sportskool Wins Endorsement of the National High School Coaches Association

First Exclusive Video-on-Demand Cable Network Dedicated to Expert Sports Instruction Forms Partnership with Leading Youth-Level Coaching Association

NHSCA Becomes Founding Member of the sportskool Coaches Committee

Jericho, NY and Easton, PA – June 8, 2003 – Rainbow Sports Networks, a division of Cablevision’s Rainbow Media Holdings. Inc., today announced that sportskool, its new and exclusive Video-on-Demand (VOD) cable network, has received the endorsement of the National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA), the nation’s largest coaches association. Rainbow will preview sportskool at Booth #539 at The National Show, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s 52nd Annual Convention & International Exposition, June 8-11 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

sportskool – featuring exclusive and original programming available only via VOD – will deliver in-depth expert instruction, coaching and guidance for a wide range of sports and fitness activities. Founded in 1989, the NHSCA’s mission is to provide support and leadership programs for the nation’s estimated 500,000 high school coaches. Annually, over 40,000 athletes compete in NHSCA competitions at the local, regional and national levels in wrestling, football, golf and soccer before nearly 250,000 spectators. The NHSCA also annually selects Academic All-American teams and the National High School Coaches and Senior Athletes of the Year (boys and girls) for 21 sports.

“All sportskool programming will have a common thread: the highest quality production and instruction,” said Andrea Greenberg, president, Rainbow Sports Networks. “Our regional networks have won scores of awards for sports television production over the past 25 years. But we know that credibility will be one of the most important factors in our success as we seek to build sportskool into a trusted brand that is the authority in sports instruction. The NHSCA has a solid reputation, entrenched through its grassroots involvement in every state. We’re eager to work with Bob Ferraro and his colleagues at the NHSCA.”

The NHSCA, represented by its executive director Bob Ferraro, has become a Founding Member of the sportskool Coaches Committee. The sportskool Coaches Committee will consist of partnerships with youth and adult sports organizations as well as with current and former players, coaches and experts to ensure high quality instruction and presentation throughout the sportskool programming schedule.

“We believe sportskool can play an important role in providing a valuable and convenient resource for high school coaches and their players and for anyone else who is involved in coaching and playing youth sports,” said Ferraro. “We’re excited to be working with Rainbow Sports Networks on the ground floor of a network and a brand that we believe has what it takes to become a nationwide leader in sports instruction.”

sportskool Coaches Committee members will represent the broad scope of the sportskool programming library and its target audiences of adults, kids and youth coaches, especially parents. Coaches Committee members will provide commentary and articles about coaching, athletic performance and related issues that will appear on the sportskool broadband web site. The broadband companion to the sportskool VOD network will extend the value of the service for operators by offering archived segments, printable lesson plans, previews of VOD programming, and flash animated instructional segments.

As part of the partnership, the NHSCA will educate its members and the more than 200,000 youth-level coaches, school administrators and athletes who receive the organization’s periodic mailings about sportskool. In addition, sportskool will be promoted in the NHSCA Coach’s Quarterly Magazine. Rainbow Sports Networks and the NHSCA are also discussing the development of a series of coaches certification courses, including those specifically targeting parents, which would be conducted through the sportskool VOD network and the broadband web site.

The sportskool library already consists of approximately 1,500 instructional segments delivered by star athletes and highly respected sports authorities covering 90 different sporting activities. Upon its launch, sportskool will offer a broad range of programming content, initially focused on 15-20 core sports and fitness categories. Programming will be updated and rotated on a seasonal basis and may also be customized for a particular region of the country based on operator needs and/or consumer demand.

About Rainbow Sports Networks:
Rainbow Sports Networks, owned and managed by Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc., incorporates Rainbow’s 50 percent ownership of the national Fox Sports Net service and Fox Sports National Advertising, as well as Rainbow’s owned-and-operated Fox Sports Net regional networks in Chicago, Florida, New England, Ohio and San Francisco. Rainbow’s owned-and-operated regional sports networks reach more than 30 million households in some of the nation’s largest markets. Fox Sports Net reaches more than 82 million households nationwide and is a service of National Sports Partners, equally owned by Cablevision’s Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc. and Fox.

About Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc. :
A leader in sports, news and entertainment programming, Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc. is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC). Rainbow owns and manages AMC, WE: WOMEN’S ENTERTAINMENT, IFC (The Independent Film Channel), Fuse (formerly muchmusic usa), Mag Rack, Rainbow Sports Networks, News 12 Networks, and MetroChannels as well as the Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation and Rainbow Network Communications. Rainbow is a 50 percent partner in Fox Sports Net and has a strategic partnership with MGM (NYSE:MGM), which owns a 20 percent stake in three of Rainbow’s national networks: AMC, WE: Women’s Entertainment, and IFC.

Press Contacts

  • Dan Ronayne
    Rainbow Sports Networks

  • Mike Rosen / Melissa Goldberg
    Bratskeir & Company