TV’s Swanni writes about FNC HD on DirecTV…or rather the lack thereof…

Comcast and Time Warner, the nation’s top cable operators, both carry Fox News HD, but not DIRECTV.

So, what’s up? What has happened since the summer of 2007?

Two things:

1. Timing

Fox News HD was expected to launch in late 2007 when DIRECTV had plenty of capacity on its new satellite for new high-def channels. However, the network dragged its feet on the HD launch, ceding the high-def ‘high ground’ to rival CNN, which became the first major news network to launch an HD channel in September 2007.

When Fox News HD finally launched at the end of April 2008, DIRECTV’s HD satellite capacity was nearly maxed out, leaving little room for new channels. Even now, with the launch of a new satellite, which became operational this month, DIRECTV’s capacity for new channels is limited.

2. Ownership Change
When the DIRECTV executive made his comment about Fox News HD in the summer of 2007, the satcaster’s principal owner was News Corp, which just happens to own Fox News. At the time (and before and since), corporate politics bore considerable influence on DIRECTV’s channel additions, despite company protests to the contrary. So long as News Corp. was the controlling owner of DIRECTV, Fox News HD was a likely candidate to be added to the lineup. (By example, DIRECTV was one of the few TV providers to add Fox Business Channel HD last October after its launch.)

However, in February 2008, John Malone’s Liberty Media officially took control of DIRECTV in a stock swap with News Corp. Suddenly, News Corp. did not have the same influence at DIRECTV’s headquarters, making Fox News HD less of a priority in the satcaster’s lineup.

2 Responses to “No FNC HD on DTV…”

  1. Why would Fox set up their mediocre business channel for HD and delay the start of FNC’s HD?
    Having the business channel in HD is a real waste since it is almost completely studio-based populated with talking heads and doesn’t need to be in such elegant fidelity. FNC is all over the place and a more likely candidate for sweeping vistas and ambulance chases shown from affiliate choppers.
    come to think of it, having the business channel in HD would be like the Wall Street Journal (another Rupert title) in color. A waste in each case

  2. Has anyone ever seen screengrabs of FNC HD? Horrendous. The incredibly crisp camera shots are overshadowed by the amateur graphics. The “HD Wing” was obviously slopped together in an hour. Until they get their act together and FINALLY clean house in the graphics department, I really don’t care if I have the HD version.

    FBN HD on the other hand…wow. You can actually tell that their graphics were done by professionals and the entire visual image is wonderful.

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