Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Thursday, March 21, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

The Big East Conference (the new one) liked what it saw in FOX Sports and decided to stay for a while, announcing a 12-year multi-platform media rights agreement that begins with the 2013-14 academic year. The breakaway conference will feature ten schools that include Butler University, Creighton University, DePaul University, Georgetown University, Marquette University, Providence College, St. John’s University, Seton Hall University, Villanova University and Xavier University. The deal delivers FOX Sports with rights to all conference-controlled men’s basketball games, as well as select rights to women’s basketball, all Olympic sports and extensive rights for highlights and to produce ancillary programming. Upcoming channel FOX Sports 1 will carry over 100 men’s regular-season basketball games next season, including the entire Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament each season, live from Madison Square Garden.

On the Air

ESPN had some news of its own, reaching an agreement in principle with the Mountain West for rights to televise select conference football and basketball games through the 2019-20 season. As part of the agreement, ESPN will acquire exclusive worldwide rights to televise up to 16 Mountain West football games plus every Boise State home game as well as up to 31 conference-controlled men’s basketball games annually. As part of the deal, ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC will televise a minimum of three Boise State football home games nationally.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for the 34th Annual Sports Emmy Awards, with NBC Sports Group earning 58 total nominations, the most nods for any sports media company or network. NBC led all networks, broadcast or cable, with 36 nominations while the company’s coverage of the Summer Olympics drew 14. Overall, more than 170 nominees were announced in 34 categories. The ESPN networks drew the second most with 43, according to NATAS, while Turner Sports garnered 27. FOX Sports Media Group pulled in 17, as did HBO Sports. NFL Network was awarded with 16 nominations, CBS with 15, followed by MLB Network with 9, and DIRECTV and YouTube each scoring one. The Awards will be handed out on Tuesday, May 7th, 2013 in New York City.

CBS Sports Network added a bevy of current college coaches and former players to serve as guest analysts for its coverage of the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. On-air talent is set to include coaches such as Connecticut’s Kevin Ollie, South Carolina’s Frank Martin, Boston College’s Steve Donahue and Rutgers’ Mike Rice, while former players feature the likes of Bobby Hurley (Duke and current Rhode Island assistant), Scoop Jardine (Syracuse) and Marc Jackson(Temple).

The NFL confirmed that the Pro Bowl will once again return to Honolulu next January and again be held a week before the Super Bowl. According to the AP, Roger Goodell said that the system for choosing the players won’t change, although he had considered having team captains select their rosters in lieu of the traditional AFC vs. NFC format. Meanwhile the league also announced that the year’s NFL Hall of Fame Game will take place on Sunday Aug. 4 at 8p on NBC and feature the Cowboys/Dolphins. 

The US Open decided that Sunday was a good day after all, and will go back to a 14-day tournament format from 2015. The move comes after the USTA reached an agreement with players that will not only increase prize money by $4.1 million to $33.6 million this year (reaching $50 million by 2017) and deciding that after opting to wrap up the tournament on a Monday last year and this year, the US Open will shift the men’s championship back to Sunday while the women’s title will be played on Saturday.

NBC Sports Network will offer 19 hours of motorsports coverage this weekend featuring the debut of the 2013 IZOD IndyCar series as well as Formula One’s second race of the season. The IndyCar season will kick off with the Honda Indy Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, March 24 at noon.  The channel’s new-look IndyCar booth will debut with Leigh Diffey as lead voice in his first year covering the IndyCar Series. He will be joined by Wally Dallenbach, Jr., and newcomer to the booth, IndyCar driver Townsend Bell.

Former Major League Soccer and Venezuelan National Team striker Alejandro Moreno is joining team ESPN as a soccer analyst. He will mainly serve as an analyst for Mexican National Team and Liga MX matches on ESPN’s English networks, although he will also serve as a studio analyst for events such as MLS Cup, Confederations Cup 2013, and other FIFA events. Moreno will work his first U.S. Men’s National Team match on Tuesday, March 26, at 9:30p where he will join Ian Darke and fellow analyst Taylor Twellman in the boost for Mexico/USA.

Pac-12 Networks revealed coverage plans for spring football games and scrimmages from every conference campus, marking the first time that every Pac-12 spring football game will be televised live, and makes the Pac-12 the only conference in the country that will have every spring game featured live on television. The action starts Saturday, March 23 with live coverage from Berkeley for the University of California spring game at 4p with Rich Cellini and analyst Glenn Parker in the booth.

ESPN is apparently up for a game of Ultimate Frisbee, inking a deal with USA Ultimate, the sports NGB, to carry the College Championships as well as the inaugural Triple Crown Tour, including the U.S. Open and the National Championships on its platforms.

Are you a finalist? Tickets are now available for the Cynopsis: Sports Media Awards, which will take place on April 17 at Yale Club in Manhattan. Click here for more info.


2013 Digital Content Newfronts Coverage
With the 2013 Digital Content Newfronts approaching, Cynopsis: Digital keeps you up on all of the latest news and information before, during and after the conferences.
To reserve ad space contact: Mike Farina | 203.218.6480 | [email protected]

Cynopsis: Digital Special eReports
[April 25] 2013 Digital Content Newfronts
All the top news leading into the Digital Newfronts]

[May 7] 2013 Digital Content Newfronts: Wrap-up
[A recap of the highlights and trends from the Digital NewFronts]

Sponsorship & Promotion

Turner Broadcasting announced a far-reaching partnership with MillerCoors in 2013 that will span TBS, TNT, CNN, truTV, Funny Or Die, NBA on TNT, Bleacher Report, and more. Each component will be developed to reach the right audience for the specific MillerCoors brands, including Coors Light, Miller Lite, Miller 64, Blue Moon and Leinenkugel’s, as well as new brands such as Redd’s Apple Ale and Third Shift. Media agency Initiative was responsible for negotiating the deal on behalf of MillerCoors. On the sports front, the deal will include sponsorship of NASCAR Mobile 2013 with custom Miss Coors Light content integration; enhancements with Miller Lite and Coors Light during the 2013 NBA Playoffs on TNT; and Coors light branding support for Bleacher Report’s Team Stream app.

Multi-platform entertainment network Crackle announced that the company has signed on as the title sponsor NASCAR Nationwide Series Driver Paulie Harraka at the Royal Purple 300 on March 23, 2013. In addition to Crackle, T3Media Inc., a video management and licensing company, will act as co-sponsor.

Longines, the official timekeeper and partner of the French Open, is expanding its youth tennis initiative, Longines Future Tennis Aces  On the Road to the French Open and will now partner with the USTA Boys’ & Girls’ 12s National Spring Championships. The winner of the Boys 12s singles division will earn a trip to Paris to play against qualifiers from 16 other nations as well as financing for his tennis equipment until his 16th birthday, courtesy of Longines.

Digital Fields

NASCAR has opened voting for this year’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, which is set for Saturday, May 18 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Race fans can vote an unlimited number of times between March 20 and May 18 by downloading the NASCAR Mobile ’13 application or visiting with votes cast on NASCAR Mobile ’13 counting twice towards a driver’s total. The driver receiving the highest number of votes will earn a spot in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, which airs live on SPEED at 7:30p.

Speaking of votes, balloting for the Naismith Award, which is presented by AT&T, just got easier. Agency CSE is revamping the mobile and desktop site to enhance the voting experience, bringing in a Twitter gauge to monitor how the men’s nominees are trending during the vote as well as adding a Women’s Vote within the sites.

Roster Moves

E.M. ‘Kiki’ VanDeWeghe III is joining the NBA where he will serve as Vice President, Basketball Operations starting April 1. He will be charged with a range of basketball matters, including the development of playing rules and interpretations; game analytics; disciplinary matters; and policies and procedures relating to the operation of NBA games. He will also serve as a key interface between the league and the teams.

Production & Technology

Since this is our Tech Thursday edition, here is a breakout of the nominees for The George Wensel Technical Achievement Award, which will be awarded during the Sports Emmys. This year’s nominees include NBC Sports Group for its creation of The Multi-Screen Olympics last summer as well as for the 360 Cam, which was used at the Olympics as well as for its golf coverage. FOX Sports drew the remaining three nominations, including its use of the Phantom Camera for MLB on FOX, the 3D Cutaway Car for NASCAR on FOX, and the Super Zoom for NFL on FOX.

Meanwhile, Golf Channel is getting ready to utilize some new technology of its own, with the network testing the new Hoverfly camera that could be used at future PGA Tour events. The drone-like aerial camera was used to an episode of On the Range and hovered above players getting ready for this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational. The futuristic cam will not be used during tournament play at this time.

US News syndication agency SendtoNews entered an agreement with Civolution, a provider of technology and solutions for identifying, managing and monetizing content, that will see the company utilizing Civolution’s digital watermarking technology to encode their sports content brought in from various sporting locations. After the content has been distributed via SendtoNews’s media delivery network, it will be tracked on the global Teletrax monitoring network.

The Main Event

NCAA Tournament on CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV, starting at 12:15p with Valparaiso/Michigan St. on CBS.


Sports Luminaries To Be Honored at Cynopsis Sports Media Awards in April

Steve Bornstein (President and CEO) NFL Network + (EVP of Media) NFL
John Kosner
(EVP & GM) ESPN Digital + Print Media
Scott Blackmun (CEO) US Olympic Committee
Scott McCune
(VP, Global Partnerships & Experiential Marketing) The Coca-Cola Company

Cynopsis Sports Media Awards Breakfast
April 17 | 8-10a.m. | The Yale Club NY
Sponsored by: NFL
Last year’s event sold out Register here:

ON THIS DAY in 1980: President Jimmy Carter announces a US boycott of the Olympic Games in Moscow.

In The Know: Who is the only player to be selected with the top pick in the NFL draft to be picked out of the University of Illinois? (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 first female member of the MNF on-air team? Answer: Lesley Visser. Kudos: Adam Freifeld-NBC Sports Group/NY; Ralph Sorrentino-Viacom Media/NY; Jen Benensky-Turner Digital/NY; Randy Master-Tennis Channel/NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Harry S Vested, Jr.-Gravity Collection Inc./Denver; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports

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