In a move that combines localism, video sharing and social networking, Fox O&O TV stations in 23 cities have launched Web sites devoted to high school sports coverage.
Foxhilites.com, which is localized for each market, has launched in cities that include Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Dallas, and Washington, D.C. In New York, WNYW, Fox’s Channel 5, has joined Varsity Networks to launch its own local high school sports site, MyFoxLocker.com.
Foxhilites, designed by Fox Interactive Media, solicits users to contribute video involving all aspects of high school life. The information provided on the site runs the gamut of all high school sporting events.
Fox includes online video editing tools and information about uploading, in an attempt to get schools to create their own video news teams. The site includes online editing tools, which allow visitors to incorporate sound and graphics in their posts.
Local teams view videos before posting. The best submissions may also be used during on-air broadcasts at local Fox stations.
Social networking among students, teachers and parents is integral to the success of the Fox sites. “Whether (users) are interested in sports, the arts or showing school spirit, Foxhilites.com offers a robust online platform where they can showcase their videos and talent,” said Ron Stitt, VP of digital media for Fox Interactive Media.
High school life and sports is now a hot market for media companies. Recent competitors embracing the market include Hearst-Argyle Television’s Highschoolplaybook.com; Belo’s Hsgametime.com; and a collaboration between Emmis Communications and the Indiana High School Athletic Association, IHSAAsports.org.