2009 British Open will not be in HD. Again. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 42 Old 06-29-2009, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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I just got done emailing my contacts with TNT and ABC and both channels will be broadcasting the British open in SD widescreen again.

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post #2 of 42 Old 06-29-2009, 11:36 AM
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Well this is the last year for TNT/ABC. ESPN will show all live coverage next year and ABC will show 6 hours of taped highlights. I must say that in previous years the upconvert did look very good.
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post #3 of 42 Old 06-29-2009, 12:39 PM
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Be interesting to see if it is HD in the UK. I know that the replacement for the main co-ordinating SD truck is not in service yet - but Wimbledon (which also relied on it) has been able to use a different HD truck...
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post #4 of 42 Old 06-30-2009, 06:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDSportsGuide View Post

I just got done emailing my contacts with TNT and ABC and both channels will be broadcasting the British open in SD widescreen again.

That is probably because host broadcaster is not doing it in HD.
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post #5 of 42 Old 06-30-2009, 09:21 AM
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WTF? It is 2009, right?? This is the premier golf event in the world.
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post #6 of 42 Old 06-30-2009, 09:23 AM
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Perhaps, but not in the United States.


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Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

WTF? It is 2009, right?? This is the premier golf event in the world.

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post #7 of 42 Old 06-30-2009, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

WTF? It is 2009, right?? This is the premier golf event in the world.


Not in US. Yes it is big but I'll take Masters or US Open before British Open.

Go complain to BBC if it is not in HD. They do the host broadcast.
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post #8 of 42 Old 06-30-2009, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CKNA View Post

Not in US. Yes it is big but I'll take Masters or US Open before British Open.

Go complain to BBC if it is not in HD. They do the host broadcast.

Right, which is why I'm puzzled, after how the BBC stepped up for Wimbledon. I would have thought the British Open would have been a dead cinch.

Let me check into this.

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post #9 of 42 Old 06-30-2009, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

Perhaps, but not in the United States.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CKNA View Post

Not in US. Yes it is big but I'll take Masters or US Open before British Open.

Everyone has their own opinions, but I'll take the British Open over the Masters and US Open any day. There's just something about the links style courses over in Britain that translates well on TV.

Not to get too off-topic ... I guess we can all agree that the PGA Championship is the 4th out of four majors. Personally, I think the PGA Championship lacks a differentiator. The British Open is the big one. The Masters has its traditions. The US Open is the "test" in golf. So what's the PGA Championship??? Maybe they need to change formats and go match play ... but then it might feel "forced".

ft
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post #10 of 42 Old 06-30-2009, 09:00 PM
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I doubt if they will go back to Match Play for the PGA. With TV paying the bills, it might be difficult to make it as interesting on the final day to guarantee the big audience. I think that was one of the big reasons for changing it to stroke play in the late 50's.

If 2 of the lesser known players are matched up then the ratings would probably tank. With almost any stroke play event you are likely to have at least an interesting story -- an unknown coming out of nowhere or a favorite coming of the pack (or at least trying). Even a 64 player championship would require 6 matches for the winner so it would take the whole week or a couple of double match days.
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post #11 of 42 Old 06-30-2009, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

Right, which is why I'm puzzled, after how the BBC stepped up for Wimbledon. I would have thought the British Open would have been a dead cinch.

Let me check into this.

Golf is more difficult to cover in HD than tennis. Look how US broadcasters transitioned from having a mix of HD and SD cameras to full HD.
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post #12 of 42 Old 07-01-2009, 01:43 AM
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Yep - couple of issues that could be involved here.

1. The BBC have a strict policy that for a show to be in HD a minimum of 75% of the content must be in HD (and that doesn't include content shot on HDV or 16mm) That would mean that almost all the radio cameras would have to be HD, as would all the cabled cameras. The BBC wouldn't do a mix of HD cabled and SD radio cameras, as that would probably mean they would fall below the 75% HD minutage quota.

2. The main SISLive OB unit that acts as the central hub at the Open and as the domestic presentation truck at Wimbledon is being replaced by an HD version, but that truck is not in service yet. A similar, though smaller, HD version is being used for BBC One/Two/HD presentation at Wimbledon this year, but it might not be suitable for the Open, so they may still have to use the SD truck still. (They wouldn't be able to justify sub-contracting a truck from a 3rd party facility provider instead of the contracted provider in the current budget climate)

3. HD coverage from the BBC is separately funded to SD. The main networks - BBC One->BBC Four, CBBC, CBeebies, BBC News, BBC Parliament etc. - are all SD only. They only fund at a level for SD production. BBC HD is a separate channel, and for chosen shows it also broadcasts it funds the extra costs for HD over and above the SD production costs, but it has a limited budget.

At current viewer levels the BBC cannot throw money at HD, particularly given the real-world budget cuts that most BBC shows are going through (10-20% in many cases) - it simply can't justify spending a large chunk of the licence fee on HD, when the audience levels for HD content are still relatively low.

For information - a peak of 12 million people (that's 1/5th of the UK population) were watching BBC One for Andy Murray's final set at 2230 on BBC One on Monday (an average of 8.6 million were watching the match between 1900 and 2245)

Only 377,000 were watching this on BBC HD... (Not bad as it is estimated that there are only around 1 million HD receivers in the UK AIUI - so 1/3rd of the people with BBC HD were watching the match on BBC HD. However until BBC HD via Sky HD, Freesat HD and Virgin Cable reach a greater audience - possibly when Freeview HD OTA launches over the next 12 months - with an aim of 50% UK coverage by this time next year - we will see more HD)

BBC HD has actually removed HD funding from a couple of events this year. The popular Chelsea Flower Show event was HD last year, but switched back to SD this year, as BBC HD re-allocated funds (no doubt an all HD Wimbledon cost a significant amount, as did Doctor Who in HD)

To be honest - the Open Golf probably doesn't rate as well as Wimbledon, Football, Rugby or the Olympics - so it is probably lower down the pecking order on BBC HD and BBC Sport's HD priorities. I don't know.

What I do know is that in the current economic climate AND the not-overly-generous licence fee settlement agreed with the government - the BBC doesn't have a huge amount of money to play with. They've made around 7,000 people redundant over the last few years, and there are more to come.
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post #13 of 42 Old 07-01-2009, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDSportsGuide View Post

I just got done emailing my contacts with TNT and ABC and both channels will be broadcasting the British open in SD widescreen again.

Crap!
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post #14 of 42 Old 07-01-2009, 04:35 PM
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It shouldn't be all that surprising. NBC had 50 cameras for the U.S. Open. Golf is a massive endeavor, especially in comparison to tennis.
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post #15 of 42 Old 07-02-2009, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by URFloorMatt View Post

It shouldn't be all that surprising. NBC had 50 cameras for the U.S. Open. Golf is a massive endeavor, especially in comparison to tennis.

Yes - though to be fair the BBC have 70 HD cameras at Wimbledon this year - it is a huge operation. However it is granular (there aren't 70 cameras on one court) - in that they have 4 HD OB units there, plus more small court operations in fly-away configurations. Golf is also produced by the BBC in this manner - but I think the requirements are still different.

As I mentioned before, I think there are going to be budget reasons and truck availability reasons as to why the Open is not HD. There could also be an issue in doing all-HD Wimbledon and an all-HD Open together so close together.
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post #16 of 42 Old 07-02-2009, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

that doesn't include content shot on HDV or 16mm

Are other 1440x1080i formats like HDCAM, HD XDCAM, XDCAM EX SP or HD DVCPRO considered HD? Doesn't BBC use 1440x1080i for transmissions? What about conversions from 720P formats?
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post #17 of 42 Old 07-02-2009, 07:18 AM
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Ditto ftaok. I find The Open to be the best of the four majors as well. Followed by the US Open, Masters/PGA. (A few years back, I'd have put The Masters ahead of the PGA, but quite frankly I've grown tired of the censored package it's presentation has become. It is so syrupy sweet over the top it makes my blood sugar rise.)

It's a different type of golf in The Open. I love the strategy and links designs. Plus, the fact that I can wake up, brew some coffee, drop on the sofa and watch golf all morning. Bummer on the no HD, but I'll still enjoy it.
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post #18 of 42 Old 07-02-2009, 10:24 AM
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The British is my favorite also. The Masters used to be but there losing intrest fast down there. Tiger proof the course and then no names started winning? They tried to revive it this year.

I loved the US Open coverage this year even with the rain delays. I felt bad for the course officials at Bethpage becuase they put years of planning for that to happen but Monday's coverage was terrific.

These are just my opinions.
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post #19 of 42 Old 07-02-2009, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TVOD View Post

Are other 1440x1080i formats like HDCAM, HD XDCAM, XDCAM EX SP or HD DVCPRO considered HD? Doesn't BBC use 1440x1080i for transmissions? What about conversions from 720P formats?

HDCAM SR is the official delivery format.

HDCAM SR, HDCAM, DVCPro HD are the recommended acquisition formats (DVCPro HD is 1440x1080 at 50i/25p, whereas it is 1280x1080 at 60i/30p AIUI) HDCAM SR for high-end drama, DVCPro HD for most factual I believe, and HDCAM for lower-budget drama.

XD CAM HD and P2 are being evaluated - and I believe P2 is being used for some HD Sport stuff (such as the Beijing Olympics?).

720p native acquisition isn't allowed except in exceptional circumstances - such as when no acceptable 1080i or 1080p solution is available - as was th case for a while with the 720p Panasonic Varicam which was the only realistic solution for over/under-cranked HD shooting. However there are now 1080i/p solutions for this.

BBC HD is currently broadcast at 1440x1080 - and until recently mandated HDCam (1440x1080) rather than HDCam SR (1920x1080) for delivery so it wasn't a major issue (other than for live events). Whether the BBC switch BBC HD to 1920x1080 when they (and they inevitably have to) upgrade their current (or they were current last time I heard), quite elderly, H264 encoders I don't know.

However they mandate high quality HD production to ensure as good a picture as possible survives the HD chain - hence heavily compressed stuff like HDV (which has significant MPEG2 compression artefacts that don't help on final encoding) and grainy stuff like Super 16 are counted towards the 25% SD quota most shows have to keep within. I guess they also have an eye on high quality archival as well.

The BBC doesn't currently upconvert any SD programming for the BBC HD channel - it is a separate HD-only network independent of BBC One, Two, Three, Four etc. and is designed to showcase and promote HD - and therefore they are setting the quality standards quite high.

It will be very interesting to see what camera and recording format they use for mainstream mid- to low-budget productions that currently make extensive use of DVCam DSR 450,500,550s and Z1s (running 16:9 SD DVCam mode not HDV)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/dq/c...levision.shtml

Has more details - there is also a list of BBC approved HD cameras somewhere - I'll try and dig it out.
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post #20 of 42 Old 07-02-2009, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

It will be very interesting to see what camera and recording format they use for mainstream mid- to low-budget productions that currently make extensive use of DVCam DSR 450,500,550s and Z1s (running 16:9 SD DVCam mode not HDV)

Danielle has announced that the Sony EX1/EX3 and the HPX300 are being allowed for use in production now (although I understand there are restrictions on the post workflow for the EX series and possibly they have to record to offboard recorders to keep the bitrate high-enough). It's mentioned in her HD Masters keynote.

Steven
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post #21 of 42 Old 07-06-2009, 04:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TVOD View Post

Are other 1440x1080i formats like HDCAM, HD XDCAM, XDCAM EX SP or HD DVCPRO considered HD? Doesn't BBC use 1440x1080i for transmissions? What about conversions from 720P formats?

Knew I'd find a better page of HD info for BBC HD delivery.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/commissioning/production/hd.shtml

This lists the camcorders and single-camera formats that are acceptable for BBC HD delivery (though AIUI some sub-1/2" sensor models MAY become acceptable for SOME content soon - such as the P2 models) It doesn't cover system cameras.

However AIUI all delivered content must be on HD Cam SR - and HDCam and DVCPro HD are additionally acceptable for recording (though it may depend on the commission?) I think P2 is also now becoming acceptable. Don't think any XDCam HD / EX stuff is yet - or not formally?

Note that the RED (used for Wallander) and the HDW700 are not currently approved for in-house production.
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post #22 of 42 Old 07-06-2009, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftaok View Post

There's just something about the links style courses over in Britain that translates well on TV.


ft

The 2015 U.S. Open will be played at Chambers Bay, a links muni near Tacoma, Washington. They are hosting the 2010 amateur also. It's a great course and I was lucky to play it recently.
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post #23 of 42 Old 07-06-2009, 01:23 PM
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Directv's web site states that the BO will be in HD along with the extra channels in the 700's.
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post #24 of 42 Old 07-06-2009, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by rotohead View Post

Directv's web site states that the BO will be in HD along with the extra channels in the 700's.

TNT will also claim it as HD in the EPG.

HEY, you viewing dumbasses!

NOW!
NEW!
ALL NEW!

(insert name of show here)
NEXT!
8/9 PM ET
TUESDAY!
NEXT WEEK!
IN 2 WEEKS!


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post #25 of 42 Old 07-06-2009, 03:31 PM
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Yankees not liking the Masters....Bless your little heart.....

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post #26 of 42 Old 07-08-2009, 12:25 PM
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I love the non-target aspect of the usual British Open with all its vagaries and imposing weather conditions. The finer-grain the picture the better, but as explained above by our British friend, government control of anything is another way of saying r-a-s-h-o-n-i-n-g (of HD service in this case) and lessoning of standards. Here we can evoke pressure with our viewership and patronization among a variety of providers of television content. There, men with state power can (and do) come to your house to collect a licensing fee if you have the means to capture a signal whether you watch or not, so there is no imperative on nameless/faceless bureaucrats to provide what the public wants upon pain of economic death as in competitive systems. When watching the BO just consider yourself "on the dole" and "Que-up" in line for something better in a few years. It's time to pray for wind.

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post #27 of 42 Old 07-08-2009, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Distorted View Post

I love the non-target aspect of the usual British Open with all its vagaries and imposing weather conditions. The finer-grain the picture the better, but as explained above by our British friend, government control of anything is another way of saying r-a-s-h-o-n-i-n-g (of HD service in this case) and lessoning of standards. Here we can evoke pressure with our viewership and patronization among a variety of providers of television content.

That's a slight distortion of the situation. The government doesn't control the BBC in the way you imply. The Royal Charter is a reasonably long-term (10 years normally) funding agreement that decides the level of the TV Licence Fee (not unique to the UK - many European countries and also Japan have a similar funding model) which the BBC currently receive (though soon may not receive all of - some of it is currently being used to subsidise digital receivers, and it appears that some of this money will now also be used to subsidise broadband in areas that the market won't provide)

If you look at Europe - the BBC is pretty much leading the way in HD production amongst the main terrestrial broadcasters - whether commercial or non-commercial...

However the UK is a much smaller country than the US - and our TV budgets have always been smaller. As a country we simply can't afford to do everything in HD at once - and the BBC has to balance spending on HD (watched by a small number) with spending on core services (watched by and listened to by a large number) We have only had HD services here since Summer 2006 (HD services mainly started in Europe with the World Cup 2006) - so aren't doing that badly after 3 years... (And we've had near-100% 16:9 Component SD production here for years - so the improvement isn't as radical as it was in the US where HD replaced composite 4:3 NTSC)

Quote:


There, men with state power can (and do) come to your house to collect a licensing fee if you have the means to capture a signal whether you watch or not, so there is no imperative on nameless/faceless bureaucrats to provide what the public wants upon pain of economic death as in competitive systems.

No - in the UK the licence-fee is NOT collected at your house by men with state power - there is no doorstep collection system.

You purchase the licence at a number of locations (it was the Post Office for many years - but this has now changed to PayPoint), or as I do, you can pay by a direct debit bank transfer monthly. There are other methods in addition to this.

If you don't have the capability to watch live broadcasts - then you don't pay. (This was tested years ago by someone who only had a TV to watch VCR recordings and had no aerial/antenna that could receive a broadcast signal)

Also - if you don't think the people who run the BBC are competitive - you are in a strange alternative world. The transfer of programming executives between the BBC and the main commercial broadcasters (ITV, C4, Five and Sky) are frequent, as are the moves between the BBC production arm and independent production companies. (The current Director General of the BBC used to run Channel Four, the current Chief Executive of ITV used to be the Director General of the BBC. The current Controller of BBC One used to be the Director of Programmes at Five, and the current Controller of Sky One used to be the Controller of BBC Three.)

BBC One is the most watched TV station in the UK at the moment - closely competing with ITV1 for audience (though many in Government think that the BBC should NOT compete for audience with commercial broadcasters) It has recently had programmes go over a 60% share of the total viewing audience - and routinely has a number of popular programmes in the UK top 10 audience charts.

BBC HD generates more HD content than any other UK terrestrial broadcaster. ITV HD sometimes only has one or two HD shows A WEEK, and C4 originate relatively small amounts of HD (though are improving). Five has no HD outlet at the moment.

Virgin Media - the UK-wide cable platform - has just one HD channel... That's BBC HD.

Sky HD - the main Pay-TV broadcaster that is funded by a subscription - has the main HD satellite platform - however you will be paying more than 4 times the UK Licence fee to watch their HD Sport and Movie offerings - and other than Sport they don't originate a huge amount other than game shows and occasional dramas in HD. The bulk of their HD offerings are US imports.
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post #28 of 42 Old 07-08-2009, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveBagley View Post

Danielle has announced that the Sony EX1/EX3 and the HPX300 are being allowed for use in production now (although I understand there are restrictions on the post workflow for the EX series and possibly they have to record to offboard recorders to keep the bitrate high-enough). It's mentioned in her HD Masters keynote.

Steven

Yes - I think that there are still issues.

Basically the EX1/EX3 deliver high-enough quality and are the right size to replace the Z1 - but the codec implementation is proprietary to Sony and not DMI-friendly. (Hence the workflow is quite limited)

The P2 stuff IS DMI-friendly - but the cameras aren't quite good enough yet in the small form factor - though the 301 is acceptable as a DSR replacement AIUI.

It's a real pity Sony can't embrace a fully open codec implementation - they do still make the better cameras IMHO.
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post #29 of 42 Old 07-11-2009, 09:35 AM
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I wonder how the BBC would categorize the media from the Convergent Design Boxes. Here's a video.
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post #30 of 42 Old 07-14-2009, 05:20 AM
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Don't blame ABC for no HD broadcast of British Open
Posted at 2:45 PM by Michael Walker Jr., Golf.com
For a student of history, the United Kingdom is wonderful place to visit. You can learn about the illustrious kings and queens of the past, the poets and playwrights who created the world's richest body of literature and the origin of epochal movements like the Industrial Revolution. You can also see what television looked like 20 years ago.

Thanks to the backwards BBC, you won't be able to watch the British Open in HDTV this week. Not even on American broadcast partners TNT and ABC. The reason is that TNT and ABC have to use the international feed provided by the BBC, and that feed will be in standard definition, the 2009 equivalent of a black-and-white broadcast. (TNT and ABC will "up convert" the standard definition feed for HD broadcast, but that will just allow people to see the broadcast in full-screen format -- in other words, no black bars.) In case you think we're being too hard on the BBC, here's a list of events broadcast in HD: the Tour de France, Wimbledon, the Masters, the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship, the PGA Tour, the game show Jeopardy!, etc. ABC and TNT don't sound too happy about it either.

"The American broadcaster is required to take the world feed," says Mark Mandel, an ABC/ESPN spokesman. "As much as possible, we want all our events to be in HD. It's great for the sports fans and it's great for the event."

HDTV is an especially good fit for the British Open because the TV-friendly tournament is invariably played at a dramatic, photogenic course (except when it's at Carnousite) and the early morning start on the East Coast -- and witching-hour start in the West -- means you can watch all the golf you want and still have the rest of your Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Also, of all the majors, the British Open is the one American fans are least likely to get to see in person, so the high-definition feed is as close as most of us will ever get to those magical Open rota courses.

The BBC's deal with the Royal & Ancient doesn't expire until 2011 and the BBC has a long history with the event. Still, R&A boss Peter Dawson has to be frustrated with the BBC's inability to present the game's oldest and arguably most important tournament in a state-of-the-art format. Next contract, the R&A needs to make sure it gets the best broadcast possible, which means dropping the BBC.

http://blogs.golf.com/presstent/2009...tish-open.html
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