HDNet channels Par fare

Pact gives Paramount a way to recoup investments

HDNet has signed a deal with Paramount Domestic Television for broadcast rights to several series originally shot in high-def TV.

The series involved generally saw short runs on broadcast networks in standard definition. Without the HDNet deal, they would otherwise have little backend value to Par. But the deal will give Paramount a way to recoup some of its investments while providing HDNet with some badly needed broadcast-quality programming.

The series, which will begin running on HDNet early next year, will initially include “That’s Life,” “Big Apple,” “Some of My Best Friends,” “Love and Money,” “Wolf Lake” and “First Monday.” As with an increasing number of other TV programs, they were all shot with high-def cameras.

“We’re very excited to be working with Paramount,” said HDNet prexy and co-founder Mark Cuban. “They have certainly helped raise the bar for HD programming, and we look forward to working with them for many years.”

Cuban, who made a fortune after he founded Broadcast.com and sold it Yahoo!, has backed HDNet as his next big tech/entertainment opportunity. The service provides news, sports and entertainment programming, currently only on DirecTV’s satellite service. The Par deal covers HD rights to the programs on cable and satellite providers.