Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Thursday, October 10, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

AOL Inc. and ESPN locked in an agreement that will give AOL’s audience access to the bulk of ESPN’s videos, including news, highlights and analysis. The agreement “significantly boosts” AOL’s sports-related offering with ESPN providing ESPN-branded news, highlights and analysis, including video content seen on SportsCenter and other ESPN programs. AOL will syndicate ESPN video content across both its owned and operated sites (such as and The Huffington Post), along with its network of partners that includes 1,700 publishers such as Cox, Gannett, and The Boston Globe, as well as mobile phones, tablets and connected TV devices. Ad sales for this video content will be led by ESPN and revenue will be shared by both parties along with AOL’s syndication partners.

On the Air

TBS continues its hitting streak for the network’s coverage of the MLB Postseason, with Tuesday’s doubleheaders  featuring Oakland/Detroit and Boston/Tampa Bay  delivering a 3.1 household Nielsen Fast Nationals rating and 4.5 million total viewers, up 35% and 32% over the comparable day a year ago. Local highlights includes a 19.7 score in Boston, the second highest-rated MLB game in the market since Game 7 of the 2008 ALCS; a 17.8 in Tampa Bay, the best for an MLB telecast in the market since Game 5 of the 2010 ALDS; and a 19.3 HH rating in Detroit, the top rating of the year for a Tigers game locally.
The NFL reports that Sunday’s CBS national telecast anchored by the Broncos and Cowboys ranked as the most watched TV program with 28.3 million average viewers last week. Overall, the game is the second most-watched of the year, behind FOX’s Packers/49ers duel on Sept. 8.

Veteran sports journalist Rachel Nichols debuts her new weekly half-hour show for CNN on Oct. 25 at 10:30p. Unguarded with Rachel Nichols will take “an unfiltered look at the most interesting stories and personalities in sports” via conversations with athletes around the world. In addition, CNN International (CNNI) will simulcast Unguarded with Rachel Nichols on Fridays at 10:30p. Mercedes-Benz USA and United Airlines will serve as launch sponsors for the series.

Time Warner Cable inked a deal with Univision that will bring Univision Deportes, among other channels, to the country’s number two cable operator and Bright House Networks.

NBC Sports Group and the Big Ten Conference laid out plans to broadcast five Big Ten hockey games this season on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra. NBCSN’s coverage of Big Ten hockey will feature all six member schools with hockey programs. The network’s coverage of Big Ten hockey’s inaugural season begins on Friday, December 13 at 7:30p with Colorado College/Wisconsin.

Former NBA player and University of Connecticut basketball star Donny Marshall is now part of the YES Network team, where he will serve as a Brooklyn Nets analyst, joining Mike Fratello and Jim Spanarkel as network analysts. Meanwhile, Ian Eagle returns this season as YES’ lead Nets play-by-play man with Ryan Ruocco also handling play-by-play. YES will televise 76 regular season Nets games this season, beginning Wednesday, October 30, at 7p against Cleveland.

The Ohio Valley Conference revealed its slate of Conference games across ESPN platforms for the new basketball season, with seven men’s games that will appear on one of the networks during the season, including the OVC Tournament games. The OVC Tournament championship game will air on ESPN2 at 6p. The action tips off on Jan. 16 with Belmont/Eastern Kentucky at 7p on ESPNU.

The College All-Star Bowl is moving to Valentine’s Day, according to the AP, and will air on Feb. 14 on the CBS Sports Network. The game had originally been set for March.



Tuesday| November 12, 2013 | Noon – 2:00 p.m.
 Grand Hyatt, NY

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Sponsorship & Promotion

Mondelez International, the makers of Oreo, Ritz, Trident and Sour Patch Kids, announced a slate of multi-year sponsorship deals that will make the company a prime player in soccer. The company is readying to kick off an integrated marketing campaign launching in 2014 for the sport with Soccer United Marketing, Major League Soccer’s commercial arm. The deal will include a 3-year sponsorship as the Official Snacks of US Soccer (both men’s and women’s teams), a 3-year deal as the Official Snack of Club Deportivo Guadalajara aka Chivas for games played in the US, and individual marketing deals with soccer stars Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC) and Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy).
BTN locked in Buffalo Wild Wings as its presenting sponsor for men’s ice hockey in 2013-14, the inaugural Big Ten Hockey season. BTN’s hockey coverage presented by BWW kicks off with the Big Ten Hockey Preview Show at 7:30p on Oct. 11, ahead of the season opener between Penn State and Army. The sponsorship will also include logo bumps in and out of commercials, billboards and starting lineup features.

While we’re on hockey, the 2013-14 season marks the 15th anniversary of Hockey Fights Cancer, the NHL and the National Hockey League Players’ Association joint charitable initiative dedicated to raising awareness for national and local organizations involved in cancer care and research. This month, the NHLPA and the NHL will mark this milestone with the annual Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Month campaign spanning all 31 days this month, with more than $200,000 in grants to national and local cancer organizations in all 30 NHL markets.

Sports investment bank Park Lane is sponsoring the company’s first Olympic athlete, funding speedskater Elli Ochowicz’s bid to compete in her fourth consecutive Winter Olympic Games in Sochi next year. Sponsorship elements will include a social media campaign (#GoElli) centered around Ochowicz’s bid to compete in Sochi, as well as online, local cable and print. As part of its sponsorship Park Lane is providing Ochowicz with financial support being used toward equipment and travel expenses and will have its logo featured on her racing skin suit during training and competition. The partnership also includes select athlete appearances.
La Jolla-based National University will now serve as the title sponsor of this year’s Holiday Bowl, according to local reports, replacing Bridgepoint Education at the helm. The deal is for one year and the 2013 game is scheduled for Dec. 30 at Qualcomm Stadium.

Digital & Technology

Twitter’s new deal with Comcast Corporation and NBCUniversal will see NBC Sports Group in line to be the first company property to participate in the new advertising partnership with Premier League short-form video highlights sponsored by General Electric being delivered to fans on Twitter’s social framework. The new agreement expands the reach of the sport, while also increasing the consumption of NBC Sports video.

The Main Event

Tigers and Athletics close it out on TBS at 9p.



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