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Old 2007-01-08, 04:39 AM   #1
Tino D'Voe
 
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Question Why is there so little HD hockey on TV?

I'm always hearing the same question lately, 'why is there such limited HD hockey available on TV'? So what I'm wondering is if someone can take the time to explain why we only get 1 game or so a month in HD per team.

Why does CBC only show toronto games in HD, or why does sportsnet never show anything in HD? If at least ppv games were all available in HD, I for one would spend $10-20 per game if they were in HD instead of the standard def, so why are they still showing them in regular 4:3 format, with even more pixelation and macro blocking it seems than other digital channels.

Furthermore, how come channels in the states are showing HD canucks games while we're still watching them here in 480i?? Last question, do the cameras stay the same per stadium? when I'm watching an HD game on TSN, is it TSN that is using their own personal equipment to broadcast that game, or are those the same cameras setup there all the time?
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Old 2007-01-08, 08:22 AM   #2
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I totally disagree. I think there is a TON of HD hockey on television.

The fact is that only about 5% of Canadians have HD and subscribe to HD programming. If you were in business, would you invest your capital and programming budgets to service 5% of your audience? A new HD camera can cost several hundreds of thousands of dollars not to mention all the additional equipment etc. Broadcasting in HD is NOT just flipping a switch!

Quote:
If at least ppv games were all available in HD, I for one would spend $10-20 per game if they were in HD instead of the standard def,
And you probably make up about .0001% of the population so to cover the additional cost, you'd have to pay a lot more.


The amount of sports programming in HD continues to increase every year. Two or three years ago, you would have been salivating over the amout of HD on today. The broadcasters aren't currently losing gobs of money on HD. I would give them some credit for forking out the dough now when it really doesn't benefit them.


I would argue that Canada, in some ways, leads the world in HD programming, and in terms of the rest of the globe (outside of North America), we are way ahead of Europe, Britain, Australia.
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Old 2007-01-08, 09:01 AM   #3
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I would disagree with you too...everytime I flip the channel to a Hockey game, it's in HD...I think every Leaf game on Saturday is in HD.

I'm more of a Raptors fan myself...and us Canadian NBA fans REALLY get the short end of the stick when it comes to HD. The Raptors have played 34 games this year, and I think that only about 5 of them have been HD.
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Old 2007-01-08, 09:13 AM   #4
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There is plenty of hd sports.
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Old 2007-01-08, 09:24 AM   #5
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One valid point is what the heck has happened to Sportsnet? Nothing is ever in HD anymore.

TSN shows all Raptors games in HD, and 80% of hockey in HD.. SN has 0 raptor games in HD, and no HD hockey. They could show the OHL games in HD but they choose not to do that..
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Old 2007-01-08, 10:05 AM   #6
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They could show the OHL games in HD but they choose not to do that..
They did their CHL game of the week in HD a couple of years ago, but since then, they seem to have decided the only HD worth doing is baseball. We're not going to see NHL games in HD on Sportsnet as their rights are assigned to their regional stations and their HD license is national. At some point, though, they'll have to come to grips with converting their regional entities to HD as well; if Fox Sports can do it in America, why can't Sportsnet do it here?

Meanwhile, TSN has stepped up bigtime, especially in hockey. Their HD broadcasts of the World Juniors from Sweden were outstanding and last Wednesday we even got a hockey quadruple header in HD (two WJC semifinals and two NHL games).

I've got to agree with the OP on the PPV games though; as long as they're still in crappy SD I won't be buying.

Quote:
The fact is that only about 5% of Canadians have HD and subscribe to HD programming. If you were in business, would you invest your capital and programming budgets to service 5% of your audience?
Yeah, but I think that is changing very quickly. In the past month alone, the number of HD-enabled viewers in my circle of friends, acquaintances and colleages has increased six-fold. Virtually every tv being sold now is HD-capable and consumers are eager to fill those newly-acquired widescreens with sharp, vivid programming. Any broadcaster that is looking at that growing bubble and not factoring HD upgrades into their equipment acquisition/update cycles is shortsighted and doomed to the viewing backwater (hello CanWest Global?). This includes the NHL teams with PPV, as more and more bars, the bread and butter for those broadcasts, become HD capable.
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Old 2007-01-08, 10:12 AM   #7
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I did say "I would give them some credit for forking out the dough now when it really doesn't benefit them."

The point is that HD costs big bucks! People complain when their cable bills go up but want the cable and broadcast companies to spend more. You can't have it both ways.

I think that many broadcasters (CBC and TSN) have been doing a good job in addressing the needs of a very small (albeit growing) number of Canadians.
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Old 2007-01-08, 03:24 PM   #8
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Could Sportsnet HD blackout most regions and show an NHL game in one region? Would their license allow it?
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Old 2007-01-08, 06:40 PM   #9
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The only thing that bugs me is when there is a HD feed available for a game no Canadian broadcaster has the rights to and it doesn't appear on NHL Center ICE, even though i know it exists. Also ottawa doesnt get leafstv HD on NHLCI only Leafs TV, also frustrating. I sent an email to rogers but no answer yet.
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Old 2007-01-08, 08:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
I'm always hearing the same question lately, 'why is there such limited HD hockey available on TV'?
Because the US doesn't care about hockey. Answer enough for ya?
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Old 2007-01-08, 09:47 PM   #11
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If you would care to look, you would notice that usually over 1/2 the games on tv are available in HD in the usa.

Please Consult http://www.hdsportsguide.com/nhl.php

Tomorrow night for example there are 6 games in HD in the usa out of 11 games total, not bad.

The problem lies with the provider, or at least NHL Center ICE itself.

How many of these games will we see in canada thats the problem. Sports net is showing 2 games that night, but only one of the HD games, bringing the possible total to 5. Checking the rogers schedule is a waste of time, it shows no games, so i checked the guide and out of 5 possible HD games from a country that as you say doesnt care about hockey. We get 1 (Tampa / Pittsburgh) fed into a country that does. With bell you get 2 of the 5.
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Old 2007-01-09, 05:50 AM   #12
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I know that broadcasting HD takes more than the flip of a switch. I understand that there is a substantial cost to get everything converted over. However I still would like to know about the actual cameras being used at the games. It looks as though every game is capable of being broadcasted somewhere in HD. So are all the stadiums currently recording with HD cameras? If thats the case, then why no HD games on a network such as sportsnet that is technically capable of broadcasting an HD program?

I have to admit that TSN is doing a great job right now in showing HD programs. But can someone please explain why a network such as CBC will not move their one HD truck to other cities so we can see something other than the maple leafs?? If CBC can't afford the gas to vancouver, hell I'll pitch in!!

Also, how do we really know that I'm only part of a 0.001% percent group that would pay more for PPV hockey in HD? The market is there, people own HDTV's now. Maybe its the incentive such as more programming that will start the ball rolling and people will buy more HD sets, order the HD packages at a higher cost, etc...
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Old 2007-01-09, 10:49 AM   #13
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Tino,

The cameras are tied to the truck not the arena, each provider has their own, the arena doesn't provide them.
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Old 2007-01-09, 05:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tino D'Voe View Post
I have to admit that TSN is doing a great job right now in showing HD programs.
Tino,
I think you're not getting much of a response because this has been discussed ad nauseum in these forums, and has led to some extremely acrimonious and often rude commentary. You're starting on that path again with the "can't afford the gas" remark.

1. When Sportsnet has regional rights to a NHL team, they can't normally show it on the "National HD" network. I'm not sure, but I don't think Sportsnet has any national rights for NHL, so no HD even if the game is technically available.

2. There are at the moment 4 full size HD trucks in Canada - 3 with Dome Productions and 1 with CBC (with a second CBC anticipated to be ready for the playoffs). Each one is a ~50 foot trailer with 10-12 cameras. Someone in the industry posted that it takes almost a day (~20 hours) to tear down and set up a truck at a new location, plus whatever time is actually needed for travel.

3. TSN and CBC are able to do a good job for CFL because they have National rights, there are only 4 games/week to cover and they have 3 trucks available between them most of the time. One of the Dome trucks spent most of the summer shuffling back and forth around the West. For hockey when you take geography and travel time into account, and consider the number of games, I believe they're doing the best they can to manage limited resources and show the most games possible.

Some day there'll be an HD truck based in every city (like they have SD trucks now) and the logistics won't be such a limiting factor.

Last edited by COTU; 2007-01-09 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 2007-01-09, 06:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Also, how do we really know that I'm only part of a 0.001% percent group that would pay more for PPV hockey in HD?
Don't twist my words. I never said that only .001% was the actual number only that the percentage was small.

The truth is you'd need a huge percentage of HD owners who watch HD hockey on a given night to pay for the PPV to make it economical. This might be reasonable for a big event like a one-time boxing match or WWF but not for just another hockey game which most folks are content to watch on SD if its free!

My point is that most consumers balk at paying anything extra for HD (witness the huge number of threads from HD owners who refuse to pay extra for HD channels) let alone for HD PPV.

Broadcasters are capitalist. If they smelled a good return on HD PPV hockey or HD hockey they'd be investing money in it faster than you can say "dot com craze!"
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