TWC Adds Competitor FBN to HD Tier

Rupert Murdoch’s latest media venture bearing the name Fox will premiere on Monday, Oct. 15, when Fox Business News joins a couple of other HD outlets for Time Warner Cable subscribers. TWC, ironically, shares the same corporate parent as CNN, which will compete head-on for business and stocks-oriented viewers with FBN–as well as with the only fulltime business channels now in operation, CNBC and CNBC HD+, from NBC Universal.

Exactly how FBN plans to use HD has not been fully detailed yet (although 720p is Fox Television’s format of choice), but CNBC HD+ also premiering this month will use HD (1080i) primarily to focus, quite literally, on an expanded on-screen panel of business and stocks data, while upconverting its 480i video content in a simulcast with its SD channel and maintaining its 4:3 aspect ratio for the video window, inside the overall 16:9 picture. (For more on the CNBC HD+ launch, see the upcoming Oct. 17 edition of TV Technology.)

In anticipation of going up on TWC (with other venues to follow) later this month, FBN has launched its own Web site.

Also joining TWC’s HD menu this month—just in time to catch the Major League Baseball playoffs getting underway—is TBS HD, along with a “hybrid” channel that will tap content in different dayparts from both the Golf Channel and Versus. TWC said by the end of October it should have at least 22 HD channels in operation.