Cablevision Debuts Sub-Only MSG Varsity TV Network Online; Also Includes VOD Channel

MSG Variety

Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) is trying a new tack with the launch of MSG Varsity, a network and VOD channel that doubles as an online video site. However, unless you’re a Cablevision subscriber, you can’t legally access it. The channel, which is all about local high school, is geared to parents who would like to watch their backyard athletic all-stars. (Update: a Cablevision rep wanted to note that in addition to the VOD channel, MSG Varsity operates a 24/7 television network serving four distinct local regions in the New York tri-state area). Aside from being a test of hyperlocal content for cable TV subs, the channel is also a test of whether those same viewers will appreciate watching online video channel just for them. In an analyst note, Pali Research’s Rich Greenfield likes what he’s seen so far. For one thing, Cablevision has found a way to add more services to its package, without necessarily charging more and stoking subscribers’ resentment. It also gives the cable operator something its competitors don’t currently have (though that’s likely to change quickly if this effort takes off).



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