Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Tuesday, July 12, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

The relationship between NBC Sports and the NHL just got a whole lot deeper, with both companies announcing a sales venture designed to streamline national US NHL media sales for the next five years. As part of the agreement, the NBC Sports Group Sales Department will take over all NHL media sales, including NBC, Versus, NBCSports.com NHL Network, NHL Mobile and all official NHL digital sites with all traffic generated by the digital sites now falling under the NBC Sports Digital banner.

On the Air

Circle July 21 in your calendars, as that’s when the NFL owners could ratify a new CBA and get the season back on track, according to ESPN. Owners will be meeting in Atlanta on that day and would, in theory, then be able to vote on a new deal (if it’s ready) and negotiators are targeting that date to finalize discussions. If the deal is ratified by then, it would be in time to save virtually all of the preseason, with the possible exception of the Hall of Fame game. The pact would need a minimum of 24 of the 32 owners to approve the deal before it can be finalized.

The thrilling FIFA Women’s World Cup game between the U.S. and Brazil on Sunday scored the most US viewers for a tournament game in over ten years. ESPN’s coverage of the scored a 2.6 overnight rating, which is the best score since the 1999 tournament, which was won by the US, and ranked as the second-highest in network history. The top five markets tuning in, according to Nielsen, included: Washington DC (with a 4.4), San Diego (4.2), Baltimore (4.0), Cincinnati (3.8) and Albuquerque (3.8). The next game involving the US takes place on July 13 with the US facing France in the semis which will run on ESPN as well as Galavision.

TNT continues to steamroll with its NASCAR telecasts this summer, with the channel’s primetime coverage of the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky averaging a 2.7 metered market rating, which is up 17% compared to the same week’s race in 2010. TNT’s turn at the NASCAR wheel will wind down this weekend with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Racing from New Hampshire.

FIFA is reporting that the 2010 World Cup final was likely seen by at least 1 billion people around the world, falling shy of only the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony as the most-watched event on TV. The organization notes that 909.6 million television viewers watched at least one minute of the 2010 World Cup final, which featured Spain and the Netherlands, at home with the total likely breaking the billion mark when audiences watching online and in public places are factored in.

The Southern Conference has decided to explore a new direction with its new television agreement, inking to a three-year deal with public TV systems in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina to televise a conference football package.  The deal, which was formed with marketing partner CSE, will put conference games on distribution platforms that will reach nearly 11 million homes through 32 affiliates, with eight-game football packages slated for the stations. The league, along with CSE, will now produce each telecast as well as retain the rights to games and maintain control over pregame, halftime and postgame content as well as simulcasting. The 2011 broadcast package will begin on October 1 when last year’s co-champions, Appalachian State and Wofford face off in Spartanburg, S.C.

Integrated Sports Media has acquired the rights to over 40 first, second and final round CONCACAF World Cup qualifying matches which will be offered via PPV. Games will begin in September with the schedule determined by the qualifying draw which will take place in Brazil on July 30. First round telecasts that run between September and November will feature teams such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Haiti, with more action to be announced following the draw. Between 43 and 46 matches will be available in the United States and Canada.

Friday Night Lights is set to kick off from its new home, at least in repeats, with ESPN Classic set to run the series beginning tonight at 8 with episodes one and two from the first season. A “Season 1 FNL Marathon” on ESPN Classic is scheduled to roll on July 14 and 15 and beginning July 21, ESPN Classic will become the new cable home for the show, airing each season in sequential order beginning with season one/episode one, with episodes every Thursday night at 9p and 10p. Longhorn Network will also air the entire five seasons of Friday Night Lights upon its August launch.

Across the pond, ESPN and Sky have scheduled the first round of the new season of Premier League with last year’s top four clubs all set to be broadcast live in early action. ESPN will begin with a Newcastle v Arsenal contest on Aug 13, the first day of the 2011-12 season, while Sky will showcase a double header with Chelsea visiting Stoke and Manchester United at West Brom on the 14th.

Staying on that side of the Atlantic, the BBC is celebrating the one-year mark before the 2012 Games in style, with a slate of programs set to run on TV and radio. On Wednesday July 27 this year, the company is programming a day of celebration that will see IOC President Jacques Rogge join London Mayor Boris Johnson, London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe as well as a slew of the country’s top Olympic athletes, where the new design for the medals will be revealed, Olympic gold medal contender Tom Daley will deliver the official launch dive into the Olympic Pool, and the company will deliver other content that examines the state of the Games. .

Sponsorship & Promotion

Communications giant WPP Group has bought a stake in motorsport marketing agency Just Marketing International, with an eye to maneuver into a growing racing sector of the business, including Formula One, NASCAR and Indycar. The deal gives WPP a minority stake in the company, which was founded by former driver Zak Brown. Current clients include Johnnie Walker, Subway and LG Electronics.

Digital Fields

The MLB Fan Cave in Manhattan is open for business, debuting a digital out-of-home storefront designed to promote Showtime’s The Franchise: A Season with The San Francisco Giants. The customized Foursquare-linked smartphone vending experience will dispense official MLB baseballs upon user command, after a fan uses Foursquare to check into The Franchise on Showtime, which then orders the storefront to release a baseball, some with autographs. The campaign will run through July 24.

Hot dogs are now on demand. During All-Star week at Chase Field, fans will be able to order their favorite ballpark food from their iPhones by using the MLB.com At Bat mobile app. The app will then tell the hungry consumer when the food is ready and can be picked up at special concession locations.

Top Social Programs in Sports for the week ending July 10 (games only), according to Socialguide.com’s Social 100:
MLB Tampa Bay Rays/New York Yankees              07/09/11         YES
FIFA World Cup Quarterfinal: Brazil/US           07/10/11         ESPN
MLB Tampa Bay Rays/New York Yankees              07/07/11         YES
MLB Tampa Bay Rays/New York Yankees              07/10/11         YES
FIFA World Cup Quarterfinal Sweden/Australia    07/10/11         ESPN

Sorry Derek. A slip of my finger inadvertently cost Jeter a thousand hits from his storied career in yesterday’s issue. It should have read, of course, 3,000 hits.

The Main Event

AL vs. NL. MLB All-Star Game in Phoenix on Fox at 8p.

in  1996 – Michael Jordon signs a one-year NBA contract worth $25 million.

Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question:  Which former 76er was the last to win the NBA Finals MVP (as a member of the team)?  Moses Malone in 1983. Kudos: Michael Raskin – Eagle TV Sales/NY; Paul Brewer – Turner SI Digital/NY; Benjamin Bishop – Zenith Media/NYC; Kevin McIntyre – Major League Gaming/NY; Richard Levine – AT&T Operations, Inc./LA; Paul Gygli – NBCUniversal Television Distribution/Universal City; Patrick Reynolds – Reynolds Media Consulting — LA

In The Know: Who did the US beat to win the Women’s World Cup in 1999? (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.)

In My Opinion …

A story that struck me earlier this week was the lockdown on any companies looking to congratulate Derek Jeter in ads. In the story, Jeter’s agent said that organizations may not run ads with Jeter’s image, name, the number 3,000 or the word “captain” in them to commemorate the landmark, save for the sponsors he has a partnership with. I admit, this one has me scratching my head. Obviously, other than using a player’s image and name, mandating that certain words are forbidden in advertisements could make for an interesting free speech case. Anyone out there care to enlighten me on this? Is this over the top or simply necessary in today’s marketplace?

Agree or disagree?  Send in your views for posting here to chris [email protected] under Emails to the Editor …

I hope you get some good responses to your ‘In My Opinion’ question. I would like to hear some real answers. I know enough to recognize the issue as you framed it.  It’s either 1-part legit warning, 1-part scare tactic, or perhaps there is some case law where a plaintiff successfully sued over rights to publicity based on context alone (here there being no other well publicized 3,000-anything going on = so it could only be a use of Derek Jeter). I think the latter would create what lawyers like to call a chilling effect; while anyone can sue for anything, someone shouldn’t be able to win based on indirect contextual references.

James De Francisco

It’s a simple reminder to those companies with affiliations to the NY Yankees that unless you are one the companies he endorses, with a binding personal services agreement whereas he has authorized those companies, with his permission (and that of his agent) to use his image and likeness, they can’t create an ad that gives off the implied impression there is a relationship between the two entities.  What is turning people’s heads is the proactive nature of the agent’s message but I see nothing wrong with it.

Michael A. Neuman

Later — Chris
 Chris Pursell for Cyn opsis | Sports
July 12, 2011

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job opening: Bravo, Assoc Dir Ad Sales Resrch/NY: Job#2324BR Manage all top line & detailed analyses/ratings reporting, audience profiling, presentations & highlights covering Bravo & its competitors. www.nbcunicareers.com (7/26)

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INTERNSHIPS – These positions are for credit only – nobody gets paid here. These ads are always posted for free, and students work for school credit only. For more information on the specs for posting an Internship ad, email Trish at [email protected].

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SITUATION WANTED ADS, POSTED BY THOSE LOOKING TO BE HIRED …  There is no charge for placing your Situation Wanted ad … for more information contact Trish Pihonak at [email protected]

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E-mail [email protected] or call Trish Pihonak at 203.381.9096 for rates and specs for Job Openings.

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