Cablevision has provided the latest example of the business of sports infiltrating high school athletics. The cable provider will launch “MSG Varsity,” which will feature coverage of high school athletics in 4 areas: Long Island, Brooklyn/Bronx, Connecticut/Westchester/Hudson Valley and New Jersey. A website, MSGVarsity.com, is also planned.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of MSG Varsity is the arrangement between Cablevison and the schools concerning broadcast rights. According to John Ourand of SportsBusiness Daily:
Cablevision is not paying the schools a rights fee for the programming, but describes its relationship as “an unprecedented partnership” that will see the New York media company donate video equipment, Web templates, training and scholarships to schools that participate.
High school athletics remain a largely untapped resource for sponsorships, advertising and other commerical ventures. It will be interesting to see what effect MSG Varsity has upon high school athletics in the tri-state area.
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