Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, September 7, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

The NFL has scored one of the largest sponsorships to ever hit the sports world, inking a deal with PepsiCo. that extends the pair’s relationship for another ten years. The deal is worth around $2.3 billion, according to reports, and will begin next year. Under the deal, PepsiCo’s Gatorade will remain the beverage for athletes during games, while Pepsi MAX will continue on as the official soft drink of the NFL. Other company brands such as Frito-Lay, Tropicana and Quaker Oats will also engage with the league next year and help develop digital fan engagement platforms. 

On the Air

WWE is jumping even further into the media ring, telling fans Monday night that the company would be launching the WWE Network in 2012. The company did not release details of the channel, but has over 100,000 hours of content in its library that can be utilized in a television channel.

ESPN and the Big Ten Conference have announced its 2011-12 men’s college basketball television schedule for the ESPN family of networks, with this season featuring conference games on ESPNU for the first time. Overall, the networks are set to televise 36 conference games as well as non-conference action. Every Tuesday from Dec. 27 through Feb. 28 will feature a Big Ten telecast on either ESPN or ESPN2. In addition, the conference will have a game on ESPN or ESPN2 every Thursday on ESPN or ESPN2 and select Thursdays on ESPNU from Jan. 5 to March 1.

NFL Network is overhauling staple program NFL Total Access, with the series getting a new look and feel via two co-hosts, as well as more analyst contributions. Monday through Thursday, the series will be hosted by Kara Henderson and Andrew Siciliano, while Friday and Saturday find Scott Hanson and Lindsay Soto in the hosting chairs. In addition, the series is now utilizing an interactive touch screen panel to highlight the latest headlines generating hits on and other NFL websites, as well as new graphics and music.

Multiple sports networks are readying to 9/11 tributes, ten years after the tragedies. ESPN announced yesterday that the company would be featuring a combination of features, essays, tributes and live event coverage throughout the day. Content is set to include, a moment of silence at 8:46a, SportsCenter and Outside the Lines will feature a roundtable discussion with three of New York’s professional coaches on the day of the attacks; will offer a full week of content leading up to 9/11 and ESPN’s September 10 NASCAR coverage from Richmond will include an ESPN produced piece “I Remember” with reflections and memories from the sport’s stars.

On Thursday, September 8, at 10p, the YES will premiere the one-hour special  9/11 Remembered which showcases how New York sports, and the New York Yankees in particular, played a role in bringing the New York community together in the face of the tragedy. Highlights are set to include new interviews with Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams, Al Leiter, New York Yankees President Randy Levine, and WFAN SportsRadio host Mike Francesa as well as new interviews with members of the FDNY.

ESPN is adding another member to the family, hiring Bernardo Osuna to serve as commentator for both ESPN and ESPN Deportes. In addition he will also serve as correspondent for ESPN Deportes in Los Angeles. Osuna began his career as a sports director and anchor for Univision and has since covered the World Series, Super Bowls, NBA Finals, MLS Cup Finals, Gold Cups, Confederation Cups, World Cups and numerous boxing championship bouts.

World Fishing Network is now on the Bright House Networks lineup with the distributor placing the channel in both standard and high definition in all Bright House Networks markets. WFN is available via the Sports Pass package to Bright House Networks’ customers in: Bakersfield. CA; Birmingham, AL; Detroit, MI; Indianapolis, IN; and Orlando and Tampa, FL.

Athlete’s on TV

  • The new season of Spike TV’s college football comedy series Blue Mountain State is set to premiere the third season on Sept. 21, with Patriot’s wide receiver Chad Ochocinco making a guest appearance.
  • DIY Network will feature New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott getting a high-end hangout in the Sept. 11 premiere of Man Caves. Once the transformation is complete, Jets such as quarterback Mark Sanchez will visit to check out the results.

FC Dallas play-by-play announcer Bobby Rhine passed away Monday night from an apparent heart attack. He was 35-years-old. The former team player moved into the broadcast booth following his retirement in 2008.

Sponsorship & Promotion

NBC Sports has locked in all but five spots for this season’s Super Bowl, with the channel scoring as much as $3.5 million for a 30-second spot, according to multiple reports. Advertisers this year are set to include staples such as Pepsi and, as well as Teleflora, Kia and Sketchers with auto companies leading the pack. First time sponsors are set to include Century 21.

NBCUniversal is going all in for its “Back to Football” with NFL-themed programming, utilizing its new-found Comcast resources to drive promotion heading into the NFL season. Promotion is set to include segments on TODAY Show, Access Hollywood, America’s Got Talent, Weather Channel, CNBC, Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, E!, Telemundo, Universal Orlando Theme Park as well as NBC Affiliates and Comcast Regional Sports Networks.

With the Big 12 on the brink of a meltdown, conference member Baylor has launched a campaign to save the league. The marketing effort seeks to tug on the heartstrings of Texas football fans, stating that Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech are discarding hundred-year-old rivalries (a good point) and pledging their loyalties to other states (a head scratcher) by looking to join another conference. Of course, Baylor is also motivated because they could be left on the outside looking in if there is consolidation and be relegated to a lesser-paying, non-BCS conference. The campaign urges fans to “Take a Stand Now” by emailing officials at the other universities.

Digital Fields launched yesterday as the virtual hub for the network’s new fall program BTN LiveBIG. The site invited fans to share their stories of how they “live big” in their community and offers Big Ten students a chance to win the BTN LiveBIG Scholarship for Outstanding Service.The site also connects students with campus volunteer centers.

With UFC heading over to FOX waters in the near future, Spike TV is now turning to MMA promotion Bellator. The promotion announced that will stream undercard fights ahead of MTV2’s and Epix’ live broadcasts beginning at 7p.

Top Social Programs in Sports for the week ending Sept. 4 (games only), according to’s Social 100:

1.      College Football         LSU/Oregon                ABC               9/3/11
2.      Soccer                     FC Barcelona/Villarreal GolTV             8/29/11
3.      MLB                         Yankees/Red Sox        ESPN             8/31/11
4.      Tennis                     US Open                    CBS               9/4/11
5.      College Football         Utah St./Auburn          ESPN2            9/3/11

The Main Event

US Open quarterfinals on ESPN2


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ON THIS DAY in 1991: Ty Detmer of BYU passes the NCAA career record of 11,606 passing yards

Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question:  What is the name of the mascot at the University of Missouri? Truman the Tiger. Kudos: Michael Brown – IMG Worldwide/NY; Kristen Saine – NASCAR/Charlotte; Meredith Hart – Golf Channel/Orlando; Valerie Achkhanian Bertram  – Cox Reps/NY; Susan Burchfield – KDNL ABC 30/St. Louis; Frank Forgey – Missouri Broadcasters Association/Jefferson City; Dan Radman – Busch Media Group/St. Louis; Mary Ryan – Raycom Media/Dallas; Sarah Godfrey – Warner Bros. International Television Distribution/Burbank

In The Know:  Which university did Chad Ochocinco attend? (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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