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I have the ESPN-HD access through my DirecTV HD package, my question concerns when there is a local NFL team(in this case - Chicago Bears) scheduled to be on ESPN evening game this Sunday (9/14), they simulcast the game on Local Channel 7 (ABC affiliate). Is the game still shown in HD on the ESPN-HD channel? Or is it only available in HD through the ABC local affiliate OTR? This game was not listed in the NFL HD channels for week 2, are all games on ESPN Sunday Night in HD? Thanks for your help, I currently don't belong to NFL ST, but may dependant on what games are shown in HD. THX, Jerry
 

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Possibly not. Since ABC and ESPN are co-owned, affiliates are allowed to opt in to ESPN games. Remember, this is the reverse of the CBS-Fox thing. In that case, the broadcast affiliate has first rights to the game (and, as a first-rights holder, they don't want anyone else simulcasting the broadcast). In this case, it's the cable channel that has first rights. So ESPN has basically "sold" your ABC affiliate the right to simulcast the coverage. The broadcast affiliate, in this case, doesn't have first-rights.


Doc
 

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ESPN so far has not blacked out ESPN-HD when a local ABC affiliate broadcasts the game. They do not provide the HD feed for ABC because they want people to pay for the channel on D*, Comcast, etc.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by kevin j
the only way to see the bears game in HDTV is on espnHD
This is correct.
 

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This is the opposite situation of Sunday Ticket and locals. In the Sunday Ticket situation, the local stations have the primary rights to the games. Therfore, those rights are being protected by blacking out the games being shown locally on Sunday Ticket. The locals could choose to not enforce those rights if they wanted to, just like CBS is doing with the HD games.


With Sunday night games, ESPN has the primary rights to the game. They choose to not protect those rights in the markets of the local teams and sell secondary rights to broadcast stations for those games (SD only).


The fact that the local channels have rights to the game does not supercede the fact that ESPN still has the primary rights to the game.


So basically, a Sunday night game will never be blacked out on ESPN for reasons other than the game not being a sellout.
 
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