Verizon adds high school sports to FiOS lineup in New Jersey

By becoming the exclusive broadcast partner of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association through 2015, Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) is illustrating the importance of having local content like high school sports as another feature to be more than just another me too video player.

Neither Verizon nor the association would reveal financial terms of the agreement.

New Jersey FiOS customers will be able to get access to a large suite of high school content, including 36 regular-season high school games per year including basketball, football, lacrosse and soccer, via the FiOS1 channel.

In addition to regular season games, Verizon has exclusive broadcast rights to air all of New Jersey state high school sports playoff and championships during the four-year period.

Steven Timko, the association's executive director of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, said they had "many organizations approach us over the years about televising a high-profile game or several games over the course of a school year, but FiOS1 was the first TV operation to support the NJSIAA with an annual sponsorship commitment, and a multiyear one at that."

Of course, Cablevision's (NYSE: CVC) MSGVarsity wasted no time to respond. Since MSGVarsity was launched in 2009, it has aired 6,000 full-length games, including over 1,000 in New Jersey.

"This school year we plan to feature more than 500 full-length games in New Jersey including this week's live HD broadcast of the Bergen Catholic vs. Don Bosco rivalry game airing at 7:00 p.m on MSG Varsity, Cablevision's iO TV (channel 14) on Friday, September 30," MSG Varsity said.

For more:
- Multichannel News has this article

Related articles:
Verizon Q2: Cloud services and FiOS fuel the wireline engine
Verizon adds more major studio content to its FiOS VoD library
Verizon's Shammo: Strike, hurricanes could impact Q3 FiOS subscriber numbers
Buffalo, NY group petitions Verizon to bring FiOS to their city