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From Broadcasting and Cable:


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More HD sports?


Broadcasting & Cable

4/21/2003 9:00:00 AM


Carriage of ESPN-HD is still spotty around the nation’s cable systems, but it appears that it’s enough to have Fox Sports Net considering high-definition services in selected markets.


The potential move is said to be prompted by a fear that ESPN-HD would give ESPN a leg up in dealing with some national advertisers.


Executives from FSN were making inquiries into HD gear at the recent National Association of Broadcasters convention, and the foray into HD wouldn’t be without precedent.


HDNet has supplied hardware and crews for HD productions of regional FSN events.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by vruiz
From Broadcasting and Cable:
Now this it what I'm talking about! Sorry to say that who ever said that the launch of ESPN-HD was a little bit too soon needs to check this out! It still may be a while before FSN gets on board, however it at least it helps to get the ball rolling!
 

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This also goes to show that converting to HD is just the cost of staying competitive and as such should not be passed on to us.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by dparker
This also goes to show that converting to HD is just the cost of staying competitive and as such should not be passed on to us.
That is a great point and totally agree with you
 

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You think the Fox Sports Net HDTV (actually owned by FOX) channels will be free? Not a chance!


Expect such channels to be a part of a separate HDTV pay-television tier.
 

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With all the HDTV channels that are on the radar screen it could be one big HDTV package that we are looking at. It is sad to say but I do expect there will be additional costs to us for these channels but I believe it is wrong and if it gets to far out of hand then I will just not pay.
 

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I just wonder how Murdoch-owned DirecTV will find capacity to deliver Fox Sports HDTV channels for major markets.


With the launch of DirecTV-7S in December, and completion of two new uplink centers, DirecTV should gain a total of 5 to 6 transponders, after migrating more locals off 101 and 119 and onto 119 spots. They might be able to fit ten 720p HDTV channels in that space, but far fewer 1080i sports channels. Or perhaps they will lease some capacity on a couple of Galaxy satellites, requiring yet another new dish?
 

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This is great news if you are a cable customer, but it might end up being frustrating news for satellite subscribers. I can't imagine either satellite company putting 20 or so HD RSN's up there, unless they can figure out a way using spot beams. Of course, if one of those satellite companies were to be owned by Fox, then that should increase the chances of it happening...
 

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Don't forget that Comcast Sports Net (The Regional sports Network for the Washington DC/ Baltimore/ Philadelphia) also now has a HD channel and it broadcasting those local games in HD.


So a HD RSN is not unprecedented.
 

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Comcast has its own HDTV sportsnet channel (in DC/VA/Philly) included as part of the extended digital package. Cablevision also has its own "Fox Sportsnet" HDTV channel (although FOX has nothing to do with it) as part of its extended digital service. The cable companies are using these channels to encourage customers to subscribe to certain tiers of digital service. In contrast, the typical analog sports net only requires extended analog service.


Obviously, the cable companies gain extra revenue when their customers subscribe to extended digital rather than a standard analog package. Fox obviously does not have any incentive to offer a HD channel for free; they do not gain anything unless they charge for the channel.
 

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I've been hearing that something like this has been in the works for the last 6 months.
 

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Just keep it coming baby!!!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bfdtv
Obviously, the cable companies gain extra revenue when their customers subscribe to extended digital rather than a standard analog package. Fox obviously does not have any incentive to offer a HD channel for free; they do not gain anything unless they charge for the channel.
Of course they gain something -- viewers. The "leg up" in advertising would go to whoever is the only kid on the block, which could account for much of the reason ESPN started on 3/30 even with their shortcomings.


So Fox could provide anything they wanted for free and that doesn't mean they'd *lose* on the deal. If they keep you from watching ESPN and instead are watching your local team in HD on their network, then they've already gained.


Having said that, of course it'll cost us. The sports package on D* costs too. Why would this be any different? People talk too much as if charging for a service is a new idea. My D* bill says otherwise.
 

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Quote:
Of course they gain something -- viewers. The "leg up" in advertising would go to whoever is the only kid on the block, which could account for much of the reason ESPN started on 3/30 even with their shortcomings.
ESPN has already said publicly (ex. Twice.com interview) that advertisers aren't interested in paying for advertising on ESPN-HD, and won't be for quite some time. There is no reason to believe that Fox Sports Nets -- which would have even less viewers as regional channels -- would be any different.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bfdtv
You think the Fox Sports Net HDTV (actually owned by FOX) channels will be free? Not a chance!


Expect such channels to be a part of a separate HDTV pay-television tier.
Honestly, I don't expect it for free. But I do feel that if a channel converts to HD that it should stay in the same tier as the SD channel. If that channel is a pay channel then the HD version would be.


I think I understand where youre coming from but I just dont agree. Youre position is that it cost more to convert over to HD and produce simultaneous HD and SD programs so since it cost more to produce, it should cost more to consume. My opinion is that this is a one time upgrade so that a company can stay competitive in future markets and as such they should not pass that onto me. I hope the one thing we can all agree on is let the market sort it out.
 

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dparker,


We can agree to disagree. But recognize the channel isn't "converting;" the primary service and target market will remain analog for many years to come. HDTV is supplemental to that. Also, it's not a one time capital expenditure, unless Fox Sports decides to buy its own trucks, because HDTV truck rentals still represent a significant, day-to-day [variable] incremental cost over SD.


That said, while HDTV may be a significant incremental cost so far as the actual broadcasts go, it's very very small figure relative to the billions FOX is paying out for the rights to MLB, NFL, etc.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bfdtv
ESPN has already said publicly (ex. Twice.com interview) that advertisers aren't interested in paying for advertising on ESPN-HD, and won't be for quite some time. There is no reason to believe that Fox Sports Nets -- which would have even less reviewers primarily as regional channels -- would be any different.
That's not the point. Get out of the "businesses are solely in it to make money" rut. FSN and Murdoch don't want us watching Disney-owned ESPN. So to start with the goal is to keep us from watching ESPN. Then later, whatever revenue comes from advertising comes....
 
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