News

Showtime Boosts HDTV Offerings

2/09/2003 4:02 PM Eastern

Showtime will ramp up its slate of high-definition offerings this year by
presenting six original series -- including Queer as Folk and TheChris Isaak Show -- and a variety of telepics in the new format, network
officials said.

"Our strategy from day one has been to provide as much programming as
possible in HD," said Glenn Oakley, Showtime's senior vice president of
corporate strategy and international. "Our goal is to stay ahead of the
curve."

In addition to returning series Queer as Folk and Chris
Isaak
,Showtime will produce new episodes of Jeremiah in the
HD format, as well as new shows Earthlings and Dead Like Me and
limited series Out of Order.

In addition, this year, most of Showtime's original movies will air in HDTV,
including Stealing Sinatra, Out of the Ashes, Good Fences,
The Maldonado Miracle, Coast to Coast, Spinning Boris and
Soldier's Girl.

In the third and fourth quarters of last year, more than one-half of
Showtime's primetime programming was in HD, in compliance with Federal
Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell's recommendations, according
to Oakley.

This year's new HD programming will drive up that percentage, but Oakley said
he couldn't calculate an exact figure until the shows are actually
scheduled.

Showtime this year will also produce its first live event in HDTV -- the Feb.
22 heavyweight boxing match between "Iron" Mike Tyson and Clifford Etienne.

Showtime offers two HDTV feeds, which are available to more than 30 million
homes via Charter Communications Inc., Comcast Corp., Cox Communications Inc.,
DirecTV Inc., EchoStar Communications Corp.'s Dish Network and Time Warner
Cable.

June