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DirecTV to Carry CBS' HD Coverage of the NFL

CBS Sports has inked a deal with DirecTV to allow the satellite broadcaster to carry the network's HD coverage of the upcoming NFL games. The 1080i broadcast will be available to subscribers of DirecTV's "NFL Sunday Ticket" subscription package.

The games are being offered as part of DirecTV's five-year agreement with the NFL for exclusive rights to NFL Sunday Ticket. The agreement between CBS and DIRECTV is for the 2003 regular-season only and will be evaluated for renewal when the season ends.

The HD games will be regionalized on CBS but on NFL Sunday Ticket will be subject to the NFL's hometown blackout rule only when the hometown stadium is not sold out. The designation of the HD games will be determined on a weekly basis. The games will also be available from affiliates broadcasting CBS's games in HD as well as digital cable systems carrying CBS's HD feed of its primary game.

The unified productions for the SD and HD telecasts will feature the same game announcers, camera angles, replays and graphics. Each HD game will be broadcast in 1.5 digital Dolby surround sound.

CBS was the first network to telecast NFL games in HD, initiating its coverage in November 1998. The game was the first of four high definition games presented by the network during the 1998 season. CBS also continues to produce major sports events, such as the NCAA Final Four, The Masters Golf Tournament in HD and will show selected games of the upcoming U.S. Open Tennis tournament in high-def.