Why The Sox Aren’t In HD Tonight

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.

  • bosox1256

    I also read on hfboards.com that Bruins playoffs always take precedence over the Red Sox, it’s actually in the NESN charter to do this. Hence why the Sox get moved.

  • http://chrisgonyea.com/ Chris G.

    Makes sense too. For the relatively few times in the spring and fall that Sox/Bruins broadcasts could possibly conflict, it isn’t worth the cost for NESN to essentially double its HD broadcast capacity.

  • Rick

    Whoa, hey. Are you saying that the WEEI hosts sometimes talk out of the ### and are too afraid to admit that they might not know something? What a shock.

  • http://www.edgarbrown.com Sports Artist

    Bastons a Baseball town. The Sox should have the pull over hockey. Well I kinda understand because the Bruins haven’t made the playoffs in a while so it is kind of a big deal. Anyway, this kind of stuff would never happen in New York.

    Not everyone has HD yet anyway so its not a major deal.

    JB

  • Little Ricky

    I have no problem with it….afterall,the Bruins are in the PLAYOFFS….the Red Sox are just playing 1 of their 350 games

  • Wilson Tisdale

    If I was going to create a list of every single thing in the world I had sympathy for, “people who are forced to watch one Red Sox game in April in non-HD” might be on the absolute bottom of the list.

  • Little Billy

    Great.

    We can watch the B’s get lambasted in all the glory that is HD…

  • Jon Fox

    Is it just me or does this make perfect sense? People will find the Red Sox broadcast WHEREVER NESN puts in on the cable systems. By putting the Bruins on the main channel and showing it in HD, they’re making it a more attractive viewing opportunity (notice no comment on the actual GAME PLAY here) and more attractive to sponsors. Everyone will know where to find the Bruins and the advertising is an easier sell because of it.

  • JimmyV

    We can see the Bruins get killed just as easy in standard def as in high def, in fact, maybe it wouldn’t look so gory in standard def.

  • Technophile

    I can’t wait for the old (non-HD) formats to go away,
    as per the federal mandate, so the broadcasters will
    have to stop dragging their feet. Or worse, trying to
    charge a premium for HD format…