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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

ESPNU! Finally!

Big news today from Time Warner and Walt Disney Co.: They announced a corporate agreement for Time Warner systems to carry ESPN and Disney networks' products and services -- including ESPNU.

When? Hopefully before the college football season, and the next Crosstown Shooutout.

"We'll launch ESPNU later this year. We'll get it on as soon as we can," says Karen Baxter, local spokeswoman for Time Warner, Greater Cincinnati's biggest cable operator.

Time Warner subscribers last December couldn't watch the city's biggest game -- the annual UC-Xavier basketball rivalry --because Time Warner didn't have rights to ESPNU, a college sports network. The shootout had been on ESPN or ESPNU since the 1998-99 season.

Since debuting two years ago, ESPNU has televised several UC, Xavier, Kentucky and Miami University basketball games, and some UC and Miami football games. The channel has been available to Insight cable customers in N KY and on the Lebanon city system.

The joint announcement says Time Warner also will launch ESPN2 later this year, and HDTV channels for ABC Family, Disney Channel and ESPNEWS when they become available in 2008.

"We just got word of this news this morning. We're still working the details out locally," Baxter says.

Time Warner also just announced today that it will launch Universal HD channel at 4 p.m. Thursday, to carry first two days of the Masters gof tournament. Find it on the HD tier in Cincinnati on Channel 972, and in Dayton on Channel 761.

So when will TWC get a deal done with FSN Ohio for the Reds in HDTV? The second of the 33 FSNO HD games is the Reds-Cubs at 7 p.m. today.


at 4/04/2007 11:33 AM Blogger Rob Bernard said...

I just wish I could get all the networks in HD. Up here in Dayton Time Warner doesn't even carry NBC in HD, forget about The CW.

at 4/04/2007 11:34 AM Blogger Rob Bernard said...

(Although the way The CW's going they may wind up canceling all the shows I care about by next season anyway so it won't matter if I get them in HD.

at 4/04/2007 11:40 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone know what channel FSNHD is on Direct TV?

at 4/04/2007 12:08 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

ESPNU is a, how about the Big 10 Network?

at 4/04/2007 12:31 PM Anonymous Chris said...

ESPN2HD has already started to appear on TWC systems in other parts of the country. Hopefully that's a sign that "later this year" is much sooner than later.

at 4/04/2007 12:36 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

There goes another hike in cable rates!!! haha

at 4/04/2007 1:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

ESPN2HD has been added in a number of TWC markets and other markets have reported that it will be added within days. Can you ask your TWC source if it will be added for TWC Southwest Ohio? Also, reportedly DirecTV has not yet added FSN-Ohio-HD for the Reds in HD. I probably not the only fan who will jump ship from TWC if DirectTV adds it first.

at 4/04/2007 3:11 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a step in the right direction. Now they need NFL network to keep me from switching. Also, I think Fox is behind the Big 10 Network, so I would not expect that to happen for TWC subscribers.

at 4/04/2007 7:59 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just got off the phone with DirecTV - they do not currently offer FSN Cincinnati in HD, nor do they have any tentative date when the HD feed will be added. Leave it to the Enquirer to report something incorrectly (again)...

at 4/04/2007 10:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been watching the Reds in HD over here on the other side of the moat on Insight cable and it's been beautiful! Insight also carries ESPN2HD as well. Kudos to them for adding the special events HD channel on Opening Day. While I'd love to see even more HD Channels ala Dish Network, I have to say I have been really happy with my HD service through them so far. I hope TWC gets things in order for my OH friends soon.

at 4/05/2007 7:52 AM Blogger BrianDammit said...

For all the jokes about Kentucky, it's ironic that their cable system is far more advanced and has a better riverfront than anything Ohio has to offer.

at 4/05/2007 8:44 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

you don't need cable to get the networks in HD. Just put up an antenna.

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