Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning! It’s Wednesday, November 9, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

After meeting with players to discuss NBA Commissioner David Stern’s latest offer and deadline mandate, Union President Derek Fisher said that players will not take the deal. The league had proposed that players get a cut between 49% and 51% of basketball income, while players said that reaching the 51% would be nearly impossible given the criteria. The players also opted to avoid decertification for the time being. Meanwhile, ESPN reports that a clan of disgruntled NBA owners, including Michael Jordan, held a conference call on Monday to voice their frustration with the 50-50 revenue split offered by Stern, and instead want to hold to the initial offer of a 53/47 split in the owners favor.

On the Air

ESPN’s Monday Night Football telecast this week featuring a tight Bears win over the Eagles handed the network with a 10.7 rating, and 16.8 million viewers, according to Nielsen overnights. The result saw ESPN win the night among all networks in all key male and adult demos. So far this season, MNF is averaging a 9.8 household rating.

The NFL locked in some flex scheduling choices for the networks, with week 11 shifting the Titans/Falcons game off its initial 1p start time and moving it to 4:15 on CBS. Meanwhile, what was once a yearly classic match between the Colts and Patriots on Dec. 4 has now been relegated from primetime on NBC to 1p, where it will air on CBS. The SNF replacement game will be announced no later than Nov. 22.

CBS Sports has also finalized its plans in the college ranks as well, announcing that the network had picked the Nov. 26 Alabama/Auburn game as its SEC on CBS football game for the day. In addition, on Friday Nov. 25, the network will air the Arkansas/LSU game at 2:30p.

NBC Sports Group is working with The Jockey Club, CNBC and six racetracks, to offer live coverage of six major prep races for the 2012 Kentucky Derby over four consecutive weekends next spring. The series will feature a 90-minute live broadcast on NBC showcasing the Resorts World Casino New York City Wood Memorial at Aqueduct and the Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita Park on April 7, 2012. The other four prep races will include the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes on March 24 and the Florida Derby March 31, both of which will air on the NBC Sports Network. CNBC will offer the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes and the Arkansas Derby on April 14.

Cable service provider Time Warner Cable is mulling a bid to snag the rights to broadcast Los Angeles Dodgers baseball games, according to Bloomberg. The report states that the company is seeking a long-term deal, similar to the company’s deal with the Lakers, and add the Dodgers games to the regional sports network that is already set to begin broadcasting Lakers games for the 2012-2013 season.

Brazil’s struggles to build up infrastructure ahead of the 2014 World Cup continue to draw the ire of FIFA. General Secretary Jerome Valcke told the country’s parliamentary committee, according to the AP, that the country continued to be behind schedule. “Travelling in Brazil is not easy. To drive in Sao Paulo, to go from one end to the other is a nightmare. To leave the airport takes half a day, this cannot happen (during the tournament),” he added.

MSG Network paid homage to the late “Smokin’ Joe” Frazier last night, after the famed boxer passed away at the age of 67, with a special block of programming that showcased some of Frazier’s greatest moments at the venue. The block of programming will be repeated on Sunday, November 13 at 5:30p. The lineup was made up of three MSG Original programs, including the final episode of “50 Greatest Moments,” which features Frazier vs. Muhammad Ali in the “Fight of the Century” from “The World’s Most Famous Arena” in 1971. HBO will also pay tribute, running the documentary “Thrilla in Manila” tomorrow at 6:30 on the network.

While we are on boxing, HBO is transforming the HBO Zone channel on Saturday ahead of the Pacquiao/Marquez fight. The takeover will take begin at noon and will feature Jim Lampley hosting the roadblock.

VERSUS’ new series NFL Turning Point is shifting to Wednesday nights beginning tonight at 10p.

Universal Sports Network is adding alpine skiing coverage on Dec. 20-21 with a stop in Flachau, Austria. The stop replaces this weekend’s previously scheduled competition in Levi, Finland, which was cancelled due to weather. On Tuesday, December 20 and Wednesday, December 21 from 11a to 12:30p the Women’s Slalom and Men’s Slalom will air live, respectively. 

If you have a LOT of time on your hands, a Tulsa paper has acquired a slew of emails exchanged during Texas A&M’s departure from the Big 12 and Oklahoma’s flirtation with the Pac-12. The letters, which come from from other schools, fans, etc., offers a fascinating insight into the college sports business. In it, you’ll see how close Texas and Notre Dame came to joining the Big Ten, San Diego St.’s pitch to join the conference, Baylor begging Oklahoma to stay, the division of fans, and some insight on the role the media played in realignment. Have a gander at the emails here…

Sponsorship and Promotion

It’s hard to believe CES is once again almost upon us. ESPN has announced a slate of events for the 2012 consumer technology tradeshow, set to take place this January at the Las Vegas Convention and World Trade Center. Starting Jan. 9, the company will host events throughout the week to designed to showcase products like ESPN 3D and WatchESPN. The company will kick off the tradeshow with a special invitation-only private 3D showing of ESPN 3D’s production of the Allstate BCS National Championship on Monday, January 9, at the Las Vegas Hilton Theater. Other events will include live telecasts of series such as The Herd with Colin Cowherd, and SportsNation in 3D.

The NFL and Banshee Music are teaming up to create a new platform of proprietary NFL Music that will be featured throughout various league and team communication channels in 2011 and beyond. The debut five-song collection, Official Gameday Music of the NFL, is set to offer tracks from musicians who pay tribute to the game they love. The inaugural release features singles from Darius Rucker, Sammy Hagar and Joe Satriani of Chickenfoot, rock onslaught Hinder, American Idol favorite James Durbin and singer/songwriter Jordin Sparks.

Digital Fields

Broadband network SPEED2, is close to hitting the 20-million household mark thanks to a deal from Cox Communications that gives customers who subscribe to SPEED access to the online channel. The online channel offers original content and a library of enthusiast titles not on the linear network.

UFC has announced the winners of its Twitter incentive campaign, offered to fighters every quarter who creatively and successfully use the platform. The winners, in 12 categories, receive bonuses of $5,000. Awards for most followers went to Anderson Silva, Minotauro Noguerira, Demian Maia and Cris Cyborg. Other awards went to fighters with the biggest perfect increase

Sports site Bleacher Report announced the launch of a video hub that features original programming and short form video content. The news comes after last month’s announcement that the site is partnering YouTube to create an original channel. The site will roll out a slate of new shows later this year and beginning in 2012.

The Main Event

Flyers/Lightening could be a good one on VERSUS at 7:30p


“I have been performing feats of strength all morning.” Frank Costanza, Seinfeld

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ON THIS DAY in 1965: Willie Mays named the NL MVP

Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question:  Which quarterback beat Dan Marino in Marino’s only Super Bowl appearance? Answer: Joe Montana. Kudos: David Kalan –; Betty Gomes – Sports Business Journal/Charlotte; Rich Boland – DISH Network/NY; Cindy McFaden – Comcast Spotlight/Fredericksburg; Mike Patterson – Turner SI Digital/Chicago; Dottie Diaz – KVOA/Tucson; Alan Perris – The Television Academy/North Hollywood; Matt Dana – The CW/Burbank; Don Surath – CBS Local Media/San Francisco; Paul Barrere – Telerep/Los Angeles

In The Know: Who was the only non-professional player on Michael Jordan’s Olympic Dream 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.)

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports

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