Better Batter Up

Proving to be one of the brightest spots in HDTV broadcasting, HDNet is adding another sport to its lineup of regular high definition television broadcasts. The company says that it has finalized plans to broadcast 80 Major League Baseball games in HDTV during the 2002 regular season. HDNet says the broadcast schedule begins with the Detroit Tigers–Minnesota Twins game on April 13.

HDNet, which is located on DirecTV channel 199, had originally reached an agreement with MLB in September 2001 to broadcast 12 MLB games to viewers in the 1080i HD format for the remainder of the 2001 season. The company says it will produce the upcoming MLB game broadcasts in conjunction with several Fox Sports Net regional outlets, sharing audio and graphics with FSN's standard definition production units.

Mark Cuban, co-founder of HDNet, comments, "Watching an MLB game in high definition is the next best thing to being in the ballpark. We had great success broadcasting Major League Baseball games during the last month of the 2001 season, and we look forward to working with MLB and Fox Sports Net to bring fans more exciting HDTV baseball action in 2002."

HDNet's move also received praise from the Consumer Electronics Association's Gary Shapiro, who commented, "DTV owners have even more reason to celebrate their investment this spring. Already, consumers have enjoyed the first ever high definition (HD) Winter Olympics and added NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament coverage, and now DTV households will receive 80 Major League Baseball games in 1080i HD format beginning on April 13. Mark Cuban and his network play a significant role in moving the DTV transition forward, and I'm sure we can anticipate more HDNet broadcast announcements throughout the year."

The April live broadcast schedule is listed below (all times are Eastern). The HDNet Website lists additional games through May.

April 13 7:05pm Detroit at Minnesota
April 15 9:35pm St. Louis at Arizona
April 16 8:05pm Pittsburgh at Milwaukee
April 18 8:05pm St. Louis at Milwaukee
April 19 8:05pm St. Louis at Milwaukee
April 26 6:05pm Minnesota at Detroit
April 28 1:05pm Minnesota at Detroit
April 30 9:05pm Pittsburgh at Colorado