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Digital TV gets boost from sports

The Detroit News


Monday, October 8, 2001 Page 1B e/Tech

Digital TV gets boost from sports

By Mike Snider
Gannett News Service


Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban thinks all that the high-definition-TV transition needs is an assist.

Cuban, who became a billionaire by starting Broadcast.com in the early days of the Net and bought the NBA team in January 2000 for $280 Million, launched a sports-and-entertainment network, HDNet, in September on the DirecTV satellite service.

Co-founded with Phillip Garvin, president of Denver-based production company Colorado Studios, HDNet began its live sports broadcasts with a Minnesota Twins-Texas Rangers game.

So far, consumers have bought about 1.3 million digital television sets and 150,000 decoders which will translate the various signals including HDTV.

But more programming is needed to jump-start sales, Cuban said. "The element that has been missing is the dynamic on the sales floor. When someone walks into a consumer electronics store, there is no reason for the salesperson to tell you to upgrade to HDTV system. We've given them that reason."

The network plans to broadcast 16 hours of daily programming this month, including Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, and lacrosse games. Also to be broadcast are competitions leading up to the Olympics, live and taped special events, movies, concerts and documentaries.

DirecTV subscribers with a high-definition dish and receiver can watch HDNet free on channel 199.

Some critics say the HD transition is foundering, but that just charges up Cuban, 42. His company, MicroSolutions, pitched PCs in the early '80s "when people said they would never need a PC," said Cuban, and he started Broadcast.com "when people said, 'Who would ever want to turn a $3,600 computer into a $6 radio? I'm interested in being in situations where people pooh-pooh the idea."



I hope you enjoyed the article,

HDCblGuy
 
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