|HDNet, Only All-High Definition National Television Network, Launches on DirecTV|
|Home Theater News What Is On In HD News|
|Written by AVRev.com|
|Friday, 07 September 2001|
HDNet, the world's only all-high definition national television network, recently debuted on DirecTV channel 199 with a broadcast of the Minnesota Twins VS Texas Rangers, the first of 15 Major League Baseball games to be aired throughout the month.
Founded by Dallas Maverick’s owner Mark Cuban and Philip Garvin, HDNet will expand in October from a limited schedule to a 16 hour-per-day, seven day-per-week schedule of sports and entertainment programming, all broadcast in high definition.
Through agreements with Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Hockey League (NHL), the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and the National Lacrosse League (NLL), HDNet will offer the largest selection of sports programming available in high definition. In addition to sports, HDNet will feature a variety of live and taped special events, concerts, documentaries, music videos and movies.
"Watching a sporting event on HDNet is a unique, compelling experience that closely rivals the excitement of actually being there in person," said Cuban, Chairman of HDNet. "The rapidly growing base of current HDTV users is demanding more high definition programming, and we are committed to providing them the compelling content they seek. Furthermore, for new TV buyers, we want to make their choice of upgrading to high definition television and high-definition capable DirecTV equipment an easy decision."
Consumer objections to HDTV have been high equipment costs, difficult and unreliable terrestrial antenna installations and most importantly a lack of programming. More HDTV programming on DirecTV starts to overcome the programming concern. Echostar, DirecTV’s strongest competitor, recently inked a deal with CBS to broadcast nearly all of their primetime schedule in HD. This announcement by DirecTV is a positive response to Echostar's move, especially as Echostar is reportedly in a bidding war with Fox for the acquisition of DirecTV and its 10,000,000 subscribers.
HDNet Sports Provide Showcase for the HD Experience
HDNet's focus at launch is primarily on sports broadcasts, events that have proven to be the ideal showcase for the superior viewing experience of HDTV.
HDNet will broadcast 15 MLB games in September, as well as a full schedule of games throughout the 2002 season. National Hockey League broadcasts begin in October and will include at least 65 games during the 2001-2002 season. HDNet will produce its MLB and NHL game broadcasts in conjunction with certain Fox Sports Net regional outlets, sharing audio and graphics with FSN's standard definition production units.
HDNet will also work with the U.S. Olympic Committee to produce and broadcast events held by the 39 National Governing Bodies for Olympic sport.
HDNet is also broadcasting National Lacrosse League games during the 2001-2002 NLL season, as well as select Dallas Mavericks games available only in the Dallas-Fort Worth area on the digital channels of UPN21 and CBS11.
HDNet programming is currently available on channel 199 to all DirecTV subscribers at no additional monthly programming cost. To receive HDNet on DirecTV, consumers may purchase an HDTV set with built-in DirecTV System Receiver or a DIRECTV-enabled HD set-top receiver and a triple-LNB 18 inch x 24 inch Multi-Satellite Dish antenna. HDTV sets integrated with the DirecTV Receiver, as well as DIRECTV-enabled HD receivers, are available from Thomson Consumer Electronics (under the RCA and PROSCAN brands), Toshiba, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Hughes Network Systems, Philips and Sony.