Thursday, March 29th, 2012


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Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Thursday, March 29, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

FOX Sports is apparently looking at launching a new national sports channel that would go against the likes of ESPN, NBC Sports Network and CBS Sports Network. The story was broken by Bloomberg and confirmed by News Corp.’s own Wall Street Journal yesterday. Although Bloomberg stated that the network would be in operation this year, subsequent sources say that if the venture does go forward, it will not be any time in 2012. To move forward, News Corp. would look to convert an existing channel, possibly FUEL, into the newly-branded sports network.

On the Air

Of course, yesterday’s big news was the fallout from Magic Johnson’s group which won bidding to claim the Los Angeles Dodgers. Although the reported final price tag has ranged anywhere from $2-$2.5 billion, a lucrative media rights deal waits in the wings. The Los Angeles Times reports the rights could be worth up to $4 billion (talk about setting some lofty goals!). The sale officially goes to Guggenheim Baseball Management LLC, with Mark R. Walter as its controlling partner, along with Johnson, Peter Guber, Stan Kasten, Bobby Patton and Todd Boehly. The deal will be presented to bankruptcy judge Kevin Gross next month for approval.

After marking 2011 as its best year ever, Golf Channel continued its ratings momentum into the New Year with the first quarter of 2012 scoring as its most-watched in the network’s 17-year history. During the period, the channel reached more than 25 million unique viewers from January through March, according to Nielsen, and bolstered by PGA Tour ratings rising 16% year over year and 83% better than 2010.

Longtime ESPN staple Dana Jacobson is leaving the company next month, according to USA Today. Jacobson has been with ESPN for 10 years as an anchor and studio host, most notably ESPN2’s First Take.

DIRECTV is driving into the 2012 Masters Tournament with another round of expanded, interactive golf coverage April 5-8 with the 2012 Masters Tournament. The service will combine CBS Sports’ and ESPN’s live HD coverage of the Tournament, DIRECTV’s “Masters Mosaic” interactive TV application and six-channel Masters Mix. The Masters Mix Channel offers fans six views of the Tournament: the main CBS Sports/ESPN feed; two Featured Group channels; Amen Corner; holes 15 and 16; and “Masters in Depth,” along with a continuously running leader board featuring live tee times, scoring and leaders’ locations on the course.

MTV2 announced today that extreme sports show Nitro Circus returned last night with some nice ratings bumps, with the premiere drawing a .30 among P12-34 while the second episode at 11:30p grew 5% to a .32 P12-34. In the channel’s target demo, the series delivered the highest rated original series premiere ever with a .51 M12-34 score and improved the time period by 164% among M12-34.

Universal Sports announced that the channel will offer a special presentation of the 2012 ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships from Dortmund, Germany with live PPV coverage available through DIRECTV, DISH, and AvailTVN. In addition, InDemand will offer the event through VOD, while will provide 70 hours of streaming through subscription packages.

While rumors of the Atlantic 10, MAC and Sun Belt looking to carve up the CAA continue to bubble, one move that did get locked down in the NCAA Shuffle is actually on the west coast. The West Coast Conference announced that the University of the Pacific has accepted its offer to join the league, and will depart the Big West in the move for the 2013-14 season.

New speakers announced for the Cynopsis Sports Business Summit. David Neal, Senior Vice President for Univision Deportes, and Monty Mullig, Executive Vice President/GM of Digital at CSE have been added to the roster of panelists for Tuesday April 24 in New York. Join us for the Cynopsis Sports Business Summit. Register now at this site:

Sponsorship & Promotion

Nike is suing Reebok for selling New York Jets apparel with the name of its new quarterback Tim Tebow on them, according to the AP. Nike is officially transitioning as the NFL’s official licensing partner, supplanting Reebok, and said in the lawsuit that it is the only company authorized and licensed to use Tim Tebow’s name on clothing.

The Topps Company struck a deal with the licensing and marketing subsidiary of the NFL Players Association that will allow Topps to continue showcasing NFL players in company products. Topps will unveil its first product of the season, Bowman Football, just ahead of the 2012 NFL season.

The Disney and ESPN Media Networks group announced that Chris Brush is shifting to Senior Vice President, Affiliate Sales and Marketing for the Disney and ESPN Media Networks. Meanwhile, Christen Harris has been promoted to Vice President, Digital Video Distribution within the affiliate sales and marketing team.

Beam, a division of The Mill Group, formally announced its recent partnership with Cole & Weber and The International Olympic Committee to distribute the official London 2012 kick-off commercial. Through the deal, Olympic broadcasters around the world received the advertisement in a format that allowed each country to customize it with footage of their local Olympic athletes.

Digital Fields

Voting for the next cover athlete of Madden NFL 13 is down to 16 with 4.3 million votes cast during the play-in round and more than 8.5 million votes since the start of the bracket phase of the competition on March 21. Among the highlights: 49ers LB Patrick Willis and 11 seed, upset No. 6 seed Matt Forte (RB, Chicago Bears). Round two voting is now open at College Network is celebrating their partnerships with all eight schools left in the NCAA men’s and women’s tournaments as producers of their official athletic sites. The College Network produces approximately 150 official athletic sites for colleges and universities across the country.

The Main Event

Mavericks/Heat on TNT at 8p.



Cynopsis: Sports Media Awards

Click here to learn about the Awards program, eligibility period, and enter online!

Entry Questions: Jenn Sredzinski | Sponsorships: Mike Farina

ON THIS DAY in 1996: The departed Cleveland Browns announce the new team name, the Baltimore Ravens.

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Mascot week. One of the ponies that pull the Sooner Schooner for the University of Oklahoma is named Sooner, what is the name of the other? Boomer. Kudos: Todd Hommel-ESPNNY/NY; Zach Hochster-Scout Sports and Entertainment/NY; Adam Licker-ABC Family/NY; Shawn Gerchicoff-Turner Sports/Atlanta; Marc Wollis-NBC Sports Group/Orlando; Pete Holtermann-HolterMedia/Ponte Vedra Beach; Robin Holtermann-ATP/Ponte Vedra Beach; Mitch Burg-Syndicated Network Television Association/Dallas; Bob Ramsey-WCIU/Chicago; Lance Williams-Comcast Spotlight/Chicago; Kevin Fay-DIRECTavenue/Carlsbad; John Christman-KAYU-KFFX-KCYU Television/Spokane.

In The Know: Mascot week. What school’s lucky charm is known as Jack the Bulldog? (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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SUMMER INTERNSHIPS CREDITS ONLY: INTERNS/JAMAICA, QUEENS NY: Trendy online magazine seeks dedicated interns to help assist with writing content, research, development, & marketing in Jamaica, Queens (NY). Email [email protected]  (4/5)

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