Oscars get up close with high-def

Red carpet roundup also included

HOLLYWOOD — Viewers will see Oscar winners’ tears of joy and losers’ tight smiles in ever more excruciating detail this year, as the Academy Awards ceremony will be broadcast in high-definition TV for the first time, Academy prexy Frank Pierson and ABC Network prexy Alex Wallau announced.

“The Academy Awards is the most watched entertainment special of the year, and ABC is especially delighted to be able to enhance the viewing experience of this great event by offering it in HDTV,” Wallau said.

Only awards in HD

Though ABC has experimented with using HD cameras for the red carpet arrivals, this year only the awards themselves will be in HD, though a brief roundup of highlights from the red carpet that is part of the actual awards show will also be broadcast in high-def.

Wallau and Mike O’Hara, Thomson exec VP for worldwide marketing and sales, also announced in Las Vegas that Thomson’s RCA unit will sponsor ABC’s HDTV broadcast of this year’s Super Bowl on Jan. 26 in San Diego.

The net earlier announced that it would also broadcast this year’s hockey Stanley Cup finals, the NBA finals and next fall’s “Monday Night Football” in HD. ABC already broadcasts much of its primetime fare in high-def through 65 stations and affils with HD capabilities. ABC uses the 720P, progressive-scan format of HDTV.

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