The latest happenings from around the world of sports

Business highlights from around the world of sports on TV, video and the Internet.

Harris supports CBS Sports for Final Four HD broadcast

Harris sponsored CBS Sports' HDTV coverage of the recent NCAA Men's Basketball Championship tournament. This is the third consecutive year that Harris and CBS Sports have teamed up to deliver the tournament in HD.

Beyond this sponsorship, Harris supplied HD video compression and networking products to CBS — including the Harris FlexiCoder, NetPlus and NetVX — while Harris digital transmitters helped deliver the programming to consumers' homes.

For the first time, HD coverage of the 2007 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament included all 63 games during the tournament, which began March 15 with the first round of play and ended with the National Championship Game on April 2 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

For the third consecutive year, all 12 games from the four regional sites in San Antonio, San Jose, St. Louis and East Rutherford aired in HD. CBS Sports broadcast the two national semi-final games and the National Championship Game in HD for the eighth consecutive year.

The telecasts, broadcast live by CBS Sports, were unified productions produced in 1080i HD and downconverted for analog viewers. Whether watching in widescreen HD (16:9) or traditional 4:3 analog, viewers saw the same camera angles, replays and graphics, and heard the same play by play. All HD games were broadcast in 5.1 channel surround sound.

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HDNet offers NHL in HD

On Thursday, April 5, HDNet traveled to Ottawa to feature the Pittsburgh Penguins vs. the Senators. On Saturday, April 7, HDNet closed out its fifth year of NHL coverage with the Nashville Predators taking on the Colorado Avalanche.

All NHL on HDNet broadcasts are original HDNet productions, shot in 1080i HD. Colorado Studios, based in Denver, served as the mobile production arm of the network and recently bought several Grass Valley LDK 8000 HD cameras to capture the live sports action. The camera captures true progressive HD images, natively, in multiple formats and frame rates.

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ESPN to offer soccer matches in HD

ESPN is now presenting all Major League Soccer (MLS) matches in the HD format, beginning with the Saturday, April 7, season-opener on ABC. This is the first season that the all-sports network will present its soccer matches in HD.

Understanding that sports are king among HDTV set owners, MLS has become one of seven sports categories‚ including "Monday Night Football," that the network is presenting in HD. In 2006, ESPN's inaugural season of "Monday Night Football" was one of the most-watched series in cable TV history. The 720p HD telecasts of MLS games will be offered as simulcast coverage on ESPN2, ESPN and ABC.

Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) research is showing that sports fans are eager to see programming in HD. Tim Herbert, senior director of market research at the CEA, said 29 percent of sports fans said that HD programming impacted their decision to watch and 41 percent of sports fans believed that watching sports programming in HD was almost as good as attending the event live.

ESPN had 71st Masters covered

While CBS Sports handled the live HDTV broadcast, which began on April 5,, in collaboration with the Masters Tournament Web site and the Golf Digest Companies, brought golf fans extensive multimedia coverage of the 71st annual Masters Tournament across online and broadband and mobile platforms.

Coverage included direct links to live video coverage of "Amen Corner Live" and Masters Extra, one hour of online play-by-play Thursday through Sunday, video highlights, complete news and information coverage and contributions from Golf Digest and Golf World. Additionally,, the network's broadband service‚ featured extended video and highlight packages. On mobile platforms, fans could receive analyses, features and information via's WAP site and video analysis and commentary on ESPN Mobile TV.

This marked the fifth year that has collaborated with the Masters Web site for online coverage.