NBCU, Turner, FOX to Launch HD Networks - DirecTV to carry 60 of them! - AVS Forum
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Old 01-09-2007, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
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HDTV Notebook
NBCU, Turner, CNN to Launch HD Networks
CNN HD to debut in September
By James Hibberd Television Week January 9, 2007

USA Network, Sci Fi Channel, TBS, Cartoon Network, CNN and other channels are readying to launch simulcast high-definition networks by the end of the year.

CNN announced plans to launch an HD network in September at its opening session at the Television Critics Association's semiannual press tour, while an NBC Universal spokesperson confirmed the company will launch a "suite of HD networks." NBCU would not set an exact time table. A Turner spokesperson also confirmed HD networks for TBS and Cartoon Network.

The news comes a day after DirecTV's announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that it has HD carriage agreements with 60 cable networks. DirecTV cited USA, Sci Fi, FX, CNN, Cartoon Network, TBS and several other channels among the brands with agreements. The satellite provider plans to launch 100 HD channels by the end of the year as part of its strategy to expand its HD offerings.

Though all major cable networks are eventually expected to have HD simulcasts, none of the networks DirecTV cited had previously announced plans to launch HD networks.

CNN announced its plans Tuesday morning at its panel. Spokespeople for NBC Universal and Turner confirmed plans to launch their HD networks shortly after. A spokesman for Fox Cable Networks Group representing FX had not yet returned a call.

The confirmations represent the largest number of networks to commit to HD upgrades all at once. DirecTV's launching of two new satellites in 2007, combined with the satellite service's push for more HD content, has been a tipping point for a host of major networks previously biding their time before taking the plunge to HD.

The moves will dramatically expand the number of HD viewing options for consumers, who have long griped about the scarcity of HD content.

http://www.tvweek.com/news.cms?newsId=11336

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Old 01-09-2007, 05:36 PM
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FX just began its presentation at the Television Critics Winter Tour, Ken -- maybe James will ask the execs about their plans.....
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Old 01-09-2007, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks to fredfa for posting the above info, and of course thanks to James Hibberd of Television Week.

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Old 01-09-2007, 05:39 PM
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Woot, Sci Fi channel HD!
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Old 01-09-2007, 05:40 PM
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And all in glorious 1280x1080!
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Old 01-09-2007, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ehren View Post

And all in glorious 1280x1080!

Hey, this should be another great opportunity for a guy who likes to waste his time and money......

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Old 01-09-2007, 06:08 PM
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James Hibberd continues on top of the story: Two more cable nets announce HD plans....

FX and Speed Channel to go HD
By James Hibberd Television Week in his Critical Eye blog January 9, 2007

Earlier today TVWeek broke that a host of NBC-Universal and Turner networks will launch HD channels by the end of year.

We can now add Fox Cable Network Group's FX and Speed Channel to the list, though sources cautioned that the company might still elect to do a compilation Fox Cable network rather than individual simulcasts for non-DirecTV systems.

The news was spurred by DirecTV's announcement yesterday at CES that they had secured distribution agreements with 60 cable networks for new HD channels.

Only problem: A bunch of the channels named had yet to announce they were going HD. Some network sources said they were caught off guard by the announcement, which essentially pushed a whole host of channels into the public HD pool before they were ready, without so much as a press release to wear.

http://blogs.tvweek.com/?cat=12
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Old 01-09-2007, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

James Hibberd continues on top of the story: Two more cable nets announce HD plans....

FX and Speed Channel to go HD
By James Hibberd Television Week in his Critical Eye blog January 9, 2007

Earlier today TVWeek broke that a host of NBC-Universal and Turner networks will launch HD channels by the end of year.

We can now add Fox Cable Network Group's FX and Speed Channel to the list, though sources cautioned that the company might still elect to do a compilation Fox Cable network rather than individual simulcasts for non-DirecTV systems.

The news was spurred by DirecTV's announcement yesterday at CES that they had secured distribution agreements with 60 cable networks for new HD channels.

Only problem: A bunch of the channels named had yet to announce they were going HD. Some network sources said they were caught off guard by the announcement, which essentially pushed a whole host of channels into the public HD pool before they were ready, without so much as a press release to wear.

http://blogs.tvweek.com/?cat=12

Is there any way to view these press conferences online?
The channel is useless unless they get Buffy in HD, and before I make my way through the series. It is a good step though.
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Old 01-09-2007, 06:09 PM
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Cartoon Network? Wha? Why?

Ignoring the fact that cartoons really don't benefit all that much from an HD presentation, are there any animated series in widescreen aside from that Justice League cartoon?
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Old 01-09-2007, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by SJKurtzke View Post

Is there any way to view these press conferences online?...

No, they are limited to the Television Critics Association membership and accredited media.
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Old 01-09-2007, 06:21 PM
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Excellent news about FX, TBS, CNN, USA, and SCI FI going HD. Hopefully, both satellite companies will add these channels when they launch.
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Old 01-09-2007, 06:32 PM
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Sorry to bring this up in light of the second-best HD news ever. (Broadcast nets going HD goes first), but:
Notably absent from the list was Viacom, which only operates one HD channel. MTV and Comedy Central would be excellent HD additions. Then there would be almost no reason to watch SD cable!
There's also the fact that Disney-owned ESPNews or Lifetime hasn't officially said anything, weren't there some rumors about those earlier?

Also, FiOS hasn't added anything in a long time, despite our high expectations. I feel doubtful that they would be jumping to add these, despite the lack of capacity issues that the other companies face.
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Old 01-09-2007, 06:53 PM
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I disagree. I would be stunned if Verizon didn't add all the new networks announced today (and in the coming days) almost as soon as they are available.

After all, Verizon is are targeting high-income (and HD) households, and it needs all this HD content.

I would suspect that DirecTV just got a head start on the negotiations. Nthing is geing broadcast in HD tomorrow, so there is plenty of time for Verizon (and cable and Dish) to hammer out their own deals.
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Old 01-09-2007, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJKurtzke View Post

Notably absent from the list was Viacom......

Maybe their agreements included a no-announcement clause.

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Old 01-09-2007, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJKurtzke View Post

Sorry to bring this up in light of the second-best HD news ever. (Broadcast nets going HD goes first), but:
Notably absent from the list was Viacom, which only operates one HD channel. MTV and Comedy Central would be excellent HD additions. Then there would be almost no reason to watch SD cable!
There's also the fact that Disney-owned ESPNews or Lifetime hasn't officially said anything, weren't there some rumors about those earlier?

Also, FiOS hasn't added anything in a long time, despite our high expectations. I feel doubtful that they would be jumping to add these, despite the lack of capacity issues that the other companies face.

Don't forget ESPNU, which I would love to see go HD. Also, hopefully Disney/ESPN is working on a HD package for ESPN GamePlan.

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Old 01-09-2007, 07:13 PM
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Maybe their agreements included a no-announcement clause.

What's that?
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Old 01-09-2007, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJKurtzke View Post

What's that?

Maybe the Viacom agreement specifically said 'no one talks about this until both of us are ready'?

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Old 01-09-2007, 07:28 PM
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Something these other networks just assumed.
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Old 01-09-2007, 07:39 PM
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Something is fishy about this annoucement.

I mean a full year before NatGeo-HD when on the air, they were talking about how they were "now producing content in HD" so they'd have enough hours for when they did launch. Same thing with the Scripp's FoodTV & HGTV. They were working on HD 1yr+ before launch their channels. ESPN built a whole new building for HDTV so they could launch their networks.

Now we have a bunch of channels which are going to launch by .... Q3? End of year? and they didn't even know it until now? I'm guessing that we are going to see a whole lot of A&E-HD like channels here.

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Old 01-09-2007, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

I disagree. I would be stunned if Verizon didn't add all the new networks announced today (and in the coming days) almost as soon as they are available.

After all, Verizon is are targeting high-income (and HD) households, and it needs all this HD content.

I would suspect that DirecTV just got a head start on the negotiations. Nthing is geing broadcast in HD tomorrow, so there is plenty of time for Verizon (and cable and Dish) to hammer out their own deals.

Verizon FIOS has not added FOOD-HD and HGTV-HD even after a year , in spite of agreements in place. Forget about as as soon they are available.
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Old 01-09-2007, 07:53 PM
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And as you will recall, CycloneGT, for a long time AFTER the conversion, ESPN didn't broadcast all that much in HD. Last year just a couple of Bowl games were in HD, for example.

But what makes you think these networks haven't been planning for their eventual HD conversion?

Making a carriage deal is probably not all that difficult -- especially with a provider as interested in adding channels as DirecTV obviously is. I would be surprised if many channel hadn't been stockpiling HD content like crazy for the past couple of years.

Speed already has some NASCAR events, TBS has baseball, CNN has been converting to HD equipment for while a while, etc.
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Old 01-09-2007, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by comcastic View Post

Verizon FIOS has not added FOOD-HD and HGTV-HD even after a year , in spite of agreements in place. Forget about as as soon they are available.

What was the hurry?
There was no real competition. Now, with DirecTV's announcement, there is.

(Not to mention all the political battles Verizon has been waging in so many states, along with Washington. That does take some corporate energy.)

I would guess the announcements of the past two days will change the sense of urgency in the Verizon corporate suites about adding HD content.
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Old 01-09-2007, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CycloneGT View Post


Now we have a bunch of channels which are going to launch by .... Q3? End of year? and they didn't even know it until now?

It's been ongoing for quite some time, but hadn't been announced.


Quote:


I'm guessing that we are going to see a whole lot of A&E-HD like channels here.

Sure, it's called transition. But you can bet it will go a lot faster from this point forward.

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Old 01-09-2007, 08:04 PM
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Yup. With digital TV sets now outselling analog, and with probably close to 30% of the country equipped to get HD (not that all the households get it yet) and with the growing press about HDTV in the mainstream media, the pendulum has finally swung far enough.

I am surprised it has taken this long, but happy the day is finally here where the light at the end of the tunnel can finally be seen. When niche channels announce they are going HD, we are all going to have to make room in the inn for a lot of new folks.
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Old 01-09-2007, 08:16 PM
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DirecTV HD News Sends Nets Scurrying

By Kent Gibbons 1/9/2007 6:04:00 PM

DirecTV's announcement Monday that it plans to carry 100 national HD services this year made extra work for some network publicists because several HD networks on the list don't exist and hadn't even been announced as planned.

The direct-broadcast satellite carrier said it had signed agreements, or agreements in principle, with more than 70 networks, including HD versions of NBC Universal's Sci Fi Channel and USA Network; Fox Cable Networks' FX, Speed Channel and National Geographic Channel; and Turner Broadcasting System outlets Cartoon Network, CNN and TBS.

The release came out after 5 p.m. (PST) Monday at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

NBC U -- which distributes a conglomerate service called Universal HD showing programming from its owned networks -- would only say that it's still evaluating a suite of HD channels, releasing no specific names or timetable. USA and Sci Fi, though, are logical members of an NBC U HD suite.

CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton said during a Television Critics Association presentation in Pasadena, Calif., Tuesday that an HD version of CNN will launch in September. And Turner said later that Cartoon and TBS HD versions will also launch in September.

And HD TNT is already distributed by DirecTV, EchoStar Communications' Dish Network, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications.

Fox's regional sports networks and NGC -- which Fox co-owns and distributes -- have HD versions in the market. But there are no HD versions of FX or Speed and no plans for launches have been announced.

Fox, through a spokesman, said Tuesday, Speed and FX now have ensured national distribution for their native HD production, meaning we can ramp up aggressively on either side. And the NGC HD launch on DirecTV will push that service above 50 million homes, as the channel is already carried on Dish and has a recent agreement with Comcast.

DirecTV, with two new satellites launched, plans a breakout year for HD, saying that it will have 100 HD national services, more than three times as many as any cable company or satellite distributor currently has.

Most of the new launches will take place during the third quarter, DirecTV added.

http://www.multichannel.com/article/...=Breaking+News

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Old 01-09-2007, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

Yup. With digital TV sets now outselling analog, and with probably close to 30% of the country equipped to get HD (not that all the households get it yet) and with the growing press about HDTV in the mainstream media, the pendulum has finally swung far enough.

Speaking of which, did anyone see the special ad section in the Wall Street Journal yesterday? 8 full color pages, 4 text, 4 ads, from Samsung, NFL, Bose, Sony. Wheeeeeeeeeee..............

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Old 01-09-2007, 08:24 PM
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Speed and FX now have ensured national distribution for their native HD production, meaning we can ramp up aggressively on either side.

So, does this mean they ARE going to launch?
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Old 01-09-2007, 10:59 PM
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nice to see the rest of the limited NASCAR schedule outside of FOX and ESPN getting to hopefully be in HD.
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Old 01-09-2007, 11:34 PM
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Press releases. Pffft. I'll believe it when I see it.
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Old 01-10-2007, 05:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

Yup. With digital TV sets now outselling analog, and with probably close to 30% of the country equipped to get HD (not that all the households get it yet) and with the growing press about HDTV in the mainstream media, the pendulum has finally swung far enough.

I am surprised it has taken this long, but happy the day is finally here where the light at the end of the tunnel can finally be seen. When niche channels announce they are going HD, we are all going to have to make room in the inn for a lot of new folks.

Maybe it should say HD sets are being sold more than SD sets since with the FCC mandate of digital tuners, to find a pure analog only (no digital tuner with an analog tuner) set is getting harder and harder since they all have (will have after March) digital tuners in them making them digital TVs right? With that thought, it makes sense that more digitals (SD and HD) will be sold since that is basically all that is available to purchase now.

Just a thought.

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