Good morning! It’s Thursday, November 3, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
The drama at Dodger Stadium is officially at an end, with Dodgers owner Frank McCourt reaching a deal with MLB on Tuesday to sell one of the sport’s biggest brands. In a joint statement, both parties said that there will be a “court-supervised process” to sell the team and the pair will work together to ensure McCourt receives the maximum value for the team. The Blackstone Group LP will manage the sale, which could also include Dodger Stadium and the surrounding parking lots. The news comes as the team and the league were approaching more legal maneuvering in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware at the end of the month. McCourt filed for bankruptcy protection last June after the league turned down a 17-year TV contract with Fox, reported to be worth up to $3 billion, that he needed to keep the team afloat.
Mark Cuban, who has unsuccessfully tried to buy the Cubs and Rangers in the past, told ESPN that he remains interested in buying the Dodgers at the right price. “It all comes down to price,” Cuban wrote Wednesday morning in an email to ESPNLosAngeles.com. “It’s important to have more than enough money to pay players and invest in the organization.”
The NFL and Nielsen reports that NFL games scored at the top of local ratings in 20 of 27 markets last week (not counting NY, Philly and Boston which suffered weather-related power outages). Top markets for the week included Pittsburgh with a 51.2/72, as well as New Orleans, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Buffalo.
Sans NBA, ESPN continues to rejigger its lineup to fill the voids, adding more college football and basketball games to the mix, as well as expanded editions of SportsCenter. USA Today reports that programming changes are set to include a USC/Colorado game on Friday instead of the canceled NBA Portland/L.A. Clippers game. Other substitutions will include the Nov. 9 NBA Houston/Philadelphia game replaced by Miami (OH)/Temple football at 8p, the Maui Invitational third-place basketball game will replace the Nov. 23 Lakers/Oklahoma City contest and the Nov. 25 Old Spice Classic consolation basketball game is set to make up for the Houston/Minnesota match at 7:30p.
With less than two weeks before the premiere of UFC on FOX on Nov. 12, UFC President Dana White spoke with reporters to discuss the state of the event as well as the future of the sport. White noted that the UFC on FOX match is already set to air live in 19 countries, including Italy, Korea, Croatia and Greece. In addition, White said that he plans to leverage the international following of the sport into new events, such as the introduction of an Ultimate Fighter World Cup that would pit the winners of several international editions against each other to create one overall champion. In addition, White announced that the Heavyweight weigh-ins will air live on Fuel TV ahead of their match.
A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that the Federal Communications Commissions acted improperly in fining CBS over the famed exposure of Janet Jackson’s breast during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show. The three-judge panel in Philadelphia ruled that the FCC wrongly assessed a $550,000 fine against the network for the so-called “wardrobe malfunction” that lasted just over half a second.
The NBC Sports Group announced that it will air 16 live college hockey games this season on NBC Sports Network, including four from the Hockey East Tournament, including the semifinals and final. This season’s slate of game will mark the first time that the NBC Sports Group will air college hockey games, with coverage beginning on Dec. 31 featuring Notre Dame/Boston University.
With MLS team DC United struggling with stadium issues at RFK, multiple reports state that the team is scouting soccer fans in the Baltimore area as a potential new home for the franchise. Fans were asked questions such as how likely they would be to attend matches if a current or new team moved into a soccer-specific stadium in the Westport area of Baltimore. State authorities have already approached the franchise about moving into a proposed venue in Westport, near Camden Yards. With playoffs underway, MLS recently announced record attendance for games this year.
The Western Athletic Conference made its men’s basketball television schedule available, featuring 20 conference games set to be broadcast by either the ESPN family of networks and the WAC Sports Network (WSN). Overall, the league will get one game on ESPN (Cal St. Northridge/Hawaii) as well as two on ESPN2, two on ESPNU and five on ESPN Regional Television (ERT). In addition, the WAC Tournament championship game will also be shown on ESPN2. WSN will broadcast a total of nine WAC regular season games.
ESPN, NBC Universal, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., Scripps Networks Interactive and Discovery were named as the top five programming companies for women to work for in the cable industry, according to a survey conducted by Women in Cable Telecommunications. The 2011 WICT PAR Survey was conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management in collaboration with the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications AIM Survey. “ESPN is proud to be recognized as a leader in our industry in fostering a workplace environment where women are valued and succeed,” said Paul Richardson, ESPN senior vice president, human resources, & chief diversity officer, The Walt Disney Company. “Embracing diversity is one of our core values and we have worked diligently to introduce a number of initiatives that positively impact the employee experience and demonstrate our commitment to ensuring gender equity, inclusion and support for employees seeking greater work/life balance and support.”
Representatives for both NBA players and owners met in the courtroom yesterday in Brooklyn, to deliver “oral arguments in the NBPA’s motion to dismiss the NBA’s lawsuit,” according to CBSSports.com. The two sides have not scheduled any additional sessions to reconvene after talks fell apart on revenue sharing last week, although NBPA officials are set to meet today to discuss next steps.
FOX Sports Media Group Chairman & CEO David Hill has been awarded the 2012 National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Lifetime Achievement Award in Technology for his innovations in sports television coverage over the last few decades. The award will be presented to Hill at the 63rd Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy® Awards in Las Vegas on January 12, 2012.
World Fishing Network is bringing back Mariko Izumi on Nov. 7 at 7:30p for the return of Hookin’ Up with Mariko Izumi on the channel. This season will launch with a three-part episode showcasing Mariko’s Alaskan adventure. Highlights will include fly-in fly fishing, offshore salmon fishing, shrimping, crabbing and more.
Discover Financial Services and the NHL locked down a multi-year sponsorship agreement that names Discover as an Official Partner of the NHL in the U.S. As part of this agreement, Discover will become the title sponsor of the inaugural NHL on NBC broadcast on Thanksgiving Friday – now dubbed the 2011 Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown – featuring the Boston Bruins and the Detroit Red Wings at 1p on NBC. Discover and the NHL also will introduce a co-branded float called “Frozen Fall Fun” that will make its first-ever appearance in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The float will feature a performance by Cee-Lo Green, and is designed to reflect a fall hockey theme.
Just ahead of the ING New York City Marathon, New York Road Runners, in partnership with MapMyRun, is launching the ING New York City Marathon Mobile Spectator App presented by Subway. The app is designed to offer “the ultimate spectator experience” to fans with features that include real-time tracking of race participants, live streaming of the men’s and women’s professional races (premium), Live streaming of NBC4 New York’s race broadcast (premium), an interactive course map, and photo and video gallery. The basic version of the app will be free, with a premium version of the app available for $2.99.
The ACC announced yesterday that the conference will be offering five men’s basketball games on theACC.com website for free in December. The games will be produced by Raycom Sports for the ACC Digital Network and also be made available to ESPN3. Games will include a Dec. 29 matchup featuring NCSU/Campbell at 7 p.m., as well as games featuring Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, and Virginia.
Video game maker Codemasters announced that F1 2011 will be released for Nintendo 3DS on November 25, marking the first time a Formula One game will be playable in full 3D. Features will include, in addition to the full season and time trial modes, a challenge mode that has been designed for portable racing, with players taking on a range of objectives, including checkpoint, gate and overtaking challenges.
The Main Event
A fun Ducks/Rangers game is on deck on NHL Network at 8p.
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ON THIS DAY in 1934: Mickey Cochrane wins the AL MVP despite Lou Gehrig winning the Triple Crown.
Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question: What SMU running back is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Answer: Eric Dickerson. Kudos: Michael Brown – IMG Worldwide, Inc./NY; David Koonin- MELT/Atlanta; Paul Brewer – Turner SI Digital/NY; John Quinn – DISH Network/NY; Bob Ramsey WCIU/Chicago; Steve Krone Starcom/Chicago; John Ward NBC Sports Group/Chicago; David Hauptman – Katz Television Group/Denver; Anne Wettig FX Network/LA; John DeLeon – DLP Entertainment/LA; Brian Sullivan – KHQ-TV/Spokane; Steve Morrow – Eclipse TV/Mill Valley
In The Know: Which university did famed Dodgers announcer Vin Scully attend? (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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JOB OPENING: DIGITAL AE/Chicago/NY: Sell A+E Network’s suite of dig advertising opportunities within assigned territory to agencies/clients https://www.abso.com/jobboard/Default.aspx?JOBBOARDID=618&JobDetail=106995 (11/10)
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JOB OPENING: DISTRIBUTION COUNSEL/A+E Networks/NY: Min 5 yrs cable-carriage distribution/affiliate deals. More info & Apply: www.aetn.com/careers.html #103642 (11/4)
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SITUATION WANTED: AD SALES ASSISTANT: (CHICAGO) Interned at Comcast Sports Net in Ad Sales, Works as Sales Assistant at NBCUniversal. Has B.A. from DePaul in PR/Advertising. Resume upon request. Contact [email protected] (11/8)
SITUATION WANTED: Seeking Media/Marketing/Brand Strategy Assistant position in L.A. I have a MBA in Marketing, 7+ years work experience. Interned at Starwood Hotels. Interested in all things creative. Contact [email protected] (11/8)
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