Friday, June 29th, 2012

Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Friday, June 29, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.  We are off all next week so have a great holiday!

While the college football postseason may be evolving, ESPN has locked down a 12-year extension with the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, the Big Ten Conference and the Pac-12 Conference to keep the Rose Bowl in the family. The agreement will start in January 2015, and include rights to the annual Rose Bowl Game across ESPN’s platforms through 2026. In addition, the Rose Bowl’s incorporation into a still-to-be-determined post-season bowl rotation will also be part of the deal. ESPN/ABC has televised the Rose Bowl Game since 1989. As part of the deal, ESPN will showcase the Rose Bowl Game on television, ESPN Radio, ESPN Mobile TV and on smartphones, tablets, online and on Xbox LIVE via WatchESPN. Additionally, ESPN has secured rights to distribute the Rose Bowl Game on ESPN 3D and around the world through ESPN International.


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Our first annual Cynopsis Sports Media Awards Breakfast is set for Thursday, August 9 from 8:00-10:00am at The Harvard Club in NYC. Network with your peers and hear about the year’s best sports programming and marketing.

Join award finalists, support your colleagues and network with the best in the industry!

Preview the list of finalists & register for the Awards event:

On the Air

The NFL announced that kickoff times for late afternoon doubleheader games on CBS and FOX this season will now be moved from 4:15p to 4:25p. The league stated that the new time will reduce “instances in which fans miss the end of a 1p game telecast because they must receive the opening kickoff of their home team’s late-afternoon game. In addition, fans not in the cities of the late doubleheader opponents will be less likely to miss the beginning of the late doubleheader game.” The shift comes after the NFL analyzed games from the 2009-11 seasons and discovered that 44 games required part of the audience to be switched to a mandatory doubleheader game kickoff, the new time would have cut that down by 66% to 15 games.

Golf Channel announced that the network scored its most-watched June ever, and wrapped up the most-watched second quarter in the network’s 17-year history as well as the sixth consecutive quarter of record growth since becoming part of the NBC Sports Group. This viewership surge makes Golf Channel the fastest-growing network on U.S. television among networks serving 80 million or more homes, according to Nielsen. Golf Channel averaged 115,000 viewers during the month to pull a 37% spike over 2011 numbers. Overall, the second quarter also averaged 115,000 viewers and best the past two years by 29 percent and 34 percent, respectively.

NBC Universal announced that a record 115 NBC Olympic commentators will be on hand for the company’s 5,535 hours of London Olympic Games coverage across NBC, NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, Telemundo,, two specialty channels, and the first-ever 3D platform. On top of Olympic pillar Bob Costas, the roster will include 28 Olympians who won a combined total of 45 Olympic Medals. In fact, the company points out that “Team NBC” would have finished sixth at the Beijing Olympics with 43 medals behind Australia with 46 and ahead of Germany who won 41. The incoming collective will include names ranging from Al Michaels and Dan Patrick – who are hosting NBC’s Olympic Daytime show – to Apolo Ohno, Ryan Seacrest and Doc Rivers.

ESPN revealed its own lineup with the 2012 ESPYS set to run on July 11 at 9p. Host Rob Riggle will be joined by presenters that will include Jessica Biel, Jordana Brewster, Kenny Chesney, Cody Horn, Jimmie Johnson, Joel McHale, Olivia Munn, Danica Patrick, Jeremy Renner, and Shaun White. Nas will perform songs from his new album Life is Good throughout the show, while Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers recorded a new version of the Queen/David Bowie classic Under Pressure, which will be used exclusively for the show. 

FUEL TV scored its most-watched month ever in June, bolstered by three live UFC Fight Nights and two live motocross races, ranking as the industry’s fastest growing ad-supported cable network overall, according to Nielsen. The channel’s viewership growth featured 406 hours of UFC programming, including three live prelim shows for main cards featured on FX. The TUF Finale Live Prelims on Friday, June 1, delivered the network its most-watched prelims to date, most-watched Friday and second most-watched Friday prime time in its history. Overall, June 2012 was up 50% in total viewers and 67% in M18-49 vs. June 2011.

mun2 announced that it will premiere MMA series the Bellator Fighting Championships on Friday, June 29 from 8 to 10p. The series is built around single-elimination, tournament-style competitions, pitting eight fighters against one another, with each man competing for a shot at the reigning champ. mun2 will begin airing tournaments from Season 6, leading up to the live premiere of Bellator 72 on July 20.

PBS is celebrating the July 4th by celebrating Olympians and Paralympians as they prepare for the London games with special series A Capital Fourth. The program will feature Apolo Anton Ohno hosting the tribute to Team USA, and honoring present and past athletes of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams. More than a dozen competing Olympians will be featured including: Khatuna Lorig, Jennifer Gillom, Sarah Robles, Daryl Homer, Rachel Dawson, Bobby Lea, Marti Malloy, Arielle Martin, Amanda Clark and more. The event will air live on PBS on Wednesday, July 4 from 8 to 9p as well as to our troops serving around the world on the American Forces Network. 

NBA TV will cover breaking news surrounding the NBA free agency period including a series of Free Agent Fever shows that will air Saturday, June 30, at 7p and at midnight, when the free agency period officially begins, as well as on Sunday, July 1, at 8p. On Saturday, host Rick Kamla with analyst Dennis Scott and reporter David Aldridge will offer news and analysis associated with NBA player movement. Sunday, host Vince Cellini and analysts Steve Smith and Scott will recap all of the day’s news and rumors.

Sponsorship & Promotion

ESPN revealed this year’s sponsors for the 2012 ESPY Awards. In addition to presenting sponsor Capital One,  returning associate sponsors are set to include Buick, EA SPORTS, Gatorade, Miller64, and Twentieth Century Fox on behalf of the upcoming film “The Watch.” First-time associate sponsors include Belvedere, CLEAR MEN SCALP THERAPY™, Jockey, Nokia and Under Armour. Nokia will serve as presenting sponsor of ESPN’s Tuesday night pre-party – BODY at ESPYS – and Miller64 returns as presenting sponsor of the official ESPYS Post Party.

Outdoor Channel is teaming with Xfinity and the Chicago White Sox to host a series of summer events set to take place at the U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. The first of the two marquis events will be held today with the White Sox Campout at U.S. Cellular Field. On Aug. 11, the trio will host Outdoor Channel Night at U.S. Cellular Field.. The events will include guest appearances by several Outdoor Channel stars as well as White Sox players.

This weekend at the Kentucky Speedway, M&M’S will award four NASCAR fans with the “ultimate upgrade,” giving them upgraded, M&M’S branded lounge-style seats for the race, Sprint Vision handsets, personal servers as well as M&M’S to watch M&M’S driver Kyle Busch defend his title at the race.

On Friday, June 29, at 4p, executives and hosts from Sports Radio 66 WFAN and CBS RADIO will visit the New York Stock Exchange to celebrate the station’s 25th year of broadcasting. To celebrate this achievement, morning show team Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton, as well as night host and 25 year WFAN veteran Steve Somers, will ring The Closing Bell. They will be joined at the podium by Dan Mason, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS RADIO; Anton Guitano, Chief Operating Officer, CBS Local Media; Chris Oliviero, Senior Vice President, Programming, CBS RADIO and Don Bouloukos, Senior Vice President/Market Manager, CBS RADIO New York.

NASCAR filled several slots on its roster, naming Sean Doherty as Director, Digital & Content and Tracey Judd as Director, Racing Operations Communications.

The SEC is set to hold its first-ever SEC BeachFest from August 23 through August 26 along the Alabama Gulf Coast in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. The conference announced, according to WSFA, that SEC head coaches Nick Saban of Alabama, Gene Chizik of Auburn and Les Miles of LSU will be in attendance to rally SEC fans before the 2012 season kickoff. The coaches will also take in town hall discussions with fans and ESPNU talent. The event is being produced by sports marketing agency MELT and FishBait Marketing of Charleston, South Carolina in conjunction with Venture Group of Gulf Shores, Ala., and Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism (CVB).

Digital Fields

More All-Star Game records being broken online. Wednesday saw 3.8 million online ballots cast for players which set a new high mark for the event. The online tally total surpassed the previous one-day record of 3.4 million set on July 2, 2008.

The Main Event

EURO 2012 Final at 2:30p on ESPN.



Cynopsis Media will be on shut down from July 2 – July 6, 2012.

Next week, you will not receive editions in your mailbox. In the interim, past editions, classifieds, special editions & industry calendar of events can always be found on our website.

ON THIS DAY in 1958: Pele helps deliver Brazil with the World Cup title.

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What player holds the all-time career record for most points in men’s basketball at UCLA? Don MacLean. Kudos: Paul Brewer-Turner Digital/NY; Noah Coslov-CineSport/NY; Joe Tafuri-Tennis Channel/NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; George Finkel-MegaSport Production/Myrtle Beach; Greg Finch-Time Warner Cable Media/Dallas; Paul Gygli-NBCUniversal Television Distribution/Universal City; Jordan Cohen-USC Athletics/LA; Shawn Kopelakis-FOX Sports West/LA; Eric Bates-Tennis Channel/Culver City.

In The Know: USC has played the most times in the Rose Bowl with 33 appearances. Who has the second most? ( Email 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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