TBS HD Plays Ball With U-verse

Oct 11, 2007  •  Post A Comment

AT&T’s Internet Protocol TV service U-verse has added TBS HD and CNN HD to its high-definition roster, just in time to bring its 100,000 subscribers the 2007 Major League Baseball divisional playoffs.
TBS has the rights to broadcast first- and second-round action in the MLB playoffs.
The agreement with U-verse also allows for the continued carriage of TNT HD and will give customers access to CNN HD later this year.
“Major League Baseball is followed by loyal fans across the country, and we’re proud to offer the playoffs in HD to our U-verse TV customers,” Rob Thun, senior vice president of programming, AT&T Operations, said in a statement. “We’re excited to continue expanding our HD lineup throughout the year.”
EchoStar, the nation’s second biggest satellite TV provider, also recently added TBS HD. Time Warner last week also joined the fold, adding the high-def channel to its lineup in the New York/New Jersey area. Comcast also added TBS HD (as well as CNN HD) in Massachusetts and parts of New Hampshire around the same time. DirecTV had added TBS HD before the playoffs began.
“The big winner here is Turner Broadcasting System and how it has now accomplished getting these two stations based on all the major providers,” Bruce Leichtman, president of Leichtman Research Group, said. “For TBS, it really shows the power of sports and baseball.”
Unlike services from cable providers, U-verse’s TV signal is distributed using Internet Protocol over a broadband connection.
U-verse’s HD additions have been seen as positive moves for this type of service as it struggles to compete against satcasters and cable companies in the increasingly competitive telecom marketplace.
Both cable and telecom companies are determined to offer customers a “triple play” bundle of voice, Internet access and video services.
“For u-verse, to be a viable multichannel service, it has to have all the things that cable and satellite companies have,” said Mr. Leichtman. “It’s what every major provider is doing now.”

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