FSN To Drop Puck on 300 HD NHL Telecasts

By Andrew Lippe

Fox Sports Net hits the ice this weekend with HD coverage that, by season’s end, will deliver close to 300 HD NHL telecasts to viewers across 12 regional networks. “We continue to push towards 100 percent HD for NHL, NBA, and MLB,” says Doug Sellars, FSN EVP and executive producer.

FSN is aiming to go full HD for all professional sports broadcasts by early 2010. “There are a lot of factors we have to get through before we are there,” says Sellars. “From the cocoon of the remote itself, you are totally in that HD environment.”

Mobile TV Group mobile units will once again key FSN NHL telecasts, operating in both single-feed and dual-feed mode. In today’s slumping economy, it is becoming more and more difficult to be efficient, and Sellars says FSN and Mobile Group put a lot of forethought into contracts and their relationship to move forward. Dual-mode operation, whereby two FSN networks share a truck and cameras, is a major step in the right direction.

The Fox Box will undergo a change this season, moving from the traditional strip across the screen across the bottom to the old box format, where stats and scores are in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.

“To combat a bit of the clutter that we often are accused of in sports broadcasting, we needed to come up with a more elegant way to integrate sponsors into the programs,” says Sellars.

FSN is also deploying more Inertia Unlimited X-mo super-slo-mo cameras this season, giving new clarity to games and bringing viewers closer to the action. X-mo will be used in games featuring the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, and Detroit Red Wings. “We think that the super-slow-mo technology for hockey is a great thing if you get the camera in the right place in the building,” says Sellars.

FSN will also bring Rinkside view back to Los Angeles for 20 games. Rinkside view uses HD robotic cameras and handheld cameras to give viewers the perspective of sitting right behind the glass.

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