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Panasonic Backs News In HDTV

SECAUCUS, N.J. -Panasonic said it has agreed to sponsor nightly news broadcasts by Raleigh, N.C., CBS affiliate WRAL-TV in high-definition television, which were said to be the first regularly scheduled news broadcasts in HDTV format.

The HD broadcasts were slated to begin yesterday. Video will be acquired, edited and played back on Panasonic DVCPRO HD high-definition equipment, the company said.

Panasonic said it also planned to sponsor a series of promotional announcements designed to draw attention to the HDTV broadcasts.

“The future of television is clearly digital,” said Bill Mannion, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Television and Network Services Division VP, “and the benefits of HDTV are not limited to movies and sports. HDTV can provide the clarity, detail and sound that will help bring the drama and importance of local news to viewers.”

The HDTV sponsorship follows similar efforts from the company to help drive the creation and awareness of television programming in the high-resolution digital formats.

Panasonic supplied an HDTV production truck to the ABC Network for Monday Night Football games and the Super Bowl two years ago, and has underwritten HDTV production of special prime-time programs for the CBS Network in the 2000-2001 season.