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Old 05-20-2002, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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After word that the WB will be sending their stations HDTV programming this fall, I sought to verify that with WGN - TV Chicago.

The response is:
"We got the same word from the WB - and they are just now starting to survey their stations re HD capabilities and receivers needed, etc. My internal plant is ready as is our transmission chain. With any luck Major League Baseball will let us do at least one additional game this summer in HD ."

FYI
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Old 05-20-2002, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gmichael
With any luck Major League Baseball will let us do at least one additional game this summer in HD ."
Why does WGN need permission from MLB to do games in HD? I don't think they do! This sounds nonsensical. Do they mean they want HDNet to supply the cameras and do all the work, like last August?

If WGN wants to do Cubs (or Sox) in HD all they gotta do is get the cameras and wire the parks. They passed through a game in HD last year, and they can do it now.

Can I ask who you emailed? Perhaps we can join our voices together and contact this person en masse.
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Old 05-20-2002, 02:09 PM
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Ironically I was watching the Cubs lose over the weekend, and the 480i upconvert to the HD channel looked pretty good.

Better than the Analog feed, or the Dish Network feed.

The HD upconvert showed just how much compression Dish is throwing on the channel.

WGN == We've Got No HDTV.

It's a bit embarrasing that the #3 TV market in the country has so little OTA high-def.

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Old 05-21-2002, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dan Burgess
Why does WGN need permission from MLB to do games in HD? I don't think they do! This sounds nonsensical. Do they mean they want HDNet to supply the cameras and do all the work, like last August?

If WGN wants to do Cubs (or Sox) in HD all they gotta do is get the cameras and wire the parks. They passed through a game in HD last year, and they can do it now.

Can I ask who you emailed? Perhaps we can join our voices together and contact this person en masse.
Wrong! Everything you see on TV is backed up by contracts between all of the interested parties. The networks even need to get a signed release from the people who appear on COPS.
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Old 05-21-2002, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by spwace
Wrong! Everything you see on TV is backed up by contracts between all of the interested parties. The networks even need to get a signed release from the people who appear on COPS.
WGN already does 60+ Cubs games per year in NTSC. We are just asking that they be done in HD. Are you saying that they would need additional approval from MLB to improve the picture quality? Because I think that's what we're talking about here.
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Old 05-21-2002, 11:53 AM
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disclaimer: I am not a lawyer

WGN has terrestrial broadcast rights -- and I fail to see the difference between an upconverted 480i and a native HD broadcast.

In other words, Cubs baseball is being broadcast on the HD channel, just not in HD.

Seems to me, if this were problematic, it wouldn't matter whether this was SDTV or HDTV content

Perhaps Tribune should have spent a bit less on player salaries and a little more on broadcast infrastructure? :D

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Old 05-21-2002, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dan Burgess
WGN already does 60+ Cubs games per year in NTSC. We are just asking that they be done in HD. Are you saying that they would need additional approval from MLB to improve the picture quality? Because I think that's what we're talking about here.
I don't know what kind of agreement WGN has with MLB, but what I am trying to point is that these contracts are much more complicated than most of the people here seem to realize. You can't just run wire and set up cameras and put it on the air.
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Old 05-21-2002, 07:54 PM
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spwace,

WGN is already on the air with many Cubs and White Sox games. The reason I'm a Cubs fan is because of WGN. I truly doubt that MLB would object if WGN would add HD cameras to Wrigley Field and/or Comiskey Park and start showing the games in HD.
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Old 05-21-2002, 09:05 PM
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WGN does not need MLB's permission to broadcast a HD game! They already have the rights and need no permission to do HD what-so-ever! The only permission that may be needed would be for a game that they want to show nationally that is slated for local broadcast only. Even then MLB would NEVER deny a channel the ability to showcase their sport in the ultra-high quality of HD!

I think the comment by WGN just goes to show their total lack of committment to HD which is a shame and makes it very scary as to whether they'll bother with the WB's HD!

Also the comment about HDNet doing all the work for WGN for the Cubs game they did last year is correct but don't make it sound like it was a freebie by HDNet because it was paid in full by WGN!
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Old 05-21-2002, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by FrankS
WGN does not need MLB's permission to broadcast a HD game! They already have the rights and need no permission to do HD what-so-ever! The only permission that may be needed would be for a game that they want to show nationally that is slated for local broadcast only. Even then MLB would NEVER deny a channel the ability to showcase their sport in the ultra-high quality of HD!
You seem awfully sure of yourself here. Have you studied the contract between MLB and WGN? If not, this is just an opinion and should be stated as such.

Quote:
I think the comment by WGN just goes to show their total lack of committment to HD which is a shame and makes it very scary as to whether they'll bother with the WB's HD!
That's just silly. I don't live anywhere near Chicago, but I know that WGN has done Cubs games in HD and I believe they also ran the Rose Parade in HD. It would seem that they are doing what they can with a limited supply of HD programming.

Quote:
Also the comment about HDNet doing all the work for WGN for the Cubs game they did last year is correct but don't make it sound like it was a freebie by HDNet because it was paid in full by WGN!
How are you privy to the financial terms of the agreement between WGN and HDNET? Once again, opinions seem to be offered up as facts.

Yes, you are sensing my frustration with the broadcaster bashing that takes place on this forum. It's free, sit back and enjoy.
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Old 05-21-2002, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by spwace


1. "You seem awfully sure of yourself here. Have you studied the contract between MLB and WGN? If not, this is just an opinion and should be stated as such."



2. That's just silly. I don't live anywhere near Chicago, but I know that WGN has done Cubs games in HD and I believe they also ran the Rose Parade in HD. It would seem that they are doing what they can with a limited supply of HD programming.



3. How are you privy to the financial terms of the agreement between WGN and HDNET? Once again, opinions seem to be offered up as facts.


Yes, you are sensing my frustration with the broadcaster bashing that takes place on this forum. It's free, sit back and enjoy.
Geez! take a pill will ya!

1. What makes YOUR statements any more reliable then anyone else's? I will bet you any amount of money that my comments on WGN's ability to broadcast HD games without MLB's permission is more to the truth then yours are!

2. Well I LIVE in the Chicago area and to date WGN has done ONE cubs' game and ONE Rose Bowl parade telecast since they started broadcasting their digital channel! I hardly call that a dedication to HD!

3. Actually, I was privy to the financial terms between WGN and HDNet as was everyone else at the time when ALL the press releases contained the info that WGN was paying HDNet for their services!
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Old 05-22-2002, 12:29 AM
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spwace,

WGN did *one* Cubs game on August 7, 2001 at Wrigley Field, the Cubs beat the Rockies in dramatic fashion. That is the only Cubs game ever broadcast by anyone in HD, WGN included. I don't know who paid for it, but HDNet was behind the production.

The Rose Parade on January 1, 2002 was produced by KTLA, a sister Tribune station in Los Angeles. WGN carried it gratis, as did HDNet.

spwace, I don't know what your deal is, but really, let's keep the facts straight.
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Old 05-22-2002, 12:31 AM
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What did I state as fact that was incorrect?
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Old 05-22-2002, 12:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by FrankS


Geez! take a pill will ya!

1. What makes YOUR statements any more reliable then anyone else's? I will bet you any amount of money that my comments on WGN's ability to broadcast HD games without MLB's permission is more to the truth then yours are!

2. Well I LIVE in the Chicago area and to date WGN has done ONE cubs' game and ONE Rose Bowl parade telecast since they started broadcasting their digital channel! I hardly call that a dedication to HD!

3. Actually, I was privy to the financial terms between WGN and HDNet as was everyone else at the time when ALL the press releases contained the info that WGN was paying HDNet for their services!

1. I didn't say I was stating facts, in fact I said, "I don't know what kind of agreement WGN has with MLB". I do know a little about how the TV business works. I have been part of it for nearly 3 decades.

2. OK, one Cubs game, but that is still more than most stations have done as local origination. WGN is owned by Tribune and Tribune also has more than a 30% interest in the WB network so your statement about their likelihood of carrying the WB HD feed doesn't hold up.

3. OK.

4. Settle down.
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Old 05-22-2002, 12:56 AM
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The reason I and others are a bit pived at WGN is their GM said after the Cubs HD game that we can look forwards to quite a bit of HD in the near future. Well they did one more thing in HD (Rose Bowl parade) so that is hardly quite a bit of HD!
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Old 05-22-2002, 07:44 AM
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What are you talking about Frank -- with that 1 Rose Bowl telecast, they doubled their amount of HD programming!

As I said earlier WGN == We've Got No HDTV.

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Old 05-22-2002, 07:55 AM
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FrankS, you tend to post your replies with an exclamation point.
Why is that? Are you always this angry?
I think we all need to enjoy what we are given. Heck, I think the fact that our country is being poised to be attacked is what gets me mad. Not because WGN isn't showing HD content as much as you and I would like or because someone questions your method of posting replies.

SR
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Old 05-22-2002, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by SamR.
FrankS, you tend to post your replies with an exclamation point.
Why is that? Are you always this angry?
I think we all need to enjoy what we are given. Heck, I think the fact that our country is being poised to be attacked is what gets me mad. Not because WGN isn't showing HD content as much as you and I would like or because someone questions your method of posting replies.
Gee I'm sorry, how stupid of me to actually post my HD concerns/peeves IN A HD FORUM!

You can just sit back and take what your given but I for one will never settle what I am fed.
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Old 05-22-2002, 10:05 AM
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To list concerns/peeves is one thing, but to verbally attack someone is not what the HD FORUM is about.

SR
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Old 05-22-2002, 11:55 AM
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OK, a little reality check. I am not privet to the agreement between MLB and WGN so I can't comment as to the veracity of the press release, however I do have a bit of first hand information about the WGN Cubs HD telecast of last year and can also report that two more telecasts are planned for this season.

While HDNet may have provided some of the physical facilities used in last years broadcast, most of the work was done by WGN employees, the same freelancers that they use to crew their SD telecasts, and engineers from Trio Video who provides the broadcast facilities for the SD telecasts.

I personally saw engineers from WGN cabling Wrigley for the telecast and I know cameramen, audio engineers and video engineers who participated in the broadcast. So to say the all GN did was piggyback on HDNet's production is not true.

Another point to take into account is that there aren't a ton of HD capable TV production trucks out there. There are only a handful in the entire country. Building one of these trucks costs millions of dollars and most truck vendors don't see the demand out there that would justify the investment. While this leads to one of those vicious circle situations where there's not enough HD out there to justify the cost of a truck and you can't do more HD because there aren't enough facilities, etc., please remember that the truck companies are owned by people and staffed by people who have to make a living and put food on the table just like you, and the industry has been squeezing them pretty good the last few years as broadcaster cut costs wherever they can to pay for the exorbitant fees they've promised the major sports leagues.

I, too, would like to see more HD programming, especially sports, but at this point in time the economics of the business dictates that the growth will be slow for a while.
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Old 05-22-2002, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Well after all that (above), it does appear that WGN will have at least four or five hours of HD from the WB this fall.
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