http://publications.mediapost.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Articles.showArticleHomePage&art_aid=29735 Scripps Sets Two HD Channels For '06 by David Kaplan, Monday, May 2, 2005 3:30 PM EST AS AN ADDITIONAL SWEETENER TO its other blandishments to advertisers and media buyers during the upfront negotiations currently taking place, Scripps Networks unveiled plans Friday to air HGTV in High Definition in January 2006, followed by the introduction of Food Network in High Definition some time in the second quarter of that year. "Once we started looking at the unique offerings of our networks as an overlay to what is currently being offered to viewers in an HD format, we shifted our strategy," said John Lansing, president of Scripps Networks. Lansing noted that Scripps Networks is more than doubling the hours of production originally planned to create programming in the HD format for the two stand-alone networks, with an excess of 1,000 hours scheduled. The company also plans to create new specials and series for the format, Lansing said. Some of the HD titles include "Extreme Homes of Europe," "My First Place," "Small Spaces, Big Style," and "Offbeat America"--and will contribute to 400 hours on HGTV in High Definition, supplemented by about 100 hours of programming from DIY Network. Furthermore, Food Network in High Definition will feature an additional 400 hours of original content. The use of HD is designed to help the network get out in front of others who are still deciding how to use the visual technology. Lansing also pointed to rising demand for HD, citing a March study by the Consumer Electronics Association. The CEA noted that nearly half of all consumers intend to buy an HD set when they make their next TV purchase. The total number of HD sets shipped to retailers hit 16.3 million at the end of 2004, according to the CEA--a number that should rise to 36 million by the end of this year. Thus, the decision to announce its intentions now was made in order to leverage its sales position in upfront negotiations. "Response has been good," said Steve Gigliotti, executive vice president of advertising sales at Scripps Networks. "Advertisers have come to expect our brands to provide them with opportunities on a variety of platforms, from the linear networks to our Web sites and broadband. They recognize that the high-def platform can provide some unique ways to showcase their products and services." Still, one media buyer who applauds Scripps' adoption of more HD hours for its programming said that won't have much of an effect on pricing. "This is something that everybody is going to have to do, and most networks have similar plans in place," said one media buyer. "But a lot of advertisers haven't wanted to take the extra expense of having commercial spots in both HD and non-HD formats. They should be doing both--so maybe if more networks announce similar plans, that will ease that reluctance, but it won't make marketers more or less likely to advertise with HGTV." ---------------------------------------------------------------------- You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways: - Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at FreeLists.org - By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word unsubscribe in the subject line.