ABC, CBS get hi-def sponsors


Beginning in September, Zenith Electronics Corp. will sponsor ABC's high-definition digital-television prime time broadcasts (which will be more
than 13 hours per week) and co-sponsor CBS prime time programming with
Samsung Electronics America Inc.

Last season, ABC picked up the cost of broadcasting HDTV programming itself
in a move that differed from the typical network approach of sponsorship.

On-air billboards touting Zenith as the sponsor will be shown at the
beginning of ABC comedies, dramas and movies.

On CBS, prime time HD programming will include all 18 comedy and drama

It is the fourth straight year CBS has brought HD to viewers,
and sources at the network said deals like the ones with Zenith and Samsung
have made HD a revenue-generating proposition.

The deal includes television spots, as well as on-screen banners displayed
during opening titles.

This is Zenith's second year as a sponsor of CBS prime time HD and
Samsung's first.

The programming kicks off Sept. 23 with the network's Monday-night comedy

Where is NBC's announcement?

Sources said the network is close to a similar sponsorship deal with an
electronics manufacturer, but details are still being worked