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MSG Varsity launch in HD & ESPN RISE football kickoff ensure future Uncle Rico's moment in HD


Now that pro and college football are broadcast almost exclusively in high definition, framed for 16x9 and even 3D, no wonder it's even trickled down to high school sport coverage. Instead of just a few games here and there, Cablevision's launching MSG Varsity HD to cover games in the tri-state area (New York, New Jersy, Connecticut,) with a live HD broadcast of the game of the week every Friday night. For the rest of the nation trying to scout some prospects, ESPN RISE is bringing a number of high school games to ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU in high definition all weekend, check after the break for a full schedule.

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ESPN RISE High School Football Kickoff: Live in HD Across ESPN Family of Networks

To tweet this release:

-Eight Matchups Live from Five States
-Defending Champions Plant, Hoover and Trinity Featured

The ESPN RISE High School Football Kickoff will air live in HD across ESPN's family of networks-ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU-over three days, August 27-29. The first annual event, will precede all high school, college and pro-football regular-season fall football programming. will feature 16 teams from seven states in eight exciting high school football match-ups; the weekend-long event will precede all high school, college and pro-football regular-season fall football programming. ESPN's Tom Luginbill, Herm Edwards, Justin Kutcher, Rob Stone, Beth Mowins, Danny Kannel, John Congemi, Mike Gleason, Clay Matvick, David Pollack and Quint Kessenich will provide analysis and play-by-play commentary for the eight matchups.

Live from five states-Florida, California, South Carolina, Texas and Ohio-the ESPN RISE High School Football Kickoff will feature eight teams from the ESPN RISE FAB 50 2010 preseason ranking, seven ESPNU 150 ranked players and more than 60 Division One recruits. The event will feature defending Fla. 5A champion Plant (Fla.), defending Ala. 6A champion Hoover (Ala.) and defending Texas 5A champion Trinity (Texas).

The ESPN RISE High School Football Kickoff Television Schedule:
Date Games Location Time Talent Network

Fri., Aug. 27 Plant - Fla. (No. 2, FAB 50) vs. Manatee - Fla. (No. 19, FAB 50) Manatee High School 7 p.m. EDT Stone, Pollack ESPN
Fri., Aug. 27 Grant - Calif. (No. 4, FAB 50) vs. Folsom - Calif. Folsom High School 10 p.m. EDT Mowins, Kannel ESPN2
Sat., Aug. 28 Hoover - Ala. (No. 9, FAB 50) vs. Byrnes - S.C. Rock Hill District 3 Stadium 12 p.m. EDT Kutcher, Luginbill, Kessenich ESPN
Sat., Aug. 28 South Pointe - S.C. vs. Northwestern - S.C. (No. 42, FAB 50) Rock Hill District 3 Stadium 4 p.m. EDT Kutcher, Luginbill, Kessenich ESPNU
Sat., Aug. 28 Steele - Texas vs. Madison - Texas Heroes Stadium 7 p.m. EDT Matvick, Edwards ESPN
Sat., Aug. 28 Trinity - Texas (No. 6, FAB 50) vs. Tyler Lee (Texas) Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium 10 p.m. EDT Gleason, Congemi ESPNU
Sun., Aug 29 Good Counsel - Md. (No. 15, FAB 50) vs. St. Xavier - Ohio (No. 39, FAB 50) St. Xavier High School 3 p.m. EDT Kutcher, Luginbill, Kessenich ESPN
Sun., Aug 29 Moeller - Ohio vs. Huber Heights Wayne - Ohio St. Xavier High School 7 p.m. EDT Kutcher, Luginbill, Kessenich ESPNU

Of the 16 teams playing during the ESPN RISE High School Football Kickoff, eight are ranked in the ESPN RISE FAB 50 2010 preseason ranking: No. 2, Plant (Fla.), No. 4 Grant (Calif.), No. 6 Trinity (Texas), No. 9 Hoover (Ala.), No. 15 Good Counsel (Md.), No. 19 Manatee (Fla.), No. 39 St. Xavier (Ohio), and No. 42 Northwestern (S.C.).

ESPNU 150 ranked players featured in the ESPN RISE High School Football Kickoff are: No. 1 Jadeveon Clowney (DE, South Pointe), No. 7 Malcolm Brown (RB, Steele), No. 8 James Wilder II (ATH, Plant), No. 15 Aaron Green (RB, Madison), No. 16 Braxton Miller (QB, Wayne), No. 96 Viliami Moala (DT, Grant) and No. 116 Mike Blakely (RB, Manatee).

The ESPN RISE High School Football Kickoff is produced in conjunction with Paragon Marketing Group.


ESPN RISE represents ESPN's commitment to engage and elevate high school athletes by providing them with recognition, resources, information and inspiration that can motivate them to improve their skills and achieve their goals to be the best athletes they can. ESPN RISE assets include ESPN RISE, GIRL, Hardwood and Gridiron magazines;, and more than 160 high school events including Elite 11, Elite 24, ESPN RISE Games, ESPN RISE National High School Invitational, Faster to First, Area Code Baseball and Nike Combines/Nike SPARQ Mini Camps. ESPN RISE is uniquely positioned to provide high school athletes and the company's core fans with compelling high school sports content across all ESPN platforms.


MSG Varsity Launching 24/7 HD Channel

Sophomore Year Kicks Off with Live "Friday Night Football"

BETHPAGE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MSG Varsity, Cablevision's television network dedicated to everything high school, is ready to kick off its "sophomore" year-this time in High-Definition. Poised to present high school sports and activities like never before, beginning September 7, this 24/7 network is launching in HD showcasing the best our local high schools have to offer including 400 multi-camera game productions, award winning series and specials as well as MSG Varsity's live signature nightly sports show "High School SportsDesk," all in HD.

"'Friday Night Football' in HD provides us an incredible platform to showcase the sportsmanship and passion that makes high school football in the tri-state area so exciting to watch"

To add to this excitement, every Friday night MSG Varsity will feature a LIVE HD telecast of the Friday night high school football game of the week including an on-site pre-game show and action-packed half-time show tackling all the great high school news for the weekend. Covering 12 of the most exciting and competitive football match-ups throughout the tri-state area, the first-ever LIVE HD series of high school football games begins on Friday, September 10th at 7:00 PM as Immaculata High School takes on Ridge High School in Basking Ridge, NJ. This year, MSG Varsity's "High School SportsDesk," the nation's most comprehensive high school sports highlight show, moves to 6 pm every weeknight.

"MSG Varsity is taking coverage of high school activities to the next level," said Theresa Chillianis, General Manager of MSG Varsity. "We recognize the passion our audience has and we are proud to provide unprecedented HD coverage of the games, events and behind-the-scenes stories that matter most to our schools and communities."

"'Friday Night Football' in HD provides us an incredible platform to showcase the sportsmanship and passion that makes high school football in the tri-state area so exciting to watch," added Michael Lardner, Executive Producer and Senior Vice President, Programming and Production for MSG Varsity.

MSG Varsity The Magazine debuts this September, providing the most extensive coverage of football in the tri-state region including the top 10 players in each region, 25 things to know about football in each region and the first MSG Varsity Tri-State Top 25 Poll. The first issue also features region-by-region rankings for boys and girls soccer, field hockey and girls volleyball, as well as regional photo spreads. The seasonal publication, which will be customized with regional covers, will be handed out in high schools and events across the tri-state area and will also be available digitally via is the ultimate destination for high school news, game and event coverage. Now offering a new look and enhanced online offerings, will provide interactive photo galleries, the latest standings and statistics, as well as new school pages – which include personalized school colors and logos.

MSG Varsity's interactive channel – Channel 614 –also kicks off a new look and offers an enhanced hyper-local experience. Interactive users will be able to set preferences for a particular region or even their own school. Over 10,000 videos that are available on can also be viewed anytime on 614.

About MSG Varsity

MSG Varsity is a multi-platform suite of services comprised of: a 24/7 television network, a comprehensive online destination, and a groundbreaking interactive service, all dedicated to high school sports, academics and activities happening throughout the tri-state area. Content for these services includes MSG Varsity's professionally produced programming as well as content created by the high schools themselves. Working in partnership with MSG Varsity, students and faculty are given extraordinary access to curriculum and training in multimedia creation and distribution, empowering them to become active participants in telling their school's stories. MSG Varsity is a Cablevision exclusive service not available to satellite or phone company TV subscribers and reaches three million households throughout the New York market. For more information, please visit

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