MSG Varsity, NeuLion Team on HD Streaming

The matchup between perennial New Jersey powers Bergen Catholic and Don Bosco may be the big one for MSG Varsity, but it won’t be the only football game Cablevision’s high school network airs this weekend.

MSG Varsity is shooting 16 prep pigskin contests and 21 atheletic events in total from Oct. 26-28 that will air across its varied platforms. Additionally, another dozen football games, including the Bosco-Bergen battle, will stream live in high-definition on and be available to the network’s authenticated subscribers on computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones through MSG Varsity’s deal with NeuLion.

NeuLion’s service provides complete DVR and instant-replay features, highlights and additional content to sports fans, students and parents.

Based in Plainview, N.Y, NeuLion has deals with the NFL, NBA, UFC, MLS and NHL, as its Sports Platform provides a solution for the worldwide digital delivery of live events from the aforementioned organizations to fans’ multiple Internet-connected devices.

Jonathan McCarthy, vice president of digital platforms at MSG Varsity, said the network continues to increase the number of streamed contests from 16 during the 2010-11 school year to 400 a year ago. During the current 2012-13 academic year that total, with an assist from NeuLion, will jump to between 600 and 700 across an array of sports and other school activities, he said.

The 3 million or so Cablevision customers in the New York DMA that subscribe to video packages featuring MSG Varsity have access to the network’s flanking digital roster of content by entering their Optimum ID number.

McCarthy said the network elected to use NeuLion’s Sports Platform technology for three primary reasons. “For the first time, we were able to present the livecasts on Apple, Android and Kindle devices,” he said. “That enables parents and fans who are sitting in the stands to also watch the games on their devices, to hear our announcers and see the replays.”

NeuLion’s technology also provides the MSG Varsity livecasts with full DVR functionality. “A user can stop and rewind the action. They can see their son’s touchdown multiple times,” McCarthy explained.   

Moreover, NeuLion’s platform immediately opens up encore access for parents, fans and gridiron participants. “Users now have instant access to full-game replays,” McCarthy said, noting that previously subscribers had to wait for a game to air on the MSG Varsity TV network before they could screen a digital encore. As such, McCarthy said “students who played in the game at 1 p.m., can now watch their team at 4 p.m.”

The MSG Varsity experience showcases multiple camera feeds straight from the athletic field or arena and include NeuLion's unique Live Editing software tool that enables game highlights to be cut, clipped and published in real-time. 

"Watching high school sports online has never been more incredible. We are excited about our partnership with MSG Varsity," said NeuLion executive vice president Chris Wagner. "Networks like MSG Varsity are always looking for new ways to give their viewers the best interactive experience. NeuLion's cutting-edge technology allows high school fans and parents to choose how, when and where they want to watch their team play; be it on an iPad, laptop, iPhone or Android device. Now you can replay favorite moments of the game including your son's touchdown or your daughter's three point basket and encourage their uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents and friends to celebrate in the success or activity. I wish we had this when my kids played high school sports."