Puppies in High Def: Animal Planet Shoots ‘Puppy Bowl IV’

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Animal Planet is once again banking on video clips of cute puppies and kittens to hook viewers during half time of the NFL Super Bowl, scheduling its fourth annual Puppy Bowl Feb. 3.

This year’s contest, Puppy Bowl IV, will be offered in HDTV for the first time, Animal Planet said Thursday.

Renowed NFL Films announcer Harry Kalas will handle the play-by-play for Puppy Bowl, calling “tackles, fumbles and fouls from playful pups that just can’t get enough of the action,” Animal Planet said.

The Puppy Bowl has its own half-time program, the third annual “Bissel Kitty Half-Time Show.”

Puppy Bowl will feature instant replays, a “water bowl cam” and “puppy penalties.” Animal Planet will also encourage viewers to choose their favorite puppy by voting at AnimalPlanet.com.

“Puppy Bowl has become an annual viewer favorite, and in fact, we receive notes from viewers about how they try to incorporate Puppy Bowl into their Super Bowl activities,” Animal Planet president and general manger Marjorie Kaplan said in Thursday’s announcement. “By luring in viewers with adorable puppies and cuddly kittens, our goal is not only to entertain them but to raise awareness about all of the wonderful animals in need of loving homes and to encourage them to look into pet adoption if they are looking to add a furry friend to their family.”

Many of the puppies featured in Puppy Bowl IV come from the SPCA of Anne Arundel County, Md., Homeward Tails Rescue and other Washington, D.C. area shelters, Animal Planet said. The network will also direct viewers to petfinder.com for finding adoptable pets.

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