Fox plans HD trot


After years of playing the role of the anti-HDTV poster child, Fox said it plans to offer 50% of its prime-time programming in HDTV once it builds
out its network operations to handle 720p (progressive).

Fox Networks Group president and CEO Tony Vinciquerra said the buildout
should be completed around Jan. 1.

"Once we build the infrastructure out in 720p, we'll begin broadcasting
content, if it's available, in 720p," he said.

The HD announcement was made in a letter from News Corp. president and chief operating officer
Peter Chernin to Federal Communications Commission Media Bureau chief W. Kenneth

The letter was in response to a request by Ferree May 21 for the networks
to provide updates on the digital transition.

Vinciquerra said the network had been contemplating making an announcement
regarding 720p plans for a few months, and the letter provided a perfect

Which Fox programs will be broadcast in HD remains to be determined.

Current programs in 480i (interlaced) wide-screen like 24 and The Bernie Mac
seem like logical candidates, and Vinciquerra wouldn't rule out a 720p
version of American Idol: Search for a Superstar.

As for HD sports, Vinciquerra said there are currently no plans to make the
move from 480i wide-screen production to 720p.