College Hoops Tourney Will Boost DTV

Major sports events and digital television are made for each other. This year's annual National Collegiate Athletic Association men's college basketball tournament will present broadcasters and electronics dealers an unprecedented opportunity to show the public what DTV is all about.

That's exactly what Thomson Multimedia and CBS Corporation are doing. CBS affiliate WISH-TV is broadcasting all of the NCAA basketball tournament games on its digital TV channel in Indianapolis, with Thomson-supplied DTV receivers and monitors arrayed at as many public venues as possible for basketball fans to see just how versatile and good-looking TV sports can get. Thomson Multimedia is a subsidiary of Thomson SA and the parent company of RCA.

"Basketball fans are going to go crazy when they see this," said Thomson senior vice president Mike O'Hara. "One of the great untapped advantages of America's new digital television system is its ability to handle multiple standard-definition broadcasts." Regional games will lead up to the semi-final and final games—the legenday "Final Four"—to be played in the RCA Dome in Indianapolis during the first weekend in April.

"We're pleased to support local broadcaster WISH-TV in their effort to demonstrate the amazing flexibility of digital TV as we lead up to the big game at the RCA Dome in early April. And viewers won't believe their eyes when they see the college basketball championship games in HDTV on CBS, presented by RCA," O'Hara said. RCA is underwriting the costs of producing high-definition coverage of the semi-final and final games of the annual tournament.

Hoosiers are in a basketball frenzy this year. Not only are the Final Four being held in the state's capital and biggest city, but six Indiana college teams qualified for the first round of the national championships: Purdue, Valparaiso, Ball State, Creighton, Winthrop, and Indiana State University. Through April 23, RCA is running a promotional special on digital television products called the "RCA Slam Dunk of Savings."