Thursday, May 17th, 2012


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Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Thursday, May 17, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

NBCUniversal announced that MSNBC, CNBC and Bravo will again serve as Olympic platforms when they combine to televise 284.5 hours of coverage of the 2012 London Olympic Games this summer. MSNBC is on deck to carry 155.5 hours of Olympic sports, including up to 18 medal rounds and 20 Olympic sports, from badminton to basketball to soccer to wrestling. Longtime Golf Channel commentator Kelly Tilghman will serve as the channel’s Olympic host. CNBC is slated for 73 hours of Olympic boxing coverage-including the debut of women’s Olympic boxing-with Fred Roggin, the lead sports anchor at KNBC resuming his Beijing role as Olympic boxing host. Bravo will serve as the home of Olympic tennis with 56 hours of coverage with Pat O’Brien, serving as host.

On the Air

If the goal of “Survival Sunday” (aka the final day of the season for the Barclays Premier League that aired ten different games across ten different outlets at the same time earlier this week) was to generate new viewers to sample the sport, then mission accomplished. Nine FOX platforms (including two digital outlets) along with ESPN2 carried the dramatic day, and scored an all-time record for viewership of the event. According to Nielsen, the combined English and Spanish language coverage scored 1,348,000 viewers, up 72% over the combined viewing of the same day on 2011. English-language viewership on the FOX outlets alone was up 160% over 2011, with FX drawing 161,000, followed by FOX Soccer at 77,000, FSN got 59,000, SPEED earned 53,000, and FUEL TV 42,000. ESPN2 drew 600,000 for their game. Online, unique visitors to on Sunday earned 420,000, for a 278% spike over 2011, and and FOX Soccer 2Go combining for 41,522 live video streams. FOX Sports returns to the sport on Saturday with the UEFA Champions League Final. Coverage begins at 2p.

After announcing ESPN Deportes+ por ESPN3 yesterday, the channel announced other changes including an increase of the number of live soccer matches this year. This September, ESPN Deportes becomes the exclusive Spanish-language TV home of the UEFA Europa League in the U.S and will air more than 60 matches per season, along with complementary news and information studio programming. In addition, ESPN Deportes will air close to 80 select qualifiers and international friendlies. Original content will be bolstered by series El Bar, Capitales del Fútbol, and the channel’s first original digital series Born and Raised.

The NBC Sports Network announced coverage plans for qualifying of the Indy 500 with 12 hours of live coverage on May 19-20, as well as a five hour show on Carb Day, Friday, May 25, that will showcase Indy 500 practice, the Freedom 100 Indy Lights race, and the IZOD Pit Stop Competition. The channel will also air a total of 12 one-hour telecasts of Firestone Indy Lights continuing Friday, May 25 at 12p, with coverage from this week’s race in Indianapolis.

ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC are combining to present 12 WNBA regular-season games this season beginning with the defending WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx hosting the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday, May 20, at 12:30p on ABC. ESPN2 will carry the bulk of the 2012 WNBA postseason, while ESPN will air a first-round game and ABC will present an Eastern Conference Final game. The WNBA Finals on ESPN2 begin Sunday, Oct. 14 for a best-of-five series.

As expected, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, along with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Mets team owner Fred Wilpon, announced Wednesday that the Mets will host the 2013 All-Star Game on July 16, 2013, which will mark the city’s ninth Midsummer Classic, and the first in Queens since 1964. The Mets and MLB will reveal at a later date other details on the events that will surround the Game, although the All-Star FanFest is expected to be held at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan.

The Women’s Tennis Association is launching the international tender process to find a host city for its year-end WTA Championships for 2014 and beyond. The WTA’s year-end finale features the world’s top eight singles players and top four doubles teams competing. The WTA chose the London-based international sports marketing agency, The Sports Consultancy, to manage the Championships bid process, with bids required to be submitted by September 21, 2012.

The returning United States Football League is adding former Pro Bowl Quarterback Jeff Garcia to the league’s board of advisors. Garcia will serve on the player development branch of the USFL’s advisory board, joining Fred Biletnikoff, Jim Steeg, James Bailey and and Terrell Jones on the board.The USFL is planning to field eight teams for its inaugural 14-game season in 2013, which will kick off in March and wrap up with a championship game in June.

Sponsorship & Promotion

The USTA announced that Nintendo has signed on as an Official Sponsor of the SmashZone Mobile Tour, an interactive tennis fan attraction that introduces children to the sport. As part of the deal, Nintendo will incorporate video game kiosks into the SmashZone experience throughout the tour, with the partnership launching at the California Strawberry Festival in Oxnard, Calif., on May 19 – 20.This year’s SmashZone Mobile Tour will serve as a launching pad for Mario Tennis Open for the Nintendo 3DS and the experience will include a 53-foot trailer, the houses four kid-sized tennis courts for youth play.

The National Volleyball League inked some new multi-year sponsorship deals. Asics signed on to become the official footwear and training apparel sponsor of the organization and will also be the title sponsor of the California season ending championship event. Meanwhile, Club Med now becomes the official resort destination of the league via a multi-year cash deal. Finally, Surgex signed on for a multi-year deal as the nutritional supplement of the NVL. The league is slated to host the first event of its season with a two-day $50,000 tournament May 18-19th in Baltimore, MD where Olympic Gold medalists Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers will make their 2012 domestic debut. The tournament will take place in Baltimore Beach and the Pimlico Race Course infield on Preakness Day.

Central Michigan University won this semester’s NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion case study competition, which will earn them a grand prize trip to attend the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway this Saturday night. Throughout the semester, teams were required to develop two case studies and host a viewing party for a pre-determined NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The case studies included generating marketing ideas for Fathead and Camping World as well as the viewing parties featured M&M’S® newest spokescandy Ms. Brown.


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(( May 16 )) Upfront 2012: Broadcast

(( May 29 )) Primetime Emmy® Awards: Before the Ballots: Actor/Actress

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Digital Fields

The Devils are in the digital details; with the NHL team urging fans to block nearby Ranger fans from attending Devils home games during their playoff series. On the team’s website, a notice entitled “No Blue” told ticket owners for the Devils home playoff games looking to sell their tickets to avoid the secondary market where Ranger fans might get a hold of them and instead look to team blogs that can put sellers in touch with Devils fans. The post also told fans who were unsure about using blogs to sell their tickets to call a special number to ensure the tickets go to New Jersey fans instead.  The post was later removed.

The Main Event

Miami/Indiana on ESPN at 7p.

ON THIS DAY in 1875: Oliver Lewis wins the very first Kentucky Derby aboard Aristides.

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What NFL Hall of Famer was a terrorist in the movie Broken Arrow? Howie Long. Kudos: Michael Brown-IMG/NY; Josh Duboff-CBS Sports Network/NY; Rick Alessandri-Univision/NY; JR Hernandez-BHV/NY; Stephanie Fitts-SiriusXM Satellite Radio/Washington, D.C.; Katie Copeland-XOS Digital/Orlando; Shawn Gerchicoff-Turner Sports/Altanta; G. David Brown-FOX Sports Carolinas/Charlotte; Greg Finch-Time Warner Cable Media/Dallas; Pam Tierney-Actress/VO/Chicago; Will Allmendinger-Captivate Network/Chicago; Liz Murray-Turner Broadcasting/Chicago; Steve Morrow-Eclipse TV/Mill Valley; Dave Goldstein-NFL Network/LA; Alan Perris-The Television Academy/North Hollywood; Jake Guswa-Warner Bros./Burbank.

In The Know: What number was Wayne Gretzky famous for wearing? ( 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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