Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, September 28, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Turner Sports is gearing up for postseason play with a new led voice anchoring its MLB coverage of the LDS and NLCS. This year, Ernie Johnson, the long-time voice of Turner Sports, will not be participate in TBS’ postseason coverage due to a family matter, so the network has tapped Brian Anderson to handle lead play-by-play duties for the network. In addition, any play-in games due to a regular season tie will air on TBS tomorrow. Friday’s ALDS Game One is then set to open up on TBS with the first pitch at 5:07 p.

The network’s production plans this year will include new graphics, the U.S. television debut of Bloomberg Stats and the Liberovision, a 3D interactive telestrator, to provide baseball fans with more information and perspective during the telecast.

On the Air

ESPN’s matchup of longtime rivals Redskins and Cowboys on MNF paid dividends for the network, scoring a season best 17.1 million viewers to help ESPN win the night among viewers and key demos, according to Nielsen’s early numbers. The telecast averaged a 10.6 rating with 12.17 million households watching the contest. In Dallas-Ft. Worth, the game drew a 20.4 rating on ESPN and 16.0 on KTXA-IND, for a combined 36.4 rating while the DC market delivered a 22.4 rating on ESPN and 12.6 on WDCA-IND, for a combined 35.0 rating.

In final ratings for the NFL, America’s Game of the Week on FOX posted a 14.1/26 household rating/share, with 24.0 million viewers on Sunday according to Nielsen Media Research. Sunday Night Football’s national rating on NBC came in at a 12.2/19 with an audience of 20.4 million people. The viewership and household rating for the SNF game is up 13 and eight percent, respectively, over last year’s week 3 contest in spite of Peyton Manning missing the game.

Showtime has pushed the Super Six World Boxing Classic Final between super middleweight world champions Andre Ward and Carl Froch to Saturday, Dec. 17 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. due to an injury to Ward. The telecast will air live at 9p and was originally slated for Oct. 29 at the same venue. The Super Six World Boxing Classic Final will now lead into the live Strikeforce MMA telecast headlined by Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez defending his title against Jorge Masvidal. As a result of the Super Six delay, the next episode of FIGHT CAMP 360°: Inside the Super Six World Boxing Classic as been rescheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 10p.

Season 14 of Spike TV’s The Ultimate Fighter opened with a draw of 1.5 million viewers to the series. This will mark the last season on Spike before shifting to FX with a new format next year. Meanwhile, the UFC 135 Prelims special on Spike TV saw an average of 1.6 million viewers watching the bouts.

Will the rich get richer? Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive told reporters on Tuesday that the rule barring more than two teams from a conference in the Bowl Championship Series games may be lifted, with BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock planning to speak with conference commissioners about the rule.

On the NBA labor front, negotiators for owners and players met for about two hours yesterday and will talk again today in an effort to avoid more league cancellations.

The Florida Panthers and FOX Sports have agreed to a multi-year extension on the club’s television rights partnership. The agreement will see FOX Sports Florida continue to be the home of Panthers with the channel broadcasting every regular season Florida Panthers game not utilized by the league’s national broadcast partners

Longhorn Network has lined up 14 University of Texas women’s basketball games to air exclusively on the network this season. Games include six Big 12 Conference games and, for the first time in school history, every Texas women’s basketball home game will now have live television coverage and commentary. The Texas women open their season on the Longhorn Network on Friday, Nov. 11 against Stanford.

Diehard Sooner fans will have to pay up to see the team’s game vs. Ball St. on Saturday. FOX Sports Southwest will distribute the football game at 7p on pay-per-view to participating program providers, as the game wasn’t selected for over-the-air broadcast or cable television coverage. The cost? Suggested retail price is $39.95.

Sponsorship & Promotion

With two states, a landmark and a snowflake, the NFL revealed the 2014 Super Bowl logo yesterday. The game is set to be played at MetLife Stadium in what will become the first outdoor Super Bowl in a traditionally cold-weather city. The logo featured a snowflake centered before the George Washington Bridge and flanked by NY and NJ. The campaign and logo were designed by Source Communications in New Jersey.

Meanwhile, Doritos has been busy thinking about the next Super Bowl. The snack brand is set to throw its sixth annual Crash the Super Bowl contest, allowing fans to submit their own Doritos commercials. In addition, executives have tapped SNL vet Andy Samberg and his famed The Lonely Island team to create an ad that will compete in the contest as well. The brand saw video submissions increase in last year’s contest by 38 percent to 5,600 with finalist videos viewed 22 million times.

ESPN it turning toward the Terrible Towel for the next spot in the network’s famed ‘It’s Not Crazy, It’s Sports’ campaign. The spot will utilize the famed towel from locations around the world, where Steeler fans have been known to photograph themselves with the item. ESPN is asking fans to submit their best photos and videos through a dedicated website with the most memorable submissions incorporated into the commercial spot.

Digital Fields

Universal Sports Network is partnering with BumeBox to launch Social Scrum, an online platform that aggregates social media and allows fans to interact during the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup. The platform allows fans to engage both with the tournament as well as each other with Social Scrum displaying Twitter feeds from fans around the world who are talking about the Rugby World Cup and provide live updates from the event. is launching a new online series dubbed In the Game with Robin Roberts on the website. In the series, the Good Morning America anchor will mark the first ever dual network, cross platform effort for ABC News and ESPN with the digital series having a presence on Good Morning America,ABC News Digital and The series will feature Roberts interviewing female athletes who have had a unique and unforgettable impact on the world of women’s sports with upcoming episodes featuring the likes of Maya Moore, Lisa Leslie, Jennie Finch, Laila Ali, Hope Solo and Pat Summitt. The series will debut later this fall.

NASCAR is set to unveil the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule online today via the organization’s social and digital channels at noon. As part of the unveiling, will first unveil next year’s schedule on its homepage, followed by a question-and-answer Twitter chat session with NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O’Donnell.

The Main Event

Last day of the MLB regular season and ESPN is featuring the Red Sox trying to stave off an epic season collapse in a game vs. the Orioles at 7p.


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ON THIS DAY in 1991: The NY Yankees set a MLB record of going 75 games without a complete game by a pitcher.

Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question:   What was the original name of the New Jersey Nets? The team was originally known as the Americans. Kudos: Keith Marder – Halstead Property/NY; Phyllis McQuillan – MSG Media/NY; Blayke Scheer – YES Network/Stamford; Rick Rosenfelt – New York Jets/NY; Marci Crane – GRP Media/Chicago; Sarah Burnap – Media Stream Direct/Sherman Oaks

In The Know:  Who has the most victories as a head coach for the Chicago Bears? (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 Cyn opsis | Sports

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