Dish Network is launching WGN America in HD and has renewed its retransmission-consent agreement with Tribune’s 23 TV stations, officials said Thursday.
In addition to adding WGN America in HD to its channel roster, the satellite provider this week will also begin to carry HDTV programming from four Tribune stations in major markets: KCPQ in Seattle; WPIX in New York City; WGN-TV in Chicago; and KTXL in Sacramento, Calif.
The agreement also provides for Dish Network to launch and carry the HD signals of the rest of the Tribune group, with 23 television stations in 19 markets.
“With the Cubs and White Sox leading their divisions in the Major Leagues, we are excited to reach this agreement with Tribune,” Dish Network senior vice president of programming Eric Sahl said in a prepared statement. “Now, Dish Network subscribers throughout the country can follow this exciting season in high definition, especially the upcoming cross-town battles between the Cubs and Sox at Wrigley Field and U.S. Cellular Field later this month.
“Along with WGN America in HD, we are also pleased to add Tribune’s local signals in high definition to our lineup,” he added. “These are some of the most popular stations in the markets Tribune serves.”
WGN America, previously known as Superstation WGN, carries more baseball games than any other national television network—all in high definition, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. WGN America is also the home of the Chicago Bulls, whose games are also carried in HD.
Earlier this year, Dish Network said it is committed to reach the year-end goal of 100 local HD markets and 100 national HD channels.