Breaking… - Broadcasting & Cable

Breaking…

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Sharp Shots

Los Angeles—The good news: At this year's Academy Awards show Feb. 29, E! Entertainment viewers will get to see gorgeous celebs like Scarlett Johanson and Nicole Kidman strut down the red carpet in high-definition. The bad news (for the stars at least): You'll also get to see every pluck and tuck they'd rather you didn't.

E! plans to produce eight hours of its Oscars pre- and post-show specials in high definition, the net's first foray into HD. It will air on InDemand's InHD channel. Other high-profile events coming to InHD include a simulcast of USA Network's Westminster Dog Show Feb. 9 and 10 and TNT's 2004 NBA All-Star Game Feb. 15. Standard-definition telecasts of all three events will air on their respective cable channels.

Dealing for Denver

Denver—Fox Sports Net is making a last-minute play to keep Denver's NHL Avalanche and NBA Nuggets on its Fox Sports Rocky Mountain regional sports net. As the teams' owner, Kronke Sports, was said to be getting serious about launching a net, Fox made a sizeable offer to get the teams to renew. The Avalanche and Nuggets deals with Fox expire at the end of this season. Kronke was apparently planning to unveil its new channel this week , but those plans have been put on hold, insiders say.

"We continue to negotiate," said Fox Sports Networks chief Bob Thompson. "Hopefully, we can reach an agreement."

Denver, Houston and Minnesota are the latest markets where team owners are looking to take content off Fox Sports and start their own channels. But Fox has rights to 68 of 80 NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball teams, meaning it still has plenty of sports to show. On that list are long-term rights to Colorado's MLB Rockies.

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