Friday Night Rights: Cablevision Launches High School Sports Channel

MSG-VarsityCablevision 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,, 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.

For more “Friday Night Rights,” see the following posts:

Corporate Advertising in High School Athletics

Title IX Applies to High School Athletics

Advertising and Title IX in High School Athletics

Recruiting and Specialization in High School Athletics

Trial of Coach in Player’s Death May Change High School Athletics


  1. Laurie Lima says:

    I am in support of the media launch concerning High School Sports.

    If media coverage had been available during my daughters athletic career during her High School years she would not have suffered the way she had.

    In favor of Freedom of Information, the more eyes on our youth the better.

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  4. While I know that this is an untapped area for sponsorships and K-12 education across the country is struggling with budgets, I am not sure that media coverage of high school sports is such a good thing. I get concerned that athletes at this level are still developing and making mistakes; how will they react to the glare of the camera; will the coach be focused on his or her work, or worried about how he or she will come across on TV. Really question the value of the money vs. the quality of what needs to happen in terms of student athletes improving their weaknesses and fine tuning their strengths. And, we need to shore up the emphasis on academics in the world of athletics, since education is the ultimate goal. Will the cameras take the focus off of that? Just concerned.

    Al Musante
    Keep Playing! Athletics

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