HDTV Gains Airtime
NBC revealed last week that beginning Monday, October 8, it will broadcast Crossing Jordan in high definition, concurrent with the network's standard definition broadcast. NBC says that the HDTV feed will be 1080i with Dolby Surround audio. NBC will also promote the HDTV broadcast to viewers of the standard definition broadcast with an opening message that says "Crossing Jordan: presented in high definition where available."
In addition to "Crossing Jordan," NBC currently broadcasts The Tonight Show With Jay Leno in HDTV five nights a week, as well as several sporting events and specials.
CBS, along with partners Zenith and Panasonic, announced last month that it will offer all 18 of its primetime comedies and dramas in HDTV in the upcoming 2001–2002 television season. This is the third consecutive year CBS has broadcast the majority of its primetime schedule in HD, and the first time it has offered all of its scripted entertainment series in the HD digital format. CBS adds that this means that, combined with its HDTV sports coverage, it will provide an average of nearly 24 hours of HD programming per week this fall.
Other recent announcements have come from ABC and HDNet. ABC says it will broadcast more than 60% of its new primetime schedule in HDTV, including programs such as NYPD Blue, ABC's first regularly scheduled entertainment series to be broadcast in high definition last season.
HDNet, which is dedicated to HDTV sports broadcasting, is reporting that it will run the 65-game NHL schedule this season, beginning with The Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes game last week. The company says that all HDNet programming, including NHL in HD, is available to DirecTV subscribers at no additional monthly programming cost on channel 199.