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The NFL used to have a rule that if a game like Sunday night on ESPN was broadcast on cable, they had to offer the local cities an OTA option (provided there was no local blackout.)


My question is: if the ESPN game is broadcast in HD, would the HD signal be broadcast by the local OTA channel? The reason I ask is that an ESPN game might be the only time I can see my local team in HD. Right now I am satisfied with my "free" HDTV that I get over the air. I don't want to pay Comcast extra for the digital box, at least until they have more HD content. So I am curious about other peoples experiences with the above scenario.
 

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No. ESPN SD will be simulcast if a local OTA station picks it up (my understanding is that is always happens) but the only Sunday NightHD feed will be on ESPN-HD. It will not be simulcast anywhere else. This came up here this past weekend. In Minneapolis, our local ABC station carried the ESPN SD feed and were not allowed to carry the ESPN HD feed. They said so on our local digital tv board. The only way to see Sunday Night Football in HD is on ESPN-HD. Trust me.
 

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From first hand experience I can confirm that MnGuy is correct about the Vikings Sunday night game and the local ABC affiliate that showed the game in SD. This could be viewed as one of the reasons to oppose media ownership concentration which is a battle being fought right now. Notice that Disney owns both ESPN and ABC. If someone else owned ABC you can imagine there might have been a challenge to ESPN's interpretation of the NFL rules. Notice that the very next night ABC's HD coverage of MNF was passed through to ESPN as HD. Too bad they are both owned by the same corporation with its own agenda.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by SBryan
Notice that the very next night ABC's HD coverage of MNF was passed through to ESPN as HD. Too bad they are both owned by the same corporation with its own agenda.
It was? Why would ESPN even be showing this game?
 

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Quote:
Notice that the very next night ABC's HD coverage of MNF was passed through to ESPN as HD. Too bad they are both owned by the same corporation with its own agenda.
Was Monday Night Football on ESPN-HD in HDTV? I would be very surprised if that was the case...
 

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The local station that showed the ESPN SD simulcast here was an ABC station. ESPN-HD is a pay service and they only want people who pay for it to receive it. I was not aware that the ABC game was simulcast on ESPN-HD and seriously doubt it was. It makes sense in some way because it would sell more subs for ESPN-HD, but no way would the local ABC affiliates allow such a valuable commodity to be shown in their market on another station. Not only that, but I imagine we might have seen a thread or two on here.


Edit: Found this link from Twin Cities local DTV discussion board from Dick Rice at KSTP (ABC affiliate in Mpls) explaininy ESPN HD's decisin.

http://www.ktca.org/innertube/inside/bbs/msg4/6865.html
 

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Even if the Sunday night ESPN-HD feed were available to an ABC affiliate, it's unlikely they'd want to mess with buying the additional gear to carry it, since (I'm told) the ABC-HD satellite receiving equipment isn't very "agile."


Doc
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by MnGuy

ESPN-HD is a pay service and they only want people who pay for it to receive it.
...and since they have limited distribution, they don't want many to pay for it either ;)
 
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