Fox not-so-super for HDTV users
KAYU lacks equipment to broadcast Super Bowl in high definition
By Tom Sowa
You Spokane-area Super Bowl fans eager to watch Sunday’s big game in high-definition TV – wait until next year.
Touted across the country as one of the major TV events of the year, this year’s game no doubt has helped sell thousands of high-end, high-definition televisions.
But they’ll have to wait until Super Bowl XL to get that thrill.
Each year the annual NFL championship game is rotated among four national networks.
This year, the Fox Network has the game, but the Spokane Fox affiliate, KAYU-TV, hasn’t completed an upgrade of its equipment necessary to broadcast in high-definition. Station officials had hoped to be ready by Sunday, but it’s taken longer than expected, said station manager Jon Rand.
Among those who are feeling sacked is Tim Smith, a 27-year-old TV salesman and sports fan. Smith, who heads a sales team at the Spokane Valley Best Buy store, spent $450 last week for an HD tuner and indoor antenna.
When he found out Friday that KAYU isn’t offering the HD version, Smith said he’ll return the equipment and get his money back. “I’m a college student. I bought that tuner just for the game,” he said.
He’s told other Best Buy staff to warn customers they can’t see the game this year in high-definition.
HDTVs have become increasingly popular among TV fans. Area sports bars have started installing them to showcase major sporting events.
Rand, of KAYU, said the Spokane market has roughly 10,000 consumers with high-definition TVs.
The NFL began broadcasting the Super Bowl in a limited high-definition production in 2000. Since 2003, it’s been entirely recorded in digital format and made available in full HDTV.
Monday, January 31, 2005