Fox Sports Net regional networks to begin transition to round-the-clock HD telecasts in 2009

Today at the annual NCTA conference in New Orleans, FSN Networks President Randy
Freer announced that FSN, the industry’s largest group of regional sports
networks, will begin transitioning to round-the-clock HD telecasts in the first
quarter of 2009. FSN’s transition to full-time HD in 2009 will be made possible
by Fox Networks Group investment and construction of the nation’s largest and
most technically state-of-the-art television transmissions center, Fox Network
Center Houston. The 184,000-square-foot facility will be able to handle more
signal traffic than any other similar facility, including as many as 40 live
games in a single day.

FSN will determine HD roll-out plans for each of its individual
regional sports networks based on several factors including team telecast
rights and distribution agreements.

This ambitious initiative means that FSN will have the capability
to produce its entire slate of more than 3,000 Major League Baseball, National
Basketball Association, National Hockey League and NCAA Football and Basketball
events in HD—far and away more than any other sports TV provider in the U.S.

“This
is the next step in the evolution of FSN’s commitment to being the leaders in
HD sports production,” said Freer. “It’s one of the best ways we can
serve the local sports fans throughout the country, and it also allows us to
offer tremendous value to our team partners and distributors.”

Mike Hopkins, Fox Cable Networks, executive vice president and
general manager of Affiliate Sales & Marketing, says HD is one of the
highest priorities for distributors and subscribers. “It’s incumbent upon
us to offer them our most popular services in HD,” says Hopkins. “We have consistently found
that sports drives the adaptation of new technologies, and the deep emotional
commitment local fans have to their teams will accelerate the HD and digital
transition.”

The
16 owned-and-operated FSN regional sports networks currently produce more than
1,700 live high-definition telecasts of the MLB, NBA, NHL and NCAA Football and
Basketball. Since debuting its HD telecasts nearly five years ago with
approximately 200 games, FSN has essentially doubled its HD schedule every
year, making its RSNs the largest providers of local HD events in America.

Besides its regional sports network events, Fox Networks
Group already provides HD versions of its flagship FOX and FX networks,
National Geographic Channel, SPEED and its most recent new service, Big Ten
Network, which produces more events in HD than any new network in television
history.