Comcast Combines Versus & Golf in New HD Channel - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 64 Old 11-15-2006, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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TV Notebook
Comcast to Launch New HD Channel
By James Hibberd Television Week November 15, 2006

Comcast is about to announce the creation of new high-definition cable channel combining content from its Versus and Golf Channel brands.

Beginning in January, the new network will simulcast Golf Channel programming by day and Versus (formerly OLN) content by night. Comcast, which owns both networks, plans to call the channel Golf Channel/Versus.

The channel will join Comcast's lineup of networks consisting of E!, Style, Golf Channel, Versus, G4 and regional sports outlets. Comcast has a commitment from DirecTV to start carrying the new channel some time next year. Comcast will gradually begin rolling out the new network on its own systems starting in January, a Versus executive said.

Golf Channel/Versus will represent an unusual entry among HD networks. Most cable brands launch either a simulcast HD network (such as ESPN and TNT), or a stand-alone channel that combines content from several brands (such as Discovery HD Theater and MTV's MHD).

By mixing content from two channels, yet airing as a simulcast during different times during the day, Golf Channel/Versus aims for the best of both worlds.

"We think this is the simplest, easiest and best way to go right now," said Marc Fein, senior VP of programming and production for Versus.

Mr. Fein said Comcast decided to combine the channels because that solution gives bandwidth-strapped carriers more incentive to offer the HD servicewhich is free to cable and satellite operators that currently run Versus and Golf Channel.

By running a simulcast feed, Comcast hopes to decrease viewer confusion, Mr. Fein said.

"If you want to watch the hockey game, you can see it in either standard definition or HD at the same time," he said.

Under the Versus brand, the channel will initially offer HD hockey, boxing, bull riding and field sports, which will air from 7 p.m. to midnight. Executives still haven't decided whether Versus's tentpole event, the Tour de France, will be available in HD, as the network relies on a feed from an overseas partner, Mr. Fein said.

"There have been good conversations; it is possible," Mr. Fein said.

Golf Channel programming will include an exclusive HD airing of the PGA Tour and hundreds of hours of play from other tournaments, and will run from noon to 7 p.m.

On Comcast's cable systems, the new channel will take the place of INHD 2, which is being combined with INHD in January after being slowly phased out on several systems.

TelevisionWeek's HD Newsletter first reported that INHD 2 might be shut down in July. (See story here http://www.tvweek.com/article.cms?articleId=30180.)

But INHD 2's owner, iN Demand Networks, which is partly owned by Comcast, has repeatedly denied the network was going away.

Last month, Rob Jacobson, iN Demand's president and CEO, told TVpredictions.com that the networks would be combined. iN Demand did not return a call seeking for comment.

http://www.tvweek.com/news.cms?newsId=11076
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post #2 of 64 Old 11-15-2006, 02:34 PM
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wow there really creative when it comes to naming channels lol
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post #3 of 64 Old 11-15-2006, 02:42 PM
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As a bonus, this will eliminate an SD channel and provide room for another HD channel.

Edit: No it won't.

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post #4 of 64 Old 11-15-2006, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Carr View Post

As a bonus, this will eliminate an SD channel and provide room for another HD channel.

Which SD channel does this eliminate ?
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post #5 of 64 Old 11-15-2006, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoIrish View Post

Which SD channel does this eliminate ?

Nevermind. I thought the SD channels were being combined also.

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post #6 of 64 Old 11-15-2006, 04:29 PM
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Great, how about doing all the NHL games on VS. in HD instead of 1 per week.
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post #7 of 64 Old 11-15-2006, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Carr View Post

Nevermind. I thought the SD channels were being combined also.

It is confusing, it's not a very well written piece.

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post #8 of 64 Old 11-15-2006, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I think it is extremely well written, and it amazes me how much HD news James Hibberd manages to break in Television Week (and his HD newsletter) week after week after week.

He never talks about eliminating an SD channel, just that Golf will generally simulcast in HD during the daytime, with Versus taking over in HD after dark for its night-time sports events.

Where did he say anything about an SD channel being eliminated?
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post #9 of 64 Old 11-15-2006, 10:53 PM - Thread Starter
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HDTV Notebook
Versus to Offer High-Def Channel in January
By John Consoli Media Week Nov. 15, 2006

Comcast-owned cable network Versus is launching a high-definition channel in January 2007 that will offer golf programming from Comcast's Golf Channel from noon to 7 p.m. and programming from Versus from 7 p.m. to noon. Cable operators who carry both Versus and the Golf Channel will be offered the new high-definition channel for free. Initially, the channel will be carried on all Comcast systems and a deal has been done with DirecTV.

The new channel will offer all National Hockey League games carried by Versus in high definition. The games currently do not air on Versus in high definition and the NHL game of the week on Versus airs in high definition on INHD through an agreement with Versus.

The programming airing on the new HD channel will air simultaneously on either the Golf Channel or Versus. From the Golf Channel, it will include live golf tournament coverage, including the PGA, while, in addition to hockey, programming from Versus offered in HD will include boxing, professional bull riding, and assorted hunting and fishing shows.

Plans now call for the Tour de France to be upconverted to high definition to air on the new channel, but negotiations are planned to try to get a pure high-definition feed.

http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/news/rec..._id=1003408626
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post #10 of 64 Old 11-16-2006, 12:02 AM
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Wouldn't be surprised to see Cablevision replace INHD2 with this channel, instead of giving SNY-HD the channel slot full time. In any event, D* will have it once the new birds go up, so that's good to see.
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post #11 of 64 Old 11-16-2006, 07:32 AM
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Seems like a good idea for simulcasting golf/tennis (etc.) in HD/upconversions, offering it free to cable systems. If I understand it correctly, SD from Golf Channel and Versus will continue as is. Only hope that my TWC can find the HD bandwidth and that Comcast doesn't construct obstacles for other cable systems. . -- John
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post #12 of 64 Old 11-16-2006, 01:02 PM
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I agree with the plaudits for James and TV Week, although that story was actually first reported at TVPredictions.com last week.
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post #13 of 64 Old 11-18-2006, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

Plans now call for the Tour de France to be upconverted to high definition to air on the new channel, but negotiations are planned to try to get a pure high-definition feed.

Le TdF in HD, even if upconverted, is my dream! I hope that they can pull this off.
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post #14 of 64 Old 11-21-2006, 10:30 AM
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So DirecTV is confirmed as having this channel?
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post #15 of 64 Old 11-21-2006, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmj713 View Post

So DirecTV is confirmed as having this channel?

All reports say so, however, with their claimed lack of Bandwidth, it wouldn't surprise me to not see it until the new birds are flying

It's time to give props to WLNS for the HD crawl generator!!!

Now we need WHTV to go HD and Lansing's CW to get a separate transmitter so it isn't a digital sub.
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post #16 of 64 Old 11-21-2006, 11:14 AM
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Hence the "sometime" in 2007.

"Some have the speed, and the right combinations, but if you can't take the punches, it don't mean a thing."
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post #17 of 64 Old 12-04-2006, 05:19 PM
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Any word on the chances of TWC carrying this channel?
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post #18 of 64 Old 12-04-2006, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
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Any word on the chances of TWC carrying this channel?

Do they have Verses AND the Golf channel?

If yes to both then they CAN!
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post #19 of 64 Old 12-04-2006, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by chitchatjf View Post

Do they have Verses AND the Golf channel?

If yes to both then they CAN!

Yes we do. I guess we are still at the mercy of TWC though.
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post #20 of 64 Old 12-04-2006, 08:46 PM
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Yes we do. I guess we are still at the mercy of TWC though.

It does give you leverage to yell at them if they choose NOT to.
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post #21 of 64 Old 12-08-2006, 07:48 AM
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Reported in today's local paper:

effective 1-08-07 Versus/Golf Hd will be added on 207 in St Paul area, 401 in Minneapolis area.
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post #22 of 64 Old 12-12-2006, 02:29 PM
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Based on this story I highly doubt that the Golf Channel will be doing the first two events from Hawaii in HD. I think the only time we will see HD golf on the Golf Channel is when CBS or NBC is doing the weekend coverage and they have their HD equipment to use.
http://pacific.bizjournals.com/pacif...11/daily8.html
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post #23 of 64 Old 12-24-2006, 12:40 PM
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Can't wait till they start it on D*. I was getting so sick of watching it on USA in SD. As seen on the masters- Golf is a perfect way to show off the HD
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post #24 of 64 Old 12-25-2006, 01:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortstop11_jeff View Post

Can't wait till they start it on D*. I was getting so sick of watching it on USA in SD. As seen on the masters- Golf is a perfect way to show off the HD

Indeed. Earlier this evening I treated some of my guests to the Sunday morning third round of The Masters I have on DVHS. They were astounded. Most had never seen HD golf...and this Sunday morning telecast was awash in golden morning sunlight. They could not believe how good Augusta looked in HD.

I am foaming at the mouth in anticipation of 100% HD golf tournaments this upcoming year.

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post #25 of 64 Old 12-25-2006, 02:42 AM
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They could not believe how good Augusta looked in HD.

I wish golf at Lake LasVegas had been broadcast in HD yesterday.


BC
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post #26 of 64 Old 12-25-2006, 04:41 AM
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i would rather have the FOOD network in HD then this. Neither channel does anything for me. The Golf channel does not broadcast and big time matches, whenever im scanning the channels i see that stupid BIG BREAK show. And as far as versus, Ill start watching when the NHL playoffs begin.
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post #27 of 64 Old 12-25-2006, 04:46 AM
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Quote:
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The Golf channel does not broadcast and big time matches

You're not paying attention. Welcome to 2007.
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post #28 of 64 Old 12-25-2006, 09:14 AM
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Excerpted from an interview with PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, 11/1/2006.

Quote:


.....I'll mention television. We had NBC officials here today, and we're going into a new environment. Again, another change for us with a two-network partnership as opposed to three, and a single-platform carrier for all of our early rounds with the Golf Channel. CBS and NBC, we think, are ideal partners for this arrangement.

The Golf Channel not only will telecast all of our early rounds on Thursday and Friday live, but will replay it prime time every week all year long on Thursday and Friday evening, plus a lot of ancillary programming, and of course the four-round coverage of our first three tournaments early in the year as well as the Fall Series.....

.....The next thing I'd mention -- HD television. Every weekend we'll be on HD next year. 16 or 17 percent of American households today are HD capable. By the time our network agreements run in 2012, that will be in the 60 percentile. If you just go down to your local electronics dealer and look at where the prices are going on HD television, it's becoming -- it will be mainstream in a very short period of time.

And of course I think for our sport in particular, perhaps only hockey rivals, I think, the impact that HD television will have on viewer enthusiasm for a sport on television, and we're very excited about that development.

http://www.pga.com/news/tours/pga-to...view110106.cfm

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post #29 of 64 Old 12-25-2006, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeCee View Post

I wish golf at Lake LasVegas had been broadcast in HD yesterday.

Surprised to find the father/son match from Florida on UNIHD yesterday was true 1080i--at least a number of the cameras. Germany's Langer team won for the 2nd year . Overcast sky didn't help, but still some nice scenes. Both Sunday matches, unfortunately, were taped. -- John

NOTE: See it's being replayed today, 1-4 pm ET
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post #30 of 64 Old 12-28-2006, 12:14 AM
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Just got a message on the box. On January 4th Versus/Golf Channel HD will be added on channel 199 here in Chicago area.
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