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ABC HDTV in focus

Sears, Zenith to sponsor high-def programs

ABC announced Tuesday it has scored major sponsorships with Sears and Zenith to promote its high-def programming for the 2003-04 season, including football.

Sears’ HDTV sponsorship of “Monday Night Football” began with the Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears game Sept. 29.

For the second year in a row, Zenith will be the exclusive high-definition TV sponsor for all of the Alphabet net’s scripted series and movies for the full broadcast season.

‘Best HDTV technology’

“These partnerships with ABC exemplify our ongoing commitment to showcase the best HDTV technology,” ABC Television Network prexy Alex Wallau said.

All the broadcast networks are airing a sizable chunk of their lineups in high-def, even though only a small percentage of Americans have digital TV sets capable of picking up the signal.

For the 2003-04 season, ABC’s HDTV primetime broadcasts will total 17 hours a week. Frosh series being offered in high-def include the new “Threat Matrix,” “10-8,” “Karen Sisco,” “I’m With Her,” “Hope & Faith” and others.

Screen credits

Throughout the HDTV campaign, Zenith and Sears will be identified at the beginning of each program aired in high definition through on-air billboards.

“With more high-definition programming available, a much larger number of our customers are gathering in front of their HDTVs to watch sports, movies and other programs as part of the good life,” Sears exec veep and chief marketing officer Janine Bousquette said.

Zenith prexy-CEO T.J. Lee said ABC’s HDTV campaign dovetails with the consumer electronic giant’s marketing and product plans for high-def TV equipment. “As a longtime leader in digital HDTV, we are thrilled to join forces again this year with ABC.”

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