Wednesday, January 30th, 2013


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Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, January 30, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Rogers Media and the Buffalo Bills locked in a five-year renewal that will see the Bills play six games in Toronto between 2013 and 2017. The deal calls for one regular season game per season, with one additional preseason contest set for 2015. Bills games in Toronto will continue to air nationally in the country on City and Sportsnet.

On the Air

FOX Deportes is launching a new strategic partnership with radio broadcasting heavyweight Stardome Radio Networks that will bring content from the channel’s series to the broadcaster. Starting next month, content from Central Fox and La Última Palabra will be broadcast in the U.S. by the Hispanic radio syndication company on a daily basis.

NBC and Golf Channel will deliver a one-two punch this week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, when Golf Channel debuts its 2013 Spotlight coverage at the tournament that will blanket a three-hole stretch at TPC Scottsdale. While NBC carries the event live from 3-6p this weekend with traditional coverage, Golf Channel’s Spotlight coverage will simultaneously focus on the 15th, 16th and 17thholes that and conclude at 5p. The Spotlight coverage on-air team includes Brian Hammons, Curt Byrum, Phil Parkin and Jerry Foltz with Scott McCarron reporting from the course. reports that UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture has inked into a multi-year deal with Spike TV to appear in multiple projects for the cable channel, including a role as a coach for the upcoming Bellator reality series. The report states that Spike TV will make it official during a press conference in Los Angeles next week.

In addition to a bevy of current and former players, the NFL announced a slew of celebs set to hit the stage for Saturday’s NFL Honors telecast. Among the stars set to appear will be Connie Britton, Steve Carell, Josh Charles, Jason Clarke, Nina Dobrev, Craig Ferguson, Olivia Munn, Jeremy Renner, Zoe Saldana and Channing Tatum. The two-hour awards show will run on CBS on Saturday at 9p, with Alec Baldwin hosting the event.

Early morning matchups for the two singles finals at the Australian Open drew a mixed bag in overnight ratings, according to Nielsen. Despite moving from ESPN2 to ESPN, the Novak Djokovic/Andy Murray Australian Open men’s final scored a 0.5 overnight rating on ESPN Sunday morning, off-pace from last year’s battle between Djokovic/Rafael Nadal, which drew a 0.6 on ESPN2. However, Saturday’s matchup between Victoria Azarenka/Li Na in the women’s final fared better, rising to a 0.5. That is up over the Azarenka/Maria Sharapova final last year which scored a 0.3.

Could the Falcons be mulling a move to LA? Falcons owner Arthur Blank told Atlanta city council members that the team has been wooed by an LA group looking to relocate a team to the city, according to multiple local reports. Blank has been in talks with Atlanta officials about a potential new stadium for the team.

TNT unveils the team captains for State Farm All-Star Saturday Night tomorrow evening at 8p during the NBA Tip-Off presented by pregame show. For the first time, State Farm All-Star Saturday Night will feature a format that pits the Eastern Conference against the Western Conference in an exciting night of competition that will also raise money for charity.

ESPN is beefing up its slate of college softball games with the company’s largest schedule to date. The company revealed that 44 games are now on deck across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. Play begins Saturday, March 16 at 11a with Tennessee/Florida. ESPN’s returning line-up of college softball analysts includes Garland Cooper, Jennie Finch, Cheri Kempf, Jessica Mendoza, Michele Smith, and Amanda Scarborough with Beth Mowins, Pam Ward, Cara Capuano, Joe Davis, Holly Rowe, and Adam Amin lined up to deliver play-by-play each week.

SPEED’s coverage of the Rolex 24 at Daytona last weekend drew a household ratings bump of 9% to a 0.37 while numbers for the M18-49 crowd rose 82% to a 0.31, compared to the 2012 event. That marks the highest-rated Rolex Sports Car Series race on SPEED among M18-49 in six years, averaging 388,000 viewers and peaking at nearly 750,000 viewers on Sunday.

SPEED also announced that it is set to begin the 2013 NASCAR season with live coverage of the fourth annual NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Feb. 8 at 7:30p. This year’s Induction Ceremony honors the 2013 class of Buck Baker, Cotton Owens, Herb Thomas, Rusty Wallace and Leonard Wood. NASCAR broadcasters Ken Squier and Barney Hall will be honored as the first media members inducted into the Hall of Fame with the annual and namesake Squier Hall Award. Mike Joy hosts SPEED coverage with backstage reporting assistance from Krista Voda.

Television game show staple Wheel of Fortune is set to launch NBA Week from Feb. 4-8. Episodes will feature special guest James Worthy in addition to stars such as Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, and Grant Hill during the hoops-themed week of shows. During the weeklong stunt, contestants have the chance to win special VIP prize packages including tickets to home games for each of the teams and a shopping spree at In addition, for the first-time-ever, the green monitors on Wheel of Fortune’s famed puzzleboard will feature “logoman,” the NBA’s silhouetted logo in place of the Wheel of Fortune logo.

Estrella TV signed on to become the official and exclusive US Hispanic broadcast home for Alianza Futbol Club soccer games. The channel will carry live and direct from El Salvador where the team competes in the Primera Division. Games will run on Sundays starting at 3p starting Feb. 3.

WWE Monday Night Raw scored its best numbers since July this week, with 2.4 million viewers between 81-49 and 5 million total viewers.

The Nashville Predators are sticking with FOX, inking a new TV deal that begins with the 2013-14 NHL season. The agreement will see Fox Sports Tennessee and sister station, SportSouth showcase at least 75 Predators regular-season games.

Favorite media-based prop bets for the upcoming Super Bowl:

  • How many times will Harbaugh be said during the game? Over/Under 20.5
  • What will the TV rating be for the Super Bowl? Over/under 46
  • How many average viewers will the game have? Over/under 111 million
  • What will be the highest tweets per second during the Super Bowl? Over/under 15,000

Last week to enter! Now is the time to submit for our 2013 Cynopsis Sports Media Awards. The deadline is February 1 and we want to see your best work from the past year. Don’t let someone else take your trophy! Click here for entry information.


Honoring Top Sports Programs, Campaigns, and People…

It’s a NEW YEAR, so don’t forget to enter the
2nd Annual Cynopsis: Sports Media Awards
Entry Deadline: February 1
Late Submissions: February 8
Awards Event: April 2013 (NYC)

Visit our website for additional information on:
Who Should Enter, How to Enter, Eligibility Period, Categories, Deadlines, Sponsorship Opportunities, Contact Information and FAQs.

Sponsorship & Promotion

NCAA VP of Championships and Alliances Dennis Poppe is retiring after 39 years at the organization. The AP reports that his retirement will take place on Jan. 1, 2014, although he will have an undetermined role there after he leaves. Damani Leech, Director of Championships and Alliances, will take over July 1 as lead administrator for the CWS, FCS championship, Division I men’s ice hockey and three other sports.

John O’Neill is joining the InStadium team where he will serve as Senior Vice President of National Business Development. O’Neill brings more than 30 years of senior-level television industry sales experience to the company with stops that include NHL Network and DirecTV.

Super Bowl update: Expect a slew of film ads to hit the broadcast on Sunday. Deadline reports that Disney will offer an ad for Oz: The Great and powerful, The Lone Ranger (during pre-game) and Iron Man 3. Universal is expected to unveil a trailer for Fast 6, while Paramount will run a 30 second spot for World War Z during pre-game and a Star Trek Into Darkness ad in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, Kia Motors is drumming up interest for its commercial in the Super Bowl telecast with a 15-second teaser for its upcoming Space Babies ad for the 2014 Sorento CUV on more than 14,000 screens the ScreenVision advertising network.

Digital Fields

Golf Channel launched its first-ever mobile instructional app that offers the network’s library of expertise in order to help people improve at golf. A feature scheduled to launch in February will allow app users for the first time to “tap into the expertise of a dedicated, certified instructor anywhere, anytime on their personal devices” via the Golf Channel Academy app. The service also features SwingFix technology, which allows golfers to capture their swings on video and use advanced mark-up tools to identify areas of improvement.

ESPN officially launched its ScoreCenter mobile destination for RIM’s new BlackBerry 10. The app gives fans access to breaking scores, stats, standings and news from hundreds of sports leagues, teams and players around the world.

ESPN Audio also announced the launch of its newest podcast, His & Hers with Michael Smith & Jemele Hill. The show will debut next Monday.

The Main Event

Wednesday Night Rivalry on NBC Sports Network featuring Blackhawks/Wild at 8p.


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ON THIS DAY in 1994: American speed skater Dan Jensen sets a new world record after nabbing a 35.76 in the World Sprint Championships.

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What sportscaster is credited with coining the term “slam dunk”? Answer: The great Chick Hearn. Kudos: John Miller-NBC Sports Agency/NY; Jordan Goldberg-Disney and ESPN Media Networks/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Noah Coslov-CineSport/NY; Barry Abrams-ESPN/Bristol; Keith Allo-Golf Channel/NBC Sports/Orlando; James Taguchi-WTVR/Richmond; Glenn Schineller-Time Warner Cable Media/Charlotte; Larry Hutchings/Pacific Palisades; Tony Reyes-RGH Entertainment/Woodland Hills; Marci Polzin-Clear Talent Group/Studio City; Brian Robin-Brener Zwikel & Associates. Inc./Reseda.

In The Know: What NFL player was known as Moses Hightower in the Police Academy films? ( 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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