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Second HDTV Channel Represents the Company's Continued Commitment to Expand HDTV Offerings


NEW YORK, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Showtime Networks will launch its second high definition television (HDTV) channel, THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD, on December 1, 2003. The company will transmit an East Coast feed of Showtime Networks' all movie service in the highest picture resolution format available -- 1080i -- with the original widescreen aspect ratio (16:9) to preserve theatrical presentation. The announcement, made today by Mark Greenberg, Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Communications for Showtime Networks, reinforces the company's commitment to providing its premium subscribers with the highest quality home entertainment experience.


In December, HDTV titles on THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD will include "Bandits,"

"Hardball," "Novocaine," "Rollerball," "Sidewalks of New York," "What's the Worst that Could Happen?" and many others. With 75% of the service's primetime schedule offered in HD, THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD will also feature Dolby Digital 5.1, offering subscribers six-channel, theater quality directional surround sound.


According to Greenberg, "THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD will be an extremely attractive service for consumers in the emerging HDTV landscape. Research indicates that movies are among the top programming choice for potential HD customers. Seven out of 10 potential buyers say that they would be more likely to purchase an HDTV set if they knew their favorite movies would be broadcast in HD. We believe that THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD will not only add significant value to our affiliates HDTV offerings but it will also provide a powerful addition to the Showtime Unlimited package."


Showtime Networks' commitment to HDTV programming began in January 2000 when it launched SHOWTIME HD. SHOWTIME was the first network to launch Dolby Digital surround sound in conjunction with HDTV in 2000, and the first premium channel to launch a series fully produced in HDTV in 2002. Since then, the network has been substantially increasing the amount of programming available in HDTV. In 2003, in addition to providing theatricals in HDTV, SHOWTIME HD has aired returning series "Queer As Folk," "Jeremiah" and "Street Time," as well as its new series "Dead Like Me," "Free For All" and limited series "Out of Order" in HDTV. The new season of "The Chris Isaak Show" has also been shot in HD. Showtime Original Pictures which have aired in HDTV in 2003 have included "Our Town, "Soldier's Girl," "The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie," and "Jasper, Texas," to name a few. SHOWTIME also broadcast its first live HDTV broadcast in February 2003 with the Mike Tyson vs. Clifford Etienne

heavyweight boxing match. SHOWTIME HD is currently available to more than 45 million homes via satellite on both DIRECTV and Dish Network and via cable by Cablevision Systems Corporation, Charter Communications Inc., Comcast Cable Communications, Inc. Cox Communications Inc., Insight Communications, and Time Warner Cable.



Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Viacom Inc., owns the premium television networks SHOWTIME(R), THE MOVIE CHANNEL(TM) and FLIX(R), as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME(R) TOO(TM), SHOWTIME(R) SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME(R), SHOWTIME BEYOND(R), SHOWTIME NEXT(R), SHOWTIME WOMEN(R), SHOWTIME FAMILYZONE(R) and TMC xtra. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD(R), THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND(R) and THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND(TM). SNI operates and manages the premium television network SUNDANCE CHANNEL(R), which is owned by SNI, Robert Redford and Universal Studios. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME(R) PPV. Additionally, the advertiser-supported television network SHOWTIME EXTREME(R) is available in Spain through a joint venture with Media Park and the advertiser-supported television network SHOWTIME is available in Turkey through a joint venture with UK-based Zone Vision.




Here's the press Release:
http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/st...2003,+01:46+PM
 

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Since Showtime and TMC are owned by Viacom, which owns the CBS O&O stations, does anyone think a contract for Comcast carriage of TMC HD will be done in conjunction with a contract for Comcast carriage of the CBS O&O's HD signals?


Maybe this is one issue which has been holding up the Comcast and Viacom-CBS negotiations regarding CBS HD.
 

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Quote:
... with the original widescreen aspect ratio (16:9) to preserve theatrical presentation.
So will they only be showing movies which were originally shot at 1.78?


;)
 

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Will those providers that now offer Showtime be cleared to offer TMC-HD as well (assuming the bandwidth is available), or will additional "negotiations" be necessary?
 

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its more like


the Showtime Leftover Channel HD launches december 1
 

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Actually some non-retreads. I guess Cinemax HD needed some late night competition.


I would not complain about an additional HD channel, particularly since I do like movies most.
 

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Even though this is the worst package of movies (just below Showtime) I'll still gladly accept more HD channels.


dsegelstein, I'm pretty sure it would involve some sort of "additional" negotiations. Of course it could be as simple as "hey we have a new channel that we'll give to TMC subscribers free, want it?" reply: "ok, free is good". Since that seems to be how HBO-HD and SHO-HD is.


SonomaSearcher, my non educated guess would be that Viacom is pushing other off beat channels (more shopping channels probably) on Comcast before they get CBS-HD. Of course that is nothing but a guess.
 

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Keep in mind you'll be getting TMC-HD with the Showtime-HD package (at least on DirecTV and Dish), so it's not like you'll be paying more for it.


I'll take an extra HD channel at no cost, any day.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bfdtv
Keep in mind you'll be getting TMC-HD with the Showtime-HD package (at least on DirecTV and Dish), so it's not like you'll be paying more for it.


I'll take an extra HD channel at no cost, any day.
Where is the confirmation that DIRECTV will in fact be carrying this?
 

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There is no confirmation. But it's highly probable that they'll carry it at some point, even if not this year.
 

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Don't hold your breath waiting for it. Actually I would prefer Starz-HD if and when it comes out. The Dolby 5.1 sound on Starz seems to be superior to the other stations (my opinion only).
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bmccrea
Showtime Networks Launches THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD on December 1, 2003
Thanks for breaking the news.
 

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Just how much of the content will be HD?. Showtime HD maybe has 40% true HD, 20% upconverts and rest is crappy 4:3 windowboxed.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by CKNA
Just how much of the content will be HD?
The press release says 75% of primetime will be in HDTV.
 

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Quoting from the latest issue of SkyReport :
Quote:
The Movie Channel HD Coming Soon!



Showtime Networks plans to launch its second high-definition television (HDTV) channel, The Movie Channel HD, on Dec. 1. With Showtime's added high-def channel, joining Showtime HD, retailers will have more programming to promote to customers interested in purchasing HD equipment.


The network said it will transmit an East Coast feed of the new HD movie channel in the highest picture resolution format available - 1080i - with the original widescreen aspect ratio (16:9) to preserve theatrical presentation. According to Showtime, 75 percent of the service's primetime schedule will be offered in HD and will also feature Dolby Digital 5.1.


Titles to be shown in HD format, include: "Bandits," "Hardball," "Novocaine," "Rollerball," "Sidewalks of New York," "What's the Worst that Could Happen?" and many others.

The new channel will be offered as part of the Showtime Unlimited package and available on DirecTV and DISH Network. For more information on Showtime and its HD offerings, visit http://www.showtime.net.
 

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Im sure Directv will also carry Cinemax HD and Starz-HD when it launches.
Well, they don't appear to have space for more than two HD channels this year, unless they drop the HD PPV feed or some standard PPV feeds.
 
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