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December 16, 2006

Free HDTV network?

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by Brian Turner

Would you like to get free high definition television? All you have to be willing to do is just move to Canada.

A Canadian businessman has applied for a license to launch a free high definition television network. Most Canadian viewers pay extra for any programming in HD. With the country inevitably heading towards the HD digital direction, John Biton’s HDTV Networks, Inc. plans to deliver HD programming to Canada’s largest English-language markets – Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Halifax.

John Briton is probably best known for founding the National Basketball Association’s Toronto Raptors franchise. One of his less successful ventures was the failed bid for the 2008 Olympic Games, over which he presided.

Briton’s HDTV Networks, Inc. expects an uphill battle as it tries to establish itself in the broadcasting arena – if its license is granted by regulators. Once there, it intends to offer a variety of programming, including foreign programming and local programming. It is counting on the quality of the high definition to eventually draw out the customers.

The expense and complications in the labeling of HDTV sets in the past has left a bad taste in the mouths of consumers. Making a bad situation worse is the outrageous prices being charged by content providers.

Although Britone doesn’t expect more than modest revenue, he is banking on the venture being viable.

Story link: Free HDTV network?

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