Panasonic, CTAM to Market HD Olympics

Panasonic is teaming up with the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) to use the upcoming Olympic Games in a $10 million campaign to promote the sale of HDTV sets.

Between July 1 and August 31, consumers who purchase selected Panasonic HDTV or HDTV monitors and then either activate digital cable with high definition from participating local cable providers to upgrade existing cable service to high definition service will receive two $100 that can be used to pay for their HD service. The promotion is tied to CTAM's OnlyCableCan initiative, which includes Comcast, Adelphia, Cox, Charter, Insight Cablevision, Cable One, Brighthouse, Mediacom and Time Warner cable systems.

Ironically, the only HD coverage of the Olympics will be provided by the NBC broadcast network, holding out the possibility that some subscribers eligible for the rebates won't see the Olympics in HD if their cable provider doesn't carry NBC's HD feed. Those cable subscribers would have to use an antenna for over the air HDTV broadcasts.