Thursday, July 7th, 2011



On Monday over 7 million P2+ tuned in to see Mexico take on Chile.
Twelve nations share the dream but only ONE will be crowned champion.

Copa America sizzles through July 24. Live only on Univision and

Get into the game. Call Carlos Deschapelles 212-455-5209

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Thursday, July 7, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

The IOC is in the mood for Korean, voting yesterday to make Pyeongchang, South Korea the host for the 2018 Winter Games. The city easily beat out Munich and Annecy, France in final voting after barely losing out in its previous bids for the 2010 and 2014 Olympics. The question now will be how Comcast will handle the 14-hour time difference (with New York) after making a hefty investment of $4.4 billion in the Games last month. Outside of Japan, Pyeongchang will be the first Asian city to host the Winter Games.

On the Air

ESPN has locked in Major League Baseball All-Star coverage, which will be highlighted on the channel by the 2011 State Farm Home Run Derby on Monday, July 11, at 8p, as well as on, ESPN Mobile TV, ESPN Radio, ESPN 3D and ESPN Deportes. Chris Berman will once again host the Derby, joined for the first time by ESPN analysts John Kruk and Nomar Garciaparra. Buster Olney and Pedro Gomez will provide on-field reports. New production elements this year will feature a updated distance tracking system, a new virtual graphics package, and ESPN Ball Track.

NBC Sports Group has unveiled its programming plans for the U.S. Women’s Open, and will generate at least 25 hours of live action from the tournament as well as news coverage on Golf Channel and NBC. The action will come from the East Course at the Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs, where “Golf Channel on NBC” will offer up six hours of live coverage over the weekend, while Golf Channel delivers wrap-around news coverage throughout the week. and will also team up to provide comprehensive online coverage of the championship. On NBC, Dan Hicks is on deck to host with analysts Johnny Miller and Dottie Pepper. Anchoring Golf Channel’s on-site news coverage will be Tom Abbott, Charlie Rymer and Whit Watson.

Fresh off record audiences for Wimbledon this year, where it spiked 21% versus 2010, TSN has inked a 10-year multimedia rights deal to keep the Grand Slam Tournament on the channel for the next decade. TSN extended its partnership with the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club with the new deal set to begin in 2012 and TSN broadcasting the final weekend of both the Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Singles Finals for the first time in network history. The agreement also includes all French-language multimedia broadcast rights for RDS.

ESPN is showing its hand for the channel’s upcoming coverage of the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event, which will kick off on Thursday, July 14. For the first time, ESPN’s presentation of the event will feature ‘live’ unedited hole cards on a 30-minute delay as well as 40 hours of coverage in high definition on ESPN, ESPN2 and Lori McEachem and David Tuchman will handle play-by-play and will use a sideline reporter for the first time with Kara Scott making her WSOP debut.

Speaking of poker, the World Poker Tour will telecast its 200th episode on Sunday on FSN, matching the likes of The Cosby Show and topping such television staples as Seinfeld. The Tour’s Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten are the longest running poker announcing tandem in U.S. TV history.

NFL Network will feature the stars of Curb Your Enthusiasm tonight at 10p as part of the channel’s The Rich Eisen Podcast. The episode will feature Eisen sitting down for a 1-on-1 with series creator Larry David, as well as a roundtable with Rich joining David and fellow cast members Jeff Garlin, Bob Einstein and J.B. Smoove to discuss the show.

Spike TV’s “UFC Prelims” special for UFC 132 over the weekend, averaged 1.2 million viewers, down from the 1.6 million it drew for UFC 131 in June to score a 0.8 household rating, with a 1.1 among men 18-49.

On the final weekend before the All-Star Game, the Fox Saturday Baseball Game of the Week will showcase a trio of intra-divisional games led by a Braves @ Phillies game on Saturday at 4p. Running in 76% of the country, Kenny Albert and Eric Karros make the calls. Twins @ White Sox is set to air in 16% of the nation, featuring Dick Stockton and Mark Grace behind the microphone, while Joe Buck, Tim McCarver and Ken Rosenthal handle Padres @ Dodgers, for the final 7%. Chris Rose hosts MLB on Fox pregame from Dodger Stadium.

CBS Sports will hit the weekend with third- and final-round coverage of the John Deere Classic beginning at 3p on Saturday and Sunday. Microphone duties will be handled by Bill Macatee and Ian Baker-Finch in the 18th tower, Peter Oosterhuis on the 17th hole, and David Feherty on the 16th hole.

The Big 12 has announced that ESPNU will televise to conference soccer games this year, featuring Missouri at Oklahoma on Oct. 16 at noon, and Oklahoma State at Texas A&M on Oct. 23 at 2p.

Time Warner Cable has tapped Mark Shuken as Senior VP and GM of its upcoming networks dedicated to the LA Lakers. The channels, set for both English and Spanish, will launch in the second half of next year. Shuken was previously President and CEO of DirecTV Sports Networks. TWC announced back in February that it had acquired rights to distribute local broadcasts of Lakers games for 20 years starting with the 2012-13 season.

Sponsorship & Promotion

The Dallas Cowboys are adding the likes of Spider-Man, Captain America and Iron Man to its team, striking a deal with Marvel Entertainment to develop co-branded merchandise featuring the company’s heroes decked out in Cowboy team colors, logos and jerseys. The line is set to be unveiled this summer. No word on if the upcoming CBA will include testing for radioactive blood.

The Breeder’s Cup is revving up a marketing campaign designed to drive interest in the upcoming $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic. The campaign will seek to generate a buzz about race contenders and Breeders’ Cup Challenge Classic division races.

Under Armour has signed Bobcats rookie point guard Kemba Walker to an endorsement deal. The multi-year agreement will have Walker wear Under Armour footware in both practices and games.

Digital Fields

Top 10 Social Media fanbases in the NCAA according to SportsFanGraph:
School                    Twitter Followers        Facebook Fans   Total
Ohio St.                          8,469             983,066           991,535
U of Florida                      24,993            596,346           621,339
U of Texas  Austin               0                 613,770           613,770
U of Kentucky                     20,920            470,713           491,633
U of Wisconsin  Madison        6,988            309,044           316,032
U of Oregon                       7,664             271,976           279,640
U of Oklahoma                     18,274            259,176           277,450
U of Alabama                      19,806            229,376           249,182
U of North Carolina              7,167             230,326           237,493
U of Iowa                         16,310            196,260           212,570

The Main Event

Two divisional leaders square off when the Yankees visit the Indians on YES at 7:05p.

ON THIS DAY in 1955 – First LPGA Championship was won by Beverly Hanson

Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question:    In what year was Jeter the World Series MVP?  2000. Kudos: Michael Donato – Millennium Sales & Marketing/NY; Greg Messinger – The New York Times/NY; Matt Lederer – Comcast/Philadelphia; Anthony Diaz/Sporting News/NY; Osahon Tongo – Situation Wanted/Chicago; Mike Patterson – Turner – SI Digital/Chicago; Jane Degen – Mass Relevance, Inc./Austin; Mindi Sue – black & blue star/LA

In The Know:  (Courtesy Jamie Leigh) When was the last time the Pittsburgh Pirates had a winning season and who is the only player from that team that is still actively playing? (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.)

In My Opinion …

With the official birth of the Pac-12, and the tip of my hat to Larry Scott for propelling that conference to new highs, I’m still curious how, exactly, they play to launch the Pac-12 Network. As the Big Ten found out, it’s not easy out there and after spurning Comcast in TV negotiations (Comcast is prominent is a slew of Pac-12 markets) but where now does the Pac-12 turn? Reports this week suggested that instead of Fox or Comcast, the conference may instead look to Apple or Google as a de facto MSO for a branded channel. That, of course, could be subscription-based and spawns questions on whether that the best way to for an organization with millions of dollars worth of content at its disposal to reach new highs. Commissioner Larry Scott has quickly surprised people before, so I wouldn’t bet against him

Agree or disagree?  Send in your views for posting here to chris [email protected] under Emails to the Editor …

I would agree that spurning Comcast presents a challenge, but this is not your typical stand alone looking for distribution. This is a network that enjoys strategic alliances with both FOX and ESPN. I think it will depend completely on how much either, or both, of these heavyweights are prepared (or contractually obligated) to go to bat for the Pac-12. As for Apple and/or Google, it should be fascinating to see what transpires if Larry Scott does choose to go in that direction. But whether he does or not, I think most would agree that the big digital players are likely to emerge as the primary distribution platforms of the future.

Michael Hurley

Later — Chris
 Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports
July 7, 2011

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