MyNet Drops Pure-HD Format

Mar 8, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Starting this month, MyNetwork will drop its status as the only pure high-definition broadcast network.
MyNet is scaling back its HD telenovelas to only two nights a week, instead opting for movies, ultimate fighting and reality specials that include a mix of HD and standard-definition content.
Monday’s International Fight League competitions, for instance, will not be in HD. Telenovelas airing Tuesdays and Wednesdays will continue to be in HD. Thursday and Friday movie nights will sometimes be in the format; for example, an upcoming showing of “The Rundown” is in HD, but “Rocky IV” is not.
Similarly, MyNetwork’s recently announced special “Anna Nicole Smith: A Centerfold Exposed” will not be in HD, but an Elton John concert special, “Happy Birthday Elton,” will be.
When MyNet launched in September, it impressed the HD purists with its dedication to the format, airing telenovela-style soap operas shot in HD five nights a week. Although the network only had one type of programming, it was still the only pure-HD broadcast network on the air.
MyNetwork’s ratings disappointed, however, and recently the network decided to scale back telenovelas to only two nights a week. Last week, MyNetwork President Greg Meidel said his upcoming round of telenovelas will be the network’s last, and that MyNet would develop only unscripted content from here on.
Most unscripted broadcast programs, particularly reality shows, are shot in standard definition to keep production costs relatively low. (A few popular franchises such as “American Idol” have embraced the HD format.) Likewise, most recent big-budget theatrical movies are available in HD, but older titles need to be remastered in the format—which adds to the cost.

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