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Volume 22 No. 43
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MSG Network at 50 will look back, spin it forward

As it celebrates its 50th anniversary, MSG Network will roll out a new tagline (“Live Since 1969”) and programming this week.

 

The first regional sports network in the United States, MSG launched on Oct. 15, 1969. The RSN’s celebration will have many of the same trappings as other network anniversaries — complete with classic games and special programming. But MSG Network executives say their plans around the 50th anniversary will have a different focus than other media companies.

“Our plan is less about celebrating 50 years and more about focusing on innovation,” said Kevin Marotta, MSG Network’s senior vice president of marketing and content strategy. “We want to use this as a moment to propel forward.”

Marotta pointed to several areas where MSG has been among the industry’s leaders — from launching regular HD in 1998 to producing a fantasy-focused telecast in 2017.

MSG will live tweet the classic games it shows. “They won’t necessarily be games that won championships,” Marotta said. “It will include a hockey game that involved a long shootout that people haven’t seen in a while.”

The RSN, which hold rights to the Knicks, Rangers, Sabres, Islanders and Devils, will produce digital programming. These will include a series of MSG “villains,” which include athletes such as Pacers legend Reggie Miller.

Other short-form content will dive into the intersection of sport and culture, Marotta said, pointing to “50 Years of Kicks” during “Sneaker Week” or a series on players’ fashions during “Fashion Week."