By now you’ve heard that the Red Sox game tonight is being moved to CN8 on Comcast systems (another channel on other cable systems) so that tonight’s Bruins/Canadiens playoff game can be shown in High Definition on NESN.
I had wondered, as some of you might’ve, if Comcast might be able to still show the Red Sox in HD by putting the CN8 feed onto an HD tier for the night…perhaps channel 881 or 882. In the past they’ve put sports events (mostly the Celtics prior to when the CSN HD Channel was created) on one of those channels.
I asked a contact at Comcast, who then had to check with NESN to get the answer on this. I got a call this afternoon from NESN, who explained that because of the enormous amount of satellite bandwidth used in the delivery of an HD broadcast, it’s not technically possible for them to deliver two at the same time. Thus, the NESN broadcast of the Bruins will be in HD, while the broadcast of the Red Sox game, no matter which system you’re getting it on, will be in Standard Definition.
I just heard a caller to WEEI asking why the Red Sox game couldn’t have been moved to one of the other stations in town and shown in HD, and this post should answer that question. The WEEI hosts answered that it was up to NESN as to how and where the game would be shown, but the correct answer is that it is a technical capability issue that is keeping the Sox in SD tonight, not NESN not wishing to share the Sox broadcast with another station.