celebrate the passing of 2012 in style! Call for entries for our 2013 Cynopsis Sports Media Awards. The deadline is February 1 and we want to see your best work from the past year. Don’t let someone else take your trophy! Click here for entry information.


Honoring Top Sports Programs, Campaigns, and People…

It’s a NEW YEAR, so don’t forget to enter the
2nd Annual Cynopsis: Sports Media Awards
Entry Deadline: February 1
Late Submissions: February 8
Awards Event: April 2013 (NYC)

Visit our website for additional information on:
Who Should Enter, How to Enter, Eligibility Period, Categories, Deadlines, Sponsorship Opportunities, Contact Information and FAQs.

Sponsorship & Promotion

A new study by ImageTrack is projecting that title sponsorship for the first championship game of college football’s new playoff system will reach the $35 million mark. The annual fees paid by Discover, Allstate, Tostitos and Vizio for the Orange, Sugar, Fiesta and Rose bowl games, respectively, are estimated by IEG to be between $15 million and $20 million.

Great Clips Inc. is ending its primary marketing partnership with Turner Motorsports and will instead jump to JR Motorsports for 28 races this season for NASCAR’s Nationwide series.

PVH Corp. locked in new marketing partnerships for its IZOD brand with two PGA Tour players: two-time Tour winner Scott Piercy and fourth-year Tour pro Spencer Levin. As part of the agreements, Piercy and Levin will wear IZOD Golf apparel on course beginning in January 2013. Simpson, Piercy and Levin will compete together for the first time in 2013 at the Sony Open in Honolulu on January 10-13.

The Professional Bull Riders landed a partnership with ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment to serve as the “Official Chain Saw” of the PBR for the 2013 PBR season. ECHO will market its brand at 10 events during the 2013 Built Ford Tough Series season. The partnership also includes in-arena and chute signage, public address announcements and video board spots.

Digital Fields

Rotoworld announced that the company surpassed one billion page views for 2012 on Saturday, Dec. 22, according to Omniture, to mark the most views for a single year in the site’s 14-year history. In addition, the site has drawn 29 consecutive months of double-digit growth in unique visitors.

Charlotte is welcoming this week, with operations shifting from Atlanta to the 20-story NASCAR Plaza office building. Local reports state that around 50 people have already been hired for the operation with another 20 positions set to be filled in the first quarter.

Say goodbye to a few sports-driven online games. Electronic Arts announced that it is shutting down servers for the likes of FIFA Manager 11 for the PC today, followed by for FIFA Soccer 11, FIFA Soccer 11 Ultimate Team, Madden 11 and its Ultimate Team, NBA Jam, NBA Live 10, NCAA 11, NHL 11, and NHL 11 Ultimate Team on Jan. 11, according to reports.

The Main Event

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl pitting Oregon/Kansas State on ESPN at 8:30p.


Cynopsis: Digital Webinar
Thursday * January 24, 2013 * 1:30-3:00 p.m. ET

Hosted by
Sahil Patel, Associate Editor, Cynopsis Digital
JoAnna Foyle Abel
– VP, Marketing, FreeWheel
Charlie Echeverry
– EVPSales for Univision Interactive, Univision Communications
Marcus Startzel
– General Manager, North America, Millennial Media

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports

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