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Fox To Begin HDTV Broadcasts

Fox Network plans to transmit at least 50 percent of its prime-time shows in HDTV by the 2004-05 season, the network recently told the FCC in an informational filing.

With the action, Fox will join CBS, ABC and NBC in offering full HDTV programming for a significant portion of its weekly prime-time hours.

The network said it would like to begin transmitting HDTV programming before the 2004 season, while ramping up the amount of HDTV offerings. The network has selected the 720p format for HDTV.

In order to accomplish the task, Fox Network, its own-and-operated stations and affiliates will have to replace a significant portion of their broadcasting equipment. The network did not indicate which of its programs would be offered in HDTV.

Fox had held off HDTV broadcasting due to piracy concerns, among other things. The network urged the FCC to quickly implement a broadcast flag solution.