High School Playbook launched today from Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc.  

It’s an online high school sports programming venture that “combines social networking with music, statistics and robust, high-definition video, provided by a unique combination of sources: professional TV videographers; users from throughout the country; and specially trained student journalists, who will be designated Sideline Reporters, equipped with Canon HV20 high-definition camcorders.”

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The website includes comprehensive school information, game schedules, statistics, individual athlete profiles, interscholastic comparisons, and “game day” weather reports provided by the Doppler radar technology at Hearst-Argyle’s local TV stations. Video content includes game highlights, exclusive sideline interviews, bloopers, gameday reports, athlete profiles and “battle of the band” performances by competing schools’ marching bands. 

This is a perfect example of the way in which television is shifting from a passive experience to one that is user-guided.  Video is now only a component of the products brought to the table by major television entities where the social graph has become an important driving force.  Production resources are beginning to shift to accommodate this new distribution paradigm. 

The web has been the saving grace of sports fans everywhere, eager to catch the obscure that cable just can’t cover, and this is a perfect example.  “As leading local TV newscasters, we’ve been reporting high school sports for decades,” said Terry Mackin, Hearst-Argyle Television Executive Vice President. “But fans, parents, players and advertisers have hungered for more, especially about their own local schools. Now they have it, with high quality presentation, whether they’re home or at the game reviewing stats from the sidelines.”

NOTE: Apparently I cannot embed grab and embed video clips from the site.  When will people learn?

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