Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, September 21, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Advertisers are buying into MMA and FOX. At yesterday’s press conference for the upcoming UFC on FOX 1 special, FOX Sports President Eric Shanks noted that the ad inventory has already sold out for the event, which will feature UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez facing top contender Junior Dos Santos on November 12. UFC President Dana White told reporters that beginning next year, when the seven-year deal between the two companies officially kicks off, all fights will be available on television thanks to the deal, eliminating the need for streaming undercards online.

On the Air

Discovery Communications is turning to, where else, sports for the upcoming launch of the company’s new male-skewing channel Velocity. Discovery is partnering with NFL Films for two new series for the channel, NFL Single Coverage and Greatest NFL Rivalries, both of which will launch today at 8p and 8:30p respectively on HD Theater, which will officially become Velocity on Oct. 4. NFL Single Coverage will look at key individual matchups for a single game using interviews and special camera angles. Greatest NFL Rivalries will chronicle the league’s best rivalry games by taking a look back at the past contests, plays and personalities from the sport.

In more Velocity news, the channel’s Epic Poker League announced its first string of broadcasts for the channel as well as CBS, with 20 hours of original television programming on deck, including 7 to air on CBS and an additional 13 original hours on Velocity. The league will air on Velocity on Fridays beginning Oct. 7 at 10p while CBS will showcase the league on a combination of Saturdays and Sundays beginning Oct. 8 at 1p. All 20 hours of programming will take place from Palms Casino Resort, and will be hosted by Pat O’Brien.

NBA owner and player representatives are once again slated to meet in what may be a last ditch effort to find a compromise before the season schedule begins getting cut. Multiple reports state that the two sides will meet twice this week, beginning tomorrow with another meeting locked in for Thursday.

NBC has issued an apology to Eagle’s coach Andy Reid, who was unable to view a replay in time to decide whether or not to challenge a key call during their game on Sunday against the Falcons. According to producers, the primary angles used to determine whether or not the Falcons intercepted Michael Vick were blocked or unusable and by the time the crew found a shot the showed that the ball had hit the ground, the Falcons had already moved on with the next play.

As the NCAA Turns:

  • Playoff PAC, which filed a complaint to the IRS last year alleging that the Fiesta, Orange and Sugar Bowls violated tax-exempt status due to inappropriate spending and other activities, has now filed another complaint with the IRS. The complaint follows HBO running a piece on Real Sports in which Sugar Bowl executives acknowledged that they had made several campaign donations to then-Gov. Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana in the mid-2000s, which violates federal tax law.
  • Big East football school officials met last night in New York City to discuss the league’s future.
  • The New York Times reports that East Carolina has applied to join the Big East.
  • Pac-12 officials are expected to vote on conference expansion by the end of this week, according to the Associated Press.
  • A new east coast FBS conference could be born in the aftermath of realignment involving a combination of CUSA, MAC and FCS teams, according to James Madison University Athletic Director Jeff Bourne, who told the Daily News Record that movement could come within the next two years.

Spike TV drew an average of 1.8 million viewers to Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 25. The UFC series led basic cable channels on the night among the men 18-34 demographic and ran second to ESPN’s college football broadcast among men 18-to-49.

CBS Sports has announced that Tennessee head football coach Derek Dooley will be in-studio as a guest analyst on Saturday as part of College Football Today. The show will air at 3p, ahead of the network’s SEC Game of the Week, pitting No. 12-ranked Arkansas against No. 2-ranked Alabama.

Sportsman Channel is set to showcase New York Giants’ defensive end, Justin Tuck this week on Bowhunter TV. Tuck is set to join co-hosts Mike Carney and Curt Wells as well as special guests Terry Rohm and Mike Mattly in South Texas. The episode will air Friday at 10p.

Nickelodeon is tapping the likes of NBA stars LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and Dwyane Wade as well as soccer star Abby Wambach and NFL veteran Damien Woody for the channel’ 8th Annual Worldwide Day of Play. The athletes will join the casts of Nickelodeon series on Saturday, in Washington, D.C. for the half-hour special airing at 7:30p.

The Seattle Mariners have reupped with flagship radio station 710 ESPN in a new multi-year contract with the Bonneville Seattle Media Group. The extension will include all Mariners regular season games, as well as a minimum of 20 spring training games, pre-game and post-game programming. 

Sponsorship & Promotion

Marvel Entertainment is turning its heroes into Trojans, inking a deal with the University of Southern California to license its Super Heroes for a co-branded apparel program dedicated to USC. The agreement comes through Silver Star Merchandising, and will feature the Super Heroes in USC’s school colors of Cardinal and Gold, along with its Trojan mascot and logos on merchandise.

USA Boxing has tapped the services of Art Horan to the new position of Executive VP, Global Marketing for the organization. Horan will oversee content creation, broadcasting, marketing, promotion and fundraising for the US National Governing Body for the sport.

espnW is pulling in a slew of female athletes and experts for next week’s second annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit in Tucson, Ariz. Among the names on hand will be Billie Jean King, Abby Wambach and Laurel Richie. The summit’s is designed to strengthen the role of women in sports community with panels available via live stream at

Digital Fields

With one race down in the Chase, saw a surge in traffic for the rescheduled Geico 400 on Monday. The site recorded 8.1 million page views and 1.3 million uniques on Monday to score the second highest traffic of the 2011 season, behind only the Daytona 500. The site saw an 88% jump in page views and a 75% increase in unique users during the period compared to the first race of last year’s Chase.

ESPN Audio entered an agreement with Slacker, Inc.that will launch interactive ESPN Radio content to Slacker Radio listeners. The deal will now make ESPN on Slacker Radio available on the web, as well as on home entertainment devices and smartphones. In addition, an updated Slacker app with ESPN for iOS has been submitted and will be available pending Apple approval. Slacker becomes the first radio service to feature ESPN Radio in a personalized context, with up-to-the-minute coverage of all major sporting events and top news stories on both a local and national level.

The Main Event

I’ll take some more Rays/Yankees action on ESPN at 7p.


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ON THIS DAY in 1986: Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino passes for 6 touchdowns against the Jets

Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question:   What quarterback led the Philadelphia Eagles to their first Super Bowl?  Ron Jaworski. (To everyone who answered Norm Van Brocklin, that was during the pre-Super Bowl era.) Kudos: Jon May – Time Warner Cable Media/Buffalo; Allyson Zeitz – NBC Universal Cable Ad Sales/NY; Michael A. Neuman – Scout Sports and Entertainment/NY; Adam J. Honig – IMG College/NY; Kevin Micklo – Cramer-Krasselt/Chicago; Steve Morrow – Eclipse TV/Mill Valley; Chris Loprete – ABC/Hollywood; Roman Saienni – Fox Sports/LA; Robert Twilley – Jupiter Entertainment/LA

In The Know:  What Hall-of-Famer has the all-time record for most touchdown passes in a single Super Bowl game?  (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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