Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Tuesday, September 3, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

With college football season officially underway, so too is a new year at CampusInsiders.com. The digital content syndicator geared up its programming this season with the additions of The Download with Bonnie Bernstein (M-F at 1p) and The Seth Davis Show (M,F) to its portfolio as well as the platform’s first-ever live & exclusive college football game this weekend which saw a shocker with an Eastern Illinois upset over San Diego State.

With content running on platforms that include AOL, Xbox, Yahoo! and YouTube, programming reaches over 23 million people every month. Cynopsis Sports spoke with Bonnie Bernstein, who is also VP, Content & Brand Development at Campus Insiders, about the growth of the platform, engaging fans and the learning curve.

Bernstein on Campus Insiders: We’ve been really happy with the results so far as we continue to build our all sports digital network with everything from studio games to live event programming. We have exclusive digital rights with the Mountain West Conference. We did a whole slate of West Coast Conference games last year. We’ve got a deal with the Patriot League and we are working on a couple of other conferences. The reality is that it doesn’t really matter where games are available. There is an audience for it, whether it is on your TV or second screen, people are willing to consume it.

On her show: On the studio side, I have a daily show and Seth Davis will have a show two days a week. With my show, we are really going to be focusing on one of the staples of our network in that we’ve got insiders embedded on campuses all across the country. We are up around 70-75 now. They are our eyes and ears. This is an additional job to their play-by-play or analyst duties, and the great thing about these guys is that they are on campus every day talking to coaches and players. That’s a huge asset for us.

On engaging fans: To tap into social media, we take on trending topics. We encourage our viewers to get involved. For example on my show, we do a segment called The Daily Draft, where we take on something that perhaps is influencing pop culture. If there is something serious going on, we incorporate fan’s Tweets into the show, we are incorporating Instagram photos from game day and events like that. We want our fans to feel like it is there show. Of course, there will be a lot of experimentation going on for the first few months as we evolve the show. But we have the free license to throw as much stuff against the wall as we like and we will see what sticks and what doesn’t.

On being executive, producer and host: When I was approached about being the face of the network, it was very flattering. Obviously, after having tons of experience in the network world, the notion of building something from the ground up was really intriguing. I knew I had this incredible and rare opportunity to take it on because I’m a “builder” person. I appreciate all of the opportunities I’ve had to be on-air, but ultimately that’s only part of who I am and being offered a chance to touch so many facets of our business such as marketing and sales on top of helping build content was really intriguing to me because the thought of being at the bottom of a learning curve and look straight up is really intriguing to me. I haven’t had the opportunity to do that before.

On the Air

NFL Network is giving its primetime lineup an overhaul just ahead of the new season. From Monday to Friday, the channel will offer a three-hour block of live programming starting at 6p with Around the League Live with Andrew Siciliano as host. At 7p, Lindsay Rhodes hosts Around the League Primetime, before flagship show NFL Total Access takes over the 8p slot with new talent and a new set. NFL Total Access hasn’t aired in the 8p since the outlet launched in November 2003. Dan Hellie takes over as the new host where he, along with NFL Network host Amber Theoharis, will welcome former players to the NFL Total Access set as guest analysts throughout the week.

Speaking of the NFL, the league has a entrenching itself in a new home in the UK, inking a two-year deal with Channel 4 to carry programming that include the NFL’s games at Wembley Stadium, a weekly highlights show and Hard Knocks. The agreement ends the BBC’s six-year relationship with the league. C4 will also continue to run Sunday Night Football live, where it has aired for the past three seasons.

Just in time for the NFL season, CBS, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks ended their long standoff, and reached an agreement for carriage of CBS-owned stations as well as Showtime, CBS Sports Network and Smithsonian Channel. Programming resumed for Time Warner Cable customers in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas yesterday at 3p.

The return of college football on ESPN helped the network hit the ground running over the weekend. Thursday’s pair of games drew the network’s second highest-rated and third most-viewed Thursday night season-opening since 1999 with a 2.1 US rating and 3,135,000 viewers, according to Nielsen numbers. Meanwhile, Saturday’s games saw a 5.0 rating for the ABC Saturday Night Football Presented by Windows telecast of Clemson’s win over Georgia, up over last year’s 4.7. Overall, ESPN a 2.3 metered market average for college football programming spanning College GameDay at 9a to the end of LSU/TCU at 12:43a. 

ESPN and Time Warner Cable penned a deal that brought Longhorn Network to subscribers in Texas just ahead of the University of Texas football season. The network is available for Time Warner Cable video customers in Texas on its expanded basic cable service and is available in the greater Austin area on channel 1593 in HD and channel 444 in SD.
Bellator MMA announced that its November 2nd Pay-Per-View will be carried by the American Forces Network. The event will be headlined by Rampage Jackson vs. Tito Ortiz and carried in its entirety in over 175 countries worldwide to nearly one million American service men and women stationed overseas.

NESN announced that NESN broadcaster and Red Sox Hall of Famer Jerry Remy will sit out the remaining games of the 2013 season to be with his family following the arrest of his son for murder. NESN broadcaster and MLB Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley will serve as NESN’s color analyst from Tuesday, September 3 through Friday, September 6.

Craig James is out at FOX Sports Southwest. SI.com broke the news that the controversial broadcaster, who was announced on Friday as the newest member of the channel, was let go because Fox Sports executives had not vetted the hire and “were not happy with the hire by the regional network.” James made his only appearance on FSS on Saturday night.
Former USGA President William C. Campbell dies last week at his home in Lewisburg, W.Va. He was 90. After a long run at golf, where he played in 14 U.S. Opens and 17 Masters Tournaments, Campbell was named president of the organization in 1982.


Cynopsis Webinar:
Reaching Millennials: New Ways to Activate Viewership & Revenue
SEPT 18 ~ 1:30-3:00pm ET ~ $295/site
This 90-min webinar we’ll show you the must-have strategies that will help you attract and connect your properties across multiple platforms, from mobile to tablet, and from Facebook to Tumblr.
Kent Rees (Pivot/Participant Media), Joe Ortiz (MTV),
Noel Cottrell (Fitzgerald + Co), Patty Gillette (Turner Broadcasting’s Young Adults Group)
Roberta Caploe

Sponsorship & Promotion

ESPN, Twitter and Verizon Wireless launched a new season-long program dubbed “Did You See That?” on Saturday that sees ESPN embedding replays to Twitter via ESPN’s College Football handles within moments after a play. In addition to Twitter, the highlights will run across ESPN’s digital properties, including GameCast, ESPN’s College Football App, and the ScoreCenter app and will be accompanied by an eight-second Verizon Wireless ad.

Nelson Piquet, Jr. picked up a new sponsor for his No. 30 Chevrolet Camaro in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicago Speedway on Sept. 14. Hooters of America and Chanticleer Holdings announced a deal with the racer to celebrate the chain’s 30th anniversary.

Digital & Technology

The Ivy League’s new nine-channel digital network is now officially live, kicking off on Saturday with eight games. The network is powered by Neulion and features live events as well as archived content from each school and features that include four-game viewing, full DVR controls and social media integration.

The Main Event, the featured game of the day sponsored by Thuuz, real-time sports discovery for mobile & connected TV platforms.
Detroit Tigers vs. Boston Red Sox
Tuesday, 4p. Thuuz rating: 95
A clash of division leaders heading into the end of the regular season. On local channels.


Cynopsis Future TV Summit:
Content Innovation and Next Gen Advertising Models
October 17| Grand Hyatt | NYC

Speakers Include:
Sean Atkins: Senior Vice President at Discovery Communications
Mark Garner: Senior Vice President at A+E Networks
Mac McKean: Senior Vice President at AMC
Miguel Monteverde: Vice President at Discovery Communications

ON THIS DAY in 1986: The Astros & Cubs utilize a record 53 players in an 18 inning contest.

In The Know: What was the name of Tommy Morrison’s character in Rocky V? (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.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Who was the last tennis player to win all four Grand Slam singles tournaments in one calendar year? Answer: Steffi Graf in 1988. Kudos: Tom Buffolano-Think Manhattan/NY; David Stern-BARD Entertainment/NY; Mark Prince-MEC/PPS/NY;   Eastern  New York; G. David Brown-FOX Sports Carolinas/Charlotte; Jerry A. Kapner-Kapner Group/Montclair; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Gretchen Brady-KDAF/Dallas; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports

Roberta Caploe: Editorial Director
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JOB OPENING: ASSC. DIRECTOR OF ON-AIR PROMOTIONS/Atlanta, GA: Manage on-air promotions, drop-ins, live studio reads, handle promotion schedules. Req’d: Min 7 yrs exp, Wide Orbit/AVID Media Composer exp. Apply: http://goo.gl/ald535 (9/10)

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