Mitsubishi says no to CBS

Network says it can get new HDTV vendor for this fall

Mitsubishi has decided not to renew its HDTV sponsorship of CBS prime time programming for next season, but CBS executives remain confident it will find a new sponsor to take Mitsubishi's place.

"There are plenty of other manufacturers out there who want to continue with these types of deals, and it's just a matter of putting the pieces of the puzzle together," says Dana McClintock, CBS spokesman.

CBS and Mitsubishi will work together on other events, particularly sports.

The lack of a deal also doesn't mean that Mitsubishi is backing away from HDTV. But Mitsubishi's own research showed that HDTV sponsorship of sporting events was more effective than prime time sponsorship.

Bob Perry, Mitsubishi director of marketing, adds that the prime time advertising did "kick" up sales numbers, but that it was an experiment. "We're not walking away from CBS or HDTV," he explains. "In fact, we introduced more HDTV sets than analog sets at our line show last week in Las Vegas. There's a whole host of events that CBS has, and we're looking at the whole schedule, including regular season NFL games."