Cablevision launches MSG Varsity in NY metro


Cablevision Systems is launching MSG Varsity, a destination for high school sports and activities. The initiative includes a multi-platform suite of services comprised of: a 24/7 television network serving four distinct local regions in the tri-state area, an online destination, and an interactive service. Beginning 9/24, these services will be available to all of Cablevision’s iO TV and Optimum Online high-speed Internet customers, reaching three million households throughout the New York market.

MSG Varsity is encouraging high schools across Cablevision’s footprint to become co-producers of MSG Varsity’s content. Students and faculty will be provided access to curriculum and training in multimedia creation and distribution, empowering them to become active participants in telling their school’s stories. This school-generated content will be included on MSG Varsity’s television and online platforms, enabling communities to watch and follow the positive activities and events taking place in their area high schools.

“MSG Varsity is truly about celebrating the students both in front of and behind the camera. Whether they are athletes or actors, debaters or trumpet players, students are passionate about what they do and MSG Varsity gives them an incredible opportunity to share that passion with their fellow students and parents,” said MSG Varsity’s General Manager Theresa Chillianis. “We are looking forward to working hand-in-hand with our partner schools to develop content that resonates with their own communities, and that will make MSG Varsity unlike any other service available today.”

MSG Varsity will deliver the premier video experience as a 24/7, professionally produced, linear network that will go beyond high school sports to cover high school activities such as debate, band, drama, dance, student government and more. With four unique programming feeds – serving Long Island, Brooklyn/Bronx, Connecticut/Westchester/Hudson Valley, and New Jersey — students, families and communities will have access to the coverage that matters most to them.

Specific programming will include:
    * “High School Sports Showcase,” with full coverage of more than 400 live-to-tape games and events each year
    * Daily studio shows such as “High School SportsDesk,” an all-encompassing sports highlight show
    * Weekly series such as “The Cheering Life,” a behind-the-scenes look that shows viewers what it’s like to try out, train and compete
    * Specials such as “The Marching Bands,” which captures the inspiring halftime performances of the regions’ top high school bands
    * Weekly programming such as “A Quick: 60,” a live call-in show on high school sports featuring high school sports guru, Mike Quick, and “The High School Journal,” a magazine show that spotlights important, but less televised activities such as tennis, swimming, drama, chess, debate and more
    * “The Challenge,” a highly acclaimed academic quiz show for top high school students in the tri-state area

MSG Varsity will be available on Cablevision’s iO TV service, channel 14. is a comprehensive online destination that brings together essentially all of MSG Varsity’s professional and school-generated content, originating from a vast array of resources including MSG Varsity’s partner schools. Students will be empowered to create content that will populate MSG Varsity’s Web site. This site is comprised of the homepage, through which users can access four distinct regional Web sites covering Long Island, Bronx/Brooklyn, Connecticut/Westchester/Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, and dedicated Web sites for partner schools.

MSG Varsity Interactive will leverage the power of the Internet and interactive television to showcase MSG Varsity’s content in a new, innovative way. This interactive television offering will take MSG Varsity’s comprehensive library of professional and school-generated content from the Internet and make it available for viewing on television on Cablevision’s iO TV, channel 614. Participating high schools will be given the opportunity to populate this interactive platform with content they choose to make available to their communities.