Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, November 21, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

With the Yankees renewing their rights with YES Network through 2042, News Corp. and Yankee Global Enterprises made it official, announcing that News Corp. had acquired a 49% equity stake in the channel. After three years, News Corp. may acquire an additional stake in the YES Network that could bring its ownership up to  80% of the channel. The investment is expected to close by the end of the calendar year.

“We’ve long been a believer in the unique appeal of sports entertainment. Partnering upstream with rights holders is even more important today in the dynamic media marketplace in which we compete. This is a tremendous opportunity to enhance News Corporation’s industry-leading portfolio of sports properties, while also strategically re-entering the New York market,” said James Murdoch, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, News Corporation. “The YES Network represents the gold standard for regional sports networks and is a pioneer in sports media. We look forward to working with Yankee Global Enterprises, the network’s management team, and all of our partners to build on a decade of success and take the YES Network to even greater heights.”

“We at YES, along with the New York Yankees and our financial partners Goldman Sachs, NJ Holdings and Providence Equity, had an incredible opportunity to build a network that quickly became – and remains — the number one regional sports network in the country, based on any metric,” said Tracy Dolgin, President and CEO of YES Network. “We were able to accomplish this because we have the greatest sports brand in the world, the New York Yankees, other important programming such as the rejuvenated Brooklyn Nets, the unwavering support of our board and, last but not least, an incredibly talented and dedicated group of employees.”

On the Air

Meanwhile, FOX Sports and Learfield Sports announced a new multi-year agreement for multimedia rights to Oklahoma State Athletics. The deal offers one football game to be televised annually on a FOX Sports platform, which could include FOX Sports Oklahoma, FOX Sports Southwest, FOX Sports Southwest Plus and nationally on FOX College Sports (FCS). FOX Sports platforms will also distribute all available men’s basketball games, up to 20 Olympic sports, and additional non-game programming mutually selected by FOX Sports and Oklahoma State. The deal allows the school to keep streaming rights for its athletics website, however, for any event not selected by FOX.

Rutgers surprised no one with its announcement yesterday that the school would be joining the Big Ten. The school announced its decision on campus with Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, Rutgers President Robert Barchi and athletic director Tim Perenetti in attendance. The announcement comes a day after Maryland bolted the ACC for Big Ten waters starting in 2014. Sports Illustrated reports that with the new additions, upgrades at BTN and a new broadcast deal beginning in 2017 will result in each of the schools eventually receiving up to $43 million a year.

Stanford’s upset of Oregon last Saturday on ABC scored as the most-viewed and highest-rated college football game of the week, according to Nielsen, with an average of 8,347,000 viewers along with a 5.1 household rating. ABC also drew the second most-viewed and highest-rated college football window of the week with the 3:30p split national telecast featuring Ohio State/Wisconsin and NC State/Clemson averaging 4,867,000 viewers, with a 3.1 rating. 

With Notre Dame back on top, NBC Sports’ coverage of the school’s football games this season wrapped up with the network scoring its most-watched season in seven years. The Fighting Irish averaged 4.4 million viewers for the channel this year and a 2.8 household rating for its seven games on NBC, up 69% and 67%, respectively, compared to 2011. In fact, the 4.4 million average viewers this year is the best for Notre Dame Football on NBC since 2005.

On to the NFL, ESPN’s MNF pitting the 49ers and the Bears delivered a 7.9 US Rating and 12,472,000 million viewers for the network, according to Nielsen. The blowout game won the night among all key male and adult demos. Locally, Chicago scored a 14.5 rating on ESPN and a 9.9 rating on WCIU-IND, for a combined 24.4 rating in the market. In San Francisco, the game delivered an 8.2 rating on ESPN and a 12.9 rating on KPIX-CBS, for a combined 21.1 rating in the market.

The NBA inked a new TV partnership in China, announcing a multiyear deal with China Central Television (CCTV), CCTV Future Advertising, and NBA China that includes a significant expansion of NBA coverage and the formation of a joint media team to market and promote NBA game broadcasts. The new partnership includes live NBA games, tape-delayed games aired in prime time, and NBA original programming. The two companies will also develop a customized NBA themed weekly show that offers analysis and reports around the league produced exclusively for fans in China.

The NFL announced that no changes would occur for the Week 13 schedule via flex scheduling and that NBC would keep the Philadelphia Eagles/Dallas Cowboys game originally slated for Sunday Night Football.

Formula One’s return to the US last weekend proved fruitful for SPEED, with the Austin race drawing more than 500,000 viewers to score a Nielsen rating of .42. That marks a 40% improvement in household numbers year-to-year, with a 70% boost among M35-54 and a 75% spike among M18-49. The 2012 Formula One season wraps up this weekend on the channel with live coverage of the Grand Prix of Brazil on Sunday at 10:30a.

SPEED also announced that the network will offer live coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards Ceremony from the Wynn Las Vegas Nov. 30 at 8p as part of its weeklong coverage of NASCAR Champion’s Week celebrating Champion Brad Keselowski and the rest of the drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Coverage begins with a one-hour special edition of NASCAR Race Hubat 7p hosted by Steve Byrnes with Kaitlyn Vincie and Rutledge Wood covering red-carpet arrivals from Las Vegas. The channel will also air The NASCAR Nationwide Series/NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Awards Ceremony Nov. 29 at 8p.

FOX Deportes wrapped up October with in total day, prime time, late night and weekend day for both persons 2+ and adults 18-49, according to Nielsen. The network was led by its coverage of MLB’s National League Championship Series and World Series. The channel finished the month as the top-ranked Spanish-language cable sports network in total viewers and adults 18-49, with total day audience rising 15% among adults 18-49 versus year-ago numbers.

FUEL TV will celebrate Bruce Lee’s birthday on Tuesday with a marathon featuring original series Bruce Lee Lives! at 12:30p as well as three Bruce Lee feature films including Game of Death, Fist of Fury and The Way of The Dragon.

Thanksgiving Weekend Sports Updates:

Deportes Telemundo and the NFL are teaming up once again to offer the Thanksgiving showdown between The Patriots and Jets at 8p. The game will feature Spanish-language narration by Deportes Telemundo sportscaster Rene Giraldo, with comments and analysis by Edgar Lopez and field reporting by Veronica Contreras. The game will air on Telemundo stations in Bakersfield, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, Hartford, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington D.C.

ESPN features Showdown Saturday across its platforms, featuring an ABC tripleheader of three classic rivalries including Michigan/Ohio St. at noon, Florida/Florida St. at 3:30p and top-ranked Notre Dame facing USC at 8 p.m. ESPN offers its own tripleheader featuring three intrastate showdowns starting with Georgia Tech/Georgia at noon, Oklahoma St./Oklahoma at 3:30p and South Carolina/Clemson at 7p.

NBC Sports Network offers the second annual Battle 4 Atlantis, featuring Louisville, Duke, Missouri, and more on Thursday at 7p.  Coverage of the tournament will begin with Memphis and VCU, live from the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Dave Strader will handle play-by-play for the tournament, and will be joined by Donny Marshall.Carolyn Manno will serve as the game reporter for all matchups.

CBS Sports Network airs a slate of 16 college basketball games this week, including the Global Sports Classic featuring UNLV and Cincinnati and The Great Alaska Shootout and Cancun Challenge. Today’s action starts at 7p with the consolation game of the Cancun Challenge, followed by the Championship game at 9p.

HBO Sports serves up a Thanksgiving weekend doubleheader when World Championship Boxing: Roberto Guerrero vs. Andre Berto and Keith Thurman vs. Carlos Quintana hits the channel on Saturday at 10p. Jim Lampley, Max Kellerman and Roy Jones Jr. will be ringside for all the action.


Cynopsis Webinar: Next Week!
Thursday, November 29 || 1:30 – 3:00pm ET
Interactive TV: How to Harness this Ever Changing Platform to Boost Engagement & Revenue
The webinar will show you how you can leverage the power of Interactive TV (ITV) to build consumer viewershipengagementunprecedented advertiser effectiveness.
Expert speakers include:
Brian McClary
, (Manager, Social & Emerging Media) Ford Motor Company
Patricia McDonough
(Sr VP, Insights & Analysis) Nielsen
Jeff Siegel
(Sr VP, Worldwide Advertising) Rovi

Sponsorship & Promotion

After revealing the BIG Color jerseys for the Christmas Day NBA games, the league is now showcasing a BIG Color TV spot featuring five of the players competing that day, including L.A. Lakers’ Dwight Howard, Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade, New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony, Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook, and the Nets’ Joe Johnson. The five players dribble in time as a musical ensemble, where they tap out the rhythms of a classic holiday jingle. Starting today the ad will run, NBA social media, as well as on broadcast partners ABC, ESPN, NBA TV, and TNT.

The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards announced a slate of names set to join host Howie Mandel at this year’s ceremonies on Nov. 30. Train, Lifehouse, Natasha Bedingfield, Phillip Phillips and performers from The Beatles LOVE will all hit the stage with the show set to begin at 8p with live coverage on SPEED, Motor Racing Network Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Digital Fields

The NBA and YouTube inked a deal to offer fans more than 350 NBA Development League games that will now be streamed live during the 2012-13 regular season on the NBA D-League channel as well as through a YouTube video player on As a result of the announcement, the NBA D-League, the NBA’s official minor league, will feature the most live games on YouTube by a major professional sports league. The NBA D-League season on YouTube will tip off opening night on Friday, Nov. 23, with four games on deck.

The Main Event

Rivalry games, Thanksgiving games, and basketball tournament offer a feast for this long weekend. I’m a sucker, however for Redskins/Cowboys on FOX at 4:15p.

ON THIS DAY in 1971: The Rangers score an NHL record of eight goals in one period.

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Who was quarterback for Notre Dame the last time they claimed the college football championship? Answer: Tony Rice. Kudos: Rob Kligman-USA TODAY Sports Media Group/NY; Aymon DeMauro-Discovery Communications/NY; Praveeta Singh-NBC Sports/NY; Brendan McGovern-YouTube/NY; Mark Pihonak-Sikorsky Aircraft/Stratford; G. David Brown-FOX Sports Carolinas/Charlotte; Christopher Doyle-CBC Sports/Toronto; Tom Haidinger-Advantage International/Darien; Kevin Micklo-Initiative Media/Chicago; John Ward-NBC Sports Group/Chicago; Pam Tierney- Actress/VoiceOver/Chicago; Erin Whelan-Tribune Company/Chicago; Jack Simmons-Fox Sports/LA; Paul Gygli-NBCUniversal Television Distribution/Universal City; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc./Santa Monica.

In The Know: What pitcher has the most consecutive wins as a Yankee? (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.)


Cynopsis Sports: WEBINAR

Sports Sponsorships: How to Activate Effective Partnerships & Tap Into Fan Loyalty
Wednesday * December 5 * 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. ET

Hosted by: Chris Pursell (Cynopsis Sports Editor) along with panelists:
Stephen Master, SVP Head of Global Sports Practice, Nielsen
Jeff Mirman, VP Marketing, Turner Sports
Adam Zimmerman, President, Marketing, CSE


Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports

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JOB OPENING: HBO ANALYST, AUDIENCE RESEARCH/NYC: tracks & reports performance of programming. Strong Kwldg of Nielsen system, Galaxy, Explorer, & NPower. Please apply @ (11/30)

JOB OPENING: RSRCH ANALYST/NCC RESEARCH/ATL: Mng rsch and sales department. BA deg req’d as well as media co., syndicate rsrch co. or advertising agency in a research-related position. [email protected] (11/29)

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