High school sports coverage is becoming a key player on cable operators' rosters. To wit: Time Warner Cable recently signed a 15-year agreement with the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) to broadcast regional and state championship games for girls and boys sports.
The statewide agreement is effective for this school calendar year and includes coverage across cable TV, Internet and mobile platforms. The two entities said it was one of the largest high school sports programming agreements in the country.
In the first year, a minimum of 60 games will be produced, and in subsequent years, a minimum of 80 games will be produced for the life of the 15-year contract.
Time Warner Cable's CIF sports programming will feature a variety of sports, including coverage of boys and girls' sports, as well as profile pieces on student athletes and coaches.
"High school sports and the CIF have long been cornerstones in providing countless opportunities to our youth, developing future leaders and creating stronger communities – both on and off the field," said Barry Rosenblum, Time Warner Cable's senior vice president of news and local programming. "Our agreement with CIF will provide high school sports fans in-depth opportunities to connect with teams, players, coaches, parents and fans across the state on multiple distribution platforms. We are thrilled to have the privilege of covering our hometown heroes."
Time Warner Cable is still working with the CIF on nailing down rights to regular season games and sectional championship events, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Financial terms of the deal weren't released.
Time Warner Cable subscribers will be able to view some of the CIF sporting events on the Wi-Fi network that Time Warner Cable is building in Southern California, which was announced last week.
Time Warner Cable took over the broadcasting of high school games and events from Fox Sports West.
Time Warner Cable has the assets in place to distribute the CIF sporting events. In February, Time Warner Cable and the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers announced that they had struck a 20-year agreement that included the rights to distribute all locally available pre-season, regular season and post-season Lakers games, beginning with the 2012-2013 season.
As part of that deal, Time Warner Cable said it would launch two regional sports networks (RSN) in HD, including the nation's first Spanish-language regional sports network, with new state-of-the-art facilities in Los Angeles.
Time Warner Cable's deal with the Lakers represented a setback for Fox Sports West and CBS-owned KCAL-TV Los Angeles, which previously held the rights to Lakers games.