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CBS, Samsung and Sears Team Up For HDTV College Football

College Football Deal is First-Ever HDTV Marketing Pact To Include Manufacturer, Retailer and Broadcaster (August 02, 2001)
Samsung Electronics Corp., Sears, Roebuck and Co. and CBS Television announced today a partnership that will allow fans to watch a full season of college football games in HDTV. The agreement marks the first time a full season of college football has been broadcast in HDTV, as well as the first time a retailer, broadcaster and manufacturer have joined forces to jointly promote HDTV usage.

Samsung and Sears have partnered to produce an "HDTV Game Day" promotion in which Sears full-line stores across the U.S. will show a leading game each week during the regular season on a Samsung HDTV. The in-store broadcasts will be shown in a setting that will allow consumers to compare the experience of an HDTV broadcast with that of regular television.

The HDTV televised football schedule kicks off with coverage of the September 15 match-up between Tennessee and Florida -- live from Gainesville, FL -- and culminates with the Army/Navy game on December 1. The schedule also includes the annual battle between Florida and Florida State November 17.

"Joining with Samsung and Sears to broadcast high definition college football to our audience is a major step in CBS's ongoing, industry-leading efforts to bring the extraordinary HD viewing experience to America's television viewers," said Martin D. Franks, Executive Vice President, CBS Television. "We hope this venture will boost the nation's transition to digital television."

The in-store Sears broadcasts will be possible either through off-air reception of a local CBS affiliate's HDTV signal, where available, or in eligible areas, via satellite provider EchoStar Communications Corporation in which EchoStar provides CBS's HDTV signal exclusively to a Samsung HDTV unit in every Sears store. This arrangement -- struck several weeks ago -- dovetails with the recently announced CBS/EchoStar partnership that will allow certain eligible EchoStar subscribers to access CBS HD signals from either its New York or Los Angeles stations.

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