Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Thursday, May 19, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Fans looking for a college football playoff are going to have to hope for a groundswell. NCAA President Mark Emmert responded Wednesday via letter to the US Department of Justice, which is looking into the legality of the BCS system in college football. In essence, his reaction came down to “What is everyone looking at me for?”

In the letter, posted online at, Emmert responded to the Justice Department query into anti-trust issues for the BCS system, by stating that the lack of a college football playoff was due to a lack of membership support among the institutions and that he had no control over the BCS. “Inasmuch as the BCS system does not fall under the purview of the NCAA, it is not appropriate for me to provide views on the system,” Emmert wrote. With regard to the Association’s plans for an NCAA FBS football championship, there are no plans absent direction from our membership to do so.”

On the Air

ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, presented by Taco Bell, is heating up just in time for the summer. The network reports that the games have been averaging 2,886,000 viewers through seven telecasts, marking an increase of 15% compared to the same period last season. Among households, games are up 12% and the 2.1 rating is an 11% improvement over a 1.9 rating to date in 2010.

Showtime will also be turning toward the boys of summer, announcing the network will begin airing its new documentary series The Franchise: A Season with The San Francisco Giants beginning July 13 at 10p. After delivering the city’s first World Series Title last year, Showtime has partnered with Major League Baseball Productions to provide insight into the professional lifestyle and baseball experience “through the eyes and ears of the men who live and breathe it.” The series will debut with a special one-hour episode and will continue with seven, half-hour episodes through August 31.

Motocross is gearing up for its most coverage ever .MX Sports Pro Racing and Alli, the Alliance of Action Sports said Wednesday that the 2011 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship will receive 60 hours of programming via NBC Sports, SPEED and, for the first time, FUEL TV, including 28 hours of live coverage. On NBC Sports, will begin on June 12 with the Rockstar Energy High Point National.

SPEED will carry 21 hours of programming of the sport, showcasing every final moto of the 250 Class Championship, in addition to two live broadcasts of the Peterson CAT Washougal National on July 23, as well as the season-ending Pala Motocross National on September 10. FUEL TV will air more than 39 hours of total coverage on the network.

ESPN 3D has added the X Games to its schedule, slating 21 hours of X Games 17 action from STAPLES Center and Nokia Theatre L.A. beginning Thursday, July 28. Events are set to include Moto X events, BMX Big Air, and Skateboard Big Air, among others.

Not only are the Atlanta Thrashers potentially up for sale, now the Atlanta Journal Constitution is reporting that the owners of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks are in exclusive talks to sell the team and its arena as well. The newspaper said the Atlanta Spirit group has an exclusive negotiating period to sell the Hawks and their home arena to outgoing San Diego Padres owner John Moores. The Spirit is also in talks to sell the Thrashers to a Canadian group that would move the NHL club to Winnipeg, according to multiple reports.

After everything, Tiger is still the top athlete. Annual Forbes list The Celebrity 100, was released with its 2011 rankings measuring entertainment-related earnings and media visibility (exposure in print, television, radio and online) for film and television actors, TV personalities, models, athletes, authors, musicians and comedians. Among the athletes marking the list this year is Tiger Woods at number six, ranking as the highest athlete, LeBron James at ten, Kobe Bryant at 14, Roger Federer at 25, and David Beckham at 35.

The Big Ten Network will air a special edition of Big Ten Football Report tonight at 8p revealing the channel’s lineup of primetime football games this season. The show will also feature interviews with Michigan’s Lloyd Carr and Ohio State’s Eddie George following their inclusion in the College Football Hall of Fame. Dave Revsine will host the program and will be joined by Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith. The three will discuss the network’s primetime football matchups and their impact on the season.

Sponsorship & Promotion

Universal Sports is going low cal. The channel announced a sponsorship deal yesterday with MGD 64 that will make the beer the official sponsor for the network’s coverage of the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships and 2011 FIVB World Tour. The network is schedules to broadcast more than 25 hours of beach volleyball this summer with MGD 64 the new beverage MGD 64 Lemonade integrated into the coverage with branded graphics and custom media as well as traditional billboards, promotion, and commercial inventory. In addition the brands will also present the “Universal Sports Weekend Update” show.

After years of heartbreak followed by a World Series Championship last year, The San Francisco Giants will become the first professional sports team to join the “It Gets Better” campaign against bullying of gay youths, according The Giants became part of the campaign after 6,000 people signed a petition asking for the Major League Baseball team to produce an “It Gets Better” video. The video will be produced before its annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender night on August 29.

Nike’s Jordan Brand division has signed two-time NCAA Women’s Basketball National Champion Maya Moore to its roster. Moore ranks as college basketball’s all-time leader in games won as a player and becomes the first female player to join the Jordan Brand.

Digital Fields and TNT are revving up to offer racing fans the chance to win the Ultimate Tailgating Vehicle, sponsored by Coors Light. Beginning on May 18 in Charlotte the promotion will move its way up the East Coast with stops in New York City and the Pocono Speedway as well as Michigan, Daytona, Kentucky and Loudon, N.H. The UTV will be on-site and shown on TNT telecasts during the Summer Series package. The UTV boasts: a working kitchen with refrigerator, kegerator and microwave, restroom, shower, as well as an extended sleeping quarter, a bar, grill, cooler, inside and outside taps, satellite radio, wifi enabled with internet-ready TV, and satellite dish

Hall of Fame head coach Phil Jackson told Fox Sports’s online series Barfly that the impending NBA labor dispute played was a factor in his decision to retire. Speaking with’s Mark Kriegel in a joint interview with Lakers Executive VP Jeanie Buss, the departing coach said, “Everyone has been talking about the labor disagreement lasting a whole year and I didn’t want the organization to have to pay a salary for a coach doing nothing. The Lakers have been really good to me salary-wise but if I signed a two-year contract, then they’d have to pay me.”

Tonight’s Main Event

The Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning will play to break a 1-1 series tie in the NHL’s Eastern Conference Finals on Versus at 8p.


Cynopsis Media presents:
Primetime Emmy® Awards: Before the Ballot Special Editions
A 5-part series publishing from May 23  June 20, 2011

Daisy Whitney explores the major Categories before Nominees are determined.
Actor/Actress, Non-Fiction Specials & Series, Reality Host/Competition/Program, Comedy and Drama

Space is limited (Non-fiction & Drama Editions are sold out)
To advertise contact Mike Farina – [email protected], 203.218.6480

ON THIS DAY in  in 1973 – Secretariat won the 99th Preakness to take home the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question: Which conference was the winner of the 2010 ACC/Big Ten Challenge? The Big Ten won the series for the second year in a row. Kudos: Mike Buczkiewicz – Late Show with David Letterman/New York; Matt Muschetto – Digital Broadcasting Group/New York

In The Know:  In what year did the San Francisco Giants first play a World Series? (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
May 19, 2011

Cynopsis Ad Sales:
Mike Farina – VP/Business Development & Sales – 203-218-6480 / [email protected]
Classifieds – Trish Pihonak- 203-381-9096 / [email protected]

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Emails to the Editor in response to: 

In My Opinion:

First of all, I’m much obliged and grateful for all the kind words and show of support with the launch of Cynopsis Sports. There seems to be in infinite amount of material to cover and I’m thrilled with this opportunity.
What may be the biggest issue from this past week is one that is both baffling yet unsurprising. Last year, the Fiesta Bowl netted $15 million as a part of the BCS system, which included $2.9 million alone from Big East champion UConn for unsold tickets for their game against Oklahoma. That’s a lot of money from Connecticut taxpayers. So after the BCS came down with a $1 million fine, to be paid to Arizona’s youth, for potentially illegal reimbursements paid to employees for political donations as well as lavish spending by executives, bowl organizers were more than happy to pay the fee. In addition, the Fiesta Bowl was allowed to stay in the BCS.
With the Justice Department now involved in an investigation into the legality of the BCS system, and more states mulling lawsuits, a slap on the wrist wasn’t the right image for an already beleaguered organization, whether you like the BCS or not. What do you think should have been done?

(Agree or disagree?  Email your comments to chris[email protected] for inclusion under Emails to the Editor on Monday)


I have an issue with any organization that establishes a competition platform that…

a) incorporates exclusion at any level.
b) relies on subjective opinion (ie: strength of schedule) to evaluate potential participants.
c) uses a “cyber” model that is questionable, at best, to “enhance” the selection process.

A championship should simply be based on objective head to head competition between which teams (or individuals) won the most games. If any other evaluation factor needs to be included, it would have to be a second objective criteria such as total points scored. If this means that the coach of Team A chooses to “run up the score” in a game against Team B, in an effort to showcase the teams prowess and establish a stronger position in the final selection process, that’s simply playing to win…nothing more…nothing less.

Votes of coaches, sportswriters, etc…computer analyses and all the other”stuff” simply clouds the issue and turns straight up competition into an ultimate political contest.

Simply stated…”MAY THE BEST TEAM WIN”…period!!!!

Jeff Gilbert


I love the new Cynopsis Sports! Keep up the great work.

As for the Fiesta Bowl, I can’t believe that this isn’t going on in some shape or form in the other BCS game cities. John Junker has always been a slimy fellow, and it didn’t surprise me one bit. I live in Phoenix, and the Fiesta Bowl and the BCS National championship mean so much to the valley. Not only with the dollars it brings in for tourism, but it is a game that everyone looks forward to every year. I think keeping it a BCS game was the smart choice. Who doesn’t love coming here in the dead of winter to support their team?!?!

I do think the fine could have been more, but I do think the bowl moved quickly in removing the offenders, and trying to immediately fix the problem.

Brienne Chance

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