MSG Networks Announces First-Ever “Rookie Week” In Advance of Upcoming NBA and NHL Drafts, Featuring Iconic Rookie Performances in New York

MSG Networks Announces First-Ever “Rookie Week” In Advance of Upcoming
NBA and NHL Drafts, Featuring Iconic Rookie Performances in New York

Full Week of Rookie Programming to Kick-Off on Monday, June 18th on MSG Networks
All-Week Rookie Takeover to Include Interviews with Incoming NBA Draft Class at the “SLAM 2018 Draft Suite” and Memorable Games from Past Rookies on the Knicks, Rangers, Islanders, Devils and Liberty

New York, NY (June 13, 2018) – MSG Networks (NYSE: MSGN) today announced the launch of its first-ever “Rookie Week,” a full week of programming to coincide with the upcoming NBA and NHL Drafts, starting on Monday, June 18th. The all-week takeover will showcase the best rookies to ever play in New York over the years, from the hardwood to the ice, as well as feature interviews with many of the top rookies in this year’s NBA Draft class as part of a new partnership between MSG Networks and SLAM Magazine.

Through the new partnership, the week-long programming will be highlighted by the “SLAM 2018 Draft Suite,” which will provide basketball fans throughout the city with a fun look at several of the projected top picks in the NBA Draft. The interviews with the incoming rookie class will air on MSG Networks, and on MSG Networks’ social media channels, as well as on SLAM’s website and social media channels, beginning on Wednesday, June 20th.

As part of “Rookie Week,” MSG Networks will air past games featuring iconic performances and moments from rookies on the Knicks, Rangers, Islanders, Devils and Liberty. One of the marquee games will include the debut of former Knicks great Bill Bradley, when he took the court for the first time alongside fellow rookie Walt “Clyde” Frazier during their rookie season in 1967. Throughout the week, fans can also watch games from the dominant first season of Knicks legend Patrick Ewing, the incredible Rookie of the Year season of Rangers great Brian Leetch, the recent rookie campaign of Islanders center and Calder Trophy Finalist Matthew Barzal, as well as the breakout performance from Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis’ rookie year in 2016.

“At MSG Networks, we are constantly looking for ways to deliver fresh and engaging content that will appeal to our viewers,” said Kevin Marotta, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Content Strategy, MSG Networks. “And with the increased attention around both the NBA and NHL Draft, ‘Rookie Week’ will provide us with the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the moment and excitement around each.”

With both the NBA and NHL Drafts taking place next week, the “Rookie Week” programming will include several new draft focused shows as well. MSG Networks host Arda Ocal will be joined by draft analyst Steve Kournianos on episodes of “People Talking Hockey” previewing the top incoming rookies in the draft. “People Talking Hoops” will feature commentary and analysis from a group of NBA Draft experts including BET reporter Jarod Hector, Yahoo Sports analyst Jordan Schultz, Bleacher Report NBA Draft writer Jonathan Wasserman and SLAM social media editor Joseph Sherman. 

Throughout the week, MSG Networks will also air past episodes of “Beginnings,” which chronicles the impressive journey of certain young stars and profiles their early days growing up to their eventual rise to stardom. The rookie takeover will include increased content and promotion on MSG Networks’ digital and social channels, as well as on MSG GO, MSG Networks’ live streaming and video on demand platform for smartphones, tablets and computers.

About MSG Networks Inc.
An industry leader in sports production, and content development and distribution, MSG Networks Inc. owns and operates two award-winning regional sports and entertainment networks, MSG Network (MSG) and MSG+, and a live streaming and video on demand platform, MSG GO. The networks are home to 10 professional sports teams, delivering live games of the New York Knicks; New York Rangers; New York Islanders; New Jersey Devils; Buffalo Sabres; New York Liberty; New York Red Bulls and the Westchester Knicks, as well as coverage of the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills.  Each year, MSG and MSG+ collectively telecast approximately 500 live professional games, along with a comprehensive lineup of other sporting events, including college football and basketball, and critically-acclaimed original programming.  The gold standard for regional broadcasting, MSG Networks has won 152 New York Emmy Awards over the past ten years.

About The Madison Square Garden Company
The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) is a world leader in live sports and entertainment experiences.  The company presents or hosts a broad array of premier events in its diverse collection of iconic venues: New York’s Madison Square Garden, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and Beacon Theatre; the Forum in Inglewood, CA; The Chicago Theatre; and the Wang Theatre in Boston.  Other MSG properties include legendary sports franchises: The New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL) and the New York Liberty (WNBA); two development league teams — the Westchester Knicks (NBAGL) and the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL); and one of the leading North American esports organizations, Counter Logic Gaming.  In addition, the Company features the popular original production – the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes – and through Boston Calling Events, produces outdoor festivals, including New England’s preeminent Boston Calling Music Festival.   Also under the MSG umbrella is TAO Group, a world-class hospitality group with globally-recognized entertainment dining and nightlife brands: Tao, Marquee, Lavo, Avenue, The Stanton Social, Beauty & Essex and Vandal.  More information is available at

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