Time Warner Cable, continuing to ramp up its sports programming roster, has inked a 15-year rights deal to show top-level high school sports in California.
The pact with the California Interscholastic Federation, terms of which were not disclosed, will enable the MSO to air regional and state championships throughout the Golden State on television, Internet and mobile platforms. Taking effect with the current academic campaign, Time Warner Cable will distribute 60 games during the 2011-12 school year. Thereafter, the MSO will produce a minimum of 80 events annually over the life of the contract.
CIF represents 1,500 public and private high schools and 757,000 student athletes in 10 geographic districts in California: central, central coast, Los Angeles City, north coast, northern, Oakland, Sac‐Joaquin, San Diego, San Francisco and southern. CIF conducts regional and state championships in 22 sports, notably cross country, football, volleyball, tennis, wrestling, basketball, soccer, track and field and golf.
Time Warner Cable will air the games on some of its local channels, including SoCal 101 serving greater Los Angeles, Channel 111 (Desert Cities) and Channel 411 (San Diego/Barstow), online and via video-on-demand offerings. Some of the games may also wind up regional sports networks, including the pair of LA-centric sports networks, centering on the Los Angeles Lakers, the operator is tipping off in 2012.
The nation's No. 2 cable operator said it would offer other MSOs in the state the rights to videotape and broadcast contests that fall outside its service areas.
According to Sports Business Daily, the TWC-CIF agreement doesn't impact the pact the federation signed with FS West covering games in its southern section.
Back in New York, Cablevision's dedicated high school service, MSG Varsity, continues to negotiate a rights deal with the Public School Athletic League, New York City's interscholastic high school circuit, which is the largest in the nation.
In addition to full-length game coverage, Time Warner Cable's SoCal 101 will feature weekly high school sports programming, including Varsity Round-Up, a roundtable analysis and preview of the top games of the week, Wednesdays at 7 p.m. (PT); and Prep Sports Night Live, a weekly interactive call-in show that features up-to date scores, highlights, interviews and more, on Fridays from 10:30 p.m. until midnight.
"High school sports and the CIF have long been cornerstones in providing countless opportunities to our youth, developing future leaders and creating stronger communities both on and off the field," said Barry Rosenblum, Time Warner Cable's senior vice president, news and local programming, in announcing the deal. "Our agreement with CIF will provide high school sports fans in-depth opportunities to connect with teams, players, coaches, parents and fans across the state on multiple distribution platforms. We are thrilled to have the privilege of covering our hometown heroes."
"We are excited for this opportunity to work with Time Warner Cable," noted CIF executive director Marie Ishida. "They have made a commitment to air championship sporting events that include teams throughout the state. This unprecedented partnership will bring exposure to CIF schools and athletes like never before."
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