Fox Sports Plays HD

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Fox Sports Net plunged into the HDTV business last week with Time Warner Cable, launching high-definition programming across six networks that will cover 96 games over the next several months.

The rollout marked FSN's first foray into HDTV production for any of its regional sports networks. And it marks the largest mass deployment of regional HD content in the cable industry.

The Fox Sports Net regionals producing HDTV content: Fox Sports Net North, Fox Sports Net South, Fox Sports Net Southwest, Fox Sports Net West, West 2 and Sunshine Network.

The content will be seen on Time Warner systems serving Houston, San Antonio, Austin and Waco, Texas; Los Angeles, San Diego and Desert Cities, Calif.; Milwaukee and Green Bay, Wis.; Greensboro and Raleigh-Durham N.C.; Hawaii; Memphis; Minneapolis; and South Carolina.

The MSO said sports fans in those markets would have at least 10 National Basketball Association games and 10 National Hockey League games available in HD this season. The tip-off came on Dec. 5, with the National Basketball Association matchup between the San Antonio Spurs at the Orlando Magic.

"Time Warner Cable's robust, high-definition offering is one of our many key differentiators in the marketplace," said Time Warner executive vice president and chief marketing officer Chuck Ellis in a statement. The MSO has more than 155,000 HDTV subscribers and considers regional sports another HD content offering that is difficult for satellite to match.

Time Warner is offering the games to subscribers at no extra cost. Fox and the MSO also said they would continue to offer these same games in standard definition in these markets.

The schedule includes 10 games each from the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Magic and Spurs and a like number of contests each from the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild and Tampa Bay Lightning.

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