Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, March 27, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

CBS Sports made it official, announcing a deal with the soon to be renamed Big East Conference on a new long-term deal with broadcast rights set through the 2019-20 season. As part of the agreement, CBS Sports will have the right to make the first selections among conference, non-conference and neutral site games.The new deal will showcase up to 12 national appearances per year for the schools.

On the Air

NBC Sports Network reports that its coverage of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, which marked the first IZOD IndyCar race of the 2013 season, spiked in ratings. The race drew a 0.26 HH rating, according to Nielsen, up 53% over last year. The race drew 388,000 viewers, up 78% over last year’s first race on NBC Sports Network, with 126,000 viewers in the adult 18-49 demo, up 91%.

The NBC Sports Group also announced that Rebecca Lowe, who currently serves as co-host of ESPN UK’s coverage of Premier League soccer, will join the company via a multi-year agreement to serve as its host of the Premier League beginning in August. Lowe moves to the US this summer to take on hosting duties from NBC Sports Group’s new International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn. Additional talent announcements for NBC Sports Group’s Premier League coverage will be announced at a later date.

The debut championship game under college football’s new four-team playoff system is a “virtual lock” to be held at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, according to ESPN. The BCS commissioners will gather from April 23-25 in Pasadena, Calif., to officially announce the first championship site and other details about the upcoming playoff.

HBO Sports is set to bring back boxing documentary series Legendary Nights back to the channel. This edition will feature a retrospective on the three-fight slugfest between Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward and will run this fall.

BTN will debut school-specific episodes of The Journey: Big Ten Men’s Basketball 2013 this week with episodes that spotlight the four Big Ten teams reaching the Sweet 16 in Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. The episodes will air Wednesday and Thursday following the NCAA Sweet 16 pre-game press conferences, starting at 3p on Wednesday with The Journey: Best of Indiana.

ESPN revealed that Good Morning America co-anchor and former ESPN anchor Robin Roberts will be recognized at The 2013 ESPYS with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for the “strength and courage Roberts has displayed throughout her life and career.” Of course, last year Roberts announced that she had been diagnosed with a rare blood disorder, MDS and had to take leave to receive a bone marrow transplant from her sister. Roberts returned to her seat at the anchor desk on February 20, just five months to the day since she underwent her bone marrow transplant. The Awards show will take place on Wednesday, July 17, at 9p on ESPN.

MSG Network is set to carry a behind-the-scenes documentary featuring New York Knicks Head Coach Mike Woodson on Wednesday at 11p entitled Walk With Me. The 30-minute program follows the Knicks coach for a week as he leads practices, reviews film with his coaching staff and interacts with his players, while balancing a life as a husband and father.

Join us on April 17 for the Cynopsis: Sports Media Awards when Scott Blackmun, CEO of the United States Olympic Committee receives the prestigious Vision Award as our executive of the year from a sports league or organization. The breakfast takes place at Yale Club in Manhattan. Click here for more info and stay tuned for more special award winners to be announced this week!


Cynopsis Sports Media Awards: LESS THAN 3 WEEKS AWAY!
April 17 | 8:00-10:00am | The Yale Club

Aside from a terrific group of finalists, the following Sports Luminaries will also be honored at this previously sold out event:
Scott Blackmun | US Olympic Committee
Steve Bornstein
| NFL Network + NFL
John Kosner
| ESPN Digital + Print Media
Scott McCune | The Coca-Cola Company
Preview the list of finalists and register before seats sell out!

Sponsorship & Promotion

NASCAR’s last race before the Chase will once again have Federated Auto Parts serve as title sponsor of the Sprint Cup race. The Sept. 7 event, The Federated Auto Parts 400 will be seen on ABC.

Turner Sports and the NCAA will present the first-ever Next List Summit as part of Final Four weekend in an effort “to celebrate and showcase student entrepreneurship, creative thinking and innovation.” The event will take place on Friday, April 5 and include featured speaker Billy Beane, the Oakland A’s general manager who was the subject of author Michael Lewis’ best-selling book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game and the major motion picture Moneyball starring Brad Pitt. In addition, the event will also showcase five innovative college students who are standing out through their original ideas and/or use of technology in promoting social change, along with a panel including top executives who got their start in business through an entrepreneurial path.

Digital Fields

NCAA March Madness Live, managed by Turner Sports, continued to draw record numbers for video streams and engagement across all digital platforms for the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. Across online and mobile (tablets and smartphones) platforms, the platform drew 36.6 million live video streams and more than 10 million hours of live video consumed across digital properties during the opening week of the NCAA Tournament. In addition, NCAA March Madness Live app ranked as the top sports app in the App Store and Google Play during the first week of the tournament.

The Women’s Tennis Association revealed that webcast WTA Live All Access Hour will be presented by Xerox and will expand to nine Premier tournaments in 2013, including the year-end TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships – Istanbul. The show was launched as part of 40 LOVE, a year-long campaign celebrating the 40th anniversary of the WTA with the next edition slated for April 1 at the Family Circle Cup.

The Main Event

Montreal Canadiens/Boston Bruins look to break a tie on NBC Sports Network’s Wednesday Night Rivalry at 7:30p.

ON THIS DAY in 1939: The University of Oregon beats the Ohio State University to win the first-ever NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

In The Know: Actor Donald Gibb, aka “the Ogre” from the Revenge of the Nerds movie franchise, also had a stint playing football with what NFL team? (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: What athlete was parodied by John Belushi on Saturday Night Live with a commercial for Little Chocolate Donuts? Answer: Bruce Jenner. Kudos: Phyllis McQuillan-MSG Media/NY; Kyle Helm-CBS Sports Network/NY; Marc Ernay-1010 WINS Sports/NY; Gary Trenaman-MLB Network/NY; Tim McGhee-MSP Sports/Summit; Matthew Meachem-Tribune Media Services/Queensbury; Mark Leavenworth-Turner Broadcasting/Atlanta; John Kukla-KDFW/Dallas; Will Allmendinger-Captivate Network/Chicago; Matt Sautter-OpenTV/Golden; Don Surath-KPIX 5/KBCW/San Francisco; Justine Gubar-ESPN/San Francisco; Rick Pike-InterMedia Advertising/Woodland Hills; Miriam Aardahl-OMD/LA.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports

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