Is most of a Reds game in HDTV better than none? Fox Sports Net Ohio managers think so, which is why Time Warner and Insight customers haven't seen the complete Reds-Dodgers games in HDTV Tuesday and Wednesday. Cable customes expecting the Reds at 10 p.m. the past two nights have been disappointed to find a blank screen.
Why? Who's to blame?
First, it's a FSNO problem, not the cable carrier. Here's the deal: FSNO gambled and lost, essentially. FSNO scheduled the 10 p.m. West Coast games this week (including tonight through Saturday in San Diego), knowing it couldn't get satellite transponder time precisely at 10 p.m. if a 7 p.m. MLB game ran longer than three hours. And that's what happened Tuesday and again last night. The HDTV telecast on FSNO started a half-hour late both nights.
FSNO knew it was taking a calculated risk by scheduling this week's road trip in HDTV. I just got off the phone with Steve Liverani, FSNO senior VP and GM, and he explains it this way: He hoped the HDTV telecast would start on time... and he's hoping Reds fans appreciate seeing most of the game in HD, rather than none. He opted to go with more HD games (71) taking this gamble, instead of blowing off the whole West Coast swing and just doing 65 HD telecasts.
The same thing can happen tonight through Saturday, all 10 p.m. starts. He's hoping that HD owners who don't see the game will go to the standard definition telecast, and check back periodically. He's also instructing the Reds TV announcers to tell viewers when the HD telecast has started, so you can switch over to HD.
After this week, there's only one more chance of this happening again -- when the Reds play at Arizon Sept. 12-13.
So here's my question: Is most of a Reds game in HD better than nothing? You tell me...