All-high definition network HDNet has reached a deal with Paramount Domestic Television, giving it the HDTV broadcast rights to certain series originally produced in HDTV. The deal includes conversion of Hogan’s Heroes for HDTV broadcast in 1080i resolution to its direct-to-home satellite TV subscribers.
HDNet is currently distributed on DirecTV to customers with an HDTV set, special receiver, and elliptical dish. This equipment is separate from DirecTV’s standard digital 18-inch dish package.
Under the agreement, HDNet will own the high-definition satellite and cable telecast rights for a number of Paramount television series shot in HD. HDNet will begin broadcasting several of the shows in early 2003. Initial series falling under the deal include That’s Life, Big Apple, Some of My Best Friends, Love and Money, Wolf Lake and First Monday.
Co-founded by Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and General Manager Philip Garvin, Dallas Texas-based HDNet produces and televises more hours of HDTV sports, entertainment and news programming each week than any other network.
In related news, DirecTV has signed a new five-year agreement with the National Football League to keep football games on its satellite service. The move will result in an increase for the “NFL Sunday Ticket” package of up to 14 games each week during the NFL season. The deal, said to be worth $2 billion, includes the launch of the NFL Channel on DirecTV sometime next year.
DirecTV said it would continue to have exclusive satellite television rights to NFL Sunday Ticket through 2007 and exclusive multichannel television rights through 2005. In addition, DirecTV will offer NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers exclusive technical innovations, such as HD game telecasts, viewer-selected cameras and replays, and other advanced digital technology. Hughes Electronics owns DirecTV.