sportskool Video-On-Demand Network Launches on Cablevision

On-Demand Sports and Fitness Instructional Programming Features Mia Hamm, Nomar Garciaparra, Anna Kournikova, Bode Miller, Sue Bird and Other Renowned Sports Authorities

Jericho, NY and Bethpage, NY – January 19, 2004 – Some of America’s best-known athletes are now working out and training in your living room. And you can learn some of their secrets to staying at the top of their game.

Rainbow Sports Networks, a division of Rainbow Media Holdings LLC, today announced that Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC) has launched sportskool, the nation’s first Video-on-Demand cable network dedicated to expert sports and fitness instruction. sportskool launched today, January 19, 2004, as part of Cablevision’s iO: Interactive Optimum? digital cable television platform. Cablevision provides cable service to nearly 3 million customers in the New York metropolitan area, including Long Island, Westchester, parts of New York City, southern Connecticut and northern and central New Jersey.

sportskool – featuring exclusive and original programming available only via VOD – delivers in-depth expert instruction, coaching and guidance from world renowned athletes and coaches for a wide range of sports, fitness and training activities. The sportskool library consists of more than 1,500 instructional segments for the beginner, intermediate and advanced participant, delivered by star athletes and highly respected sports authorities covering 90 different activities.


Some of the world’s most elite athletes, coaches and experts have partnered with sportskool to deliver to viewers exclusive access to their personal training programs and expert advice. Among those who appear in sportskool’s programming and instructional segments are:

  • Mia Hamm: All-time leading scorer, male or female, in international soccer history.
  • Nomar Garciaparra: Major League Baseball All-star shortstop, 1997 Rookie of the Year.
  • Anna Kournikova: 2-time Australian Open Doubles Champion (2002, 1999).
  • Bode Miller: Two-time reigning World Champion skier, won two Silver Medals at Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.
  • Sue Bird: 2003 WNBA All-Star, Drafted No. 1 in 2002, 2-time NCAA Champion at Uconn.
  • Bill Walton: NBA Hall of Fame center, 2-time NBA Champion, 3-time NCAA Player of Year.
  • Jeff Blake: Veteran NFL quarterback, AFC Pro Bowl quarterback.
  • Brad Gilbert: Only coach in history of ATP Rankings to lead two tennis players to year-end No. 1 ranking (Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick), as player he was ranked No. 4 in world and won 20 events as one of the top players on the ATP Tour.
  • Bob and Mike Bryan: No. 1 ranked doubles team in the World, twin brothers play on US Davis Cup Team.
  • Jay Jalbert: 2003 Major League Lacrosse (MLL) MVP, 3-time MLL All-Star, 3-Time NCAA All-American.
  • Mark Verstegen: president of Athletes’ Performance, America’s leading training facility for professional, elite and executive athletes. Verstegen personally trains Mia Hamm, Nomar Garciaparra, among others. His new book, Core Performance: The Revolutionary Workout Program to Transform Your Body and Your Life, will be released later this month.

(EDITORS’ NOTE: See quote addendum at conclusion of this press release featuring comments on sportskool from Mia Hamm, Nomar Garciaparra, Anna Kournikova and others.)

“On demand content is the centerpiece of Cablevision’s award-winning iO: Interactive Optimum digital cable service. The launch of sportskool on iO is an important addition to our industry-leading array of on demand programming options,” said Kristin Dolan, Cablevision’s senior vice president of video and digital product management. “To iO customers, sportskool will be like having world class athletes Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra as personal trainers or coaches — in their living rooms, on demand.”

“The only way you can get access to these world renowned athletes’ training programs is through sportskool,” said Andrea Greenberg, President, Distribution and Rainbow Sports Networks, Rainbow Media Holdings LLC. “Now you’ll be able to workout first hand with the most elite athletes in the world.”


At launch, sportskool programming categories include something for all ages and all levels, from the beginner to the more serious athlete:

  • Fitness: Led by Mark Verstegen, America’s premier fitness and performance guru and featuring Mia Hamm, Nomar Garciaparra, Anna Kournikova and Jeff Blake, users can stay in shape and prep for their sports like the world’s elite athletes.
  • Skiing: Bode Miller, two-time World Champion and currently one of the best skiers in the world is joined by Phil McNichol, US men’s Alpine ski coach to offer tips on everything from gear and apparel to techniques on ice, steeps, bumps, crud and getting air.
  • Yoga: Featuring the nation’s most respected yoga instructors, sportskool offers a huge variety of sessions for the beginner to the more advanced. Yoga has become a staple workout of some of the world’s best athletes, both as a stand-alone discipline and as a vital addition to training regimens for all other sports.
  • Snowboarding: World Champion Kevin Delaney and others teach you how to carve and land tricks for the novice to the expert.
  • Basketball: Bill Walton and Brent Barry, one of the NBA’s most dynamic and accurate shooting guards, teach you how to master fundamentals on both ends of the court.
  • Football: Former NFL great Ronnie Lott and others demonstrate the offensive and defensive sides of the game, including techniques on blocking, pass protection, rushing, receiving and more.
  • Skateboarding: Mike Vallely (Mike V.) and others show you how to blow away your friends on a street course, rule vertical skateboarding, basic boarding tricks, and proper falling techniques.
  • Lacrosse: Jay Jalbert, Jesse Hubbard and other stars teach you about equipment and fundamentals like attacking the goal, stick work, dodging, feeding, cutting and shooting.
  • Freestyle Motocross: Champion Ronnie Renner and others teach bikes and equipment, how to safely pull tricks, and tips for the first-time rider to the hardcore MXer.

Additional categories will be added in the coming months, including Tennis, Softball, Baseball, Golf and Soccer.

Greenberg concluded, “sportskool empowers people of all ages and at all levels to learn how to play, how to train and how to get in shape. For those who are already active, sportskool will let them train with the best. And for beginners, sportskool will eliminate some of the barriers to getting started, like the fear of embarrassment, by letting them learn at their own pace in their home.”

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About Rainbow Media Holdings LLC:

A leader in sports, news and entertainment programming, Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC). Rainbow Media owns and manages national networks: AMC, Fuse, IFC (The Independent Film Channel) and WE: Women’s Entertainment; as well as the on-demand services: Mag Rack, sportskool, Uncensored On Demand, World Picks On Demand and World Picks Networks. Rainbow Media’s other businesses include its regional programming services – MetroChannels, News 12 Networks and Rainbow Sports Networks – in addition to the Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation and Rainbow Network Communications. Rainbow Media is also a 50 percent partner in Fox Sports Net.

About Cablevision Systems Corporation:
Cablevision Systems Corporation is one of the nation’s leading entertainment and telecommunications companies. Its cable television operations serve almost 3 million households in the New York metropolitan area. The company’s advanced telecommunications offerings include its iO: Interactive Optimum digital television offering, Optimum Online high-speed Internet service, Optimum Voice digital voice-over-cable service, and its Lightpath integrated business communications services. Cablevision’s Rainbow Media Holdings LLC operates several successful programming businesses, including AMC, IFC (The Independent Film Channel), and other national and regional networks. Rainbow also is a 50 percent partner in Fox Sports Net. In 2003, Cablevision’s Rainbow DBS launched its VOOM satellite service, the first service to offer a comprehensive array of high-definition (HD) television programming. In addition to its telecommunications and programming businesses, Cablevision is the controlling owner of Madison Square Garden and its sports teams, the New York Knicks, Rangers and Liberty. The company also operates New York’s famed Radio City Music Hall, and owns and operates Clearview Cinemas. Additional information about Cablevision Systems Corporation is available on the Web at

Press Contacts

  • Mike Rosen / Justin Perras
    Bratskeir & Company

  • Erin Harvego
    Rainbow Sports Networks