It may not be 24 hours of Showtime in HDTV on DIRCTV but for the content starved HDTV early adopters this is great news – NBC and HDNet will be broadcasting all of the Visa Triple Crown horse racing events this year.
The coverage begins with the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4 at 5 p.m. ET. The HDTV broadcasts will be available on NBC’s HDTV affiliate stations and on HDNet’s channel 199 on DIRECTV. The announcement was made today by Ken Schanzer, President, NBC Sports and Mark Cuban, co-founder and president of HDNet.
Starting April 30, 2002, DirecTV will offer Showtime in HDTV 24 hours a day on channel 543. Showtime is the third network broadcasting in HD on DirecTV including Marc Cuban’s HDNet (channel 199) and HBO (channel 509). Showtime’s cutting edge programming, including hit shows like Queer As Folk, Boxing and blockbuster feature films will be a welcomed addition to content hungry HDTV early adopters and may also persuade new users to setup HDTV and subscribe to a fully loaded DirecTV package.
The Walt Disney Company and EchoStar Communications Corporation have reached a comprehensive multi-year agreement that ensures EchoStar's carriage of ABC Family and ESPN Classic on EchoStar's DISH Network, announced Robert A. Iger, president of The Walt Disney Company, and Charlie Ergen, chairman and CEO of EchoStar Communications Corporation.
HDNet will broadcast the first HDTV news coverage from the heart of the Middle East conflict, with reports from Ramallah, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and other key locations. The HDNet World Report presentation will premiere April 8, 2002 at 7:30 p.m. ET on HDNet’s channel 199 on DIRECTV and will be rebroadcast several times throughout the week.
Major League Baseball and HDNet (channel 199 on DirecTV), the all-high definition sports and entertainment network, have finalized plans to broadcast 80 Major League Baseball games in High Definition during the 2002 regular-season. The 2002 HDNet MLB broadcast schedule begins with the Detroit Tigers-Minnesota Twins game on April 13.